Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Harvey Fialkov and Craig Davis of the SunSentinel,
Panthers goalie Jose Theodore may have played his last game for the Florida Panthers.
Theodore will be out for 5-6 weeks with a torn groin, agent Don Meehan told the Sun Sentinel on Monday.
The season has seven weeks remaining, so Theodore would be available for the playoffs, which seems unlikely with the Panthers currently last in the Eastern Conference.
Theodore told Meehan that the groin won't require surgery. Theodore, 36, who is in the final year of his contract ($1.5 million), isn't expected back with the Panthers next season, but he still, "wants to play and compete,'' his agent said.
via Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
One of the most highly skilled players in hockey, Kovalev is not enjoying the fact that scoring is down in the past few NHL seasons.
“There's more just kind of straightforward hockey (today),” Kovalev said. “Not much skill compared to the old days.”
One of Kovalev's old coaches, Dan Bylsma, acknowledged before the game that while Kovalev isn't hockey's fastest player, his skill and patience with the puck are rare commodities.
Kovalev, though, said he doesn't believe his talents fit into this era of NHL hockey.
“It's really kind of obvious,” he said. “Sometimes you can predict what the players are going to do: He just skates forward, and (the fastest guys) are going to be in the league. In the old days, it was just skill. You didn't know where the puck was going to come from or where it was going to go, but these days, it's easy to predict what's going to happen.”
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
Despite having time to cool off, it was obvious Dineen was still fuming afterward.
Dineen was upset for Kopecky being flagged for what Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz wasn't when he jabbed the puck past Jacob Markstrom in the second. Kopecky was trying to get a puck past Fleury -- just as Kunitz did to put the Pens on the board.
Dineen was also mad there was no call when James Neal jumped Erik Gudbranson after he checked Evgeni Malkin at the end of the ice. Malkin fell and slammed his head into the boards and stayed face-down on the ice for a few scary moments. Gudbranson wasn't penalized for what looked like a clean hit.
"It's frustrating, certainly when the game was decided on the tempo and that penalty was big at the end,'' Dineen said, "especially since there was a non-call for us when a guy attacks Gudbranson after a clean hit. And then they score a goal when they whack at our goalie three times.
"Our guy goes down and he doesn't blow the whistle. It's a tough one to take, but that's the nature of it. You have to understand where your place is and just go out and play the game.''
As for Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins will probably have a better idea about his health status later today. You can watch the Malkin indicent below...
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
Just when it seems the Panthers were getting healthy this week with the returns of forward Kris Versteeg on Tuesday and Marcel Goc on Thursday, they lost forward Scottie Upshall for at least a month with an injured ankle sustained during a fight with former teamates James White in last night’s wild third period.
Upshall was on crutches today at the Panthers’ practice. He didn’t wish to comment on the injury or anything that occurred last night. I totally respect that. He’s coming off a difficult injury-riddled first season with the Panthers and was hoping to rebound in this short season. Now, that too will be on hold for about a month.
continue for more on the Panthers, including the return of Stephen Weiss.
If you wish to see how Upshall received his injury, watch the video below and scroll to the 1:40 mark for a slo-motion look
from Harvey Fialkov of the SunSentinel,
While the Panthers are tied for last in goals scored with eight, the Lightning are first with 24 goals. Their star-studded trio of Martin St Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier have a combined eight goals and 27 points. Florida's injury-riddled top line of Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg have one goal and four points.
Weiss attempted a pre-practice solitary skate-and-shoot session, but it was clear by the disgust on his face that his strained groin will keep him out of his third straight game. On the bright side, Versteeg, the third leading scorer on the team last season, will make his delayed season debut after missing the first five games with a groin injury.
"Never in my life,'' Versteeg said of having not played a hockey game in nine months. "I'm excited for it but someone might need to bring an oxygen tank on the bench.''
A grim-faced Dineen was still not in a jocular mood following the intense practice in which the Panthers focused on puck-battling drills.
"The big picture is we're not playing well enough, as organized enough, or as intense enough as we need to get this thing turned in the right direction,'' Dineen said. "[Versteeg] was a large part of our lineup. … As excited I am to get him back we need the whole team as a group to come together and start playing together.''
via Sportsnet, Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen post-game last night.
About 30 minutes ago...
from Florida Sportsman,
With the lockout negotiations still dragging on, NHL Florida Panthers Head Coach Kevin Dineen shed his whistle and skates for some fly fishing, barefoot style at the Redbone@Large’s The Tournament at the Legendary Ocean Reef Club.
The tournament is one of nearly 30 Redbone hosted celebrity fishing events across the U.S. and several foreign countries, under the Redbone@Large banner, building awareness and funding for medical researchers to help “catch the cure for cystic fibrosis.”
Dineen not only caught his first bonefish on fly, he won the celebrity division of the competition. “It’s not the quantity,” said Dineen with a laugh, “but the quality. It was a bit of a goal of mine to catch a bonefish on fly and also to mark another quest off my bucket list.”
Earlier in the season Dineen won as the top celebrity catching and releasing two tarpon at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. in Key West, and part of the Redbone’s Florida Keys fall trilogy series of tournaments which in November celebrated its 25th anniversary.
continued including a picture of his catch...
from Jonathan Wills of The Cult of Hockey,
There is a strange dichotomy in NHL ownership. The owners, whether as companies or individuals, are extremely wealthy. Yet many teams reportedly lose money every year, and with few exceptions even the profitable clubs don’t make that much money. Why would phenomenally successful men sink money into a black hole like that? Is it simply a case of viewing hockey teams as luxuries where they can afford to bleed red a little?
While non-financial considerations undoubtedly come into play, the simplest explanation is that the financial picture for various NHL teams is a lot healthier than it is typically reported to be.
Take the Florida Panthers as an example. For many, the Panthers are a great case in point of what went wrong with the NHL’s expansion into the Sunbelt. Attendance has improved of late, but on a percentage basis still easily falls into the NHL’s bottom-third. The team has struggled for respectability on the ice, and off the ice the financial picture is generally seen as gloomy.
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.
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