Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Panaccio at CSN Philly,
Both Gagne and general manager Paul Holmgren denied after the game he was concussed. Gagne said he had either the flu or a stomach virus, since he has been experiencing digestion problems for two days. Holmgren said Gagne was dehydrated and that’s all.
Gagne, like another famous Flyer, Keith Primeau, suffered multiple concussions last season and has experienced post-concussion syndrome.
Neurological experts say anyone who has suffered from post-concussion syndrome can experience concussion symptoms many months or even years later because they have suffered multiple brain trauma.
In other words, Gagne could have concussion symptoms without being hit or incurring an injury in a game.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Heck, things have been so dark that Peter Laviolette’s firing in Carolina and the electronic ballot-box stuffing in Montreal barely caused a ripple in The Hockey News editorial department.
So how about some good news? If even for half-a-blog? Here are some stories you can latch onto if you’re in need of a little warmth and shelter:
• The Original Six revival. Boston, the shiniest surprise of the young NHL season, has surged to first in the East. Chicago is a terrific feel-good story, a team on the verge of something special. The Rangers have remodelled themselves and are rolling. Detroit is Detroit, still the team to beat until someone does it. Montreal is celebrating a centennial season with typical style and grace and is a legitimate Cup threat. There’s even an air of expectancy in Toronto, if not for this season, then a few down the road.
read on for more ‘happy hockey talk’!
from Jeff Hale of Slap Shot at the NYT,
Hands up out there if you had Kris Versteeg of the Chicago Blackhawks as your candidate for the Calder Trophy this season.
Versteeg, 22, leads N.H.L. rookies in points (22), assists (15) and plus-minus (+13). Versteeg’s route to prominence was a long one. He has escaped major notice because he was drafted four years ago in the fifth round by Boston, who dealt him to Chicago for Brandon Bochenski in February 2007. The Bruins would probably love to redo that deal.
It’s possible that Versteeg’s main challenger could be just as unexpected. Steve Mason, 20, the goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is 6-3-1 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.18 goals-against average. He also has two shutouts.
continued with some WHC and Phaneuf talk included.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Now that the San Jose Sharks have tied the 1943-44 Montreal Canadiens’ mark for the most points in the season’s first 25 games, they’re a lock for the Stanley Cup, right?
Well — not quite.
The Sharks have been devouring opponents in the season’s first two months. Their 22-3-1 record is the best in the NHL, as is their 14-0-1 record at HP Pavilion. San Jose is the only team that hasn’t lost a home game in regulation, and the Sharks are 22-0-2 in their last 24 games at the Shark Tank.
continued and some talk regarding other teams too…
added 12:07pm, from Craig Simpson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Regular-season success might keep the building full and give the fans an exciting 82 games to watch, but winning games well into May and June is what every team in the NHL covets.
That is something that the Sharks have yet to prove they can do, and until they do, their continued regular-season success only add to the pain and disappointment of their early playoff exits.
The only measure of victory left for this franchise is to win the Stanley Cup, and it can’t come quickly enough for their loyal fans.
from Bolts Report,
After Thursday night’s 3-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay is 1-4-4 under interim coach Rick Tocchet, who was supposed to inject some enthusiasm and a different approach.
Instead, the Lightning find themselves with an NHL-low six wins after 25 games. No club has scored fewer goals, and no team has a more-lopsided goal differential….
At this point, you have to wonder whether Vinny Lecavalier has any regrets about signing a long-term contract to remain in Tampa and be the face of a franchise that is floundering in the early stages.
Given the penchant of new ownership to make sweeping changes, we could see some significant personnel moves by the start of the new year.
from Razor With An Edge,
Because twenty-five games into this season the franchise finds itself wallowing in controversy, losses and depth issues. But would different decisions in the summer have been able to pave a different path in the opening 2 months of this disappointing campaign?
Here are 5 that might have:
1. Keep Hagman/Spurn Avery…Nik Hagman had value in a lot of areas. He was a good teammate, an effective and deadly penalty killer (Stars PK is currently 27th), a workaholic, durable, and could be counted on for 25 goals…
3. A Better Backup Goalie…With Marty Turco’s struggles this is much more imperative than it looked 6 months ago. The club has almost always been blessed with talented, game winning backups. Roman Turek, Arturs Irbe, Manny Fernandez, Marty Turco, Johan Hedberg, Dan Ellis, Mike Smith, Johan Holmqvist….
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The verdict is in, and Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery will be sitting out a little while longer for the inappropriate comments he made earlier this week.
The National Hockey League announced Friday morning that Avery has been suspended for six games, without pay, retroactive to Tuesday’s game in Calgary, as a result of the comments he made Tuesday morning after the his team’s morning skate at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Avery also agreed to seek professional anger-management evaluation and, if necessary, structured counseling in light of his pattern of behavior, which the NHL has deemed unacceptable and antisocial behavior.
added 10:55am, Officiall release from the NHL on Avery…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Kariya’s hip, however, remained sore and he missed five games before he tried to skate again. The Blues were planning for him to return Nov. 21 against Anaheim, but in the days leading up to that game, Kariya experienced more pain than expected while testing his hip on the ice before the Blues’ practice.
Kariya underwent an additional MRI, sources have told the Post-Dispatch, which showed the injury to be “hip-related” but more complicated than a typical hip-flexor. The definition of a hip-flexor is a strain on the group of muscles that “pull the knee upward.”
Kariya hasn’t skated since testing the injury two weeks ago and he doesn’t appear to be closer to lacing up his skates. The Blues don’t have a timetable for when Kariya will play again, or even return to practice. The doctors and specialists that Kariya and the team have spoken with have stressed the need for rest.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I’m reasonably confident the Avs have put their hat in the ring for the Mats Sundin “sweepstakes.” But I’d say they have about a 5 percent chance of getting the chrome-domed Swede into a Burgundy and Blue uniform.
I think Philadelphia and Chicago are the clubhouse leaders to land Sundin, according to my sources from the end of the bar. Vancouver has an existing offer on the table, at an astounding two years and $20 million (which would obviously be pro-rated now). But I’d place the Canucks third in the hunt at the moment.
added 9:19am, The Instigators debuted last night on NESN and Jack Edwards, Mike Millbury and Andy Brickley discussed players coming back in mid-season. Watch it here....
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The latest to experience the sting of Leafs head coach Ron Wilson’s teaching methods were defenceman Tomas Kaberle and left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky. Wilson, unhappy with Kaberle’s play in a loss Tuesday to the San Jose Sharks, kept him on the bench for the entire first period….
Kaberle, who was not told before the game he would be benched, was on the ice for all three Coyotes goals in the third period and finished at minus-3.
“Obviously, it was hard,” Kaberle said. “I take it seriously. That’s the way it is. I have to keep my head up and get my ice time back.”
Wilson, who may order his troops to stay here for a practice today before flying back to Toronto, was not sure Kaberle got the message.
“Yeah, he obviously sent a message back,” the coach said. “He was [minus-3].”
added 11:43am, from Damien Cox at the Spin,
Wilson, armed with a four-year contract, has the ammunition to fight back against that lack of, in his words, “accountability,” and he’s doing it.
Truth is, he’s been dissatisified with the work of Kaberle and Kubina for weeks, the two members of the Leaf defence corps with no-trade clauses in their contracts. New GM Brian Burke is already on record as saying such clauses are “coach-killers,” and quite clearly its in the plans of the Leafs to have both players willing to waive those clauses sometime before March in order to facilitate trades elsewhere that will bring draft picks and/or players to the club….
But the gauntlet has been laid down. And Kaberle, it’s clear, is in his final weeks as a Maple Leaf.
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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