Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
With so many historic goaltending records about to fall this season, it seems appropriate to to consider Martin Brodeur’s brilliance.
Up close and in person, Brodeur looks like you or me—or maybe your uncle who works as, let’s say, a pipefitter. But after spending time during the offseason with a personal trainer, the burly Brodeur now appears to be more streamlined.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
1. Starting the season in Europe doesn’t automatically jeopardize a team’s start
We should have already known this, of course, since the New York Rangers went to England before the start of the 1993-94 to contest the French’s Mustard Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and went on to win the Stanley Cup that season.
Fitting, then, it’s the Rangers proving this season that just because the Ducks and Kings seemed to suffer ill-effects from overseas travel last season, the travel alone doesn’t mean that has to happen. It may keep Chris Drury pointless for a while, but team-wise, it may just be a handy excuse.
The Hockey Show asks the fans of New York City what there feeling is on Sean Avery’s return to MSG.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
To many Canucks fans in Vancouver, Roberto Luongo is Superman. If he is, October is his Kryptonite.
Luongo is Vancouver’s scene stealer, but he hasn’t stolen any games. He is the Canucks’ best player, their star, but that’s not the way it reads on the stat sheet.
There it claims Luongo is struggling. His 3.39 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage should be a source of frustration, and is assuredly an area of concern for fans.
TORONTO (October 20, 2008) – Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom and Dallas Stars rookie left wing Fabian Brunnstrom have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending October 19.
from Adam Kimmelman of NHL.com,
One of the early stars of the New York Rangers’ strong start has been described by teammates as a “motormouth” with “sickening” skills.
That’s how teammates see Nikolai Zherdev, who seems to have a new lease on life in the NHL in his first season on Broadway….
“We have good chemistry,” Voros told NHL.com. “We hang out on the ice and off the ice. … We’re good friends on the ice and good friends off the ice, so it’s kind of seamless.”
read on and more Atlantic Division notes…
fromMichael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
After the Wild’s 1-0 shootout victory Saturday night at Tampa Bay—a game in which the Wild was outplayed by the Lightning—coach Jacques Lemaire lit into Benoit Pouliot, 22, James Sheppard, 20, and Colton Gillies, 19, for not stepping up…
“They’ve got to do better!” snapped Lemaire, his voice rising, his face reddening. “Come on. We’ve got to see them. I’ve got nobody! I’ve got nobody to play, and I’ve got to sit them? They have to wake up. Come on!
“I don’t want to get on them, but you know, this is the NHL. I’ve said that. But we demand a lot. The kids, they’ve got to play.”
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Come Saturday night, it will be wall-to-wall hockey across North America.
All 30 NHL teams are in action, creating a dynamite opportunity for hockey fans to come together, crack open a favorite beverage and break out the tortillas and salsa. After all, it’s hockey night in North America.
“This is only the second time we have had all 30 teams playing on one night since I’ve been here and actually, at around 9 p.m. (ET), we’ll have 12 games going at once so I think I’ll be glad when the night is finally over,” said Kris King, the NHL’s senior director of hockey operations in Toronto.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sean Avery returns to the Garden tonight as an anti-hero. Number 16 in the Stars’ lineup understands that. What he does not understand, however, are implications from one-time teammates that the Rangers are better off without him.
“If anyone feels that I was disruptive or had my own agenda, I wish those guys would have the [guts] to say it to my face,” Avery told The Post by phone late last week. “I don’t think I was disruptive or selfish.
“All I did was give everything I had for the team, I don’t think that was a question. If my [former] teammates feel that way about me, that would certainly be very disappointing.
“I played hard for my teammates.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
It promises to be an interesting week for the Leafs.
Up first is a home game tomorrow night against Anaheim, and much of the talk will be about Ducks GM Brian Burke and his signing with Toronto when his contract expires in July.
“It will be an opportunity for you guys (the media) to get things going,” Fletcher said. “We have to focus on what we have to do – try to beat Anaheim in a hockey game.”
While the Leafs work on their hockey skills, Fletcher will be putting his managing skills to the test. The league’s GMs meet at the end of the week in Chicago, and Trader Cliff anticipates the seeds of future deals will be planted.
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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