Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (February 8, 2010) – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 7.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Capitals like to tell people they’ve tightened up defensively and coach Bruce Boudreau will vociferously defend his defenders, saying his team doesn’t get enough props for how good it is defensively. Nice words, but we’re not buying it. The Capitals win games by sheer tour de force, overpowering their opponents with offense and, more often than not, hoping their defense and goaltending is just good enough to keep the other team from scoring five goals.
It flies in the face of everything we’ve believed wins hockey games and it yet may prove to be the Capitals undoing, but man, is it fun to watch. What makes it so entertaining is that the Capitals don’t kill you with a barrage of offense so much as they take the life out of you with the quick-strike power of a cobra.
via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Rumors are rampant Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Habs. I have asked the principals involved to confirm or deny. NO response.
The Canadiens have called a 4:00pm ET press conference.
added 12:37pm, Another tweet from Bob,
Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Canadiens. Pierre Gauthier is taking over.
via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
• Hockey Night in Canada executives spared Albertans from Toronto’s ongoing Dion Phaneuf love-in Saturday by showing the Flames-Lightning game here. However, the nationally-televised Toronto Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators game featured close-ups of the word ‘work’ Phaneuf has started writing on the butt-end of his stick. The Air Canada Centre announcer also went out of his way several minutes after a Leafs goal to point out Phaneuf’s first-period assist “was his first as a Leaf,” prompting a roar from the crowd. Memo to Toronto: Calgary fell in love with Phaneuf at first, too.
• On behalf of the media, I apologize for “costing the Flames two points,” as Olli Jokinen suggested after he had to play one last uninspired game in Calgary despite word of his trade to the New York Rangers had been leaked before the game. OK, now it’s your turn, Olli, to apologize for all the points your disappointing play cost the club.
• Interesting footnote to the Phaneuf trade: New teammate Mike Komisarek is an ex-boyfriend of Dion’s girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They are 4-6-4 in their past 14 games and have little margin for error as they try to extend their playoff streak to 19 seasons.
The Red Wings have three games before the Olympic break, including Tuesday at St. Louis, when they hope the return of power forward Johan Franzen from a four-month absence because of a torn knee ligament will provide a boost.
“Every game for us from here until the end is an incredibly important two points,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We got to put a run together. Playing .500 the rest of the year isn’t going to do it.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
* Team Canada’s Martin Brodeur of the Devils is just 2-3 the past two weeks, including the loss to Lundqvist’s Rangers on Saturday.
* Prior to leading his Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 shootout win in Boston on Saturday, Canada’s Roberto Luongo was pulled after allowing three first-period goals to the Maple Leafs on Jan. 30, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Habs in his hometown of Montreal on Feb. 2.
* The third Canadian goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, dropped a pair of games over the weekend. After being yanked in a 5-3 defeat to the Canadiens on Saturday, he was on the losing end of a 5-4 overtime decision to the high-flying Capitals on Sunday.
* Team USA’s Ryan Miller, the backbone of the Buffalo Sabres, is just 2-5 in his past seven appearances and is mired in a three-game losing streak.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Sidelined Wild playmaker Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who continues his long, frustrating struggle with a concussion, has returned to Minnesota after almost two weeks in Montreal, where he sought ulterior treatment plans.
Bouchard was examined by a neuropsychologist, an osteopath and his exercise kinesiologist, Paul Gagne.
“The [neuropsychologist]—the head doctor—did a bunch of tests and I should have the results pretty soon, but overall there doesn’t look like I have brain damage, which is a good thing,” Bouchard said. “At least my memory and reaction time and reflexes look good.
“Now it’s just a question of still getting rid of my symptoms—the pressure in my head that I still have.”
from Curtis Zupke of the OC Register,
It looked awkward to see Vesa Toskala in his Toronto Maple Leafs goalie mask juxtaposed against his Ducks practice jersey when he took the ice Sunday.
Toskala had been idled for six days waiting for a work visa to join the team, but he still had his old mask.
He was eager to shed it for a new one.
“Hopefully soon,” Toskala said. “So I can wash that blue and white out of my gear.”
“I don’t think I’m a backup goalie,” he said. “I obviously want to play a lot, and I know how good I can play. But like I said earlier, there are lots of things you can’t control in this league. I just do whatever I have to do here to help the team make the playoffs.
“I’m not going to complain or anything. If it’s my call, I would play every game because I love to play. When I play a lot, I play my best.”
from Phil at Gunazin.com,
This afternoon I was at the Capitals vs. Penguins nationally televised game, covering it for CapitalsOutsider.com. Following the game, as I was waiting for the elevator, Mike Milbury of NBC walked up close to me. So I figured I could ask him about the comment he made during the 1st intermission, that upset many Capitals fans.
continue if you wish and Phil also had a video camera with him and started recording some of the action which you can watch below.
I don’t think this is going to turn out very good and may shine a bad light on the hockey blogging community, but I do hope it is looked upon as an incident and not reflective of hockey bloggers in general.
Again you can read Phil’s side of the story at the link above and I have my doubts that Milbury will even comment on it, which would be the right thing to do in my opinion.
added 02/08/10 at 9:30am, Note, the video has been removed by the user.
from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,
...the Canucks certainly weren’t even on the same planet when it came to the $26.25-million, seven-year deal the Bolts threw at Ohlund the second his free agency set in.
“It was clearly time for me to move on, and for the organization as well,” Ohlund said.
Nothing exposed the weakness of his game more than last spring’s Stanley Cup series against Chicago, in which the Blackhawks’ young guns blew by him like he was a pinwheel.
A big pinwheel, mind you, but looking stationary by comparison.
By his own admission, Ohlund is having a subpar season with the Lightning, but when it comes to his strengths he’s as effective as ever, knocking Christopher Higgins head over heels on Saturday night, dislocating Henrik Zetterber’s shoulder with a crunching body check in December.
“He’s a guy that in close space is really good, like in the corners stopping the cycles,” Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. “And he’s a good guy in the locker room.”
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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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