Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
With 10 goals, Lang is the Canadiens’ leading goal-scorer heading into tonight’s game against Buffalo; with 24 points, he is tied for the team lead with Alex Kovalev and Andrei Markov.
He is a crafty, smart-skating, 906-game NHL veteran whose poise and experience are precious commodities both on the ice and in the dressing room, a terrific acquisition on many levels.
“(Some) people think he was a consolation prize (to Sundin), but we had started to talk about him a little bit last year,” head coach Guy Carbonneau said yesterday of Lang.
“We took some info from Denis Savard (Lang’s coach in Chicago last season), some people who’d had him, and everything was positive. He has a lot of respect and came in here with a really good attitude.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Feeling generous this time of year—Ho! Ho! Ho!, must be the egg nog and spiced rum—and hoping to just once be a little positive, we’d like Santa and his elves to whip up a batch of good luck and scoring touch for some NHL players.
For example, Anaheim’s Brendan Morrison has not been enjoying his start to life in Disneyland. Maybe it’s because he’s always been willing to chat with reporters throughout his career, but you can’t help but like to see Morrison do better than the four goals and four assists he’s garnered.
Look at Maxim Afinogenov in Buffalo, one goal in 28 games this season and only two in his last 43 contests. A guy with that kind of breakaway speed shouldn’t struggle like that.
Edmonton has a few players struggling, but the most surprising are Erik Cole (3-5-8) and Sam Gagner (2-5-7)
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Where would the Blackhawks be if another team had claimed Nikolai Khabibulin on waivers back in training camp?
They probably wouldn’t be 17-6-7 today and the talk of the NHL.
Khabibulin has been nothing short of sensational for the Hawks, and he was just that again Friday night in the 3-2 overtime win over the Flames. As he has done most of the year, Khabibulin kept the Hawks in the game long enough for the offense to do its thing.
Khabibulin has lost once in regulation, his record now at 10-1-4. Once.
As we walked out of the Saddledome Friday night into the unbearable Alberta cold, Chris Kuc of the Tribune mentioned how Khabibulin should be going to the All-Star Game, and he is absolutely right.
via On Frozen Blog,
In Saturday’s SovetskySport, an obviously frustrated Alexander Semin informs Dmitry Chesnokov of his latest injury—incurred non-accidentally at the stick of St. Louis’ David Backes Thursday night:
“I have already been to the doctor. I think that maybe my nerve was hit. And now it is squeezed. I can hardly walk. I have no clue how many games I am going to miss. I felt bad this morning. I feel worse than I did yesterday. I am trying to [use] pain relievers . . . I am so tired of these injuries. Just [recently] one injury healed, my shot got better. Now here is another one. When is this all going to end?”
Our weekly “Faceoff” features ESPN.com NHL writers Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Pierre LeBrun (based in Toronto), who duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Now that the Mats Sundin saga is over, who will be the next most-sought-after players before the March 4 trade deadline?
read on for names like Michael Nylander, Nikolai Khabibulin, Olaf Kolzig, Jay Bouwmeester, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Gaborik and Jason Spezza.
from Andrew Farrell of Forbes,
As a kid, Donald Brashear wanted to be a boxer. He didn’t get his wish exactly, but he came pretty close.
Brashear is now a 36-year-old professional hockey player for the Washington Capitals. Officially, he’s a left winger, but he’s just as likely to be called an enforcer. He checks hard and punches harder.
Brashear’s stats reflect his pugnacious playing style. Through Dec. 19, Brashear has earned 2,487 penalty minutes in 957 career NHL games. He’s also on our list of the most suspended athletes in major U.S. team sports over the past dozen years. According to Stats Inc., the winger ranks eighth with six suspensions.
read on and other hockey players listed are Chris Pronger with 6, Andre Roy 6 & Scott Nichol 5.
Well the benches, penalty box, scorers table and broadcast facilities (left and right center field wall) are up.
Dan Craig hopes to have about an inch to an inch and a half of ice ready by Monday.
Wrigley is starting to look like a hockey rink. Watch a 15 minute delayed stream here....
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Sundin is expected to make his debut with the Vancouver Canucks any time after New Year’s Day. He is 37, two-and-a-half years older than Niedermayer, with nearly 200 more NHL games played than the Anaheim defenceman.
“You’re stepping into a season [that is already] underway, where the team has got things going. Strategy-wise, personnel-wise … they’re already set with their D-partners, powerplay, penalty kill,” Niedermayer said. “And physically, there is a lot going on, obviously. Your legs, your hands…”...
“He has to have patience. His expectations will have to be a bit lower, at first,” Selanne warned Sundin. “It took me three weeks.”...
“It depends on how much intensity there has been in his workouts. You can’t know,” Carlyle said. “If it’s a sore hip, a sore groin, a sore back… Without the benefit of training camp, that’s one thing you have to be wary of. In essence, this is his training camp now.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Last season, the waiver pickup of the year was goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
This year, while still early, it may just be Kyle Quincey. In a move that didn’t exactly turn many heads in mid-October, the Los Angeles Kings picked up 23-year-old defenseman off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. And they’ve been head over heels ever since.
“This is an example of not only getting a good player, but also of our infrastructure working,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi told ESPN.com on Friday.
When Quincey went on waivers, Kings pro scout Rob Laird made his case. “This guy can play,” Laird told Lombardi.
“He was right on,” Lombardi said of Laird. “That’s a great job by a guy that works in the trenches and goes out there and works his butt off.”
continued plus Sundin and Wings/Sharks talk…
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.
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