Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
They walk toward the cancer clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and he reaches for her hand, an instinct no more conscious than the last breath he took. He opens the door for her, his hand gently in the small of her back, retracing steps traveled many times over the past three years.
It’s quiet here on a sunny Sunday morning, and the couple is greeted warmly like old friends by the staff at the clinic. Tim, one of the health care staff, who has been here for so many of these visits, tells Larry Pleau and his wife, Wendy, that he’s sorry they missed his homemade turtles the day before. They joke about the missed opportunity before Tim disappears and returns a short while later with a box of the candy for Wendy.
Jane, another staffer, works on the three-pronged catheter that has been embedded near the tip of Wendy’s aorta since June 15, 2007, drawing blood and then redoing the dressing around the device.
The device has made the regular blood transfusions and tests and administering of antibiotics easier, but it also has been a constant reminder of what has been taken from her.
Word is Gregory Campbell is OK, just a little dazed from the hit.
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues are saddled with a 5-9-2 mark at home, a stat that is deceptively good. As mentioned, one of those “home” wins was a 5-3 victory over the Red Wings in Sweden. Moreover, the Blues’ stagnant offense has been even more impaired at home. The Blues have just 33 goals in those 16 “home” games, or 28 goals in 15 games at Scottrade, less than two goals a game.
“I don’t know, I don’t know why it is,” said forward T.J. Oshie. “Maybe guys get a little too comfortable at home ... I don’t know. But we have to do something about it. We have to turn it around.”
There was no time like the present on Monday, what with Dave Checketts in the house. The last time the chairman was in town, his hockey team lost at home to Nashville and Checketts responded by addressing the boys with a “not good enough” speech. The Monday Night Meltdown might have left him speechless.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“Elite players have to start playing their best,” Melnyk said, without naming names.
Kovalev, who hasn’t scored since Oct. 29 — a 14-game drought (he missed three games to be with family in Russia following the death of his mother-in-law) — was in Montreal for a press conference yesterday to promote his charity DVD for off-ice training and was asked about Melnyk’s tongue-lashing.
“If those words are going to me, I’ll accept it. Not in a bad way, but the right way,” said Kovalev, a former Canadien who faces his old teammates tonight. “I know I have to step up to play better, there’s no question about it.”
But hockey is not an “individual sport,” Kovalev pointed out.
“People who know hockey have to understand I wish this could be an individual sport where you can prepare yourself and know you’ll have a good game or a bad game like in tennis,” said Kovalev. “In hockey, one person can make a difference, but I’m a new guy on the team.”
more on the Senators….
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
How bad are things in Flyerdom?
Well, the Flyers equaled a franchise record for fewest shots allowed in a road game (13) Monday _ and somehow lost.
Call them the Legion of Gloom.
The Flyers fell to the host Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, despite allowing just 13 shots.
The Flyers managed 15 shots _ and just two in the final period.
Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.
They have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. Want some reasons?
from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,
It was the 103rd shutout of Brodeur’s illustrious career, tying him with Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk, who accomplished the mark in 971 career games for the Red Wings, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Kings and Rangers.
“I think with the last few games, we had a couple going into the third with no goals,” said Brodeur, who had been waiting to tie the record since his last shutout on Oct. 17 against Carolina.
“When it was nine minutes left I was like, well let’s try to beat this, and then move on to five minutes and really think about it in the last five minutes. The guys played really well in front of me and made a big difference in why we were able to get a shutout, but especially a big win.”
Two minutes of the best goals, hits and saves in the past week of the NHL.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
This year, however, there has been a dramatic turnaround in the 33-year-old’s performance, as he has a 2.21 goals against average and .927 save percentage.
Considering Kiprusoff has faced 756 shots on goal so far this season, if he was still stopping pucks at a .903 clip, he would have allowed approximately 18 more goals than the 55 he’s let in so far this season, which would lift his goals against average to 2.94.
That’s a major impact to a Flames team that has scored 17 more goals than their opposition this season and it’s why I view Miikka Kiprusoff as making the primary difference for the Flames this season.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
If I’m an NHL player, I’m not counting on getting any escrow payments back this season. In fact, the way things are looking, they might even need to sock away some more for when the nasty escrow man comes calling after this season.
When the NHL set this year’s escrow payments at 18 percent, it must have been looking at its own dismal attendance figures. Last year, players paid 12.9 percent of their salaries in escrow, which meant they gave more than $207 million back to their employers.
But if bums in the seats are any indication, things aren’t about to get better anytime soon, either for the league or the players. That’s because attendance, which is by far the league’s most prominent cash cow, is trending downward in almost every way imaginable.
“Basically, he had trouble handling the success he had last year. Maybe it’s not as easy as he thought it was.
He needs to make sure “he doesn’t forget where he is and how much of a privilege it is to be here,”
-Columbus goaltender coach Dave Rook on Steve Mason. More from Scott Burnside plus other NHL topics…
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.
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