Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of Bruins Blog,
Frightening sight at 8:37 of the second period when Patrice Bergeron ran straight into an onrushing Dennis Seidenberg and took the blow directly to the left side of his face, leaving the Boston center facedown on the ice for some three minutes.
Bergeron, who missed most of last season with a Grade 3 concussion suffered Oct. 27, 2007, did not appear to lose consciousness. However, he was obviously stunned by the hit and lay motionless on the ice for about a minute before finally moving his legs.
After some three minutes on the ice, Bergeron was helped to his feet by teammates Chuck Kobasew and Marc Savard, who also then aided him toward the Boston bench. Some 15 feet from the bench, Bergeron skated on his own toward the bench door and exited under his own power down the runway toward the dressing room.
from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NYT,
“Whatever you could do on a breakaway, if you had the skill to do it, you should be allowed to do that on a penalty shot,” Walkom said. “You can’t cross the goal line” — the basis for the rule prohibiting players from circling the net on a penalty shot — “and the puck can’t come to a stop.”
If a player did those things on a breakaway, he said, the other team would catch up and the breakaway would be gone.
What does concern Walkom during the spin-o-rama play is whether the shooter interferes with the goaltender as he is turning, preventing him from making the save. In Blake’s case, it was close, Walkom said, “but I don’t believe he interfered with him in making the save.”
As for the puck going backward, Walkom said officials did not adhere to a rigid definition of the puck moving from the goal. If they did, many penalty shots or shootout goals would be against the rules because “every time you stick handle, the puck goes backward,” Walkom said.
from Rob Brodie of OttawaSenators.com,
The ultimate example, some might suggest, will reside on the home-teach bench at the Prudential Center tonight.
While Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg doesn’t want to turn his team into a mirror image of the New Jersey Devils, he’ll look across the ice tonight and see the kind of single-minded approach that he insists is necessary for Ottawa to make a quantum leap in its performance level….
“Do I want to play like them? No,” a passionate Hartsburg said after the Senators’ pre-game skate earlier today. “But I would like our team to have a mindset that they’re all going to play like a group and that’s what (the Devils) do. They’re good because of it.
“I think the team-first mindset has always been a part of that organization and they’ve had great players. They’ve got great players right now ... but they all play a certain type of game that allows the team to have success as well as individual success and that’s what we’ve struggled with.”
from Bolts Report,
Jussi Jokinen has cleared waivers this afternoon and will play tonight against Atlanta. Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawton said that as of now there is no intention of sending down to AHL Norfolk and possibly putting him on recall waivers.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Fighting is up in the NHL, and the man who made a significant contribution to the trend, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, is not apologizing for it.
“I believe fighting has always been an important part of our game,” Burke said. “Only hockey, boxing and martial arts have no out-of-bounds contact — an essential component of the game. We were in danger of losing our roots to the game.”...
For all the talk about the pros and cons of fighting, there is no disputing the fact that it tends to bring fans out of their seats.
When the suggestion that fans like fighting was made to commissioner Gary Bettman during his Western Canada swing last week, he answered simply, “They seem to.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But if and when Sather stops attempting to be Mr. Nice Guy and is willing to place under-performing athletes on waivers even if that all but ends their NHL careers, the Rangers will seek to improve a defense that’s not just suspect, but also indictable.
“Had we been able to pull it off, Mats would have been a big help in a variety of ways, but I think we have a greater need anyway,” coach Tom Renney said by phone before yesterday’s practice in Los Angeles that preceded the charter to San Jose. “To me, I think we have to take a hard look at improving our depth on the back end….”
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
When asked yesterday if he was about to scrap his goalie plans – especially after their struggles in Thursday’s 8-5 loss to Boston – Leafs coach Ron Wilson simply shook his head.
“No, not at all,” Wilson said as the Leafs picked themselves up and prepared for another offensive onslaught in the form of the Penguins, whom they face tonight.
Certainly, the Leafs need more from their current goalie tandem, but subpar stats from the pair won’t hasten the arrival of Justin Pogge, who will be summoned from the Marlies for a serious look in the NHL.
Pogge’s showcase could happen anytime after Christmas or early in the new year, but the Leafs have mapped out his call-up and haven’t based it on the performances they’ve received so far from Toskala and Joseph.
For now, the Leafs appear married to their plan to give Pogge 60-plus starts for the Marlies.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
In the Bruins’ plan for 2008-09, one likely scenario was to have Manny Fernandez reclaim his game, then swap the free agent-to-be before the trade deadline, replacing the veteran with rookie Tuukka Rask to back up Tim Thomas.
But with the Bruins merrily steamrolling opponents and both goalies combining to form the stoutest puck-stopping tandem in the league, general manager Peter Chiarelli may find that trading Fernandez brings more harm than benefit.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
With 10 goals, Lang is the Canadiens’ leading goal-scorer heading into tonight’s game against Buffalo; with 24 points, he is tied for the team lead with Alex Kovalev and Andrei Markov.
He is a crafty, smart-skating, 906-game NHL veteran whose poise and experience are precious commodities both on the ice and in the dressing room, a terrific acquisition on many levels.
“(Some) people think he was a consolation prize (to Sundin), but we had started to talk about him a little bit last year,” head coach Guy Carbonneau said yesterday of Lang.
“We took some info from Denis Savard (Lang’s coach in Chicago last season), some people who’d had him, and everything was positive. He has a lot of respect and came in here with a really good attitude.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
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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