Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Scoreless in his last six outings and the author of just two goals his last 18 outings, Iginla will be asked 14 different ways to account for his pause in production. Never mind the fact he has 14 points during his “slump” to remain amongst league scoring leaders—everyone wants to know “what’s wrong with Iggy?”
Given the character of the game’s ultimate captain, No. 12 will undoubtedly answer by suggesting he’d like to be scoring more and is expecting more of himself as the team’s leader.
However, the answer he should give is simple: Nothing.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
It’s like being stuck on an over-crowded elevator. With people you don’t like. For two months.
The Western Conference stretch drive is no place for the claustrophobic.
With six points separating fifth and 13th place heading into last night’s games, you’ve got nine teams trying to cram into four spots like fat clowns in a Volkswagen.
Every game is do or die. Every road trip is the biggest road trip of the year.
Lose two in a row, it’s the end of the world. Win two in a row and you’re flying Jaromir Jagr over from Russia.
So, as the Oilers open the… wait for it… biggest road trip of the year—four games in six days in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Dallas—they’re quite prepared for the emotional volatility that will be tracking them every step of the way.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray told Sun Media yesterday that he’s held talks with Neil’s agent, Todd Reynolds, about a contract extension, but the sides aren’t close to a deal and that could mean Murray will trade the 29-year-old Neil rather than risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season.
“For both of our sakes I think it’s fair that we have an answer (by the trade deadline),” Murray said. “I mean, if we’re not close in dollars, then obviously we don’t want to lose players for nothing if we can help it.”
Neil, who is making $1.25 million (all terms US) this season, would not only be a valuable commodity on the open market, he’ll also be a huge asset at the deadline. It’s believed the Senators’ asking price will be at least a second-round draft pick and possibly a prospect.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Mike Green said if he thought about the history he could make tonight, the game itself might not be as fun.
And, really, Green said, isn’t fun what playing in the NHL is all about?
“I just want to go out and play and do what I’m doing right now,” the Capitals defenseman said. “Whatever comes from it is great. I’m just enjoying myself.”
And scoring goals.
A tally against the Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum and Green, 23, from Calgary, becomes the first NHL blueliner to score goals in eight consecutive games.
continued and a little note stating Lightning employees must now pay $30 per month for parking.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
The recent promotion of little-known Cory Clouston to the job as head coach of the Ottawa Senators undoubtedly caught some hockey observers by surprise.
It shouldn’t have. The Senators were simply following an NHL trend that has franchises eschewing the old boys’ network of coaches and, instead, grabbing for what they hope will be the next bright mind from the AHL or junior ranks.
Ten of the 30 NHL teams have coaches whose previous jobs had them standing behind AHL benches. That’s up from two 10 years ago. Another two teams – Florida with Peter DeBoer and New Jersey with Brent Sutter – are coached by men hired directly from major junior hockey.
That has left some seasoned and decorated coaches, big names such as Pat Quinn, Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford and John Tortorella (the latter three all Stanley Cup winners) on the outside looking in, waiting for their next opportunity.
Just so I have this straight, NHL: A Corey Perry elbow to the head gets four games, biting another player gets two, uttering the phrase “sloppy seconds” to reporters gets six and an elbow to the face that breaks another player’s nose gets ignored. Okay, got it.
I can’t help but think if the same hit had been delivered by a guy wearing a Ducks uniform (more to the point, wearing a Ducks uniform with the number 25 on the back), that he would have gotten docked at least four games. But maybe that’s just me.
Then again, it’s probably not just me.
-Adam Brady of Duck Blog at AnaheimDucks.com where you can read more on the Ducks.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have activated right wing Peter Mueller from Injured Reserve while left wing Jeff Hoggan has been re-assigned to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
Mueller, 20, has recorded 12-18-30 in 48 games with the Coyotes this season to rank 3rd on the team in both points and goals. Mueller has missed the last seven games since being placed on Injured Reserve.
“Well without beating around the bush i will get straight ot the point. There have been many, many trade rumors regarding my name over the past month or so. Let’s get something straight i have not asked for a trade nor will i ask for a trade. In my opinion i believe the rumors are part of an overzealous group of reporters who are putting the Ducks in the “sellers” category at the trade deadline and trying to drum up fan interest in there stories and TV shows.<..."
-Chris Pronger. More at ChrisPronger.com
The Buffalo Sabres discuss the tragic plane crash in Clarence as they prepare for tonight’s game.
The Sabres will also be observing a moment of silence to respect those lost in the tragedy of Flight 3407 prior to tonight’s game vs. San Jose.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“I’ve played against Kyle numerous times and I’ve seen him play, he’s going to have a heck of a career,” Anaheim Ducks rookie Bobby Ryan told ESPN.com. “Depending on how long he’s down there, he’s going to be able to learn to be a pro in a less stressful environment and that’s certainly going to do nothing but good things for him.”
Ryan, who has exploded with a huge rookie season since his mid-November call-up from the AHL, understands how Turris may be feeling right now, given the high expectations. Turris went third overall in the 2007 NHL draft, while Ryan went second overall in 2005. Be patient, Ryan’s advice was to Turris.
“I think it’s a very important step to take, to spend some time in the minor leagues,” continued Ryan, who turns 22 next month. “You learn a little bit about yourself and you learn a little bit about yourself as a player. There’s ups and downs with that. It’s emotional. You want to play at the highest level, but there is a time frame that you spend down there [in the AHL] and you get to breathe a little easier and certainly progress.”
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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