Kukla's Korner Hockey
Elliotte Friedman of HNIC interviews Brian Burke and discusses both Team USA and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
Babcock’s biggest worry right now—though he would be loathe to admit it—has to be Jimmy Howard. Perhaps for all the right reasons, he’s painted himself into a corner here by dry-docking Chris Osgood. If Howard should falter down the stretch, the Wings are toast.
I am not second-guessing Babcock’s decision to make Howard the No. 1 goalie. Truly, as well as Howard played after Osgood got sick back in November, that was a no-brainer. But in the process, I fear he’s lost Osgood.
He’s rendered him virtually useless now by keeping him so completely tethered to the bench. Osgood has made just three starts in more than three months. Is it any wonder he’s looked slow and out of sorts in his last couple of outings?
Now, I don’t mean to underestimate Osgood. Perhaps, if Howard began struggling, he could rally himself one more time and get back to form. Lord knows, he’s done it time and time again. But the Wings wouldn’t survive the process. They don’t have enough games, nor a secure enough playoff spot.
more plus Babcock says the Blackhawks are the best team in the NHL…
from Darren Pang at HockeyChats,
You have to have players that have the character and compete level to out will the other team’s best players. It is a job that doesn’t get a lot of recognition outside the locker room, but inside it is a different story, as the players there know exactly which players pay the price to get the job done. They have the ice bags going every time they get the equipment off, with the training staff working non stop to get them ready for the next battle….
5) Los Angeles : Rob Scuderi / Drew Doughty
There is a reason why the King’s have been a top team in the West, and it goes beyond the Kopitar’s and Smyth’s up front. In Doughty’s rookie season he received great tutelage from veteran Sean O’Donnell as his partner, and now in his 2nd season, he is playing 24:00 min per game going up against the other teams top players alongside Scuderi, the veteran that won the Cup last year with Pittsburgh….
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Bottom line, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen looked tired and out of sorts today in his first start for the Stars, giving up six goals on 34 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Penguins.
What did you expect? He hasn’t started a game since April 11 last year for Atlanta.
``I can say the goalie looked fatigued tonight and we’re confident he’s going to get better,’’ Stars coach Marc Crawford said.
So is this a matter of just working him through it with practice and games?
``I think it is a little bit of both. We’ll see how he is tomorrow,’’ Crawford said. ``Obviously, we want to keep his worth ethic up. He hasn’t played in the NHL in a year, so it’s understandable that you’re going to get fatigued. If you get fatigued in those two minute situations, penalty kills especially, you may not have to make a save but you’re in your tuck and you’re moving and you’re just right on edge. I’m sure their heart rates are right at the high level when they have that constant action around them. It is grueling and it is tiring, that’s the thing that he will get better with. So that’s where we are with him.’‘
TORONTO (March 6, 2010)—Minnesota Wild forward Derek Boogaard has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of a kneeing incident during NHL game #954 against the Edmonton Oilers, the National Hockey League announced today.
Boogaard, who was suspended for five games on Feb. 28, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits $21,341.46 in salary, based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
At 7:29 of the first period, Boogaard delivered a knee hit on Edmonton forward Ryan Jones. Boogaard was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing on the play.
from Corey Masisak at NHL.com,
Alex Ovechkin had one of his virtuoso performances Feb. 7 when the rival Pittsburgh Penguins were in town, scoring three goals and an assist to propel his Washington Capitals to a dramatic comeback triumph.
Almost a month has passed since then and, believe it or not, that was the last time Ovechkin scored an NHL goal. The time lapsed includes the Olympic break, but Ovechkin has gone five games without scoring—his longest such streak of the season.
“Every I’ve been here Alex has had a little bit of a stretch where he just can’t find the net and then the next thing you know, once he gets one he gets 10 in four games and that’s the way he’s been,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “This is his little funk and I expect him to come out of it real soon.”
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
Bettman longed for another Bill Davidson to make the Lightning winners again in the standings and the stands. He thinks the league, and Tampa Bay, has struck gold.
“If you had to computer-generate an owner for this situation, I think we got the right guy,” Bettman said.
Granted, a computer generation might be livelier than the new owner, who will shun the spotlight and not run hockey operations, a blessing since the yahoos on the way out thought they were the smartest guys in the dressing room. The new owner says he will not run this team. He says he’ll hire a “world-class CEO” to preside over the Lightning.
And Jeff Vinik said this, on March 5, 2010:
“I’m going to invest for the long term. This franchise is not going to be constrained by financial resources.”
Write that one down, kiddies.
Early NHL action today with a game at 1:00pm ET and another stating at 2:00pm ET.
Below you can view the complete NHL schedule for today.
The playoff battle continues and teams are fighting for every point they can get.
I see where the Dallas Stars have signed Steve Ott to a four-year, $11.8-million contract extension, locking up the 27-year-old forward/enforcer through the 2013-14 season. Almost $3 million per season for 11 goals and 12 assists in 54 games. Lovely.
-Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette.
from Arpon Basu of The Daily Hab-It,
Considering Lapierre is a first-time offender, and also considering some of the other suspensions handed out this season, I found the punishment a little harsh. But I only thought it was a bit too severe because of all the other times the NHL has come down very lightly on players this season. Four games for that dangerous hit Lapierre laid on Nichol, when looked at in a vacuum, appears more than fair. In fact, it’s probably too light.
Then I figured I should see what exactly constitutes a play worthy of such a suspension this season, so I decided to look at every play that earned the perpetrator at least a three-game vacation this season. I’ll let you be the judge.
thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer
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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