Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dave Stubbs opened up Habs Inside/Out to Randy Renaud.
A wonderful, unsolicited piece reached us from Randy Renaud, a name, face and voice familiar to many in Montreal.
Randy wrote it for himself and sent it to me simply for a look-see, but I’ve asked him if we could run it here to share with Inside/Out readers….
The failed relationships that sting the most are the ones where you honestly felt it was going places, that it was going to be a beautiful romance filled with great moments, perhaps leading up to that very special celebration.
So when it becomes clear that your expectations were misguided, and that there is, in fact, no future, one generally feels betrayed and angry. For how could the once-beloved have led one on in this way?
The truth is, however, that the fault lies, at least partly, with oneself for seeing promise where there was little, and fashioning a storybook romance of success out of a trial fling.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The anger I’m feeling from you all is palpable. The Burgundy and Blue completed a four-game season sweep in the wrong way to the Columbus Dinner Jackets tonight, a 3-0 whitewash that was humiliating if, for nothing else, it came at the hands of a no-name goalie pressed into service with the recent injury of stud rookie Steve Mason.
The Avalanche’s third-period simply was unacceptable, I’m in agreement. It is unacceptable how this team is just folding whenever it gives up a tough goal on the road in a tight game, and seems to quit after that. It is unacceptable that coach Tony Granato and general manager Francois Giguere continue to trot out this same lineup night after night. It is unacceptable that Tyler Arnason continues to play major minutes, with one goal in his last 42 games.
from Craig Simpson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I don’t think there has ever been a time in modern-day NHL history when as late as Feb. 10 the last place team (15th) in the Western Conference was a mere six points out of a playoff spot.
The Western Conference playoff race is as crowded as the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby with about as much drama set to unfold as the storied thoroughbred race.
With just three weeks left until the trade deadline, there has never been a more difficult time to predict which teams will be buyers, and which will be sellers. Even the ninth and 10th place teams in the Eastern Conference are within two points of eighth, so in total, 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL are within six points of going to the post-season.
via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
At this point, it doesn’t appear the Devils intend to send Martin Brodeur down to Lowell for a rehab game before he comes back to play in the NHL, but wouldn’t it be interesting if they did for Lowell’s Feb. 20 home game against the Hartford Wolfpack?
The Dallas Stars assigned Avery to Hartford (with the Rangers’ permission) today. It’s unclear how long Avery will stay there before the Stars put him back through re-entry waivers. It would be kind of funny if Avery and Brodeur were to face each other in the AHL, though. I would imagine that the Devils—if they ever decided to have Brodeur play in an AHL tune-up game—would be sure to avoid having him face Avery.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Based on scouting, the slight edge has to go to the San Jose Sharks for Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins.
It comes down to time zones.
When the Sharks arrive for games at HP Pavilion, the televisions in their locker room are already blaring out the games going on back East. If the Bruins are playing that night, the Sharks will gravitate toward that television.
“Obviously we like to keep an eye on the Western teams,” Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told NHL.com, “but we watch the Bruins over most Eastern teams.”
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Update from Tuesday’s morning skate in Nashville: Wings forward Johan Franzen will miss at least the next three games because of bruised tendons in his right hand. Coach Mike Babcock said Franzen might be ready to play Sunday against Colorado.
A hand specialist put Franzen in a cast. He was injured early in Saturday’s game against Edmonton when he was hit by a shot.
Ty Conklin will start in goal tonight against the Predators and there are no lineup changes.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
A source close to Czech hockey ace Jaromir Jagr says that Jagr is close to finalizing negotiations with the Edmonton Oilers, reports Euro-hockey expert Peter Adler.
The source would not say when Jagr would report to Edmonton, how much he would be paid, or how long he would sign for. Jagr is now playing with Omsk in the financially-troubled Kontinental Hockey League.
continued and one question?, how about waivers?
update 2:23pm, From David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,
Oilers hockey ops boss Kevin Lowe is indicating that Czech hockey ace Jaromir Jagr, 37, isn’t coming to Edmonton—at least not this season, reports Euro-hockey expert Peter Adler.
“Jaromir is under contract in the KHL,” Lowe told Adler.
Jagr has also told Czech national team coach Vladimir Ruzicka he will be playing for the Czech team at the world championships in May.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
All across the league, coaches are using embarrassment as a form of motivation. Benching or outright banishing to the press box is usually the first step. If that’s been done or is not an option (as in the case of Toskala or in another case, half the Edmonton Oilers roster) public chastising is your typical Plan B.
Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish has done it countless times. Mike Keenan could lay claim to inventing it had he not learned if from Scott Bowman. Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau has done it repeatedly this season. John Tortorella was famous for it back in Tampa and would surely be doing it again if a general manger with a losing team had the courage to hire him.
Less than a week after being placed on the injured list, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky’s season is over due to an upcoming surgery on his injured labrum.
The 32-year old will have surgery on his injured right labrum on Thursday. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Balyk in Edmonton.
from Cassie Campbell of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
So, the big question: could Balsillie be the new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes?
He has the money and he definitely has the passion for the game of hockey. With that combination shouldn’t the NHL want him on board? I believe so.
It all will depend on the NHL’s flexibility to allow a new owner to help the franchise as it is in Phoenix, BUT if the team continues to struggle financially, there should be a clause in the contract that after a certain number of years, the team can move to a more suitable market.
I completely understand why the NHL doesn’t want to give up on a franchise in Phoenix - they don’t want to disappoint fans or make it seem that when a franchise struggles the quick solution is movement. But when all is said and done, and the city of Glendale continues to be unable to support a hockey franchise, new options are inevitable.
NHLPA boss, Paul Kelly, supports moving a franchise from a struggling U.S. market back to Canada, which therefore means the players do, too.
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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