Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
So let me say this then: the Kings could miss the playoffs and may very well finish last in the West (I think the Islanders have the best shot at finishing last overall), but I’d rather be the Los Angeles Kings than the Toronto Maple Leafs, or the Islanders, or the St. Louis Blues, or the Vancouver Canucks, or the Colorado Avalanche.
The Kings are weak in goal, no question about it. But it’s not all about the guys between the pipes, even though neither Jason LaBarbera nor Erik Ersberg will never be mistaken for Patrick Roy. No, the entire team has to take credit for the Kings 28th-place finish in team defence last season.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
On Monday we looked at the team expected to finish in the top eight positions in the Western Conference standings. Here’s an analysis of the rest of the Western teams.
Calgary Flames. If “Kipper” regains his Vezina-winning form Calgary should be a playoff contender, but another sub-par performance by their top goalie and secondary scorers could douse the Flames.
Colorado Avalanche. The primary area of concern is in goal, where Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft attempt to prove once and for all they’re capable NHL starters. If they both struggle and the injury bug starts biting the roster again, the Avalanche postseason hopes could be in jeopardy.
from the LA Kings,
Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown will serve as Kings captain for the 2008-09 season, Kings head coach Terry Murray announced Wednesday. Murray has also named center Anze Kopitar and defenseman Matt Greene as assistant captains.
I come here and act like a child, and I’m going home and I’m telling my kids not to do what I actually did all day — goof around.
“I’m saying, ‘Get in the shower!’ ‘You have to go to bed!’ All I do here is act like they do at home, but that’s what I love about the game. We just act like kids all day long. It’s still fun.”
-Adam Foote of the Colorado Avalanche. More on Foote from Terry Frei of the Denver Post.
From the New Jersey Devils:
The new “MB30” logo combines Brodeur’s initials with the number he has worn since his first full season in New Jersey, and incorporates the horns and curled tail that are familiar to any Devils fan. The interior is subtly accented by the crisscrossing shape of a goal net.
Brodeur believes it’s a modest revision that some observers might not even pick up on right away.
“It’s going to be hard to notice, I think,” Brodeur said. “It’s the same color scheme. For people facing me, there really won’t be a difference. It’s really more for TV or even for people looking up from top. I don’t think it should be a big difference for people.”
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
In a surprising choice, defenseman Craig Rivet was named captain of the Buffalo Sabres today, coach Lindy Ruff announced after practice in HSBC Arena.
“I’m obviously a little bit surprised,” Rivet said. “I’m new to the team and organization but .‚.‚. this means a lot to me today. Maybe I’ve been through a little more than most guys. It’s a credit to myself that I’ve persevered through a lot throughout my career. This is a great day. I’m happy to be part of a real strong unit of leadership on this team.”
from Empty Netters,
But when you get e-mails like these, you realize why the league’s presence on the other side of the Atlantic is necessary:
“It’s amazing that they crossed halfway across the world for a couple of games. It was a lifetime experience and I really enjoyed being able to watch my Pens live.”
The National Post lists their top 25 NHL players…
23. Henrik Lundqvist
24. Martin St. Louis
25. Miikka Kiprusoff
On Leafs Lunch at AM640, Darren Dreger commented a few moments ago that Brendan Shanahan’s re-signing in New York is “imminent”, suggesting it could happen even later today.
added 1:08pm, from Rangers Report,
According to Rick Curran, Brendan Shanahan’s agent, the right wing’s return to New York is still very much a possibility after speaking with Glen Sather this week.
The possible hold up? You guessed it. The Rangers have virtually no money under the salary cap.
from Bryan Gruley of the Wall Street Journal,
As the NHL season gets underway, Mr. McDonough discussed his plan to get the Blackhawks back on top.
WSJ: Do you have a benchmark in mind? The Detroit Red Wings?
Mr. McDonough: I really don’t want to talk about other elite franchises. At the end of last season, when we missed the playoffs by three points, we gathered the hockey team and the front office together over a luncheon. The message I sent was, we are no longer going to have a hockey operation and a business operation. There is going to be one Chicago Blackhawks. There is going to be a certain type of player that is going to play.
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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