Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via NHL.com,
The Olympic men’s hockey tournament in Vancouver is going to be a different experience for Pavel Bure.
It will be the first time since NHLers started participating in the Games that the Russian Rocket won’t be involved with the national team. Bure played for Russia in 1998 and 2002 and served as the team’s general manager in 2006.
With Vladislav Tretiak now in charge of the Russian squad, Bure’s role in 2010 will be that of a spectator. And just like most hockey fans, he’s already looking forward to the event.
“I think it’s the best tournament,” Bure told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “All of the best superstars can go and participate, that’s why it’s really hard to win this tournament. All the teams are pretty even. You need a little bit (of) luck in this tournament and all the games are really important because you lose one game and you’re out.
“It’s really interesting for fans and it’s a great promotion for hockey in general around the globe.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You can understand why Mats Naslund might be chewing on his finger nails these days.
Between last Saturday’s brutal knee injury to Niklas Kronwall and the long-term injury to key forward Johan Franzen, the GM of the Swedish Olympic hockey team can bare to watch what will happen next in what has become an NHL season chocked full of injuries.
“We’re maybe beginning to watch more for injuries than who is scoring goals,” Naslund told ESPN.com this week.
“It seems this is the year of the injury, more so than other years,” said Team USA coach Ron Wilson. “There are a lot of star players out with significant injuries.”
Miikka Kiprusoff wants to start for the Finnish hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but the Flames goaltender says if he isn’t going to be the team’s No.1 guy, he’d sooner stay home.
“I’d probably not go in that case,” says Kiprusoff in a Tuesday story in The Calgary Herald. “If I’m not going to start for sure, I think I’m going to take that time off and rest.”
Kiprusoff currently has 12 wins, five losses and two overtime losses, with a 2.61 GAA, and a .914 save percentage.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
“The Sharks trio seem to compliment each other well,” Yzerman said in an e-mail to Sun Media yesterday. “Marleau’s got the speed, Thornton’s the playmaker and Heatley the goal scorer.”
Another plus: The threesome has played together before. Because of a lack of practice time between the suspending of the NHL season and the Olympic tournament, familiarity and chemistry are lucrative selling points.
“I think having the ability to bring guys that are currently playing together is a definite bonus for the reason you stated,” Yzerman said.
“I doubt we would leave off a better player for the sake of continuity but it’s starting to look like we might have combos up front and on defence that have played together.”
Some of those potential combos include:
+ Any two, if not all, of Marleau Thornton and Heatley.
+ The Flyers’ Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Booth has struggled this season, but watching the camp and also watching David Booth I could argue that he is the best pure “sniper” the Americans have and his slow start is a testament to this. Snipers are by their nature streaky players. Right now he is ice cold, but if Booth gets hot at the right time you would probably want him on your top unit. Booth is the Joey Mullen of this group.
-Dwayne (Eklund) in his Team USA outlook today. Dwayne has David Booth on the taxi-squad (there isn’t one) and by his remarks, is oblivious to the fact that Booth has been out with a concussion since October 28th.
Not the first time Dwayne has showed his lack of hockey knowledge and won’t be the last.
added 8:02pm, Craig Custance of the Sporting News spoke with Booth recently. You have to feel for the guy and let’s hope the NHL does something about the hits to the head.
added 11/20/09 7:36am, Well what do you know, Dwayne changed his post without mentioning any correction. This folks, is how he deceives people…
Booth has struggled this season, but watching the camp and also watching David Booth I could argue that he is the best pure “sniper” the Americans have and his slow start is a testament to this. Snipers are by their nature streaky players. Prior to his injury he was Ice cold, but if Booth gets healthy and can get hot at the right time you would probably want him on your top unit. Booth is the Joey Mullen of this group.
from Capitals Insider,
The ever-changing Michael Nylander-to-the-KHL story may or may not be nearing its conclusion, with more information leaking out by the day…
According to a source close to CSKA, the two sides had almost agreed on a deal - until the Moscow club balked at one of the clauses proposed by Nylander’s agent. The clause, the source tells us, was Nylander’s ability to walk away to another team in the middle of the current season should he get a more lucrative offer. CSKA is reportedly dead set against it and insists on a standard binding contract through the end of the 2009-2010 season.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I’ll believe it when I see it.
But for what’s it’s worth, Bettman, Daly and Medvedev did meet in a quiet room at Verizon Center in Washington before Wednesday night’s Islanders-Capitals game, and they even watched the first period together.
“It was constructive,” Bettman told ESPN.com on the phone from New York on Thursday. “It was good to see Alex again. Last time we had seen each other was in Rome a little over a year ago. We agreed that it would be good if we could find some areas of cooperation where we could work together, and we were going to see if we could begin that process by trying to find some common ground.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Win or lose in Vancouver, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman feels NHLers should be Russia-bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In fact, Stevie Y said yesterday he would be willing to take part in negotiations that would help NHL players land in Sochi, Russia.
“Absolutely,” Yzerman said. “I have my own opinion. I understand the league’s concerns.
“But I think (the NHL’s participation) is needed.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
(Craig) Anderson, a former Bruins property, is the primary reason why Colorado entered last night as the top-ranked team in the NHL (26 points, 2 more than Pittsburgh and San Jose, who met late last night). The 28-year-old native of Park Ridge, Ill., is 11-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
For the first time in his career, Anderson has been tapped to be the go-to goalie for his club (he backed up Tomas Vokoun in Florida the last two seasons), and he has responded by turning the revamped Avalanche into the surprise story of the NHL.
Anderson’s start has propelled him into the Olympic discussion and most likely vaulted him past Los Angeles’s Jonathan Quick, who attended the US orientation camp along with Thomas and Miller over the summer.
But when you place Anderson’s pedigree against those of his competitors, it’s a good bet that the US brain trust, led by Toronto general manager Brian Burke, will consider the Boston and Buffalo netminders, both Michigan natives (Thomas hails from Flint, Miller from East Lansing), for the starting job, even though both got a break last night.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Completely unprovoked, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau spent Tuesday morning lobbying for defenseman Mike Green to make the Canadian Olympic team.
“If I’m Stevie Yzerman, I’m looking at him as one of your top pair,” Boudreau said.
According to people that follow the Capitals closely, it’s the first time Boudreau has publicly made a pitch on Green’s behalf. It’s also an about face from last spring, when after the playoffs were over Boudreau admitted his disappointment in Green’s overall effort through 14 postseason games.
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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