Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Thrashers Blog,
Ottawa’s Chris Neil delivered one heck of a shoulder to Bryan Little 18 minutes into the second period of Tuesday night’s game. Little had his head down, and Thrashers coach John Anderson called it a clean hit, but his players clearly went out to defend their teammate.
Eric Boulton challenged Neil to a fight, and Neil declined, Anderson said. Boris Valabik wagged a finger and talked some smack from the bench.
from Bruce Garrioch at Off The Posts,
Senators coach Craig Hartsburg must send a message after a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.
If he doesn’t like to bench one player, then it’s time to send them for a skate today with the no pucks. The Senators didn’t work tonight, make them work in the morning. The club doesn’t play until Friday. The power play was awful. The penalty killing was worse. The supposed scorers disappeared.
“It was a step back. It was an awful step back,” said a seething Hartsburg. “We didn’t play with the desperation right from the start and we didn’t have it all night.”
added 9:09am, from the Universal Cynic,
Notice a glaring lack of posts lately? That’s because I won’t waste my digital motor skills covering what may, or may not be going on with this city’s team. I’ve said everything I could up until this point. The Ottawa Senators aren’t worth my time, let alone my money.
from Flames Insider,
Flames coach Mike Keenan received a boisterous round of boos Tuesday night when his image flashed up on the Jumbotron at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Iron Mike served as coach and general manager of the Blues from 1994-96, and it appears some of the faithful are still bitter over his reign — especially over the departure of several key players including Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, Al MacInnis, and Brett Hull.
“It’s kind of difficult when you’re getting marching orders to trade people,” Keenan said. “I’m not shy to tell the folks here that I was explicitly told to trade MacInnis, Hull and Shanahan to reduce the budget significantly. The team didn’t want to carry those finances.
“I told them at the time. I said, `there’s going to be a major backlash if this happens.’”
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers are being killed by their penalty kill. After allowing four powerplay goals in a 9-2 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks, the Oilers rank as the second worst penalty kill in the league.
Twenty-nine games in, Edmonton has let in 34 goals on 126 chances, a 73 per cent clearance rate, just ahead of Atlanta at 72 per cent. To put that in perspective, 24 NHL teams have killed off at least 80 per cent of their penalties this season.
Five teams have killed off more than 85 per cent of their penalties, led by the New York Rangers, who have a 91 per cent clearance rate.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Here’s one thing I’m hearing from people in the know: The Rangers are so intent on getting Mats Sundin that they may well trade Chris Drury to make room. The Rangers will need to clear some significant salary to allow for Mats’ inclusion, and Drury has three more years and $21.5 million left on his contract after this season.
But he also has a no-movement clause to his deal, meaning any kind of trade or demotion to the minors or put through the waiver wire would need his approval first….
The Avs have roughly five million in cap space right now - partly because of Joe Sakic’s long-term injury. So maybe if you get a Drury to waive his no-movement clause to come to Colorado and get the Rangers to pay half his salary this year after going through re-entry waivers, you could fit him in - although you’d probably have to move more salary too.
Of the few teams Drury would consider playing for, I’m sure the Avs would be one of them.
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,
And then there were no replays in the press box - because Nassau Coliseum doesn’t get Versus. Go figure.
more on the Caps OT win against the Islanders.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer.
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
New Jersey Devils goaltender and former Maple Leafs farmhand Scott Clemmensen will be having nightmares of Jason Blake for some time to come.
Blake pulled off one of the most spectacular moves in recent shootout history to score on Clemmensen last night at the Air Canada Centre and give the Leafs a 3-2 victory.
Toronto’s fourth shooter, Blake charged in on Clemmensen, slammed on the brakes in front of the net, did the old Savardian spin-o-rama, and then backhanded a shot past the bewildered Jersey goaltender.
“He was either going to be a hero or a bum, because anything can happen (with that move),” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said afterwards. “But I think it took a lot of guts to try that.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Instead of jumping Commodore from behind and delivering Wild West justice, Stuart wheeled in front of him so they were face to face, and demanded he stand up for his actions. Commodore agreed, they shed their gloves and fought.
“You don’t want to just grab a guy from behind,” Stuart said. “I made sure I got his attention before I dropped the gloves.”...
The civility of fighting traces its DNA to hockey’s roots: hardscrabble Canadian farm boys who would try everything to beat - and beat up - their friends and brothers, but do so with a sense of honor. As fighting has evolved amid its detractors’ insistence that it remains hockey’s Neanderthal corner, The Code has stood true to offer its puffy-knuckled brawlers some structure: Fight for yourself. Fight for your teammates. Fight to spark emotion.
From Helene Elliott in the LA Times blog, The Fabulous Forum:
Claude Giguere, father of Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, died Monday in Montreal of an undisclosed illness. A former school bus driver, corrections officer and stoker on a navy ship, he bought J.S.—his youngest child—the boy’s first goaltending equipment.
In this 2003 story, published before the Ducks opened the Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils, you can get a sense of how down-to-earth Claude Giguere was and understand how J.S. has turned out to be the classy and upstanding person that he is.
For some reason, Elliott’s blog post only provides a link to the .doc file of her 2003 story (which you can download here) so I took the liberty of reprinting it below. If someone informs me of a web link available later, I’ll remove this printing and link to the Times source.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Brian Rolston’s ankle wasn’t feeling as good as he had hoped.
Three games into his return from a high ankle sprain, the Devils winger decided to get some firsthand information about what he might expect. So one week ago, after a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rolston talked with Sidney Crosby.
“I don’t know if his was the same as mine, but his was an ankle, too. It was good to get a player’s perspective,” Rolston said. “The first few games back, no question I felt it. I didn’t know what to expect, so I had a conversation with Sidney Crosby. He just said it’s going to be sore and you have to try to strengthen it and to keep taping it.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org