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Category: NHL-Teams

Habs cuts to come, will White remain?

Jacques Martin addressed the media this morning and advised that cuts are to come later today, before the 3 pm NHL deadline. He and GM Pierre Gauthier are still be weighing options ahead of tomorrow’s season opener versus Toronto. The decisions on who stays and who goes have become a bit more difficult due to injuries and illness.

As per the always informative Habsinsideout, Goaltender Carey Price has come down with the flu, and if he is unable to start expect to see Alex Auld between the pipes. Roman Hamrlik has also been ruled out for tomorrow’s game.

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, ryan+white, ryan+white

Talking Canadian Broadcast Crews

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Toronto: Joe Bowen/Greg Millen/Paul Hendrick. TSN/Sportsnet Ontario/Leafs TV. Bowen makes every game sound like the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. Good thing considering the Maple Leafs abysmal record since 1967. It’s probably the closest generations of Toronto fans will get to the holy grail. Bowen is about as subtle as a line brawl and his volume button’s stuck on 11. Still, he may be the closest to Bob Cole among the younger generation of play callers. Millen replaced Harry Neale, and while he’s good on the chalk talk, he could ratchet it back and laugh maybe once a week.

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A Different Feel In Calgary

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

The Pengrowth Saddledome remains an office, a place of work. These are still million-dollar athletes paid to perform on cue (in theory, at least).

But a difference in tone is apparent.

A conscious effort seems to have been made over the summer in partly lifting the shroud. At least some of the black crepe has been peeled off the windows. You can tell. By the occasional smile. The dressing-room patter. The sounds, ye gods, of occasional merriment.

For too long, every day walking into the building amounted to a funeral procession, fraught with recrimination, mental constipation and fearful subservience.

Enjoyment equals weakness. Fun equals indifference.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Blues Could Surprise You

from the Mail Online (U.K.),

Michael Kim, host of ESPN America’s SportsCenter, looks ahead to the new NHL season

With another NHL season upon us, I recently had the chance to catch up with ESPN hockey analysts Barry Melrose and Matthew Barnaby. 

We discussed some of the key topics heading into the season and gave them the opportunity to provide several predictions. 

Q:  A year ago, the Colorado Avalanche surprised many hockey fans and media with how well they played last season.  Which team will surprise this season?

BM: Maybe the St. Louis Blues. Like the Colorado Avalanche, they can skate. They lost some players, like Keith Tkachuk, but you have others who can step up. They’ve got a lot of great, young players. They’ve got a great defence. They’ve got solid goaltending.  I think St. Louis is going to open a lot of eyes. I liked them last year.

MB: And then, they went out and acquired the hottest goaltender in the playoffs, Jaroslav Halak from Montreal. I totally agree. I think St. Louis is going to make the playoffs.  Halak was the story of the postseason last year.

more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Fresh Start

from Jason York of the Ottawa Sun,

From a player’s perspective, a new season brings on new challenges — a fresh start — and it marks the end of training camp, which I can tell you from experience most players hate and can’t wait for the start of the regular season.

I was fortunate enough to play in the NHL for 13 seasons — for five different teams, including Detroit, Anaheim, Nashville, Boston and my hometown Senators.

I got a chance to compete against some of the best to have ever played the game — players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. I played alongside the likes of Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey and Ottawa’s own Daniel Alfredsson.

Being a seventh-round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings made getting to the NHL a little tougher for me, but it makes you appreciate it a lot more when you get there.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Pronger Play?

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Only Chris Pronger knows for sure, and the Flyers’ veteran defenseman played it coy Tuesday after he practiced at the Skate Zone in Voorhees and said his surgically repaired right knee was showing improvement.

Enough for him to play Thursday?

“It’s progressing along and we’ll see,” he said, smiling and repeating the refrain to several questions about his availability against the archrival Penguins.

“He’s like the big toe on your foot,” defenseman Sean O’Donnell said. “Things seem to work a lot better when he’s out there. I know he’s not 100 percent . . . but I think there’s 30 teams that would love to have him as their anchor guy.”

Pronger will practice again Wednesday before a decision is made on whether he plays against the Penguins. During Tuesday’s workout, “we didn’t do a lot of speed stuff, so I don’t think today was a really good day to test his mobility and speed,” O’Donnell said. “But he looked good at everything he tried.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Challenging The Ducks Defense

from Curtis Zupke of the Ducks Blog,

Most, if not all prognosticators justifiably point to the Ducks’ defensive group as a major concern after the team failed to land a big-name free agent in the offseason. The organization signed veterans Toni Lydman, Andy Sutton and Paul Mara to combine with a younger core, and all are using the criticism as a source of motivation.

“We’re just going to go out there and prove the naysayers wrong,” Mara said. “You’re losing a guy that’s a true leader in Scotty, so I think we’re definitely going to have to step up our play and pick up every aspect of the game that he left behind … it’s a motivational factor that the defense can use.”

Brendan Mikkelson said his teammates are aware of the scrutiny that has been placed on them.

“I think all the defensemen, for sure, have probably seen that, and you take it as a challenge,” Mikkelson said. “Someone’s calling you out on something, so you want to prove them wrong.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shane O’Brien Points Finger At Vigneault

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

O’Brien, whose contract rights the Canucks retained in July with a qualifying offer of $1.6 million US, said he knew before training camp was a week old that Vigneault wasn’t going to have him on the team.

“I knew I was in trouble,” he said. “I wish I got a little fairer shake in camp. I only played three exhibition games, all on the road, and we flew the day of the game on two of them. And -no disrespect to the players we had in those games -but the three games I played we were nowhere near an NHL-calibre roster. It was the icing on the cake for my career here in Vancouver.

“Last year, I stepped up when we had some injuries and helped our team win the division, and I thought I played with a lot of heart in the playoffs. Every time there was an injury, I’d play well. And when [the injured player] came back, I’d go right back to the bottom of the barrel. It’s tough to play in this league when you know if you have a bad night, you’re going to the press box. After two years, it was still the same thing. No matter what I did, I didn’t seem to stand a chance with that guy.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+o'brien

Top 50 Players- TSN Style

from TSN,

TSN has unveiled the NHL’s Top 50 players heading into the 2010-11 hockey season based on selections by a panel of experts, and this year’s top player is Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not A Top 2 Line?

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

The fourth line.

They try not to call them that any more. Perhaps it’s just not considered politically correct these days.

Broadcasters tend to refer to the three forwards on the bottom rung of the team as “the energy line.” This may be because the lesser lines, especially the fourth, tend to have the most media-friendly players on them, players sharp enough and experienced enough to know – and certainly with enough time on their hands eventually to realize, if it’s not readily apparent – that their careers are as fragile as a solution to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Coaches being asked questions about their roster will say they do not have a “third” or a “fourth” line – as if they are somehow indecipherable from each other.

If that were so – and it isn’t – then how much better would “third” lines in NHL hockey be if the three players on it were chosen from the best of the six-to-eight roster spots currently available to make up the final two lines of a team?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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