Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Saku Koivu is optimistic his fractured left foot will heal enough to let him start the playoffs but the Montreal Canadiens captain said Saturday nothing is certain.
“What’s going to happen in the future, for the first game, we’ll see next week,” Koivu said. “Every day it feels better, but there’s not much we can tell.
“We’ll know a lot more in the next couple of days.”
continued… with more on other injured Habs
From Sports Network,
Lecavalier returned to Tampa on Friday to undergo further diagnostic testing by team physician Dr. Ira Guttentag. The evaluation revealed that Lecavalier suffered damage to the Glenoid Labrum of the right shoulder and will require surgery.
He is expected to make a full recovery in 12-15 weeks following the procedure, which will be scheduled in the near future.
“While I’m disappointed to be facing surgery at this time, I’m looking forward to working hard during the summer to be ready for training camp in September,” Lecavalier said.
Montreal will host the NHL’s awards show and entry draft in June 2009 as part of the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary festivities, a source has told CBCSports.ca.
The league is expected to announce the events at a media conference Saturday afternoon.
Montreal’s Bell Centre has already been named the site of the 2009 NHL all-star game, which will take place in January in the middle of the Canadiens’ centennial season.
The annual NHL awards show gala has traditionally been held in Toronto.
The Montreal Canadiens have thrown their names in the hat for an outdoor game next season, according to French language newspaper La Presse.
The daily reports that the organization - which celebrates its centennial next season - is working to stage a game at McGill’s Molson-Percival Stadium on Jan. 22 against the New York Rangers, just three days before the All-Star Game at the Bell Centre.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The Vancouver Canucks will be playing for nothing tonight in their NHL regular-season finale against the Calgary Flames, but that does not mean that the game is without intrigue.
The game could represent a final curtain call for three players who have come to symbolize Canucks hockey over the past two decades.
Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Trevor Linden. Respectively, the captain, the local hero, and the face of the franchise.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
No matter whom the Flyers play, Flyers chairman Ed Snider said he is proud of his players.
“It shows a lot of resilience,” Snider said outside a jubilant locker room.
“People forget our best player, Simon Gagne, wasn’t with us most of the season. We lost (Mike) Richards, we lost (Joffrey) Lupul. We played without (Danny) Briere tonight.
“That makes it sweeter for me. I’m very proud of these guys because they’ve overcome all the adversity, they hung in there and they came out tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team play a better game that was so crucial. They weren’t afraid, they weren’t nervous. They just took it to New Jersey. The only thing that scared me to death was that it was 1-0 and we should have had five goals.”
more on the Flyers…
from the Boston Globe,
The hope, according to Patrice Bergeron, was that his teammates could qualify for the playoffs, thereby keeping his hopes of returning this season alive….
“I don’t need to tell you how great they’ve worked,” said Bergeron. “All year, they’ve done such a great job. We’ve done such a great job. It’s just awesome. At the same time, I think we’ve deserved it. We’re a great team and we’re pretty excited looking forward. Yes, we’re in, but we can’t be too excited about it. Anything can happen in the playoffs.”
read on for more on the Bruins…
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
If this year was a sophomore jinx for a guy who’s only played 183 NHL games, he came through it pretty well.
“It took him a while to realize the increased responsibility and the burden of that responsibility on him,” said head coach Craig MacTavish. “He was coming from Anaheim, where if he wasn’t going (well), they sat him on the bench and went with other options. We needed him every night, that was a big burden for him early on in the year.
“To combine that with the expectations that everybody had based on the contract and the dialogue that went along with that was a big burden for him. I thought he handled it very well, I was happy with the way he fit in with the team.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Losers of seven of their last 12 and three of their last four, the Flames had to count on Edmonton to clinch Calgary a playoff spot in what is admittedly the toughest division in the toughest conference.
So much for learning from last year’s playoff abomination and building momentum heading into the spring dance.
That said, as the Flames limp into tonight’s regular-season finale in Vancouver, there is a silver lining in the dark clouds hovering over Mike Keenan’s crew.
The Flames have a winning record this year against both possible first round opponents—San Jose and Minnesota.
In other words, as poor as the Flames have been of late, they will have a chance at a first-round upset.
from Jim Cressman of the London Free Press,
Taylor, 39, is calling it quits. A bad hip required surgery last September, forcing him to miss this season, and it became apparent as the year went along it was time to retire. A tough decision after being named Lightning captain last season.
So why did he last a dozen years and win two Stanley Cups? He was never a big goal-scorer in the NHL. His best was 20 with Boston in ‘97-98.
What makes the Taylor story so good is how he made a career for himself through playing excellent defensive hockey.
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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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