Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Hughson of Blogs and Colums at CBC,
In a salary cap system, with a 23-man roster and the inevitable injuries during a long season, one of the most valuable players on a hockey team is the swing man, usually a defenceman who can also play up front.
Years ago Scotty Bowman had Jimmy Roberts with the Montreal Canadiens. He’d use him as a forward, but Roberts could also handle a game or two on the blue-line….
The swing man might not be a team’s MVP, but he is becoming an essential player. I’m not sure minor hockey players will ever aspire to that role, but just in case, I’d make sure my young forwards work hard on backward skating.
more with a look at some of he current NHL swing men…
Darcy Hordichuk talks about growing up in the Prairies and his road to get to the NHL.
One of those feel good, truly Canadian success stories.
from Rob Brodie of OttawaSenators.com,
Maybe Daniel Alfredsson will never learn.
The Ottawa Senators captain happily paid the price for betting against Team Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2009 IIHF World Jjunior Championship. With his eldest son Hugo in tow, Alfredsson arrived on a snowmobile Monday afternoon to make good on a friendly wager with teammate Shean Donovan.
The two sides put a fun bet on the table for the tournament’s final game at Scotiabank Place. If Canada vanquished Alfredsson’s beloved Sweden, then the Senators captain had to clear off the snow from Donovan’s backyard rink. A victory by the Tre Kronor would have put the shovel in Donovan’s hands.
continued with a picture of Alfie shoveling off the rink…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Before we continue, crow must be eaten. We promised to run through the press box naked at the Stanley Cup finals if Claude Lemieux’s NHL comeback bid came to fruition. Ahem, media colleagues, you’ve been forewarned. Please make sure to have eaten dinner before we make good on our promise next June.
“That’s why we called him up,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson, joking of course, told us Monday.
We weren’t the only ones to make fun of this comeback bid. The laughter was universal around the hockey world. And Lemieux took notice.
“I got into this with my eyes wide open, knowing that most folks out there would think that I was out of my mind to attempt to do something like this,” Lemieux told a bunch of us media folk on a conference call Monday. “But it’s OK. I’ve had no problem taking criticism along the way. It motivated me even more. It’s been a fun road.”
more and a Rob Blake update plus some Flyers talk…
added 6:42pm, from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Essentially, Lemieux has a master’s in knowing how to win. That could be very important to the Sharks, given their history of playoff failures.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
“I’ve gone through this before—first game with a new team—and sometimes you try to do too much,” he said. “But, again, you try to draw from experience and do my best to approach this in the best way possible and if at the end of the night we come away with a win it’s a success.”
Sutter said he will monitor Shanahan’s minutes. After all, he has not played in a game since May 4 of last season in the playoffs with the Rangers.
“I’m not sure how many minutes it is at the end of the night, but I will make sure we’re doing the right thing for him and I’ll gauge him on how he’s feeling shift to shift,” Sutter said.
Sutter said Shanahan will “possibly"see time on special teams tonight.
Blues score two goals in last 80 seconds to tie the game against the Bruins today and win in the shootout.
The tying goal with one second left was a bit controversial. Can anyone say Franzen?
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
So while it is true the salary cap could prevent some contending teams from making the moves they would like to make to give them an edge over their opponents, don’t be surprised if a few big names trade teams before the March 4 trade deadline. And they won’t necessarily be rental players. If Lecavalier, Pronger and/or Briere are dealt, it could be for the long run.
Five minutes of the best goals, saves and hits from the NHL.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Who is cooked as far as the playoffs are concerned?
The bottom line is, if you dig a hole in the first half, the second half looks like a mountain. In the East, you can kiss the postseason goodbye if you’re the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers or New York Islanders. The Leafs are barely a bubble team, as they sit nine points behind eighth-place Pittsburgh with two games in hand. Expect the Leafs to join the ranks of the cooked by All-Star weekend or shortly thereafter.
In the West, things are a lot tighter. The ready-for-roasting list is shorter, but we’ll start with Nashville, which just can’t score and is in the process of handing the starting goaltending reins over to rookie Pekka Rinne, given the uneven play of last season’s playoff hero Dan Ellis. Los Angeles and St. Louis are also well done at this point. Dallas remains an interesting team, as it began the week in 12th in the conference, just four points back of eighth place with two games in hand.
more questions and answers…
NEW YORK (Jan. 19, 2009)—Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, Calgary Flames left wing Mike Cammalleri and Atlanta Thrashers center Rich Peverley have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 18.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org