Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
The Zamboni driver has the ice to himself—except for this other figure, on skates, wearing what could be the underwear of Santa Claus.
The ensemble: Red long johns, red shorts overtop and a red T-shirt.
The figure is Alexander Ovechkin—bare head, bare arms, muscles bulging, testing out a new stick on the Scotiabank Place ice on the morning of the game, playfully following the Zamboni’s clean patterns.
While his teammates, fully dressed in hockey gear, wait patiently by the Washington Capitals’ bench for the Zamboni to finish, Ovechkin whirls, spins, shoots a puck gently against the boards. His own man. In his own world.
via Dave Vest of The Desert Dog Blog at PhoenixCoyotes.com, Truth be told, when the Red Wings tied the score at 3 with six seconds left in the second period, the vibe I felt in the building was that Detroit would rally to beat Phoenix for the 10th straight time.
But that didn’t happen. And because it didn’t, the Coyotes may have turned that corner that leads to the NHL playoffs.
“I think a year ago we would have probably somehow found a way to lose that game,” Head Coach Wayne Gretzky told reporters after the game. “But maturity and want and will to win have really come a long way here, and effort and goaltending have sort of risen, and that’s the difference.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Petr Prucha doesn’t need to look up at Tom Renney’s greaseboard to read the writing on the Rangers wall.
“When the team needs a spark by changing players, there are not too many who can come out, and so it’s me,” Prucha told The Post following yesterday’s morning skate. “I’m disappointed.”
Prucha, a healthy scratch for 27 of the first 38 games, was in street clothes for last night’s match at the Garden against the Ducks after a run of nine straight played. The winger scored goals in each of his first two after being restored to active duty before recording three assists in the following seven matches.
“I feel like I need to [score] points to stay in,” Prucha said. “The coach probably doesn’t have much confidence in me to keep me in the lineup.”
The Islanders announced on Tuesday that knee issues will sideline goalie Rick DiPietro for the rest of the season.
DiPietro, who has only played in five games this season, has had three operations in the past year, including hip surgery in March and arthroscopic knee surgery in October to repair a torn meniscus.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The NHL announced the rosters for the Cisco NHL Hardest Shot, Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater and McDonalds NHL Accuracy Shooting competitions Tuesday afternoon. The roster for the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck and Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge were announced earlier. All 42 All-Stars, meanwhile, take part in the Gatorade NHL Elimination Shootout, the closing event of the SuperSkills.
NHL Network profiles one of the NHL’s signature voices, play-by-play man Mike Lange of the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 7:30 ET.
via TSN Ice Chips,
Newly-acquired goaltender Dany Sabourin was placed on waivers today.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire will undergo surgery on his injured ankle and is expected to be sidelined 10 to 12 weeks, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today. The surgery is scheduled to take place on Friday and will be performed by Dr. Brian Donley at The Cleveland Clinic.
Leclaire, 26, has appeared in 12 games this season and posted a 4-6-1 record with a 3.83 goals-against average and .867 save percentage. He originally suffered the injury in a preseason game vs. the Minnesota Wild on October 3. He missed eight games earlier this season due to the injury and last played in a game on December 18 at Dallas.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Luongo knows allowing nine goals on 60 shots in his last two outings isn’t going to cut it, but didn’t buy the argument that he might be having trouble pushing off his left skate. He seemed stoic when beaten on shootout efforts by Williams and Rick Nash.
“I feel great on the ice and really have no issues,” he stressed. “It [rust] is from not having breakaways or shootouts. Once back on the ice, I didn’t want to go right into shootouts in practice and wanted to be careful. I was kind of antsy on the first [shootout] and went down early.”
from Dan Wood of the OC Register,
The Ducks might need a group rate with a top-notch psychologist if they spent much time comparing and contrasting their efforts in Friday’s dreary 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh and Saturday’s snappy 3-0 triumph at Minnesota.
Then again, if they don’t quickly find a way to duplicate more of the latter and minimize the former, the Ducks will be out of their misery come Stanley Cup playoff time.
Tied with Phoenix for fifth place in the NHL’s Western Conference, the Ducks remain in precarious position because of the jumble of clubs bunched closely behind.
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.
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