Kukla's Korner Hockey
Mark Spector of Sportsnet on the head hits topic.
The best goals (first video) and saves from the past week in the NHL.
Someone needs to wake up the kids who have committed to the Indian. Wake up everybody. Someone needs to remind them that management either failed to trade for a goalie or chose not to because the organ-I-zation didn’t want to yank anyone out of what appears to be a tight-knit dressing room.
If your best players are going to be some of your worst, then your goalie—whoever it is, doesn’t matter, it’s clearly your weakest position—has no chance. And if your goalie has no chance, you can forget about June, and maybe even May.
Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune. More on the Blackhawks at his RosenBlog.
from the CP at TSN,
Ryan Kesler has been on quite a roll of late.
At the recent Olympics, he scored in the men’s hockey final and emerged with a silver medal as part of an impressive young U.S. team. Since returning to the Vancouver Canucks, he has three goals in four games—with two of those goals coming in Detroit near where he grew up in Livonia.
And now the 25-year-old can celebrate being the cover athlete for the NHL 2K11 video game, following in the footsteps of Alexander Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marty Turco, Martin St. Louis, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Drury and Brendan Shanahan.
Kesler calls it the “icing on the cake” after his Olympic experience.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed center Keith Aucoin to a two-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
If that defeat took place in November, it could be excused as one of those tough defeats you try to move past. But this kind of loss occurred in March to a team that has to overtake four others, most notably Detroit, to steal the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“If at the end of the season you’re not in the playoffs, you’re going to say you regret that point that got away,” center Todd Marchant said. ”If you’re in the playoffs, you’re going to say ‘Hey, forget about it.’
“We had an opportunity to get two points. We didn’t. We got one. Now we’ve got to pick ourselves up and be ready to come out and play like we did in the first period but for 60 minutes.”
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk didn’t practice Monday, but coach Mike Babcock said both will be in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Calgary (7 p.m., FSN).
Bertuzzi sustained a charley horse in his left thigh/knee area during the second period of Sunday’s 5-4 win in Chicago. Babcock said Datsyuk has been bothered by the flu the last couple of days. Datsyuk also took a shot off the foot on Sunday, but that apparently wasn’t the cause of him missing practice.
The only lineup change sees Jonathan Ericsson replacing Brett Lebda, as planned.
“We’re going to keep rotating those guys,’’ Babcock said. “I don’t know if it’s game in, game out, or two in, two out.’’
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
All Marc Savard wanted to do was go home and sleep.
“Right now, I just need rest,” said the injured Bruins [team stats] star as he sat in Pittsburgh International Airport awaiting a mid-day flight to Boston. “I’m exhausted.”
Savard was knocked unconscious by a blindside hit to the head from Penguins forward Matt Cooke Sunday, suffering a concussion and damaged jaw during the Bruins’ 2-1 loss. He was walking and talking very slowly in the airport, although the fact he was able to traverse the several hundred yards to the Boston gate under his own power had to be a good sign. With many concussed athletes, it’s sometimes difficult to walk across a room.
“I think that’s a good sign,” said Savard of his being able to walk without dizziness or balance problems. He was examined by physicians in Pittsburgh yesterday before he was cleared to fly.
NEW YORK (March 8, 2010)—Colorado Avalanche right wing Chris Stewart, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Mar. 7.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Strongly believe there was one, possibly two teams who were willing to take Cristobal Huet from Chicago. (Should clarify: I’m more certain about one than the other.) But the Blackhawks decided to stand pat, much to the surprise of other GMs. Unloading Huet’s contract (two years remaining, $5.625 million cap hit) would have cost at least a first-rounder and an established player. (I know you’re going to ask, but I’d be guessing on whom. The source wouldn’t tell me.)
Why did Chicago decline? Scotty Bowman believes strongly in the Detroit model: If you don’t have a top-three goalie, you protect him with great team defence and puck possession. The Blackhawks – disciplined and talented – have a shot. But, to duplicate the Red Wings’ success, they will have to show two things: their forwards are as committed to back pressure as Detroit’s and their defensive corps is as good. As great as the Blackhawks look, we’re talking Lidstrom/Rafalski/Kronwall/Stuart here. What a tough, tough call to make.
more hockey talk and notes…
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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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