Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Register checked in with longtime Blackhawks beat writer Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald before Chicago came to Honda Center on Friday….
Q: Speaking of goaltending, Nikolai Khabibulin (above) has recently taken over the No.1 spot after he split time with Cristobal Huet, who was brought in during the offseason for $5.62 million. Is the goalie controversy settled or is this going to be a season-long issue?
A: It’s messy. That might be the best way to put it. When they signed Huet on July 1, it shocked everyone. Nobody saw that coming. As long as they couldn’t get rid of (Khabibulin), he’s been playing great … now they’re backed into a corner. You can’t trade him and you’ve got a $5 million goalie sitting on the bench
They’re just going to ride it out and see how long they can go this way.
more on the Blackhawks…
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Despite seemingly trying everything to light a fire under his team’s butt - to little success - the Edmonton Oilers head coach still believes he can get through to his squad.
“When you go through phases like this, you’re never out of ideas on how to improve your team,” MacTavish said. “The answers are right there.
“It’s like going to university and going through an open-book exam, all you have to do is open your eyes and see what the issues are. Then you come to the rink with a game plan. So there is never a shortage of ideas that you can forward to your team and to your players.”
Currently the issue at hand is the inability to score.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
But if you don’t see Briere in the lineup today for the Flyers’ 1 p.m. matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s because Flyers coach John Stevens wants to be absolutely certain his star center is completely healed from the left groin strain that has sidelined him for seven games.
“Danny’s feeling better, but I’d say he is doubtful for (today),” Stevens said Thursday after putting his team through a brief on-ice workout. “We need to be careful here. He thinks he can play, but we don’t want him to feel any hesitation.”
With a game Saturday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, Stevens sounded hesitant to pencil Briere into today’s lineup.
“There’s the concern of a little fatigue, and we don’t want to make him susceptible to reinjury,” Stevens said. “These athletes are real competitive, and sometimes it’s our job to hold them back for their own good.”
Hockey starts at noon today ET and will finish around 11pm tonight.
If my calculations are correct, you should be able to enjoy a quick turkey sandwich between 6:30 - 7pm.
Enjoy the games while everyone else is running around trying to find the best shopping deals of the holiday season.
View today’s NHL schedule below…
“In effect, our cap is tied to the economy.” Obviously, the longer you wait, the better you feel for getting the economy (turned around). I’m not an economist, but it’s hard to believe the economy is going to turn around in three, four, five months.
“Whatever challenges all teams are facing today, I’m sure those challenges will be facing them July 1 (when free agency begins). If you’re making decisions, you’re just guessing right now. I’m no different. It’s got to be affecting every walk of life. It’s no different in ours.
“I still want to sign some people, but I can’t tell you what the cap’s going to be in a year and a half. I don’t know what’s going on in our industry in a month.”
-Wings GM Ken Holland. More on the Wings from Dave Dye of the Detroit News.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Quenneville hasn’t changed the Hawks’ systems radically, but his steady hand and knowledge of the game seems like the perfect fit for the youngest team in the league.
“It was a tough start to the year,” second-year winger Patrick Kane said. “It was unfortunate what happened to Savvy, but since Joel came along it seems like the right move right now.
“The team is playing great behind him. It’s a lot simpler game. It’s like we’re playing with our instincts. If we can keep winning games and find a way to get into the playoffs, anything can happen once you get there. That’s the goal for this season.”
One of the biggest question marks heading into the season was whether the Hawks had enough offense. After 20 games, that has been answered emphatically: They are second in the NHL, averaging 3.55 goals per game.
What NHL player is listening to these songs on his iPod these days? I hate to say it, but I have never heard of these songs, and only know one group listed- Metallica. Doesn’t anyone listen to Clapton anymore?
1. “Just Dance,” Lady GaGa
2. “Human,” The Killers
3. “Paper Planes,” M.I.A.
4. “Leave Out All the Rest,” Linkin Park
5. “The Day That Never Comes,” Metallica
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Luke Schenn is the club’s only “A” prospect at any level. Burke and David Nonis, likely to be named the club’s vice-president and director of player personnel, are taking on a mammoth job with few assets.
Clearly, moves like acquiring winger Lee Stempniak for Colaiacovo and Alex Steen was born of the get-back-to-the-playoffs-as-soon-as-possible philosophy. Colaiacovo and Steen should have been moved for draft picks or younger players, not a player who could make the team better today but will be an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
Similarly short-term was the thinking behind the flawed decision to keep Schenn in the NHL this season.
“Great. He’ll be unrestricted just as the team starts to get good,” said a Western Conference source.
A complete tear-down is the only logical option, which will include moving players like Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky for future assets.
from Craig Custance of Sporting News Today,
Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli trusts his team. He knows this is a Bruins squad built on blue-collar character and toughness (with just the right amount of skill).
from the Miami Herald via the Palm Beach Post,
The Panthers’ anemic offense took another hit when center Nathan Horton was lost for an indefinite amount of time after sustaining a deep leg cut in the third period of Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Horton got tangled up with a Panthers player and New Jersey defenseman Colin White against the boards and had his leg stepped on; the skate blade cut through Horton’s boot and left a deep gash….
“He’s out through the weekend, then we’ll go from there,” DeBoer said. “It’s tough to see on the video how it happened.”
The Panthers already are missing two of their top forwards in Richard Zednik and Cory Stillman.
read on for more on the Panthers…
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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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