Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Herald,
The Calgary Flames hope to be able to sign pending unrestricted free agents Olli Jokinen and Rene Bourque.
General manager Darryl Sutter made the admission during Thursday night’s inaugural FAN 960 Fan Forum at Flames Central.
“We’ll do everything we can to make sure Olli is not an unrestricted free agent,” said Sutter in response to a question from the invitation-only crowd about the Finnish centre and his future with the team.
A short time later during the two-hour-long town hall style gathering, which included club president Ken King, Sutter said right-winger Bourque was “a big part of our team and we’ll do everything in our power to keep him.”
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Andrew Ebbett left the arena tonight in a neck brace because of neck, back and shoulder spasms after T.J. Oshie, who scored the lone goal 26 seconds into the third, executed a textbook slewfoot. Referees Kevin Pollock and Ian Walsh didn’t think so. If they did, Oshie would have gotten a match penalty and the Wild a five-minute power play in a 1-0 deficit.
One of the most dangerous hits I’ve seen. Oshie grabbed across Ebbett’s chest, swept his legs out from under him and Ebbett’s head slammed against the ice while he crashed into the boards. Ebbett tried to soften the blow with his shoulders and back, he said, which is why he thinks he’s paying the price now. Better than head smacking directly against the ice, however.
more on the Wild loss to the Blues last night…
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
The Blue Jackets knew what to expect in Chicago tonight. They knew the Blackhawks would be amped up, and they did a much better job anticipating the wave than they did two night ago in St. Louis.
And that makes the 3-0 loss in United Center even more troubling….
Interesting quote from Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash when I asked him if Chicago was the new Detroit:
“Yeah, Detroit has changed their style, and Chicago has picked it up. It’s a puck possession game. You don’t see them dumping the puck. You don’t see (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews dumping and chasing. They’re making plays.”
Nash is slumping badly. He’s gone 11 games without a goal, matching a record set during his rookie season. But it’s more than that. Nash had one shot on goal tonight, giving him just three shots on goal in his last three game and only nine in his last six games.
more on the Blue Jackets…
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The easy way to explain the recent offensive struggles of the Calgary Flames would be to pin it on Brent Sutter’s system.
The simple thinking would be because the Flames have made a commitment to defence—going from 23rd last year to fourth this season prior to last night’s action—they’ve sacrificed offence.
Calgary’s goal-scoring struggles have nothing to do with the expectations the head coach has on his team when it comes to keeping pucks out of their net. The plan of attack has proven the past few games the Flames can generate enough chances to score more than one or two goals per game.
from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Monday, there were three tilts in the opening four minutes, including a wild heavyweight whirl between Brian McGrattan and Colorado ruffian David Koci.
Wednesday, there was only one bout, but it was a dandy tussle, featuring McGrattan and Pittsburgh pugilist Eric Godard.
“They’ve been great for us,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said of Prust and McGrattan. “Obviously, the energy boost when you see them lay it on the line like that (against) some of the tougher guys in the league . . . and never backing down and doing great. That’s part of it.”
“But also, when we’re successful, we play an aggressive, in-your-face type of game, and they create more room for us. They take care of the some of the guys who are trying to quiet some of our guys. You have to answer to them.”
Fourteen members of the Flames have drawn fighting majors this winter.
via Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Joking he now has National Hockey League vice-president Colin Campbell on speed dial, Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said today he did not order Darcy Hordichuk or anyone else to fight in the third period of Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Wild heavyweight Derek Boogaard, who fought Hordichuk after a late faceoff, said after the game the Canuck told him his coach was making him fight.
Vigneault said he believes Hordichuk said what he did to get Boogaard to engage, and denied ever sending a player off his bench to fight.
“I can’t remember what I said,” Hordichuk said. “Guys talk sh—all the time. You just say stuff.”
Asked about the exchange, Vigneault said: “It must have been a real intellectual conversation.”
Campbell demanded an explanation from Vigneault and the coach said the league’s justice czar seemed satisfied with the answer.
from Bob Duff of Duffer’s Dabbles at the Windsor Star,
Six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, captain of the Detroit Red Wings and a career scorer of 229 National Hockey League goals, goes into Thursday’s game at Joe Louis Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes without a goal in his last 42 games. As puzzling a development as that may be, both Lidstrom and Wings coach Mike Babcock see logical reasons as to the cause of the drought. “I’m not really thinking that much about it,” Lidstrom said. “I think I could look more to shoot the puck. My shot’s still there. It’s more a case of getting it through and shooting at the right moment.”
Babcock believes a litany of factors have played a role in Lidstrom’s goal-scoring woes. “Our power play hasn’t been any good now for 20 games for sure since we got all our injuries,” Babcock said. “That’s where (Lidstrom) generates most of his goals. He’s not an in-the-rush guy as much as he’s a slide-the-blueline guy.”
continue for more Wings talk…
My name is Curtis Tudor and I own and operate Crash The Crease 24/7. I served as the moderator for this summit and presented each of our experts with questions to garner clarity on these important topics.
Like other hockey fans I am bothered and intrigued by many issues surrounding the National Hockey League. With this Summit I was able to bring the brightest hockey minds on the Internet together and sit them down for a round table discussion in order to further touch up on some of the hottest debated topics in the game today.
Hopefully this Summit is able to bring the clarity we are searching for to each of these topics we covered and I look forward to holding a second Internet Hockey Summit in the near future.
Taking Part of the First Annual Internet Hockey Summit:
Curtis Tudor – Crash The Crease
Lyle Richardson – Spector’s Hockey
Paul Kukla – Kukla’s Korner
Greg Wyshynski – Puck Daddy
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The other team in town is big-game hunting. Islanders’ GM Garth Snow has checked in with the Thrashers about the availability of marquee all-star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, leaving the message with Atlanta GM Don Waddell that the team intends to be in the mix if the impending unrestricted free agent is placed on the trade market, The Post has learned from a well-placed source.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org