Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It would be the smart play for the Rangers to accelerate the process rather than allowing the Stars to assign Avery to the Blueshirts’ AHL Hartford affiliate for an indeterminate period of time before going the re-entry route.
The Rangers gain nothing by allowing teams to get a free look at Avery for a week or two before deciding whether to pluck him. That’s a time frame in which some club might suffer a series of injuries and thereby choose to take a shot at him. If any team wants him, the Rangers should force the decision to be made immediately, sight unseen.
Plus, it best serves the Rangers’ interests to get Avery into the organization as quickly as possible in order to integrate him into the equation as smoothly as possible and to have complete control of the process and the timetable.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The outspoken Laraque was more direct in his assessment as the team packed their equipment bags after Sunday’s practice.
“This is the turning point for the season,” he said matter-of-factly. “Make or break.”
The Canadiens sit seven points ahead of the 10th-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s conceivable that a subpar trip could send them plummeting out of a playoff spot.
But Carbonneau pointed out that parity among the teams jockeying for playoff position means the pressure is on for everyone, other than perhaps the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, who bestride their respective conferences.
“If we’re in trouble, a lot of teams are in trouble,” said Carbonneau, who huddled with his coaching staff and general manager Bob Gainey before practice for a postmortem of Saturday night and then held a team meeting to hammer in a few truths.
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
His goal for the organization isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about winning them.
“I won’t even say the word to the guys, to be honest with you,” Murray said. “I will say we’re playing for the Stanley Cup.”
There are two realities to what Murray says. First is his belief that you concede nothing, that you strive to win every game, win a championship. If you would have asked Murray to project how many points he hoped to get before the season, he would have answered 164, which would translate to an 82-0 record. To answer anything else would be to concede a willingness to lose a few games.
Ask him about the playoffs and you’ll get a similar response. He’s not suggesting these Blues consider themselves a Stanley Cup contender, per se. But there is a perspective to consider. At one point in their history, the Blues advanced to the playoffs 25 seasons in succession. And what did they have to show for it? Close your eyes and what do you see?
“We just have to have a night-by-night focus,” Murray added. “And at the end of the year, if we have enough points to be playing more games, then we will have earned it.”
more on the Blues…
Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some emails….
what do you think will/should be the Avs’ next move before the upcoming trade deadline?
Try to sell somebody on Darcy Tucker, and get out from under the next year of his contract, at more than $2 million per. Try to sell somebody on Brett Clark and the $3.5 million he’ll make next season. Maybe sell off one of the young prospects like T.J. Hensick and/or Marek Svatos. Try to get a decent goalie for one or all of those guys. Then, go into this offseason with a plan to draft big forwards, guys who can bang and skate and create a little energy. Hensick and Svatos have talent, but get swallowed up a little too easily against bigger teams.
read on for more Q & A…
There’s something almost unfair about Detroit’s immense depth. They have guys like Hossa, Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen and Holmstrom, all-proven 20-goal threats, on the wing. The Penguins have… Petr Sykora and? Who? SIdney Crosby had Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis on his wings today. They’re fine third-line caliber player, but they shouldn’t be on a line with one of the world’s best players.
-Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters. More on the game including Seth’s unique live play-by-play blog.
BUFFALO, NY (February 8, 2009)—- Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that Thomas Vanek fractured his jaw when he was hit in the face with a puck during last night’s game vs. Ottawa. Vanek had successful surgery on his jaw today in Buffalo, and will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.
Last night, Kelly Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC talked goaltending. I watched it live and thought Kelly had some great insight on the goaltending position and was left wanting more from Kelly.
Price, Luongo and Osgood were discussed but if you are interested in the goaltending position, I recommend watching it.
NHL.com has launched a contest to Get Out of the Cold: a trip for 4 to the Universal Orlando resort in Florida. You need to enter before the end of the first period of the Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game on Sunday, and the winner will be announced by the third period.
Additionally—as Forechecker highlighted the other day—Twittering about this weekend’s game could earn you a subscription to NHL Game Center Live for the rest of the season. Just use the hashtag #NHLonNBC in your tweets, and you’ll be automatically entered.
*post originally dated Feb.6, 11:07am ET. Today’s game preview at NHL.com
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
In my many years of covering the NHL, one of the questions I most frequently hear after a game is:
“Gee, who picked the three stars?”
In some NHL cities, the choices are put to a vote of all media members in the press box. Most places, a single selector is designated before the game. At the Pepsi Center, the choices usually are made by a writer or by one of the four announcers on the “in-house” Altitude radio and television broadcasts.
Even when Denver Post colleague Adrian Dater or I make the official choices at an Avalanche home game, the “Post’s three stars” in the paper might be slightly different. Here’s why: Whoever is making the official choices at the game is gently asked to submit them with about five minutes remaining in the third period.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
It’s painfully obvious the Predators miss Alexander Radulov, who bolted for Russia last summer even though he had an NHL contract. Would they welcome him back next season? “Never say never,” said GM David Poile, who was furious that the kid just up and left, leaving the Predators with few options late in the summer.
“It’s about playing in the best league, but maybe he wants to stay in Russia.” He would have fences to mend in Nashville, but, as Poile says, “he scores goals.” The Predators are hanging in the playoff race, but they’re a shadow of their team from two years ago when former owner Craig Leipold told Poile to get out the meat cleaver.
“No Kariya, no Hartnell, no Timonen, Vokoun. That’s what the order was,” said Poile, who is not into excuses, but it was hard to stomach. “Craig wanted to be as low (payroll) as he could.” Leipold now owns the Minnesota Wild.
more hockey notes…
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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