Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Brian Rolston’s ankle wasn’t feeling as good as he had hoped.
Three games into his return from a high ankle sprain, the Devils winger decided to get some firsthand information about what he might expect. So one week ago, after a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rolston talked with Sidney Crosby.
“I don’t know if his was the same as mine, but his was an ankle, too. It was good to get a player’s perspective,” Rolston said. “The first few games back, no question I felt it. I didn’t know what to expect, so I had a conversation with Sidney Crosby. He just said it’s going to be sore and you have to try to strengthen it and to keep taping it.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet met with captain Vinny Lecavalier for about an hour after Tuesday’s practice at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Tocchet did not get into specifics about what they spoke, but said the meting was a good one. Broadly, the coach said the discussion was about how the locker room can better police itself, especially after Saturday’s dreadful 2-0 loss to the Senators in Ottawa.
“He cares. He’s a great kid,” Tocchet said. “He’s learning what it takes. It’s not only about him playing. It’s about what his team should be all about.”
Tocchet talked about cleaning up some sloppiness in how the Lightning is conducting itself on and off the ice.
via Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is scheduled to back up Jonas Hiller in Tuesday night’s game against the New York Rangers at Honda Center and then leave the team to attend memorial services for his father, Claude, who passed away Monday morning in Montreal.
Giguere will likely miss Friday night’s opener of a three-game road swing against the Edmonton Oilers and rejoin the Ducks in time for a Monday game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Giguere left the Ducks for five days late last month to visit his father in Montreal.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
At 25, Hemsky is still making his way to the upper echelon of the National Hockey League. With 29 points in 28 games, he’s moved onto the league’s top 30 scoring list. He’s 10th with 11 power-play helpers, and he heads into tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with points in 16 of his last 20 games.
There’s a consistency to his game that wasn’t there in the past. It’s a smarter, more effective game that he is playing.
“He wants to score now,” said linemate Shawn Horcoff, “and he’s shooting the puck a lot more, which is directly tied to him scoring. He’s always been a guy who’s been creative, but now he’s not holding it as much.”
“It’s part of the process. It’s growing up as a player,” Hemsky said. “I’m not wasting as much energy. I’m playing smarter.”
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
OK, it’s a little early to be talking about Stanley Cup final matchups, but all the talk of Christmas and wish lists has inspired a wish list of a different sort: five Stanley Cup finals I’d like to see (and they’re pretty realistic, too).
Without further ado:
A 2009 rematch of the 2008 final tops the list. And maybe it’s the Penguins’ turn this time….
2. San Jose-Boston
The Sharks, as usual, are cruising through the regular season, winning almost at will. The big surprise is, so are the Bruins….
From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press:
Marian Gaborik will return to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 14 when the Wild play host to Calgary on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
After a 90-minute practice today, Gaborik declared himself fit.
“I’m good to go for tomorrow,” he said.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The New York Rangers have a fast-approaching object in their rearview mirror. It’s orange and has a gap in its teeth.
The Philadelphia Flyers are four points back of the Atlantic Division-leading Rangers with four games in hand, a red-hot stretch of 12-1-3 in their last 16 games rocketing them up the Eastern Conference standings.
“We started to play our best hockey of the season about a month ago,” Flyers star winger Simon Gagne told ESPN.com last night.
Gagne has been clutch on a line with Mike Richards and Mike Knuble. Jeff Carter is pumping in goals as well on another line with Scott Hartnell and Joffrey Lupul.
One-time Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and former Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi met in Toronto on Monday with a mediator in an effort to prevent a lawsuit from heading to court.
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two since the infamous sucker punch during a March 8, 2004, game in Vancouver that ended Moore’s career.
Moore, 29, and his family filed a lawsuit seeking $38 million for loss of income and damages.
Bertuzzi, who now plays for the Calgary Flames, and Moore attended the meeting with their lawyers, as well as former Vancouver coach (now Hockey Night In Canada analyst) Marc Crawford and his representatives.
Moore’s lawsuit names Bertuzzi, the Canucks and former team owners Orca Bay, as defendants.
continued… but no details of the meeting have been released
from Damien Cox at The Spin,
Although he’s been getting solid reviews for his coaching work this season with the severely undertalented Maple Leafs, Wilson has to be feeling the extraordinary success of the San Jose Sharks.
On one hand, many of the players that have powered the Sharks to the best record ever in the NHL history after 30 games were not only coached by Wilson and his assistants, Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler, but taught their first NHL lessons by that crew.
Wilson still has ties to that organization, still talks to Sharks players, still discusses hockey matters from time-to-time with GM Doug Wilson. On the other hand, of course, the way in which rookie coach Todd MacLellan has guided the Sharks to such a powerhouse, 52-point showing so far is, to some degree, an indictment of that which Wilson couldn’t do.
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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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