Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets have called a late morning press conference at which time they are expected to name Rick Nash as the team’s new captain.
The franchise will not confirm this until the 11:45 a.m. gathering.
Coach Ken Hitchcock had planned to play out the balance of the schedule without a captain following the Feb. 26 trade of Adam Foote to Colorado.
via Don Brennan at the Ottawa Sun,
Bryan Murray made light of the struggles of Mike Commodore yesterday, saying that while the big defenceman has brought much of what he was expected to bring to the table, the coach would like to see No. 44 improve his puck skills. “I’m going to loan him my stick,” said Murray. “I think the hands go with it.” Across the hall a few minutes later, Commodore was in no chuckling mood. “Fourteen games, no points, minus-6
more on the Sens…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
The situation between Nolan and his goaltender undoubtedly is the most sensitive right now. Michel Ouellet scored Tampa Bay’s first goal at 6:51 of the first period after DiPietro went behind his net to play the puck and gave it away to Jeff Halpern, who fed Ouellet for a shot on the open net.
“We ask him over and over again not to play the puck as much,” Nolan said of DiPietro. “He’s one of the best puck-handlers in the league, but you just can’t overhandle it. When you overhandle it, you get yourself in trouble a little bit.”...
Showing his frustration, Nolan said of DiPietro: “The only thing you can do is keep going through it over and over again. You can’t do that. You’ve got to let our defense handle it a little bit more. He just wants to play it. What can you do?”
more on the Islanders…
from the Denver Post,
When the Avs return to practice Thursday morning, they probably will be joined by their pricey left winger, Ryan Smyth.
Smyth, the team said Tuesday, is likely to return after making a speedy recovery from the scary hit he took March 1 in a game against Los Angeles. He suffered a concussion and slightly separated shoulder after being hit by Kings defenseman Jack Johnson into the turnbuckle near the Avs’ bench.
read on for more on the Avs…
from the Edmonton Sun,
Last night the Oilers rookie became the first player in NHL history to score three consecutive overtime winners as Edmonton defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-3 at Rexall Place.
“I actually don’t think my game was that good tonight, I don’t think I was very good in the first two periods,” Cogliano said.
“I think the overtime was my best five minutes of the game. I had a couple of chances to score before that, but I was lucky to get open in front of the net and score the goal.”
Chicago Blackhawk defenceman James Wisniewski will get his day in court with the NHL.
Wisniewski received a match penalty for cross-checking Detroit’s Mikael Samuelsson in the face on Tuesday night and the match penalty carries with it an indefinite suspension pending a review by the league.
The league has reviewed it and decided to proceed with a supplementary discipline hearing today.
added 2:46pm, from the Dallas Morning News,
Steve Ott was defiant in his defense of his hit on Colorado’s Jordan Leopold, which resulted in a three-game suspension today.
“I finished my hit. My one foot did leave the ice, but that’s because my other foot was planted. My right foot never left the ice,” Ott said. “I hit him shoulder to shoulder.”
from the Dallas Morning News,
Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott will receive a three-game suspension for his hit Sunday on Colorado defenseman Jordan Leopold, Stars co-GM Les Jackson confirmed Tuesday night.
Ott had a phone conference with NHL director of operations Colin Campbell on Tuesday, and Campbell is expected to announce the suspension today.
Watch the incident…
From Jim Souhan at the Star Tribune,
The NHL is about dumping the puck, taking the opponents’ stars out of the game, working a defensive system and waiting for a mistake that will create a scoring chance. If NFL coaches thought like NHL coaches, every team would punt on first down.
Take the Wild—please. They’re not just slumping—they’re boring. Because of the Wild’s style and the NHL’s emphasis on defensive systems, Marian Gaborik spends most of the game looking like a guy waiting for a bus.
Don’t repeat the popular argument that he needs to work harder, needs to be more of a two-way player, blah, blah, blah. Gaborik is a scorer. When he scores, the Wild almost always wins. Ergo: Gaborik should spend his ice time trying to score.
That would be good for the fans, the team, the league. Instead, we get to hear Jacques Lemaire chide him about defensive responsibility.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Neither Zubov nor Boucher has battled an injury this close to the playoffs, so they both are curious to see how they handle the balancing act of getting healthy and ramping up their intensity with the rest of the team.
“I don’t know how many games it will take, because I’ve never done this,” Zubov said. “I guess that’s the tough part.”
Boucher, about two weeks short of his 35th birthday, said he’s encouraged by the recent 38-game rehabilitation period that he used to get his left shoulder healthy. Boucher was out for almost half of the season and returned to play four games before injuring the right shoulder.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
While the rebuilding pain still lies ahead in Toronto, the medicine has been swallowed and the needle suffered in Edmonton. The biggest ache - a two-year, injury-plagued hiatus from the playoffs - will soon be behind them. It is unlikely the drought will stretch to a third year next season.
“You feel it in the room,” Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said. “I feel it and sense it, and normally if the coach feels it ... you’re the last guy to feel the optimism of improvement.
“We’re pretty positive about the outlook, with the group that we have 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.
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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