Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Patrick Kane won’t be in the lineup Sunday against Calgary after aggravating his right ankle injury in the Winter Classic.
Kane and coach Joel Quenneville called it a day-to-day situation with Quenneville saying the Hawks’ leading scorer would accompany the team on its three-game road trip to Phoenix, Colorado and Nashville. “It’s nothing long term,” Quenneville said.
from Adam Kimmelman of NHL.com,
The 2009 All-Star Game will be a celebration of the great history of the Montreal Canadiens during their centennial season.
While fans think fondly of the club’s great history, there also will be a lot to cheer for in the present, as the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the 2009 All-Star Game will be tinged in bleu, blanc et rouge.
Four Canadiens were voted to start the game—forward Alexei Kovalev, defensemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek, and goaltender Carey Price.
Joining the Montreal faction will be a pair of players from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending Eastern Conference champs.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The death of Whitby Dunlops defenceman Don Sanderson struck a chord in hockey tough guys everywhere.
Theirs is the hardest job in sports and they are all acutely aware of the risks they take every time they drop the gloves.
“It does go through your head, but at the same time we have a job to do and it’s part of the game,” said Oilers enforcer Steve MacIntyre, who’s recovering from a broken orbital bone suffered in a fight with Eric Godard.
“A couple of my buddies had the same thing happen and fortunately they came through. It’s just the way it is, it’s the nature of the beast, you’re going to get hurt,
“It’s an accident, and accidents do happen. Heartfelt sympathies go out to the family, that’s for sure. You have to go on and deal with it the best you can.”
continued and watch a CBC report on the death of Don Sanderson and the fighting debate below…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Legace, too, has failed to duplicate his All-Star season from last year, and his frustration spilled onto the ice at Friday morning’s practice. Legace was taking shots near the end of practice when he and Blues assistant coach Rick Wamsley engaged in a heated argument. Wamsley and Legace declined to comment after the game.
Legace has had a contentious relationship with the Blues, stemming from his decision to have knee surgery over the summer and a failed attempt to receive a contract extension last summer.
But a source said Friday that the bad blood was frustration from the team not winning. The coaching staff also had been upset with Legace earlier in the practice after he took several minutes to change skates on the team’s bench.
more on the Blues
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Three Blackhawks are set to be Western Conference starters Jan. 25 in the 57th NHL All-Star Game in Montreal.
When fan voting closed at 7:59 p.m. Friday, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were leading the voting among forwards and Brian Campbell topped defensemen. The official announcement with final totals will be made Saturday….
The Anaheim Ducks would have the other three starters with Ryan Getzlaf third among forwards, Scott Niedermayer second among defensemen and Jean-Sebastien Giguere leading goaltenders.
a little more
from Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Sean Avery dominated most hockey headlines during the first half of the National Hockey League season, so it was no surprise he was a hot topic in the second annual mid-season poll of Canwest hockey writers and columnists….
“This is a slam-dunk. When they buy him out in June, he’s going to get $8-million for about two months work and lot of aggravation in Dallas,” said Edmonton Journal writer Jim Matheson. “Good thing [Stars owner] Tom Hicks has lots of money.”...
Results of the second annual Canwest NHL mid-season poll (percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal point):
What team is most likely to finish in last place overall?
New York Islanders 55.6% Atlanta Thrashers 22.2% Tampa Bay Lightning 22.2%
Which team is most likely to make a second-half surge/recovery?
Dallas Stars 63.6% Edmonton Oilers 27.3% Los Angeles Kings 9.1%
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Ruff laughed Friday at the suggestion that his words have grown stale with a team that has been largely intact since the beginning of last season. He shrugged it off as a product of losing. In fact, he has tried everything. He has pushed and pulled back. He’s gone soft and been tough. And now he’s removing all wiggle room.
“It’s not my job to look the other way,” Ruff said Friday after his team prepared for today’s matinee in Boston. “I’m not the type of guy that wants to embarrass people, but I am going to be tough. It’s going to be, ‘You’ve got to play this way, or you won’t be able to play.’ We’ll either take off and go, and everybody gets hunkered in, or you’ll keep waddling until we have to destroy a couple pieces.”
Translation: Ruff’s way or the highway.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Weight made a brilliant cross-ice feed from his own blue line on the right side to Park at the Phoenix blue line on the opposite side to spring him for a breakaway goal that made it a 5-3 game at 16:55 of the third. As a footnote to history, the second assist went to DiPietro.
The Phoenix organization stopped the game to recognize Weight’s achievement, and the crowd gave him a sustained ovation. With a nod to Coyotes coach and managing partner Wayne Gretzky, Weight said, “That’s very nice. Anything run by Wayne Gretzky is first- class.”
The Isles’ leading scorer later added his 1,001st point with a second assist on Park’s second goal with 28 seconds left in regulation. Weight became only the eighth American and 73rd player overall in NHL history to reach 1,000 points.
“It felt good, but it would have been better to creep back into a tie,” Weight said. “I couldn’t move all day. I felt very nervous. I had 25 or 30 people here. It’s something I’m going to be proud of for the rest of my life, and my family was here to see it ... Me being an American, it’s nice to do it on this soil.”
more on the game & watch a video of Weight’s 1000th point below…
from Patrick Reusse of the Star-Tribune,
They are the smartest guys in the room and if you gave them a choice between losing money and losing a player, the members of the Wild brain trust would go for losing the player every time.
Thus, there might be a tinge of front office disappointment that the Wild will be losing the most dynamic player in franchise history and get nothing in return, but you can be assured that Doug Risebrough and his minions will spend much time congratulating themselves for not committing to a long-term contract for many millions to Marian Gaborik….
The best bet today is Gaborik has played his last game for the Wild. He’ll hit the market this summer with two surgically repaired hips, sign a one-year contract with a contending team—such as Marian Hossa did with Detroit—and re-establish himself as a star.
The Wild? Lemaire will get his lads to play even more defense and keep his team on the cusp of playoff contention over the next two months. Then, as the March 4 trade deadline approaches and other teams yield prospects for reinforcements, Risebrough will strike.
A year ago, the acquisition was Chris Simon, a misunderstood gentleman now trying to start World War III in the Russian league. The prediction here is that this is the move Risebrough has on his hip, so to speak:
He’s going to bring in at the cost of nothing another misunderstood chap—Sean Avery.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
That was a disgrace to the game of hockey by the Burgundy and Royal Blue tonight. If this game didn’t get Francois Giguere reaching for the nearest phone to make calls around the league to talk a little trade, I don’t know what will.
Tyler Arnason needs to go. Now. He needs to just go. The hope is gone. The experimentation phase is over. The “he’s got potential, maybe he just needs a little more time” thoughts are gone. He needs to go. Period. It’s not working as the No. 1 center. It wasn’t working as the No. 3 center. He needs to go….
Peter Budaj just isn’t a No. 1 goalie. Sorry, Boods backers, but he’s not good enough. Period. He’s a good kid and I hate to keep knocking him, but he’s not good enough. He’s just not.
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