Kukla's Korner Hockey
Today, the Minnesota Wild’s head coach Jacques Lemaire was made available by way of a NHL teleconference. With 95 points the Wild sit in first place in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Colorado and three ahead of the Calgary Flames, who they host tomorrow night. A victory would guarantee a division championship and home ice in at least in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Here’s the transcript of Lemaire’s Q&A session.
Q. Jacques, one of the things I noticed about your team is how good your record is in special teams play and how important that’s been during the regular season. I’d like you to comment on the power play. You’re eighth best in the league, penalty killing second best in the league. How much has that influenced your success this season and how important will it be in the playoffs versus the regular season?
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
The Minnesota Wild’s roster could have a significantly different look next season.
Two key veteran forwards, Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston, are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July and young forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard becomes a restricted free agent.
Pundits have speculated throughout this season as to whether or not the usually budget-conscious Wild management will re-sign all three.
from the Pioneer Press,
(Mike) Ramsey has no idea how, when or why the retina became detached. All he knows is that, starting early last month, he had terrible trouble with his vision. Now he’s in his own playoff race.
Doctors will not let him fly until he no longer can see that gas bubble. When it disappears, it means the retina is fully reattached and that Ramsey is free to step into the pressurized cabin of an airplane. Ramsey can’t wait, which is ironic.
There are few worse air travelers than Mike Ramsey, who has been known to lock himself in the restroom for the duration of a team flight. He has been battling a fear of flying his whole career. When he began coaching with the Wild, it flared up
from Drew Remenda at Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
As Kurtis Foster was laying on a opererating table getting his leg repaired, the Minnesota Wild had quickly made arrangements to get his fiance to the San Jose. Chris Snow the Wild’s Director of Hockey Operations stayed behind to make sure Kurtis Foster was getting the best possible care by keeeping the communication going between the Wild and Sharks Medical Staff. One of Kurtis’ first visitors at the hospital was Greg Jamison. The Sharks President and CEO brought by a gift basket and showed some kindness to the injured Wild Defenseman. Shortly after GM Doug Wilson dropped by.
from Russo’s Rants,
As (Kurtis) Foster passed the goal line, he was hit from behind by an oncoming Torrey Mitchell and slammed headfirst into the lower part of the end boards at full-speed.
“It’s just one of those things that tell you that there should be automatic icing,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “I guess that’s a play where the fans want to see a big car wreck like that.”
Mitchell, immediately realizing the severity of the situation, showed concern toward Foster.
“We both fell, so I don’t know if I lost an edge first or he lost an edge first,” Mitchell said. “I was coming in with a lot of speed and so was he. We collided. It wasn’t intentional. I asked him if he was OK when it was over and he said no. … I would never want to hurt anyone.”
added 7:47am, you can view a video of the play using the TSN Video Player.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Chris Simon and those close to him, including current and former teammates, are disgusted and outraged over Chris Pronger’s eight game exile that is dwarfed by the 30 games Simon was banished for following a similar stomping incident in December.
The NHL understands the outpouring of emotion and predicted as much, but will say while acts appear similar; the intent is what defines the difference.
It is over and done, time to move on in my opinion.
from Kent Youngblood at Russo’s Rants,
Lemaire was asked Wednesday where Brodeur ranked among goaltenders he had seen in his time in the league as a player and coach.
No. 1, Lemaire said.
‘’I’m thinking, you know,’’ Lemaire said. ‘’(Ken) Dryden, he was really good for a short time. And I know, at a time, he couldn’t get ready to play and that’s why he stopped. This guy (Brodeur), he’s been doing it for a long time, and he’ll do it ‘till he’s 40. So he’s got to be the one.’’
Better, even, than Patrick Roy? ‘’Patrick was good at a time,’’ Lemaire said. “You’re talking about (Wayne) Gretzky, (Mario) Lemieux, Bobby Orr. Who is the best player? Every opinion is good.’’
read on and Wild talk too…
From Jim Souhan at the Star Tribune,
The NHL is about dumping the puck, taking the opponents’ stars out of the game, working a defensive system and waiting for a mistake that will create a scoring chance. If NFL coaches thought like NHL coaches, every team would punt on first down.
Take the Wild—please. They’re not just slumping—they’re boring. Because of the Wild’s style and the NHL’s emphasis on defensive systems, Marian Gaborik spends most of the game looking like a guy waiting for a bus.
Don’t repeat the popular argument that he needs to work harder, needs to be more of a two-way player, blah, blah, blah. Gaborik is a scorer. When he scores, the Wild almost always wins. Ergo: Gaborik should spend his ice time trying to score.
That would be good for the fans, the team, the league. Instead, we get to hear Jacques Lemaire chide him about defensive responsibility.
from the CP via TSN,
Minnesota Wild centre Eric Belanger has a broken big toe on his right foot, the result of slap shot that hit him there on Friday.
Belanger did not suit up for Sunday’s game against San Jose after being injured Friday night against Atlanta. Minnesota assistant general manager Tom Lynn said there was no timetable set for Belanger’s return.
from the StarTribune,
Forty years later, J.P. Parise still remembers those strangers, thrown together by fate and a feisty general manager in frigid Minnesota: 20 guys together on the ice and in the dressing room, 20 couples out to dinner at Dutch Delmonte’s place in St. Paul.
It has been that long since the NHL first came to Minnesota. The league doubled in the fall of 1967, adding six expansion teams to its original franchises in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Detroit and Chicago.
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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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