Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
Hey, many in the media morbidly want to see Keenan in a high-profile tiff with one of his players, especially if it becomes the start of another fall for Iron Mike.
Certainly, Keenan’s words after Saturday night’s disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets will add to the pyre.
“Let’s call a spade a spade. We should have better goaltending. Period. If we had, we’d be rewarded with a victory tonight,” said Keenan, who has been remarkably patient with his criticism of Kiprusoff this season.
He has a right to be frustrated and disappointed. Keenan used fact when asked what Kiprusoff must do: “Improve his save percentage dramatically. If you check the statistics, you can find out all about it.”
added 12:03pm, from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
But with roster adjustments not being quite the option they once were in the pre-cap days, Keenan needs to find a way to get the likes of Kristian Huselius (who dangled with the puck last season under Jim Playfair, but looks like a deer in the headlights this season), Adrian Aucoin, Alex Tanguay and Craig Conroy contributing more. Otherwise, the Flames will continue to flounder.
I admire Keenan’s self-constraint with his new team – there have been very few meltdowns thus far - but the Flames have been one of the most disappointing teams of the season and there has been little indication of better days ahead.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Philadelphia Flyer forward Riley Cote is likely to be suspended for his match penalty at 17:46 of the third period in Dallas’s 4-1 win over the Flyers on Saturday.
Cote delivered a high head shot against Dallas defenceman Matt Niskanen. Any player assessed a match penalty is automatically suspended pending a review by the league. It will be a shock if Cote isn’t suspended by the league.
from David Amber at Sports Illustrated,
They are rarely the guys leading the league in points. Some don’t even see time on the power play. Others are basically fourth-line players. Still, with the game on the line, these are the players who are front and center, driving goalies nuts, scoring the deciding goals and making the highlights on “SportsCenter.”
In this week’s 10 Degrees, we look at the top shootout stars since the format’s inception.
10. Ales Hemsky, Edmonton (10 goals, 27 attempts)
from the CP via TSN,
The Predators outplayed Montreal for most of the game, but Huet held them off with a succession of fine saves in the first two periods and with the help of two hit goalposts.
“This was a perfect chance to get a win despite the team having a bad game,” said Huet. “It is disgraceful to blow a lead like that, especially at home.
“I can’t explain it.”
Except that he did later, saying: “We’re a fragile team. We’re a little weak between the ears.”
His teammates jumped to Huet’s defence, saying the game could have been out of reach early if he hadn’t shut the door in the first two periods.
from the Buffalo News,
Who’s holding a “viewing party” for thousands of Buffalo Sabres fans unable to score a ticket for the Jan. 1 NHL Winter Classic in Ralph Wilson Stadium?
Will fans attending the game be able to park their campers or RVs at the stadium a day or two beforehand for a festive New Year’s Eve party?
When will the ice be put down?
continued... all the information you will need about the game…
Someone asked winger Daniel Alfredsson if this losing streak is getting serious.
“It’s always serious,” snapped the captain. “It’s professional sports. If you don’t win, you suck.”
more on the Senators from the Ottawa Citizen…
from Bruce Garrioch of th Ottawa Sun,
For Sundin, the word is the strong Swedish contingent in Detroit—made up of Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Andreas Lilja, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall—wants him in the Motor City.
Click here to find out more!
There have been whispers that Sundin—who is fiercely loyal to the Leafs and hasn’t asked to be moved if the club doesn’t make the playoffs—has already been told by some members of Detroit’s Swedes if he’d like to come aboard they will talk GM Ken Holland into making the move.
more of this type of talk, league wide…
added 9:27am, from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
At what point does Mats Sundin go to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and say, “It’s been a good ride, but I’m 37 and I’ve never won a Stanley Cup, so help me out with a trade”? I think it’s a given they give him a choice of three teams and deal him in February, and I say the Red Wings, who lead the league in Swedes (Nik Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Nik Kronwall) get him for, say, centre Jiri Hudler, defenceman Jakub Kindl (their first-round draft pick in 2005), and a second-rounder in 2008. The Leafs, if they’re smart, should hold out for centre Valtteri Filppula rather than Hudler, but Detroit loves the Finnish kid.
more NHL talk…
from Inside the Kings,
I’ve never seen Crawford so upset as after this game. He was frustrated with the team’s play and also livid with Ryan Smyth. He wants Smyth’s play jabbing his stick into LaBarbera reviewed by the NHL. LaBarbera injured his ribs on the play.
There’s a team meeting scheduled before practice tomorrow. It probably won’t be pretty.
continued with player reaction on the Kings 5-2 loss to the Avs…
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Ron Wilson had the entire team standing near him, but not huddled together as players usually are when he’s providing direction. And as soon as I got within earshot, it was clear he was upset.
He talked about a lack of professional pride. He talked about being mentally prepared. He questioned why his players didn’t apply more pressure on the player with the NHL’s worst plus-minus rating, their former teammate Scott Hannan. And he clearly was unhappy with his team’s attention to detail — an important matter throughout the Sharks’ hierarchy — when it comes to things like short passes and clearing the puck out of the defensive zone.
Spector has an analysis on the talk that the Bolts may move Lecavalier, St. Louis or Richards.
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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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