Kukla's Korner Hockey
5 1/2 minutes of the best saves, hits and goals from the last week in the NHL.
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith is suffering from post-concussion syndrome but is expected to return to the ice within the next week. The original injury dates back several weeks, although Smith started to be concerned about symptoms after the team’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 30.
“We were hopeful that Mike’s symptoms would clear sooner and they haven’t, so were taking a conservative approach with him making sure he is 100 percent before he returns to the ice,” Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton said. “Although Mike would prefer to be skating and playing right now the appropriate course of action is to err on the safe side.”
from Chris Johnston of the CP via Yahoo,
There may never have been more believers in the NHL’s Western Conference. At least not in February.
Even though the season is nearly two-thirds done, every team in the West still thinks it has a chance to play into the spring. Emotions across the conference have been subject to a yo-yo effect as bubble team after bubble team shoots up the standings while on a hot streak, only to fall back when things cool off.
The one constant has been a tight grouping of teams in the bottom half.
“You look at the standings and nobody’s really dropping away from it,” Columbus Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said Monday. “The three or four teams that looked like they were leaking oil maybe two weeks ago have tightened up.
“You come to the realization that you’re playing 82 playoff games just to get in to the playoffs.”
from Puck the Media,
According to Sports Business Daily (reg. required), NBC’s telecast of the Red Wings/Penguins game on Sunday drew a 1.1/3 overnight rating. This is the same rating NBC drew for last week’s Rangers/Penguins game, which finished with a 1.0/3 final rating. It is, however well up from last year’s Ducks/Red Wings telecast (2/10/08, 0.9 overnight rating).
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Like one of those February spring break videos, this was a week of Goalies Gone Wild.
From coast to coast and country to country, the goaltender was restored to his place at the center of the hockey universe: the man who invariably receives too much credit and too much blame for anything that happens.
They were dissected (Toronto’s Vesa Toskala, Montreal’s Carey Price), inspected (Philadelphia’s Martin Biron) and resurrected (Anaheim’s Jean-Sébastien Giguère). They were ripped at a charity dinner (again, Toskala) and spoken about charitably under the circumstances (Detroit’s Chris Osgood) even by a coach who might have been inclined to use stronger language. And a goalie who did use stronger language in describing his own play (Manny Legace of St. Louis) found himself in the minors.
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice:
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said he has about “10 percent” of his recovery left to go and hopes to be on the ice “soon” with his teammates in practice. He said will be examined by doctors again later this week, but they have already cleared him to practice with the team.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that long,” Brodeur said after facing shots again for about 20 minutes at the end of today’s morning skate. “It’s not going to be be tomorrow, but it’s not going to be that far at all.”
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that forward Andy McDonald has signed a four-year contract extension.
“St. Louis Blues ownership and myself realize how integral Andy is to the future of our organization,” said Davidson. “He’s a first line center who will play a major role in the development of our team.”
NEW YORK (Feb. 9, 2009)—Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, Detroit Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa and Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 8.
NHL player agent Pat Morris checks into the Hockey Central studios to talk about Sean Avery and where he might end up after being placed on waivers. Pat details what Sean Avery will look to do in order to get back to the National Hockey League.
Pat was on about a half hour ago after Avery cleared waivers. A good listen if you are interested in the future of Avery.
Update 2:40pm ET (alanah): From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News, the Rangers need Avery:
Were the Rangers a better team last season with Avery in the lineup? The answer to that question was an emphatic yes. The real problem, simply put, was that the team couldn’t afford to keep Avery on a roster that added Markus Naslund, Wade Redden and a passel of interchangeable checking forwards to the payroll. But now that New York GM Glen Sather has spent all this cash with the aim of constructing a team designed to go deep into the playoffs, he’s running out of options.
In that way, the Rangers are a lot like the Vancouver Canucks. The money has been spent, and the players—and their massive contracts—are in place. At this point and for the foreseeable future, rebuilding isn’t an option for the Rangers. Either they make the playoffs with the players they have or they don’t. And if they don’t, heads will undoubtedly roll.
In light of that information, I can understand why the Rangers would break the glass and reach for Avery. But let’s not pretend that it’s a good option. Rather, it’s just the only option available with time running down on the season.
from Marc Crawford of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I have watched many a game this year involving the Los Angeles Kings and one of the players who has stood out for me is their emerging superstar defenceman in Drew Doughty.
While he is a gifted puck handler and an extremely quick skater, what I enjoy most about watching his games is the interaction he has with his partner on defence, veteran Sean O’Donnell.
With his 15-plus years of experience, O’Donnell is the perfect foil for Doughty.
continued and Crawfors uses Yzerman as an example 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.
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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