Kukla's Korner Hockey
New York (December 10, 2008) – Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo continues to maintain his large lead among goaltenders and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom and Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf remain strong contenders to start on defense for the Western Conference. But a wild battle is raging up front with three weeks still remaining in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will determine the starting lineups for the Jan. 25 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal.
As was the case a week ago, Detroit winger Marian Hossa had received the most votes among Western Conference forwards as of 7 a.m. today. However, his closest competitor no longer was a Red Wings teammate. Calgary captain Jarome Iginla had moved into second place and had closed to within 10,110 votes of Hossa’s lead.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that captain Joe Sakic underwent surgery last night to repair three broken fingers and tendon damage. He is expected to miss approximately three months.
“Joe’s surgery was performed by a hand specialist,” said Avalanche Team Doctor Andy Parker. “The procedure went well and he’s expected to make a full recovery.”
The incident happened at his house yesterday afternoon involving a snow blower.
The Avalanche captain will continue to receive treatment for the herniated disc in his back while he recovers from the surgery.
added 1:35pm, from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Avalanche vice president Jean Martineau said the accident happened to Sakic’s left hand, and that severe tendon damage occurred to one finger. That same finger and two others were broken.
“Basically, it’s a mistake. He’s a 39-year-old adult who made a mistake,” Martineau said. “He put his hand where he should not have put it. He’s, in a way, lucky. He’ll have a full recovery.”
Martineau said he visited Sakic in an unidentified hospital this morning, and that he was “very upset with himself.”
from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,
The other night, the Chicago Blackhawks scored so many goals against the visiting Coyotes that the horn at the United Center ceased to function.
No embarrassment is too great for our hockey team, and these days the story seems to be a growing dire.
Would you miss them if they were gone?
Just as the Coyotes begin to turn a competitive corner, we are inundated with reports of their impending financial doom. Owner Jerry Moyes has lost a king’s fortune since investing in this team; Forbes magazine ranked the Coyotes the least-valuable franchise in the NHL, and one of 10 sports teams most likely to relocate; and a Toronto newspaper quotes a former governor of the league saying he wouldn’t buy the Coyotes for $1.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
...I need to address my disease, be up-front and confess to you, my people.
I have to turn the page and stop rooting for the Tampa Bay Lightning to lose.
Because, since they fired Barry Melrose on Nov. 14, that’s what I’ve been doing. And, as regular readers of this column know, I profess to be an NHL atheist. I love all 30 teams equally and despise none of them. I’ve violated that covenant since the Mullet was shorn of his Bolts coaching duties, and it’s time to put it all behind me, ‘cause life goes on.
I must say my rooting for Tampa Bay to lose because the team fired my friend has been wildly successful. The Lightning were 5-7-4 when they fired Melrose after 16 games. Since Barry was fired, they have one win in 11 games.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
It seems almost farcical to suggest that the Rangers game on Wednesday night at Atlanta falls into the “MUST-WIN” category, but it does. After a 6-2 loss in Montreal and a 3-0 humbling administered by Calgary at The Garden, the Blueshirts suddenly have appeared not only vulnerable but uncertain – if not disorganized – in their play.
Culprits have surfaced at every position and that might even include the coaching staff, which has moved forwards around like a professional juggler. The Good Ship Blueshirt must be straightened out, and NOW. The Thrashers offer an instant cure, or, at least, should.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Members of the Dallas Stars management team will sit down today to discuss the future of Sean Avery and it likely won’t be long before the man who insisted on signing Avery makes a decision on his own future.
Several NHL sources have indicated that within the next couple of weeks the Stars’ co-GM experiment with Brett Hull and Les Jackson will be history. Speculation is Hull will move to another area of the organization and will be out of the decision making process when it comes to hockey matters.
Hull’s insistence on signing Avery in the face of opposition from everyone else in the hockey department will undoubtedly be a factor in the move, but sources also say Hull isn’t really fulfilling the GM duties beyond watching the Stars play.
The Montreal Canadiens will be without the services Mathieu Dandenault indefinitely after the forward/defenceman suffered a broken left arm in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Dandenault left the game 14:58 into the second period with his arm dangling after he was hit into the corner from an odd angle by Flames forward Dustin Boy. The hit is what appeared to have caused the injury.
Forward Christopher Higgins also suffered an ‘‘upper body’’ injury in the contest. He will have an MRI on Wednesday to asses the extent of the injury.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News Today,
Q: Who do you look at as your biggest competition to come out of the East?
A: I think it is a crapshoot right now. You look at the standings from one, right to the bottom,... The Rangers have a good team, Ottawa has a good team. Boston has only lost a handful of games this year too.
All of the sudden, I am Colin Campbell! My inbox was flooded with emails this morning from Preds fans asking for a suspension for the hit Alexandre Burrows put on J.P. Dumont last night.
You folks can decide, Colin Campbell I am not!
added 5:26pm, from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The NHL will not bring disciplinary action against any Vancouver players for hits that took place in the Canucks’ 3-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday, according to Predators Coach Barry Trotz.
The Predators had been especially upset over Alexandre Burrows’ hit on J.P. Dumont, one in which Burrows appeared to both leave the ice and hit Dumont in the head with his arms.
“All we do here is work towards the playoffs. I don’t let goals or games affect me. I just play the games as they come. I don’t think anything more than that. That’s the formula that worked last year and that’s what will work again in the long run this year. When it gets down to it, in April no one cares what happened in December. You guys are looking for something that’s not there.”
-Wings goaltender Chris Osgood. George at Snap Shots has much more on Osgood.
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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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