Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei at All Things Avs,
...but I think it’s clear now that the Avs have a pair of backup goalies — at best. (I know a lot of fans believe Theodore is short of that.) For a long time, this has been the pattern: When they play solid games, the sort you expect from bona fide NHL goalies, many of us (including me) overreact, treating that showing as potential harbingers. And the next thing we know, the goalie in question looks in his next start as if he’s the weak link.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It was two days since Price had struggled through a 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, having sat Saturday almost inconsolable in the dressing room.
“It’s time to move on,” he told reporters after Monday’s Bell Centre practice, only his wet jersey peeled off. “You learn what you did wrong and take what you can out of it.”
But privately a half-hour later, Price said he’s not yet let go of the disappointment of his effort that earned him the wrath of the team’s proudly fickle fans.
“I won’t be over it until the next game,” he said. “It’s not going to drag me down for my next start, but I’ll be over it only when I play better.”
Update 12:15pm ET:
But Price’s next start won’t be today. From TSN,
With rookie netminder Carey Price battling the flu, the Montreal Canadiens have called up goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Hamilton of the American Hockey League.
The Slovakian netminder was recalled on Dec. 3 and played one game with Canadiens this season against the Carolina Hurricanes, allowing one goal and making six saves in 19:59 of action.
Update 3:38pm ET:
TSN has updated the previous story link to state that Price has now been demoted to the AHL.
from the Buffalo News,
Vanek, Afinogenov and Stafford were supposed to be the team’s go-to guys. They’ve fallen badly. Vanek is on pace for 24 goals and 26 assists after getting 43 and 41 last year. Afinogenov had 61 points last season; he’s on pace for 36. Stafford provided 13 goals and 14 assists in just 41 games last year, and Ruff continually said in the preseason Stafford could replace the missing offense. But Stafford’s first full year projects to only 16 goals and 16 assists.
“We’re underachieving in both categories,” Vanek said, referring to himself and the team.
from the Toronto Sun,
While dropping a couple of expletives yesterday to describe the club’s wasteful efforts of late, Sundin reaffirmed his desire to see his one-year contract through as a Leaf and play beyond April 5.
“I have not talked to my agent (J.P. Barry) about anything,” Sundin said of waiving his no-trade clause. “We’re not going to give up when our conference is so close. When we play our style of game, when everyone works together, we’re a good team, as good as a lot of teams that are ahead of us.
“We have to learn to close out games, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
added 7:32am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
But it is way too early for this topic to dominate all discussions about the team. It is at least a month away for several reasons.
First is that Sundin gets traded only if the Leafs are out of playoff contention. Strange as it sounds, this is not a sure bet, given the collective mediocrity in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
However, the other problem is that it is clearly not in Ferguson’s personal interest to trade Sundin. The trade is the equivalent of a white flag in the playoff fight and it’s been made clear many times by Peddie and other MLSE poobahs that missing the playoffs for an unprecedented third consecutive year would mean dismissal.
from the LA Times,
Teemu Selanne said the only reason he has not retired is because he believes the Ducks have the pieces in place to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup and is trying to decide if he wants to be part of that.
“Every time I come to the games, I get really excited,” he said before attending Monday night’s home game against Nashville. “But when I go home, it’s with mixed feelings.”
Selanne, 37, said he is on a program where he’ll skate up to five days this week with the intention of making a final decision in “about two weeks.”
And if he does return, it will be with the Ducks and no one else.
“I have to know if I’m ready to start pushing it to get back to the level I want to be at,” said Selanne, who had 48 goals last season. “There’s no way I’m coming back at 90 or 95%. It has to be 100%.”
continued (reg. req.)
via the Mercury News,
The Sharks took a calculated risk Monday and placed little-used backup goalie Dimitri Patzold on waivers.
If no team claims him, Patzold will report to San Jose’s minor league affiliate in Worcester, Mass. But he could go to another NHL franchise without any compensation for the Sharks.
“We hope not,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said, noting that Patzold needs to play more in this stage of his development than he has as Evgeni Nabokov’s backup. “We believe in our goaltenders and we believe they don’t improve by not playing.”
When Patzold was sent to Worcester in late November on a conditioning assignment, he did not have to clear waivers. That was no longer an option under NHL rules.
via Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
The Canes are trying to add a forward, something that could happen in the next 48 hours.
They’re concerned about their NHL depth with Justin Williams out indefinitely and Matt Cullen’s recovery from his concussion proceeding slowly. The price would probably be a draft pick or low-level prospect.
The Canes are continuing to pursue a puck-moving defenseman as well, at a much higher price, but you can read all about that in the Tuesday newspaper.
Ludicrous internet rumors aside, don’t look for the Canes to start dumping players unless they’re clearly out of contention at the deadline.
I sort of enjoyed the “Ludicrous internet rumors” remark. More MSMs should be doing that.
via the Dallas Stars,
The Dallas Stars announced tonight that the club has signed center Mike Ribeiro to a five-year contract extension worth $25 million ($5 million per year) through the 2012-2013 season. Ribeiro’s current contract was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season.
“Mike has made a big impact on our hockey club the past two seasons and we are very happy to have him under contract,” said Co-General Manager Brett Hull. “He makes things happen on the ice and will only continue to grow as a player.”
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
What was once a workable arrangement — a group of 34 men and women banding together for a common good — has now become a pit of slithering vipers.
Depending on whom you listen to, the Edmonton Investors Group is either going to sell the Oilers to local billionaire Daryl Katz or tell him to take another hike. The remaining shareholders are either going to buy out those who want to sell, or perhaps a splinter group will form and make an independent offer for the team.
Anything and everything is in play, including the gamesmanship, which is running at an all-time high. Consider what’s happened in the past few weeks.
from STATS Blog,
The playoff chase intensifies this time of year, and solid goaltending can be the difference-maker as contenders push for postseason berths. As the All-Star break approaches, several NHL goalies have been on top of their game for an extended period. All finished strong in 2007 and are off to great starts in 2008.
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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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