Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Peter Berg at ESPN,
My relationship with Wayne goes back to the 1990s when he invited me to play in his softball tournament in Brantford, Ontario. He wanted to get some actors in the game and I was a big hockey fan, having played it growing up in Chicago. I thought it would be a small game, but there were about 20,000 people there. First play of the game, I got a grounder at shortstop and threw out the runner and the crowd started booing me. Turns out it was Gordie Howe. I was humiliated. That began my personal relationship with Wayne.
continued and the video below is an expert of Kings Ransom which debuts on ESPN tonight at 8:00pm ET.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Nikolai Khabibulin has had a stellar NHL career, but the new Edmonton Oilers goaltender concedes his work through training camp and the first league game has been spotty.
After an 18-save, 4-0 shutout in his first pre-season game against the Florida Panthers, he’s allowed 12 goals in his last 72 shots. It’s obviously early, and the alarm bells shouldn’t be going off, but he has to be better than that, for sure, if the Oilers want a playoff spot.
“There’s been some positives and some negatives ... right now it’s a little uneven,” said Khabibulin, who is one win shy of 300 for his career, which would put him in an exclusive club of only 24 NHL goaltenders.
“I haven’t played my best yet.”
I searched for this late last night after watching it live, then of course forgot about it until just know when a tweet from Erin Nicks reminded me about it again.
GGOWER has a brief write-up on the event too and I suggest you take some time and enjoy.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
Pat Quinn has just had a swishy salon haircut and pedicure – first-time ever for the latter.
Just sprucing up for his NHL coaching comeback.
“Show opens Saturday night,” he chuckles down the blower from Edmonton.
Back behind a big-league bench, where the 66-year-old belongs, after two seasons of quasi-idling. With the Oilers, a club that’s missed the playoffs the past three years, Quinn – despite the acquisition of netminder Nikolai Khabibulin and Mike Comrie – is the singularly bold-face cast addition.
“I won’t be coaching like I’m some kind of star,” he demurs. “If I start to believe that I’m coming in here on some kind of white horse – or worse, if the players think that – it will just make the job tougher.”
from the CP via Sportsnet,
Dr. Quinn is in—just in time for the team everyone agrees needs a heart transplant.
The Edmonton Oilers and new head coach Pat Quinn open their NHL regular season Saturday against the Calgary Flames in what they hope will be a new beginning for a lurching franchise.
“We’re going to work hard, we’re going to be tougher to play against, and we’re going to be better because we’re going to have a better system,” said veteran defenceman Sheldon Souray.
Quinn, the longtime NHL coach hired this spring to replace the ousted Craig MacTavish, has brought in a system that focuses on puck pursuit, puck control, and skating, skating, skating.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
The good news is Jannik Hansen won the fight. The bad news is he could be lost for 4-6 weeks or longer with a broken hand.
The worst part is the regular season starts Thursday.
Hansen’s right hand was grotesquely misshapen after a fight with former Vancouver Giants’ junior Gilbert Brule during the Canucks’ 5-4 pre-season overtime loss Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers.
“Obviously, it’s not very good timing,” Hansen said. “It’s very swollen. I’m not quite sure how bad it is.”
continued and watch the fight below…
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
If it was as simple as the best guys win, Quinn hinted that some of last year’s players might not be this year’s players.
“I’m watching how they play, do they compete?,” he said. “I know some of them have skill, I watch them in the morning, but some guys are really morning glories. They can dance and do all the pretty stuff in the morning skate, but when the other team comes in and you drop the puck, it changes.”
In this day and age, however, cutting a veteran means moving a contract, and that takes place at the management level—coaches are almost bystanders in the selection process. As much as Quinn would like to believe his eyes and not his ears, his hands might be tied.
“The selection does involve management, they have the last call all the time,” he said, admitting “there’s not a solid agreement on the 14 forwards.”
Fernando Pisani and Marc Pouliot, coming off sub-par years, are on the limp while Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson haven’t stood out like everyone had hoped, but there are reputations, upsides and contracts to consider.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
With J.F. Jacques growing into the physical presence that they’d always hoped, Ryan Stone shoving his way into the picture and Dustin Penner playing harder for Quinn than he ever did for MacTavish, the Oilers are shaping up to be a lot tougher to play against.
“We’re seeing Jacques become the guy he was expected to be and Pens looks like he’s going to have a good year,” said defenceman Sheldon Souray, Edmonton’s toughest guy on the back end.
“If those two things shape up the way you hope they will, we have two pretty good power forwards—not to mention some of our energy guys a little later in the lineup. We could have a good mix if things work out.”
More grit was at the top of GM Steve Tambellini’s off-season checklist. When he wasn’t able to acquire any in the summer, there was considerable concern.
from David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,
It’s not so pretty when an NHL player loses a step, starts looking awkward on the ice, and talks a better game than he plays.
If you talk to the vast majority of Oilers fans, though, this is the stage of his career that Oilers captain Ethan Moreau is at.
In discussions about the team, Moreau is rarely mentioned as someone who is going to have a good season, even at his so-called specialty, the penalty kill. In fact, there’s outright scorn for Moreau from many fans, and especially scorn for the way Oilers broadcaster Kevin Quinn kept referring to Moreau in excited and reverential terms last season, calling him, as if it was one word, “And here’s thecaptainEthanMoreau.”
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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