Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
He took one shift - 28 seconds - before shutting it down for the day because his back was bad.
This is obviously a red-siren, MAJOR setback for Cap and the Avs. He has, in essense, missed eight of the last nine games now. He has yet to play a full game in any of the three he’s allegedly been healthy enough to play in those last nine.
This is serious. A bad back can very often mean the end of a player’s career. Knowing the Avalanche and their medical staff, I would bet the ranch that they will now shut Sakic down for at least another few games and try to get this thing cured.
more on the Avs loss to Phoenix today…
from Doug Harrison of CBC Sports,
Through the first seven weeks of this season, injuries beset no fewer than 17 NHL goalies, including 12 starters.
The most serious injury was to Brodeur, followed by Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, who is sidelined week to week after straining his left groin on a routine save at Pittsburgh on Nov. 22.
Luongo had played in at least 72 of his team’s 82 games in each of the past four campaigns….
Healy, who retired in 2001 after 437 NHL games, suggested an argument could be made that there is no down time for today’s players.
The former Los Angeles King, Toronto Maple Leaf, New York Ranger and New York Islander recalled playing organized hockey for only seven months as a youngster.
“It’s a 12-month job now and there are lots of kids that would like your job and they’re creeping up on you pretty quick,” said Healy, now the director of player affairs for the NHL Players’ Association. “At some point, does that affect your ability to have that durability?
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
You can bet that fans will be talking coast to coast about Burke’s rumored six-year, $18 million salary. They will surely go deep into the speculation as regards exactly how much control he received from the historically meddlesome management there….
Me, I’ll be wondering how all of Canada will deal with the fact that Canada’s team—and love or hate the Leafs, that’s what they are—is now being managed and coached by a pair of Americans.
I know we’re dancing around a touchy issue here, but my intent is not to deal in cultural stereotyping and bigotry. I’ve spent more than half my working life in Canada. I love the country and its people. The only point I’m making here is that hockey—at least from a Canadian perspective—is Canada’s game.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
As it stands, the Rangers, Bruins, Capitals, Penguins, Devils and Flyers appear to be a lock to participate in the post-season. The Hurricanes currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot, with a mere 59 games remaining in the regular season, but they are the most likely candidate to fall from grace with one of either the Sabres or Senators overtaking them.
Of course the reality of the situation is any of the bottom feeders could miraculously turn things around and salvage their season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Just how Burke goes about getting the Leafs on the winning track will be the most compelling part of watching the new regime operate — who stays and who goes among players and front-office staff.
However, it will be interesting to see how Burke handles the communication demands in a market that’s unlike any he’s ever worked in before; and in an era with more information sources than ever before.
Burke’s never been afraid to try new things. The year his Ducks won the Stanley Cup, he wrote a trading-deadline diary for USA Today that was astonishingly good reading. Even if only referenced players who were actually traded (so as not to compromise the relationship between teams and players who were talked about, but not moved), his candor wasn’t especially well-received by every member of the general manager’s fraternity.
more plus many other NHL topics…
Update 3:19pm ET: (Alanah) Just a note… if you scroll to the bottom of Duhatschek’s article, you’ll see a note about HHOF broadcaster Jiggs McDonald being trapped in Bangkok along with many other Canadians. For more info on that and how their family and many others need help, you can check out this post I put up earlier as well.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
With the NHL’s 2008-09 season past the quarter pole, it’s time to see how well last summer’s notable unrestricted free agents are performing for their new teams.
Worth the money
Marian Hossa: One of last summer’s most expensive signings ($7.45 million for this season), Hossa has proven to be worth every penny for the Detroit Red Wings, leading them in goals (11) and points (24).
Rob Blake: Considered washed up when he signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the San Jose Sharks, Blake is enjoying a career renaissance with 18 points in 23 games.
from the CP via TSN,
“We still have faith in this group,” Tambellini said. “We have a big weekend coming up. We can have a solid weekend here. We need a strong effort against St. Louis, no question.”...
“The players have to produce,” Tambellini said. “They have to play regardless of system or pressure, whatever the situation is. That’s their job.
“We’re working hard. We’re under-achieving in some areas as far as the offensive output, but I think everyone would agree there is enough skill on this hockey team to be a good offensive team.”
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Register checked in with longtime Blackhawks beat writer Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald before Chicago came to Honda Center on Friday….
Q: Speaking of goaltending, Nikolai Khabibulin (above) has recently taken over the No.1 spot after he split time with Cristobal Huet, who was brought in during the offseason for $5.62 million. Is the goalie controversy settled or is this going to be a season-long issue?
A: It’s messy. That might be the best way to put it. When they signed Huet on July 1, it shocked everyone. Nobody saw that coming. As long as they couldn’t get rid of (Khabibulin), he’s been playing great … now they’re backed into a corner. You can’t trade him and you’ve got a $5 million goalie sitting on the bench
They’re just going to ride it out and see how long they can go this way.
more on the Blackhawks…
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Despite seemingly trying everything to light a fire under his team’s butt - to little success - the Edmonton Oilers head coach still believes he can get through to his squad.
“When you go through phases like this, you’re never out of ideas on how to improve your team,” MacTavish said. “The answers are right there.
“It’s like going to university and going through an open-book exam, all you have to do is open your eyes and see what the issues are. Then you come to the rink with a game plan. So there is never a shortage of ideas that you can forward to your team and to your players.”
Currently the issue at hand is the inability to score.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
But if you don’t see Briere in the lineup today for the Flyers’ 1 p.m. matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes, it’s because Flyers coach John Stevens wants to be absolutely certain his star center is completely healed from the left groin strain that has sidelined him for seven games.
“Danny’s feeling better, but I’d say he is doubtful for (today),” Stevens said Thursday after putting his team through a brief on-ice workout. “We need to be careful here. He thinks he can play, but we don’t want him to feel any hesitation.”
With a game Saturday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, Stevens sounded hesitant to pencil Briere into today’s lineup.
“There’s the concern of a little fatigue, and we don’t want to make him susceptible to reinjury,” Stevens said. “These athletes are real competitive, and sometimes it’s our job to hold them back for their own good.”
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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