Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
What may have been Radek Dvorak's final NHL game in South Florida didn't last long. Roberto Luongo's night ended early as well.
Dvorak, a rookie on Florida's Stanley Cup Finals team in 1996, was ejected (charging) from Carolina's 3-0 win over the Panthers after colliding with Luongo in the first period. Luongo remained in the game after the hit, one that looked more accidental than anything else, but didn't return for the second period.
Florida goalie coach Robb Tallas said during the second intermission that Luongo took a hard hit and was pulled purely for precautionary measures. Tallas added that he expected Luongo -- who suffered from a sore neck -- to play Saturday against visiting Montreal.
"They held him out for precautionary reasons,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "I'll have a report on Friday.''
continue for more on the game and watch the hit below...
Jonathan Quick robs Tomas Fleischmann with the glove hand.
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
An obvious goalie interference penalty on Lungo that wasn't called led directly to the eventual game-winning goal as the Panthers fell 2-1 to the desperate Coyotes Thursday night.
A Panthers source told the Sun-Sentinel that the referee admitted to the supervisor that he blew the call, but it's not reviewable unless it was called on the ice.
"He told me that a guy pushed him into me so I have to look at the replay,'' Luongo said. "I felt like I was already in the blue once the contact was made. It's tough for me to do my job when I end up in the corner. … It's frustrating because you can only give yourself a chance to make a save and on a play like that when you're truly taken out of a play you can't do anything about it.
"Unfortunately, that ends up being the game-winning goal.''
more on the game and below, watch the goal with numerous replays...
from Harvey Fialkov os the Sun Sentinel,
“I think it was kind of obvious it was going to happen when [coach Kevin Dineen] was let go. I was happy to be moved and happy for the new opportunity,'' Matthias said. "It’s a different atmosphere [in Vancouver], a different culture. You play hard and you play. In Florida, too many guys were given things and it’s not the right way. Here, it’s you earn your ice time.’’...
“I think it was obvious when guys were out, and how well I played,’’ Matthias said. “And when they came back, nothing really changed, it seemed like it never happened. I was upset for awhile here and wanted a fair shake and now I’m in a really good situation.’’
Matthias said he was, “ecstatic,’’ to be traded and hopes to score a couple of goals Sunday.
“That’s what I’m absolutely planning on doing,’’ Matthias smiled.
I hope Luongo moving back to Florida doesn’t mean he’ll just be riding off into the sunset. I hope the guy everybody got to know over the last few years continues to make us marvel at his endless work habits and continues to make us laugh via twitter.
The NHL is a far more interesting place with Roberto Luongo in it. Let’s just hope we don’t lose sight of him all the way down in Sunrise.
-Dan Murphy of Sportsnet on Roberto Luongo. Read more on Luongo from Murphy.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Luongo had a triumphant return with the Panthers as he made 25 saves in Florida's 2-0 win over Buffalo at BB&T Center.
It was Luongo's 66th career shutout and 27th with the Panthers. He had three with Vancouver this season before coming back to Florida in a trade Tuesday afternoon.
"It was nice, a great reception from the start and I thought the boys played extremely well,'' said Luongo, in a Florida sweater for the first time since beating the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1 in overtime in the 2006 season finale.
"We're a really fast team. I was impressed by the speed that we generated. The future is very promising.''
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
So having the Panthers take Luongo on Tuesday in exchange for what might be a little something or a lot of nothing was at best a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, the albatross of a contract is gone, or all but $800,000 or so a year. The public relations nightmare that Luongo was becoming, through no fault of his own, is gone. And the ever-present doubt about what would become of the Canucks, with Luongo in net again once the playoffs started, is gone.
On the other hand, though, the playoffs might be gone, too, and not just this year.
That is the upshot of one of the most grievously mishandled talent surpluses hockey has ever seen: it is now rebuilding time in Vancouver. The days of contending for championships are in the past, and whether they’ll return in the middle-to-distant future depends on whether this organization has the savvy to assemble the right pieces to forestall a steep decline.
It has not shown anything like that ability since the nucleus players from previous administrations began to tumble down the far side of the hill.
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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