Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the CP at TSN,
Hospital officials say hockey legend Jean Beliveau is recovering from a mild stroke and his condition is continuing to improve.
The Montreal General Hospital says Beliveau and his family are appreciative of all the support they have received.
They are also asking that their privacy be respected.
from Mike Milbury of CBC,
As we approach the Olympic break, it is evident that the Western Conference has two teams a cut about the rest.
That’s not to say any one of a number of teams can’t make a push, but there is a reason the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks have a double-digit lead on the rest of the bunch.
How do they stack up and will either team’s general manger - Doug Wilson in San Jose or Stan Bowman in Chicago -get creative down the stretch to gain the advantage?
Coaching: Todd McLellan in San Jose has done a fine job with the Sharks, but lacks experience. Joel Quenneville has the Hawks hogging the puck on most nights but their goals against is pretty impressive: Edge: Slight tilt to Chicago based on the experience factor.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There is no question in my mind that the Atlanta Thrashers are going to trade Ilya Kovalchuk and I believe that the sweepstakes for the star sniper is unofficially on.
That being said, Thrashers’ general manager Don Waddell is not in a position that he can go out and make a deal for future considerations such as the Toronto Maple Leafs pick that belongs to the Boston Bruins. He will not be able to go back and sell that idea to his market right now.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
As we all know, the Avs are one of the best teams in the Western Conference right now and certainly the biggest surprise of the season. Trotting out a lineup filled with green youngsters such as Matt Duchene, T.J. Galiardi, Brandon Yip and Matt Hendricks, the Avs are rolling thanks to a system employed by rookie coach Joe Sacco that results in constant pressure and speed.
And while we all knew about third overall selection Duchene, Colorado mined prospect gold in the second round of the 2009 draft as well when they tabbed Erie Otters center Ryan O’Reilly (not to be confused with one of the best Oz characters ever) with the 33rd pick.
A two-way center who dazzled with his board work early on in the season, O’Reilly has been an important factor in the team’s rise, something the teenager doesn’t take for granted.
“Every chance I get, I’m giving it everything I have,” O’Reilly said. “We have a really good system that we’re all buying into. Guys are winning battles for each other, backchecking for each other.”
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Bruce Boudreau talked about it as a measuring-stick week for his Washington Capitals and nobody was arguing with him.
First they had to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, and then they played back-to-back games separated by one travel day against the two teams that played in the last two Stanley Cup Finals—Detroit at home on Tuesday and at Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Four points would have been acceptable. Five would have been great. Six? Well, one could only dream, right?
After Thursday’s 6-3 win at Mellon Arena, it’s reality.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The future clearly doesn’t look bright, which is why the Sutter clan is trying to make the most of the present – because if you put the focus on what may happen down the road, things look grim indeed. In the present, Calgary has a decent-enough nucleus to play a certain way – all defence, all the time. They have a front-line goaltender in the midst of an excellent season, Miikka Kiprusoff. They have one elite defenceman, Jay Bouwmeester, and two that are mistake-prone, but not bad – Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr. Mark Giordano is young, cheap and decent, but Cory Sarich – signed for big bucks coming out of the lockout – seems to have lost a step and is now playing as the team’s No. 5 defenceman, not high enough on the depth chart to justify a $3.6-million cap charge.
more on the Flames plus other hockey topics…
from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider,
“Um, we lost the game,” steamed Sutter after his lads’ 3-1 loss Thursday to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. “When you sit there and say, ‘We had a good effort.’ We’re supposed to have a good effort every night. Obviously, we made mistakes tonight that cost us the game.”
But that slow start against the Hawks—at one point, the guests were doing the outshooting, 18-7—are the Flames so stressed out by their freefall that they’re playing tentatively? That they’re pressing?
“Why is it? Why do you play that way?” countered Sutter. “It’s not a time to play tentative, to press. It doesn’t help the cause. When you’re a team that’s having a tough time getting contributions offensively from everyone, you’ve got to be rock solid in other areas. Being tentative and if you’re pressing . . . I didn’t really sense that from the group.
“At times, we were fine. At times, we made soft plays.”
from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum,
Kings defenseman Jack Johnson reacted angrily Thursday to comments made by General Manager Dean Lombardi in an interview posted on the blog frozenroyalty.net in which Lombardi said Michigan—where Johnson played college hockey—is “the worst” in terms of coaching players and called Johnson “awful as a hockey player” when he played for the Wolverines.
He also criticized Michigan Coach Red Berenson and said Johnson was unable to accept criticism after playing at Michigan and for the U.S. national team development program.
The interview, part of a series, can be found here.
“I’m a Michigan man. I’m very proud of it. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Johnson said after the Kings’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
The Bruins [team stats] last night committed one of the cardinal sins of team sports: They let a team they should have been put away much earlier hang around and hang around - allowing a dreadful officiating call to decide the game at the end.
The word “dreadful” isn’t really sufficiently descriptive of the call by one or both referees, Tom Kowal or Dean Morton, that led to Columbus’ power-play goal with 1:31 left last night at the Garden, giving the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory.
It was such a bad call, NHL officiating supervisor Mick McGeogh hurried down to Claude Julien’s office after the game and apologized to the B’s coach.
“The supervisor came in and apologized to us,” said Bruin general manager Peter Chiarelli. “He said it was a mistake. At least that was good of them to admit it.”
continue for more on the game…
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