Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Charlie Teljeur of the Hockey News,
• Although he’s been cleared by doctors (obviously Columbus season ticket holders) to keep playing, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason is battling mononucleosis. I’d actually like to see him play through this entire crisis, get the team into the playoffs and lead the Blue Jackets to the Stanley Cup. Then, as payback, Mason should be the first to drink champagne out of the cherished mug. I can hear his teammates now: “No, it’s OK, I’m really not that thirsty.”
• Oh yes, for all those with Peter Forsberg Farewell Tour 2009 tickets, please be advised the concert has been officially cancelled for the second consecutive year, although we will honor your tickets during any of the next three years.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
What comes next for the Stars will be fascinating to watch. Will they remain a bubble team or push even higher and get back to the contending team they were last season? The Anaheim Ducks are vulnerable in fifth place of the conference. Fourth-place Chicago might be too much to track down.
“I don’t anticipate this team needing any more lessons and needing any more reminders of the position we’re in,” said Turco. “We pay attention to where we are in the standings. It’s been a habit over the course of this season. As a group, we appreciate the dwellers that we were and what it’s taken to climb back in the playoff picture. I don’t think anybody in the locker room is content.”
The confidence is back in a group that was absolutely shaken two months into the season.
“When you’re winning and doing the right things, that’s contagious,” said Tippett. “If your locker room is right, the coach does less talking about the right things to do and the players do all the talking for you. That’s a little bit of where we are right now.”
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Mats Sundin and the Canucks have done the impossible—transforming what seemed a no-lose situation into a torpedo to the hull of the team. And that spectacular achievement perfectly encapsulates the 39-year history of a futile franchise that lost the coin flip for Gilbert Perreault and never recovered.
The Canucks got Dale Tallon instead of Perreault.
They recruited all-world players Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov, who combined for 63 goals in three seasons here.
They drafted Dan Woodley over Brian Leetch, Brad Ference over Marian Hossa.
Almost six minutes of the best goals, saves and hits from the past week in the NHL.
from Steve Milton of the Hamilton Spectator,
Since returning from its lockout with a salary cap, new rules, shootouts, consistent personnel turnover and increasing parity, the NHL has become a league of streaks. Good ones and bad ones.
And few teams are immune from the streakiness, where a good team can lose four in a row in the blink of an eye, where one of the lesser teams can reel off five straight wins against better opponents.
There are 17 teams that have already had at least one winning streak of four games or longer and at least one losing streak of four games or longer. Many have had more than one of each.
And, of the remaining 13 teams, most have come close to that kind of double and may hit it before the end of the year.
There are only six teams in the league that haven’t lost at least four in a row and they are Boston, Calgary, Chicago, and San Jose—four of the top five teams in the league—the rising Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers, who have Henrik Lundqvist to terminate potential losing streaks. Of those teams, only San Jose hasn’t lost three in a row.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
My money has been on Clark as the Av most likely to be traded, but now I’m starting to wonder about Liles. Yeah, he’s making a big ticket, for this year and the next three. But teams are going to like his “promise” tag, and he’s having a pretty good year so far. Don’t forget, the Avs have a few kids in their system who they feel will be just as good as Liles - or better. At the top of that list is Boston University sophomore Kevin Shattenkirk.
The Avs need some forward help, and one of their several marketable defensemen should bring in something decent in that area.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has denied claims by defenceman Shane O’Brien that he was asked to fight more often.
Gillis, head coach Alain Vigneault and two other Canucks executives met with all of the team’s players last week to address a prolonged losing string — now eight consecutive games and nine in a row on home ice.
O’Brien, fresh off a benching during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild last Saturday, said that in his meeting, the GM instructed him to fight.
“In no uncertain terms was he told he had to fight,” Gillis said last night. “How he ever got that message is unbeknownst to me. He clearly misinterpreted the message that we were trying to send, that each player has to be accountable and work hard individually.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
They and we are honor ing a role model at the Garden tonight, honoring a superior Ranger who was and is a greater New Yorker than he was a hockey player, honoring Adam Graves for who he is as an individual, and not merely what he was on the ice.
He embodies all the qualities we wish for our children to inherit; generous, selfless and genuine. He is the friend you’d trust with your life.
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Here’s general manager Dean Lombardi on the suspension: “We didn’t believe he deserved a penalty, let alone a suspension. When you stop the tape, his elbow is clearly down and at the point of contact, his feet are on the ice. They both ended up halfway up the boards, so it’s not a charge….”
“I was the worst player in the league tonight by far. We should have won that game 3-0. The guys played great. I’m the reason that we lost in a shootout.”
-Blues goaltender Manny Legace. More on the Blues shootout loss to the Wings last night at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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.
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