Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The frequency and severity of leg injuries among NHL goaltenders, especially those who incorporate elements of the butterfly style, are a source of concern in several hockey cities….
here is an emerging consensus on the causes: specialized leg movements, more intensive practice drills, faster play in games (less clutching and grabbing means more shots and goals) and heavier schedules.
“The game has opened up, the new rules mean goaltenders are a lot busier, the saves are harder and more spectacular, there’s more stress on the joints,” said Anaheim Ducks goaltender coach François Allaire, who popularized the butterfly style — so-called because goalies spread to keep the inside of their leg pads flat against the ice — with Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press (Thursday edition),
Dwayne Roloson is no stranger to the expiring contract. He is playing with one now, just as he did with the Minnesota Wild in 2005-06.
It’s not easy.
“But in that situation,” he said, “you’ve got to block it out the best you can.”
Roloson likely will be in net tonight when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. His counterpart will be Niklas Backstrom, who is looking more and more like 2009’s most eligible goaltender….
There’s no doubt Backstrom is the Wild’s top goaltender, yet it appears he’ll play in the Jan. 25 All-Star Game with a contract set to expire in July. Not only has general manager Doug Risebrough declined to discuss his contract situation, he also has declined to even say the Wild want him back.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky, who covered practice today in Brossard:
Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media.
No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.
Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.
continued with an update on the Montreal injuries…
It’s official: the New Jersey Devils have made room for the return of unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan, signing the veteran on Wednesday.
Shanahan signed an $800,000 dollar contract, meaning he will receive about half of that for playing half of the NHL season.
The Blue Jackets have acquired forward Jason Williams from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and a sixth-round draft pick, The Dispatch has learned.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Jason Williams from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and San Jose’s sixth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft previously acquired by Columbus in exchange for Jody Shelley on January 29, 2008, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
from Dave Gross of Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano believes the Sean Avery saga could have been handled differently.
Speaking with the media on Wednesday afternoon, Modano said the entire headache - that became the talk of the National Hockey League for the better part of December and early parts of January - could have been avoided with a bit of advance research by the Stars.
“I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it,” said Wednesday the 19-year veteran during a conference call.
I always give big hits, so if I have a chance to hit him, why not? We both play in [the] Russian national team, so it’s not a rivalry. We’re not friends [but] we can still talk to one another.”
-Alexander Ovechkin talking about Evgeni Malkin. Much more at Capitals Insider as the Penguins and Capitals prepare to meet tonight…
from a Q & A with fans/writers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Q. there are a lot of questions in the hopper asking about this player or that player as possibly coming to Columbus in a trade. Rather than me posting each one, why don’t you tell us any rumors you’ve heard that might have a good chance of happening.
[Aaron Portzline] Spezza is not going to happen. Too much money. I can see a goaltender coming if Leclaire is not continuing to improve as the week goes on. The first target for Columbus is a center, not a defenseman. They like their back end right now. They want a center but they will not mortgage the future to do it ... not right now. Doug Weight is out two to four weeks, so scrap that. If the asking price for Vermette or Antropov or Stajan goes down, they could make a move.
more of the Q & A…
Hmm, the same answer I gave to about ten emailers from earlier today.
Curtis Sanford appears to be the odd man out among Vancouver’s goaltenders, as the Canucks placed him on waivers Wednesday.
CKNW in Vancouver reports that Sanford, who shared the goaltending duties with Jason Labarbera and Cory Schneider with Roberto Luongo on the shelf, will be sent to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and the Canucks will try to accomodate a trade for him if he goes unclaimed.
from Ulf Samuelsson at the Hockey News,
It’s hard to understand why teams play so much better at home than on the road. Every coach has pulled all the stats and all the data you can gather to try and break it down and analyze it, but I don’t think there’s any one fact you can put your finger on.
If you look at our team in Phoenix, we’re playing pretty well at home this year, as we just seem to be more comfortable there. We have a lot of young players who aren’t used to being on the road as much as you are in the NHL’s Western Conference.
Especially going to places like Montreal, where we recently played for the first time in a couple years. It was a Saturday night game and we got to the rink in the morning and there were a lot of people watching the morning skate.
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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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