Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
Some things you get over. You move on, and life goes on, and the what-ifs just seem to melt away with the years. Graeme Townshend wishes he had scored 500 goals and played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League, instead of three goals and 45 NHL games….
Lake Charles is in Louisiana, in the Deep South—the Old South—where a Confederate flag is still often viewed as a symbol of states’ rights and better days….
Townshend did not know this when he moved his family into the house on Comanche Street in the town of Sulphur, a suburb of Lake Charles, in the summer of 1997. He only knew Sulphur was where “the best schools were,” and he wanted the best for Seth. He had no idea he would be the only black man in the neighbourhood. And over the next two years the Townshends would learn an indelible lesson about race relations in the Deep South—the Old South—where simple, plain-as-day facts, such as the colour of a man’s skin, mean everything.
from Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean,
Facing high expectations again this season, (Shea) Weber has rocketed out of the gate with three goals and five assists in Nashville’s first seven games, tying J.P. Dumont for the team lead in points and ranking second among all NHL defensemen in scoring.
The performance has inspired teammate Jason Arnott to slap an all-star label on the 23-year-old Canadian, and experts around the league see the same potential. Although Weber may not rank with elite defensemen such as Nicklas Lidstrom, he doesn’t appear too far from it.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in hockey that doubts his potential anymore,” said Mike Brophy, hockey analyst for Rogers Sportsnet. “He is a force. He has arrived as a bona-fide top-end defenseman.”
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Goaltending was the Sabres’ vital component this year. Miller was a one-man workhorse last season and wore down after Ruff lost faith in Jocelyn Thibault. But the stellar starts by the new combination have Buffalo enjoying a 6-0-1 record.
“We’ve got two great goaltenders, and they’re both great guys, and they get along great. What more could you ask for?” Ruff said. “It’s healthy competition.”
The netminders are feeding off each other. Lalime sees Miller make 25 saves and follows with 35. Miller has little choice but to respond with a pair of 30-save performances.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL game is full of it. Speed. Pace. Up tempo. Quickness. It doesn’t matter which buzz words a coach chooses to apply when preaching from the pulpit these days, hockey at the highest level has never been played with more swiftness.
“The game is a million times faster,” Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. “The players are bigger, faster and in better condition. The shifts are shorter. There is no obstruction, there is no clutching or grabbing. The players are skating all the time.”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
(Dan) Boyle said “it’s only natural” to want to play well against a former team. “I’m like anybody else.” He was more direct with San Jose’s Mercury News.
“I’m not going to sit here and lie and say that it doesn’t mean anything,” he told the paper. “As a player, as a competitive person, you want to stick it to ‘em. I want to win, and I want to win bad. I want to go out there and have a good game and win decisively.”...
“It’ll be exciting to see him,” Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said. “He’s a great player, one of the best in the league. We’ll have to try to contain him because we know he’ll come hard.”
But Boyle, who had an assist Friday for five points in his past three games, insisted he is not coming to Tampa to even a score. “I know it’s cliche, but it’s about us playing a hockey game. It’s more about that than me versus the owners.”
“I think if things continue to go like they’re going, we have to start changing some people around. I don’t mean coaches; I mean other people. Changing the coach sends the wrong message. I believe we’re a good team. I believe that we lost three and (tied) three is a little misleading…I think we’re better than that.”
-Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. More on the Flyers at Broad Street Bull.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
I was going to ask (the arena worker) to move (the carpet), but he had his foot there, so I figured he was trying to secure it,” Legace said. “He’s yelling at us, ‘Careful, the carpet ... Careful, the carpet.’
“I’m like I can’t jump over it. It’s too far and my little legs won’t jump that far. I just figured he’s holding it and the other end is usually secure, so I’m just worried about it sliding (one) way. As soon as I went down, he lifted his foot off the carpet ... I knew I was coming down and I just couldn’t catch myself.
“It’s not that serious ... we’ll just see what happens tomorrow.”
more on the Blues loss to the Kings last night and watch a video of Manny hitting the red carpet below…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner suffered an undisclosed injury and the Flyers defeated the Devils 5-3 tonight at Prudential Center.
Langenbrunner headed to the Devils’ locker room with the trainer after taking a hard hit from Flyers defenseman Luca Sbisa along the right wing boards in the Philadelphia zone 7:55 into the second period. It appeared Langenbrunner had a left leg injury, but it was difficult to tell.
more on the game…
via Steve Zipay of Blue Notes,
With 11:38 left in the second period, Rangers coach Tom Renney was clipped on the left side of the head by Rostislav Klesla’s stick during a scrum at the bench.
He went down to the floor, an official said between the second and third period, may have lost consciousness, was assisted off the ice and was being X-rayed. Assistants Mike Pelino and Perry Pearn took over. Renney did not return before the end of the period.
A Rangers spokesman said during the intermission that Renney “was OK. He was hit on the top of the head.”
added 10:11pm, from Norm Sanders of the New-Democrat,
St. Louis Blues goaltender Manny Legace suffered what the team called a lower-body injury Friday and did not return for the second period against the Los Angeles Kings.
Legace may have been injured when he slipped on a piece of carpeting coming out for pregame warmups. The carpet was on the ice for a pregame ceremony involving Republic vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.
a little more...
The Philadelphia Flyers are expected to be without forward Daniel Briere for up to a month after suffering a torn abdominal muscle in Wednesday’s shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks.
‘‘Danny has a slight tear in his reptus abdominis, which is a stomach muscle,’’ said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. ‘‘He will be out of the lineup approximately 3-4 weeks.’‘
Holmgren said that the 31-year-old Gatineau, Quebec native is slated to undergo surgery Saturday morning.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Responding to Hockey Night In Canada icon Don Cherry’s verbal punching yesterday on the Fan 590, in which Grapes ripped Wilson for, among other things, “throwing his players under the bus,” Wilson took the high road.
“I have no comment for that,” Wilson said.
But when informed later that Cherry called him “pompous and arrogant, one of those Americans that know everything,” Wilson couldn’t suppress a sarcastic chuckle.
“Me pompous and arrogant? Wow,” Wilson said implying it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black. “I just laugh.”
Update 4:57pm ET: From Mike Toth at Sportsnet:
You want a dirty little secret about the media?
We can be the biggest bunch of crybabies you’ve ever seen.
The war of words between the Toronto media and Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson is just the latest example.
*original post-time was 7:38am ET
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