Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Campbell’s new team meets his old one tonight in the United Center, where the atmosphere will mimic that of HSBC Arena three years ago. Fans who stayed away for a generation are lining up to fill the building, standing alongside newcomers who want to be part of the ride. A bunch of kids are winning and igniting the city’s spirit, and Campbell is there to tell them how special the moment is.
“It’s a lot like Buffalo was right out of the lockout,” Campbell said Tuesday. “The only difference is this started right at the start of the year, while Buffalo took about 10 games before it just was blowing up. There’s so many similarities that I see in my head about these guys that it’s unbelievable. It’s nice to relive it again that way.”
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Generously listed at five-foot-10, the 191-pound Rafalski is the poster boy for the NHL’s smaller, skilled defencemen.
“It’s nice to hear guys (scouts, general managers) say we have a Brian Rafalski-style of defenceman,” said Rafalski, who is quietly putting together a career-year with 32 points and a plus-13 through 42 games….
“He opened the door for a lot of players,” said Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, who handles Detroit’s drafting. “You didn’t see many small defencemen in the league, Phil Housley and (Reijo) Ruotsalainen in Edmonton, but Brian can move the puck better than those guys.
“He’s made everyone sit back and look at why he’s successful. Everyone has got one (small, skilled defenceman) now.
“He’s got his own style. Small guys, if they’re going to survive, you have to play like Rafalski.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The woods are full of theorists who say Mike Fisher’s lack of production is related to a contract that pays him $6 million this season and a total of $21 million by the time it expires in 2013.
Mike Fisher says that’s hogwash.
“I signed the contract before last season, and I had the most goals I’ve ever scored (23, in 2007-08),” the Senators centre said before the 500th game of his NHL career.
“I don’t really see it as that. What you make or whatever, to me it doesn’t affect how
I play or how I work. I’ve done a lot of the same things (this season). It’s been frustrating. I know I’m going to get out of it. I’ve been a streaky scorer at times. I just need a few to get me rolling, and things will be fine.”
from Mike Ulmder of MapleLeafs.com,
In dropping a 2-0 decision to the Nashville Predators, Tuesday, the Maple Leafs lost their fourth straight game.
During that time they have been outscored 16-6.
Four hundred and fifty Americans, and by extension 45 Canadians, fall out of bed and die every year.
The Leafs, playing without skill defenceman Mike Van Ryn and the suspended Mikhail Grabovski, could only garner 17 shots on winning goalie Pekka Rinne and a puny four shots on five power plays.
In North America, a new case of dementia presents itself every seven seconds.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
A couple of things after a 5-3 Vancouver loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, a game that was signed and sealed with a 3-0 Jersey lead after one period.
1) The Canucks looked like a team that wanted to get its coach fired. And Alain Vigneault sounded like he did at the end of last season, when his job was on the line following seven losses in the last eight games, which kept Vancouver out of the playoffs….
2) The Canucks are in a stretch that may get general manager Mike Gillis looking to make a move earlier than the trade deadline. (Gillis might do that anyway because he is not in the least a conventional guy who is going to be bound by an arbitrary date of March 4.)
Two names to watch: Atlanta defenceman Mathieu Schneider and Islanders forward Doug Weight.
Yesterday KK readers chimed in with some of the hockey catchphrases that bothered them.
Last night, a donnybrook broke out, but I am still looking for it!
from Ben Kuzma of Canucks Nation at the Vancouver Province,
Roberto Luongo pushed hard to convince the coaching staff he should play Tuesday. He should have pushed harder. Much harder.
On a night when the Vancouver Canucks needed great goaltending, an air-tight defence and turnover-free forays through the neutral zone to avoid feeding the transition monster New Jersey Devils, they often looked lost in their own zone and simply waited much too long to force the issue offensively in a 5-3 loss at GM Place….
Where was the early resolve to turn around too many horror shows on home ice? Where was the early leadership? Where was the early goaltending?
more on the Canucks loss to the Devils…
from Flames Insider,
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s oddball match against the St. Louis Blues — plenty of bad blood, but, curiously, little pep to the game — Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan had plenty to say following the 3-1 win.
* About St. Louis RW Cam Janssen’s hits on LW Andre Roy and D Robyn Regehr: “He definitely left his feet (on Roy), and he definitely left his feet on Regehr. The two hits he made . . . he jumped and leaped. He definitely left his feet with the intent of hitting a player who didn’t have the puck. A deliberate intent to injure. There’s no question in my mind. I watched it over and over just to make sure that I was looking at it clearly. It’s up to the officials and the league to address it. He broke Prustie’s jaw (Dec. 5 at St. Louis). But this one was so blatant and so obvious . . . there’s no need for that tactic in the game. You can body guys all you can and drive them with your shoulder, but you start leaping at guys and leaving your feet? Then . . . you losing respect for the game. The league should take some action and suspend them.”
more on the Flames and watch the hit on Regehr below…
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
The Capitals committed ghastly turnovers, took bad penalties, were outworked at both ends and suffered another humbling defeat, this one by the score of 5-2 to an Oilers team that didn’t have its leading scorer and came to Washington 17 spots behind the Capitals in the league standings.
“When it gets to the point that everyone wants to be the scorer but no one wants to be the mucker, you’re not going to do anything,” Boudreau said. “They’re lucky there’s no practice tomorrow.”
TSN SportsCentre with the top 10 plays of the first half of the NHL season.
Thanks to a KK reader 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.
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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