Kukla's Korner Hockey
Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings on occassion answers questions from fans..
Questions: 1. Does Justin Williams seem to be fitting in with the team and his new teammates? 2. Are you surprised by the play and consistency of Wayne Simmonds? 3. Do you think we will make the playoffs next year? 4. If you could sign one free agent in July who would you sign?
Answers: 1) I’m only around the players for a very limited time every day, but I took Williams’ interest in ping-pong to be a good sign. He’s interacting. 2) Yes, very surprised, and you used the correct word with ``consistency.’’ I’m very impressed with his ability to maintain a solid level of play deep into the season. The fact that he made the team out of camp was surprising. The fact that he’s still going strong in mid-March is highly impressive. 3) Yes, I think that’s a reasonable projection. 4) Michael Cammalleri. Just kidding. Marian Hossa.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Early in last night’s third period, before either team had scored, Tim Thomas left his crease, scurried behind his net, and played the puck. As he turned to skate back into position, Columbus forward Jiri Novotny barreled into the Bruins goalie’s chest with so much force that his mask flew off.
Thomas’s nontraditional headgear (he calls it a “mage,” being that it’s half-mask, half-cage) clattered to the ice, the chin cup and the strap that holds it in place snapping off. Thomas went to the bench for repairs, but when the strap couldn’t be snapped back into place, he had to settle for Manny Fernandez’s mask - an in-game switch that any netminder would find uncomfortable.
“You can ask any goalie,” Thomas said. “It’s not fun to use anybody else’s stuff. You’re used to your own. But whatever. That’s hockey. Fortunately, Manny must have a fairly large head, too. With most goalies, I couldn’t fit their mask on.”
In a game in which the Bruins felt they couldn’t catch any breaks, Columbus scored the winning goal with Thomas wearing Fernandez’s mask.
continue for more on the game…
via the Dallas Stars Blog,
Stars forward Mark Parrish put his head down to control a pass from Brian Sutherby when he was blindsided by hard charging Jay McKee at center ice. The highlilght reel hit sent Parrish crumbling to the ice. He got to his knees, tried to get up but instead waited for assistance.
fromn John Glennon of the Tennessean,
There were a couple of hard-hitting bouts in the opening period, with the Predators coming out on top in both. Wade Belak buckled Donald Brashear with a straight left and dropped him to the ice, while Jordin Tootoo turned Matt Bradley’s face into a bloody mess — cutting Bradley’s nose badly and giving him a black eye to boot.
“We have guys that can battle each and every night and that’s part of our team,’’ Tootoo said. “We play physical and bring it all.’‘
Brashear didn’t return after the fight and might have sprained a knee when he fell to the ice.
more on the Preds including some Radulov talk…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Montreal Canadiens forward Georges Laraque is outraged by recommendations made by general managers participating in the annual NHL GM meetings in Naples, Florida.
“All of their recommendations are a joke!” Laraque charged after reading the NHL’s plans on TSN.ca….
It’s that proposed penalty - a 10-minute misconduct - which really angers Laraque.
“Stupidest thing ever!” Laraque told TSN. “I think it’s a joke. They might as well take fighting out of the NHL…fighting won’t be safer; it will be eliminated because an added 10 minute misconduct is too much.”
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
The ideal candidate would also have experience. The last Canadiens head coach with previous NHL head-coaching experience was Jacques Demers, who joined the team in 1992 and won the Cup in ‘93.
The list of candidates with the right combination of experience and language skills is a short one. At the top is Bob Hartley, who won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001. He’s currently working as an analyst with RDS after being fired two years ago by the Atlanta Thrashers.
And there’s Denis Savard, who was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks this season and made his coaching debut as an assistant during the Canadiens’ 1993 Cup run.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
As fate would have it, Brendan Witt’s comeback from a five-game suspension for a blow to the head of Maple Leafs forward Niklas Hagman will be in Toronto tonight at Air Canada Centre. Although the shot Witt delivered was unintentional because he had no stick and simply was trying to get his body in Hagman’s way, the Islanders defenseman understands if Toronto fans or the Leafs themselves demand retribution.
Asked if he might be a marked man tonight, Witt said, ” don’t know. I played with Ron [Wilson, the Toronto coach]. He coached me in Washington. He’s not that type of guy. But if it is, we’ll just address it. If I’ve got to fight, I’ve got to fight, and then, it’s forgotten about. It’s a part of the game.
from Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
“Havvy is day-to-day,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “He was much better today than when he left the game the other day.”
When I asked Quenneville if there’s a possibility Havlat could play Wednesday night when the Hawks host the Carolina Hurricanes, the coach paused and said: “I’ll say yes.”
There was some good news on the injury front as veteran goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin returned to practice. The veteran has been suffering from a lower-body injury.
more on the Blackhawks…
from the CP via TSN,
The NHL’s general managers are hoping to cut down on staged fights.
The GMs would like to see a 10-minute misconduct penalty assessed to players who drop their gloves right after a faceoff.
Referees would also be able to hand out that penalty in other instances where they believe players have engaged in an appointment fight.
added 3:17pm, from Damian Cox of The Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
There are those who believe all fighting in hockey is wonderful.
There are those who believe it’s all idiotic.
Then there are those that believe some fighting in hockey is necessary and meaningful while just some of the fights are idiotic.
The NHL knew it couldn’t please the first crowd or the second, so it’s going for the third.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
The latest Detroit debacle, an 8-2 teeth-smashing at the hands of the division rival Columbus Blue Jackets, was rife with turnovers on the Wings side. Many of these resulted in goals. But all good teams have bad defensive games. The ones not named Detroit this year have rarely given up that many goals.
In fact, since January, the Red Wings have given up six goals or more four times (not including a 6-5 shootout loss to Colorado). Vancouver, since Roberto Luongo has come back in net, has not suffered that indignity, nor has Boston. San Jose and Washington have been shamed once. New Jersey had seven hung on them by the Isles this weekend; also a first in that time span. Calgary has met the inglorious fate three times since January, but seldom-used backup Curtis McElhinney played all 60 minutes in two of them.
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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