Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside & Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
What can we expect from the NHL in 2009? Here are 10 picks to ponder:
• 2009 will see the end of Nicklas Lidstrom’s stranglehold on the Norris Trophy for the NHL’s best defenseman….
• In spite of wishful thinking by BlackBerry mogul Jim Balsillie and many Canadian media and fans that pine for days of NHL hockey in Quebec and Winnipeg, no NHL franchise will fold, declare bankruptcy or relocate in the coming year….
• Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks will be the first Russian goaltender ever to win the Vezina Trophy….
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
Left winger Kristian Huselius and center Jiri Novotny will not play Tuesday in Detroit, The Dispatch has learned.
Huselius is a huge blow to the Blue Jackets, who are already low on top-six forwards. He sustained an apparent concussion on Saturday when he was cross-checked in the face by St. Louis Blues forward David Backes. He will not play Tuesday, but will be examined further later in the week.
Novotny might have a concussion, too. He was game-time decision in St. Louis, but was able to play. As the game wore on, he felt worse and worse. He’s the same as Huselius ... out for Tuesday, to be examined later in the week.
more on the Blue Jackets and if you missed the cross-check by Backes on Huselius, you can watch it below…
“I’ve never been through it, I’ve coached him (in juniors with the Red Deer Rebels), but I’ve never coached against him. To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to feel and I’m not sure I’m going to like it that much.”
“The way I look at it, I’m excited for him, yhis is a dream of his and he’s living it and trying to fulfill it to the best of his capabilities. I happen to be his dad that’s going to be coaching against him. I don’t want him to worry about that at all. It’s just that his old man happens to be on the opposite side. He just needs to go out there and be a good player and play well to help his team and I’m going to do my job coaching to help ours.”
-Devils coach Brent Sutter on coaching against his son Brandon tomorrow when the Devils play the Hurricanes. More on the Devils from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
(Bryan) Little’s contused ribs weren’t just painful to him. With Little able to play only 5:44, the Tampa Bay Lightning drubbed the Thrashers 4-1 and sent them into last place in the NHL’s Southeast Division.
Thrashers coach John Anderson said he didn’t know how long Little would be out but that rib injuries typically take weeks not days to heal. Anderson was more concerned about the rest of his team’s lack of effort. The Thrashers supposedly were trying for their first two-game winning streak since the first half of November. But their coach wasn’t sure they were trying.
“Our give-a-crap level was like at zero,” Anderson said. “After we have a big win [Friday] against Vancouver, against a real good hockey team, we throw that game. I’ve got to question whether anybody cares in that locker room. That’s a joke.”
added 9:51pm, from the Iceman BLOGGETH at the AJC,
That was the announced attendance at Sunday’s game. Yeah, that’s what they said…10,750.
Unless about 4,000 were all milling about in the concourse area all game…there is no way 10K-plus was in the building. The Spirit Clowns and Don Waddell should be nothing short of…embarrassed…at the sight of so many empty seats on a Sunday afternoon.
Both Mats Sundin and Vigneault have indicated that he will not play tonight and while Sundin will debut in a Canucks sweater tonight for jersey off our backs fan appreciation night, neither have a confirmed date for his debut in a Canucks sweater on skates.
“I haven’t even thought about dates to be honest with you,” said Sundin. “I’ll play it by day.”
Sundin continued skating in solo sessions while the team travelled to Nashville and Atlanta and participated in two game-day skates but has yet to join the team in a full practice since arriving at GM Place December 30.
“I think I need to skate with the team just once,” he said. “I haven’t had one practice yet with the whole group so I think getting a good practice, with two days, tomorrow and the next day, and then we can evaluate how everything feels.”
more on the Canucks…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
No Bruins! Oh my God! What a travesty!
Puh-lease. Get a grip. Who cares?!
The All-Star Game is a joke, and any fan who gets hot and bothered over their players not getting voted in as starters should seriously consider getting a life….
By far, the biggest oversight in fan voting was Alex Ovechkin. The Washington Capitals sniper should obviously be starting up front for the East alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
more hockey topics…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Take this to the bank: the next outdoor game on New Year’s Day 2010 will be at the brand new Yankee Stadium with the New York Rangers on the bill.
If the league’s smart, they will get Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals as the other headliners. It might be an idea for NBC and the curious audience in the U.S. to lobby for the game’s most exciting player, don’t you think?
“You never see him on Versus (U.S. once a week) or not very often on Hockey Night in Canada. That’s unfortunate,” said Dallas Stars’ Mike Modano, who’s a big fan.
• Sources say Crosby misses Ryan Malone and Jarkko Ruuttu to look after the talking in the Pittsburgh room while he leads on the ice, and he’s more upset about the Penguins not signing Marian Hossa than he’s letting on.
• Sergei Zubov’s hip surgery scuttles any plans Bob Gainey had of maybe trying to get the defenceman at the trade deadline from his old employers, the Dallas Stars, to work the point. Gainey’s plan B might be Scott Niedermayer, who’s on the last year of his contract in Anaheim, but that would mean the Ducks are in sell-off mode.
much more hockey talk…
A nice day to sit back and watch our game on the tube.
A great game to watch could be Calgary vs. Chicago. The Flames will be shooting for their sixth straight win while Chicago tries to end a two game losing streak. The Calgary Herald looks at the matchup.
Head Coach Michel Therrien speaks with reporters following the Penguins’ 6-1 loss to Florida.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• How long before Pat Quinn is coaching or managing the Ottawa Senators? Or both?
• The more the Leafs play Curtis Joseph in goal, the better chance they’ll have of being in the lottery for John Tavares.
• The next month or two of hockey should be fascinating, watching to see what Brian Burke gets in return for Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina and Nik Antropov, three valuable pieces of playoff fodder.
• Word is around that the Vancouver Canucks plan to take a run at Antropov to play alongside Mats Sundin.
Spector’s Hockey has all the latest NHL rumors too…
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org