Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Georges Laraque at Sportsnet,
I want first to offer my condolences to Don Sanderson’s family. Don is the 21-year-old man who passed away on Friday after hitting his head on the ice in a hockey fight on Dec. 14….
So this incident brings the first subject that I wanted to talk about and that’s simply that fighting is not just the toughest job in hockey, but in all professional sports. Fighting is not easy, not easy physically nor mentally. During a fight, you pretty much fight for your life because as you know, many things can happen and on top of that, you are being watched by millions of people. And whether or not someone watches your game live, your fight will end up on YouTube forever.
via Craig Stancher at ColoradoAvalance.com,
The Avalanche will be without a pair of veterans when the club faces Nashville tomorrow, as defenseman Adam Foote and forward Ian Laperriere will not make the trip to Tennessee.
Foote suffered a tricep injury during Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Wild. The blueliner played briefly in the second period before leaving the game. He did not take part in practice Monday and is out indefinitely.
The Avalanche also played the third period of last night’s game without the services of Laperriere. The winger, who has been playing center of late, skated for just 9:03 before leaving the contest with a back injury.
“Adam has a tricep injury and he’s going to be reevaluated in the next few days,” said Avalanche head coach Tony Granato. “Ian should be day-to-day. He’s got a stiff back but won’t make the trip.”
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on Monday updated the team’s injury list.
“Joffrey Lupul has an abdominal pull, so he is probably out for at least 14 days. Right now, he is on I.R..:.
“Simon Gagne is actually doing better. We’ll still say he’s day-to-day, but we’re kind of hoping he’ll play tomorrow.”
“Antero Niittymaki actually feels a little bit better today, but we’re still probably looking at a week to 10 days before he’s able to play.”
Danny Briere also spoke to the media on Monday, and said that he may be a week or two away from returning to game action. Briere has missed the last 14 games with a groin strain.
from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,
While Therrien has wielded his iron fist more judiciously than in the past, his tactical acumen remains inadequate and the coaching staff’s continued mangling of the power play is unforgivable. The staff should have been upgraded between seasons. Mike Yeo lacks experience, Andre Savard lacks a pulse and the staff as a whole lacks a communicator.
But Therrien didn’t ask for a roster caked with wings that lack both finishing and fury. Therrien left Saturday’s post-game press conference without answering the final question: “Can you win with these players?” Shero might not have wanted to hear Therrien’s answer.
Therrien isn’t responsible for the significant injuries that have dogged his team, either.
The end of Saturday’s second period typified the Penguins lately: Max Talbot and even Sidney Crosby fought in a transparent attempt to inject adrenaline into their lifeless teammates. But Nathan Horton extended Florida’s lead to 5-1 exactly 90 seconds after Crosby’s set-to.
Crosby should have punched one of his wingers. At least his rage would have been properly placed. Crosby’s attempt at inspiration was met with raging indifference.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
As the old punch-line goes, “TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!”
And so it should be for the Rangers at The Garden this evening when the shaky Penguins come to town.
With apologies to the punch line (“Tonight’s The Night”), perhaps the theme should be simply to pick apart the Pens whose confidence appears to be leaking out of every pore.
Granted, the Rangers have not been playing in the manner of Boston nor San Jose, but on Saturday night, they gave the capricious Capitals a good run for their Ovechkin before losing by a mere goal. Considering that Washington virtually never loses at home, the Blueshirts played them hard and well.
from Jay Feaster at the Hockey News,
When I managed in Tampa Bay we typically held our mid-winter meetings in January. Our goal was to allow our scouts to get through the end of the calendar year and see each team in the NHL, American League, Canadian League and major European leagues at least twice; once at home and once on the road. We also wanted our scouts to see the World Junior Championship and the Spengler Cup prior to coming to our meetings. We wanted to get as much coverage as possible prior to bringing the entire group together….
The bottom line was the mid-winter meetings helped set the table for the rest of the season. With the NHL trade deadline less than 60 days away, it will be interesting to see which organization’s seeds will bear fruit and which fields will lie fallow down the stretch.
Let the trading begin!
NEW YORK (Jan. 5, 2009)—Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 4.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Are they still responsible defensibly? Sure. Do their forwards track back with purpose and passion when the opposition has the puck? Absolutely. But they skate forward just as passionately and purposefully when attacking, and even unleash a forecheck from time to time for good measure.
Yes, defending is central to the Devils’ identity. But today under second-year coach Brent Sutter, they’ve modified with the times.
“I’m very comfortable with this group,” Sutter says. “They’re more comfortable with me. A lot of what we went through last year is in place regarding systems and expectations. I don’t even have to bring up accountability anymore. The players in the room handle that.”
from Famonn Brennan of NBC Chicago,
The gulf was so wide, even casual hockey observers took notice. It was obvious even to people who don’t know what offside is all about that the Red Wings were stronger, faster, and more complete—a scary real-life version of a “Mighty Ducks” movie villian. They even look intimidating.
(It should be noted here that this also goes for the Sharks—the Hawks are 0-3-3 against the top two teams in the West, and 21-5-4 against everyone else. This feels like talent threshold at work, doesn’t it?)
Perhaps the Hawks just aren’t on that level, even if last night’s win against the Flames would seem to say otherwise. Who knows, really, why the Hawks struggle with the Wings? We can probably chalk it up to a bad two games against a superior team, and leave it at that. But the Blackhawks already won over this city. That damage is done. Now it’s time for a new goal, one chanted nearly as often as “Detroit sucks”:
from Rangers Report,
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut back on senseless Sean Avery rumormongering—what, that wasn’t one of yours?—but I couldn’t help but notice this Page Six item about Avery being spotted recently at a club in New York.
While that part was about as surprising as Tom Renney being seen watching opposing team video, what was noteworthy was that Avery was reported “hanging with former teammates…
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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