Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Miami Herald, I
njured winger Nathan Horton said the deep cut on his ankle ‘‘looks fine and has healed up nice,’’ but he’s still out of the lineup because he’s having trouble skating.
On Wednesday, he found out why after an MRI revealed a small fracture around his heel that is the source of his discomfort, he said. Horton said he’s day to day, although there is no timeline for his return. Horton missed his sixth consecutive game Thursday.
‘‘I tried to skate a few times, but it’s still sore,’’ Horton said.
from Jim Adams of The Union,
Brian Boucher is a back-up goaltender. He is designed to play the odd game to rest the starter. In all reality, he has become an icon of what has made the San Jose Sharks the best team in the National Hockey League season.
He exemplifies the type of attitude, grit, perseverance, and skill that has made this Northern California’s most successful team.
And although Boucher may be perfectly suited for warm-ups, he is exceptional when it comes time for the real thing.
It is tough to endure a career as a goaltender without a fair share of ups-and-downs, hits-and-misses, victories and defeats.
As the last line of defense, performance is magnified beyond any other player. Errors become more pronounced. Big saves become larger than life. Rarely is it a straight career path for the NHL goaltender. He may last a little longer, but there is no way to describe it other than tough and demanding.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
(Joey) MacDonald went on to say the Islanders hung backup Yann Danis out to dry in the second period, when they added four more goals on backdoor plays and open shots from the slot. Standing up for his replacement showed MacDonald’s heart is in the right place.
If anyone believes the eventual return of a healthy starting goaltender Rick DiPietro will magically make it all better, they are mistaken. DiPietro might make a few more of the big saves, but he’s not going to enjoy facing the kind of onslaughts MacDonald has seen on a nightly basis recently….
It appears the system is deeply flawed, at least the way the Islanders play it, as DiPietro is destined to discover soon enough.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The $575,000-a-year goalie, whose paycheque is 10% of Tomas Vokoun’s, went into the game with the best save percentage in the league at .941 and a 2.09 goals against average and improved on both numbers to go 5-1-2 in his last eight games and 16-4-3 since Jan. 3 last year.
(Craig) Anderson left the building with one of the most fascinating stats you’ll ever find for a goaltender as he stretched his career record to 10-1-4 in games in which he faced 40 or more shots.
But sorry, he wasn’t the story.
Lots of shots. No chances.
That was the sorry story as the Oilers booted yet another home game as they began the stretch of games in which they’re supposed to reboot their season.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“The way the game is now, you’ve got to be able to hit guys in the open and make plays,” the GM said on July 3 after having signed defensemen Michal Rozsival Michal Rozsival , Wade Redden and Dimitri Kalinin to free agent contracts equaling a combined cap hit of $13.6 million for this season. “Hockey’s a moving target all the time; if you’re not willing to move with the trend, you’re going to be left behind.”
The concept was a reasonable one. Too bad the execution by the aforementioned three defensemen has been so lousy. Somehow, the Rangers have been worse moving the puck from the back end this year than they were last season, when Fedor Tyutin Fedor Tyutin and either Christian Backman or Marek Malik (and sometimes both) were in the lineup.
Indeed, the inability of the alleged puck-moving defensemen to move the puck is a major contributing factor to the Rangers’ abysmal output of 2.35 goals per game…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post via USA TODAY,
It has been 33 years since Reggie “The Rifle” Leach victimized goalies with a lethal slap shot that produced a league-high 61 goals.
No Philadelphia Flyer has led the NHL in scoring since then, but Jeff Carter could become the next. Thanks to a wrist shot that many consider the best in the league, the center has 20 goals, second in the league and two behind the league-leading total of Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres….
“His shot is the hardest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki said. “The reality is that he can score goals from the blue line. He has a long stick, and it’s always tougher when you face a big guy with a long stick.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
We can talk about the uncertainty of America’s economic future until the Dow Jones Industrial Average looks like a bowling score, but the Detroit Red Wings are still going to offer Henrik Zetterberg the moon and the stars over the next couple of months to preserve the team’s significance in the hockey universe.
Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Johan Franzen and Mike Komisarek will be paid like rock stars when they are the hot unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2009 and the Atlanta Thrashers will probably offer Ilya Kovalchuk a deal that will pay him more than $100,000 per game.
But after hearing a couple of economic experts discuss the state of America’s financial woes, it’s fair to say that NHL team officials might be thinking that they will have to adjust their business differently moving forward.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that goaltender Manny Legace’s injury has been updated to a mild concussion and he has been placed on injured reserve. Legace was injured in the first period on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Anaheim.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning are investigating legal grounds for withholding the remainder of Barry Melrose’s contract with the team.
Melrose’s assessment of rookie forward Steven Stamkos is the basis for the investigation.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
In 2003, winger Dustin Brown arrived in the Los Angeles Kings locker room as a reserved teenager with a slight lisp that sometimes made him additionally self-conscious.
One of his teammates was Luc Robitaille, and Brown almost felt as if he should walk up to Robitaille in tandem with Robitaille’s son, Steven, and ask for his allowance.
“I was closer to Luc’s son’s age than to Luc’s age,” Brown said with a smile after the Kings’ morning skate in Denver on Tuesday.
Only five years later, his maturation and transformation are stunning.
Brown’s relentlessly energetic, pedal-to-the-metal game and his tendency to play far “bigger” than his listed 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds remain attention-getting, but he also has progressed so far as a leader, the “C” on his sweater this season seems to fit.
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