Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Forsberg was acquired at such a high price to help push the Predators over the edge in the postseason. But the less he plays in the regular season, the greater the angst over whether he can deliver the goods once the stakes go up April 11. And of all the teams headed to the postseason, the Predators may face the highest stakes.
In some ways, the futures of Forsberg, the elite player, and Nashville, the emerging elite team, are tracking the same path—the future enticing, yet unknown.
Babcock would like to see Bertuzzi get in nine games, but it’s more likely going to be four or five and then it’ll be playoff time. He was not in Nashville on Tuesday and will not accompany the team on its two-game swing through Western Canada this weekend.
“He doesn’t have to be ‘the’ guy, just be one of the guys,” Babcock said of the big forward.
more on Peter & Todd…
I received an email today from a Nashville Predators backer, basically stating the Wings were lucky to win last night due to the fact the Preds have some major injuries.
I responded back, well, the Wings are not using the injury excuse, since they have a few key players out too.
The response back was, and I quote, “Zetterberg doesn’t compare with Forsberg and Hartnell is better than Bertuzzi”.
What do you think KK readers?
from the Detroit Free Press,
Trotz listed Holmstrom first and the Islanders’ Ryan Smyth second when asked about the players who are unafraid to stand in front, screen the goalie and get deflections.“It’s like bunting a baseball,” Trotz said. “You’ve got superstar players that can hit 70 home runs a year but they can’t bunt the ball. It is an art.
“A guy like Homer will take away the goalie’s eyes. It takes some courage, ‘cause pucks are getting redirected—they’re coming at you at all angles, at a pretty high speed.”
Trotz said there are only a handful of guys who are really good like Holmstrom.
from the Detroit News,
Hasek can’t wait for WrestleMania.
“Get from Columbus and go directly to Ford Field,” Hasek said of his plans that day.
Hasek will attend WrestleMania with his son, Michael, and some of Michael’s friends.
“I used to watch (wrestling) a lot more, but through the years, I’ve stopped a little bit,” Hasek said. “But when I heard that Donald Trump was in WrestleMania, and may have to shave his head, I watched it the last few weeks.”
That point will be proven again tonight as thousands of Detroit fans descend upon Gaylord Entertainment Center for the sold-out showdown between the NHL’s top two teams — the Predators and Red Wings.
The phenomenon began when the NHL awarded Nashville an expansion team in 1997.
Many Michigan natives had moved to the Nashville area in the 1990s after Detroit-based General Motors opened up a manufacturing plant in Spring Hill. They were thrilled when Nashville landed a team and many bought Predators season tickets.
But they weren’t about to turn their back on the Wings, who quickly became Nashville’s most hated rival.
Also from the Tennessean,
“We’re going to do the right thing for Peter,” Trotz said. “When he’s ready to play, he’s going to play. And if he’s not ready, we’re not going to force him into anything. We’ll probably see where is (today) and make a decision.”
more on Forsberg…
from the Oakland Press,
If the Detroit Red Wings and their leading scorer are going to come to terms on a contract before the offseason, it will need to be done before April 1. Pavel Datsyuk will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but talks between his agent, Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk and Detroit general manager Ken Holland are ongoing….
“I don’t want to talk to (Greenstin) much because I only want to think about hockey,” said Datsyuk. “When I ask about (the contract), he sounds like a movie (advertisement) ... ÔComing soon. Coming soon.’”
I have often written about the lack of knowledge the radio media in Detroit has about hockey. Another example last night.
This was on the Wings radio flagship station during the post game. After recapping the Wings 4-3 victory over Nashville in a shootout, Dan Gutowski started passing on the scores from around the league. This one caught my attention- Nothing was settled in the shootout between Pittsburgh & Ottawa, so the game ends in a 4-4 tie!
Again, on the Wings radio flagship from a person who handles pre-game and post-game shows during the season.
from Ray Slover at the Sporting News,
Oh, yeah, one more thing about Bertuzzi: If this man can clean up his tarnished reputation, he has come to the right place to do it. The Red Wings have perhaps the best atmosphere and leadership corps of any team in the NHL.
But it’s up to Bertuzzi. St. James says the team already is reaching out to him as a teammate, and he’s reaching back.
No matter what you think of Bertuzzi, he is an impact player.
more... Hmmm, wonder how Andy Strickland feels about this…
from the Detroit Free Press via the Mercury News,
“He called me right after the deadline and said: `Now I’m a Red Wing,’ ” former Canucks teammate and close friend Markus Naslund said. “He seemed really excited.”
New teammates saw the same enthusiasm on Bertuzzi’s first day at practice. When Kris Draper got to Joe Louis Arena on Thursday, Bertuzzi was there, humbly introducing himself to those he didn’t know, happily reacquainting himself with all those he did, whether it be from Team Canada or All-Star appearances.
“It was clear he’s very excited to be a part of the Red Wings,” Draper said. “The first thing he said to me: `Geez, you guys are on fire,’ and then he’s kind of like, `again.’ He had a smile on his face.”
Update from practice Monday: Tomas Holmstrom will be out for the next couple of games because of an undisclosed upper-body injury. It apparently happened during the third period of Friday’s game against Chicago but Holmstrom was able to play through it Sunday.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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