Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Hughson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
The Devils have depth, experience, talent and the best goaltender of his generation getting ready to come back and join the fun. Martin Brodeur must be as excited to re-join this group as any he’s had in front of him.
The Devils still have the defensive structure that’s made them the most miserable group to play against for the last two decades, but they’re not just a top-five team defensively. They’re top five on the attack as well.
New Jersey boasts a top line of Zach Parise, Travis Zajak and Jamie Langenbrunner. The trio is led by 24-year-old Parise, who, in his fourth season, leads the team in scoring, never gets outworked and is ready to join the small group of the league’s elite.
from Darryl Dobbs at the Hockey News,
Four weeks from today is the NHL’s trade deadline. In fantasy hockey, many leagues use the same date. The window for fixing your team is starting to close, so let’s get to some letters!...
Q.Hi Dobber, I’m looking at the possibility of obtaining Zetterberg in a keeper league from someone who is in the position of winning the pool this year. What is your opinion on Zetterberg’s health; he seems to miss time each year due to back problems. Is this going to worsen and limit his career? Or do you think this is just a phase? How does his fantasy value fare with all this in mind?
A. Hi Savas. Not only is Zetterberg’s back an issue, but don’t forget his wrist problem, which may be even more of an issue in the long run. He is an injury risk year in and year out, but never seems to miss more than five or 10 games.
For each of the next five seasons, I think he is good for 70 games with a better than even chance of playing 78 games or more. In keeper leagues, you can never really look beyond a five-year window because in my experience no player remains on your roster longer than that.
more questions and answers…
Nobody is forcing (Jeremy) Jacobs to have a payroll bumping up against the cap ceiling. He could have instructed Bruins management to spend much less but instead allowed forking out big bucks for Joe Thornton, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Wideman. He’ll likely pay out even more to retain Tim Thomas, David Krejci and Phil Kessel this summer.
-Spector (Lyle Richardson) at his Fox Sports Blog. Read more from Lyle…
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Five identical signs hang in the Anaheim Ducks’ dressing room at the Honda Center and at their practice arena. All are emblazoned with instructive and, at times, inspirational messages.
For example, No. 3—Play With Self-Disciplined Aggression - reads, in part: “Control emotions when playing aggressively or you will be controlled by opponents or situations (i.e. bad call, cheap shot).”
No. 5—Unselfishness Is Essential—reads: ” ... Teammates, staff and officials are to be treated with RESPECT!”
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, stood amidst those signs last week and tried to explain that the league’s referees really don’t have it in for the Ducks.
continued plus some Wings and Barber Shop sweater talk…
from Mike Morreale of NHL.com,
“Back in the 1980’s, I was in awe of these masks,” Toronto artist Dave Arrigo told NHL.com. “I remember Grant Fuhr’s mask and Bunny Larocque’s. To me, that was still great art back then. It was the style of the time and, even today, they remain classics.”...
As decades passed, however, it seems goalies became a little more self conscious about what they were putting over their face. Sure, protection and comfort were first and foremost, but great artwork also offered a strong personal statement and inner connection.
“The goalie mask is a billboard to that player’s soul,” Arrigo said “It can be anything from a favorite video game to music legend.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
With back-to-back games against the torrid Boston Bruins slated for tonight at the Wachovia Center and Saturday afternoon in Boston, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren assessed his team’s recent play with these words:
“I think we’ve struggled lately,” he said of the Flyers’ 5-4-2 stretch. “We’ve got 33 games left and it’s going to be a dogfight. In my opinion, we’re not playing good enough to get into the playoffs.”
Message sent. But was it received as intended?
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHL’s trade deadline is exactly one month away from today. Between now and then, the speculation will ramp up and much of it will be unfounded. But hey, fans love this stuff, right?
Take, for instance, the crazy rumor we heard Tuesday. Someone we were talking to told us he had “heard” the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers were working on a three-way deal that would send Jason Spezza to the Big Apple, Jay Bouwmeester to Canada’s capital and Scott Gomez to South Florida.
“Gee, should I make the deal?,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said sarcastically when reached by ESPN.com on Tuesday. “Seriously, I don’t know where that comes from, but I can guarantee you, at least from my end, that that was never talked about. It’s unbelievable what people will say.”
continued with more trade talk…
added 10:15am, Spector gives his views on the trade talk too.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal answers a few questions from fans…
Q: The trade deadline is coming up. What players do you think might be on the trading block for the Oilers and whom do you see coming to Edmonton via trade?
A: After missing the playoffs for the last two years and it being imperative that they make it this time (probably to get a cacophony of fans off coach Craig MacTavish’s back even though they are close to 50 games over .500 in his tenure), the Oilers will almost certainly be buyers, not sellers. They need (a) a left-winger to play with Ales Hemsky, and (b) a defensive, big-body centre who can win faceoffs (Jerred Smithson and Radek Bonk ate them up in the Nashville game)....
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“I don’t know what the right words are, but my heart is pounding out of my chest. Can you tell?” Graves said.
Always the consummate teammate, Graves said it was his hope to go off the ice with his former teammates Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. However, it was Messier who made Graves stay on the ice to absorb the final applause from one of the most adoring and appreciative crowds I have ever seen.
“Mess is Mess,” Graves said. “He gets greater joy out of other people’s success than his own. That’s just the type of guy he is. That’s Mark.”
more and watch the Graves tribute video below…
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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