Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Woody Paige of the Denver Post,
He hadn’t won a game since Nov. 9, 2007 and only two games all last season. Two years ago Raycroft had appeared in 72 games, won 37 and lost 25. Last year he dropped to third goalie, fourth, if you count the popcorn salesman.
But the Avs threw him a goalie’s mask, a glove and a life jacket. Their starting goalie at season’s end, Jose Theodore, had moved on to Washington, and backup/ ex-starter Peter Budaj was penciled in as the No. 1 goalie.
Penciled in, not Magic Markered in.
Budaj was burned like a Roman candle in the home opener, then fizzled in the next two.
“I’ve worked very hard since August with Jeff (Hackett, the Avalanche goalie coach), and I felt like I could come in and play well, but I knew I couldn’t put us in a 0-4 hole,” Raycroft said.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
One of the many reasons the Sabres are 3-0 with only three goals allowed is the improved play of their defense. The blue-liners have dramatically reduced their mistakes from last season, a trend they hope continues tonight when Vancouver visits HSBC Arena.
Numminen and Rivet have become indispensable parts of that corps, but not just for the obvious reasons. Sure, they provide leadership, poise and grit. But they have something else the Sabres lacked: right-handed shots on the blue line.
from Lightning Strikes,
I’m not even going to write about the game tonight because I believe you’re starting to see some good things happen for the Lightning, I really do. I know, they lost again, but, I don’t know, just seemed like a little different team….
So, let’s get on the refs.
The NHL is cracking down on stick and obstruction fouls and the referees are calling anything, no matter how small. Seventeen minor penalties were called in Thursday night’s game, 10 on the Lightning. Some were barely touch fouls. And can we please have some sense of game situations?
from Russo’s Rants,
Again the Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen line, which needs a better nickname than the one I used tonight, were tremendous. Ten points. 8 goals, 24 points for the season! Very unWildlike. Those eight goals are on 23 shots, by the way.
Koivu had a career-high five points, a team-record-tying four helpers. Miettinen had his second straight two-goal, three-point game. He’s the first Wild player to score goals in his first three games.
more on the Wild…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils right wing Brian Rolston left tonight’s 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers with what he said was a high right ankle sprain.
Roslton left the building on crutches with a boot on his his right foot. I tried to ask Rolston twice if he had an X-ray on the ankle and both times was cut off by the Devils’ senior director of communications.
from Mike Heika at the Dallas Stars Blog,
I believe Richards, Zubov, Turco, Morrow, Modano, Lehtinen, Ribeiro and Avery all have some sort of non-movement clause. And, would you be interested in trading any of them?
My guess is they would move Philippe Boucher, but he’s injury-prone and makes $2.5 million a year. Plus, you would be taking away from the defense to fix the problem on defense. I guess if you wanted to move him and then sign a Keith Carney type for less money, that’s an option.
As far as forwards go, you could move Steve Ott ($1.425 million), but what can you add for that? You could also trade Loui Eriksson ($1.6 million) or Joel Lundqvist ($725,000), but again you have to ask if you can get anything worthwhile with that amount of money and you also have toa sk if it’s too early in their careers to risk moving them.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
The obvious choice as a possible Khabibulin suitor now is Colorado, with Budaj struggling horribly out of the gate in his latest opportunity to nail down the Avalanche’s No. 1 job. Colorado has about $5.5 million in cap room available, so it would take some tinkering or sending the Blackhawks a significant salary in return to make room.
Simply sending Budaj to Chicago to serve as Huet’s backup wouldn’t quite be enough, because Budaj’s cap figure is “only” $800,000 this season. In fact, how’s this for a contrast in allocating resources in the cap age: Chicago’s two goalies are making $12.3 million this season; at Colorado, Budaj and Andrew Raycroft are pulling in a combined $1.6 million. But Colorado could find a way to pull it off.
Matthew Barnaby of ESPN believes the NHL needs to promote Ovechkin and Crosby much more than they are now.
from Jim Lang of Sportsnet,
I don’t know what it is, but every time I hear Probert on the radio or hear someone mention his name around the Sportsnet newsroom, my first reaction is to log onto YouTube. The video site is filled with some of Probert’s best fights. In my mind, he was one of the toughest and scariest men to ever play in the NHL.
Now, I am not advocating fighting in hockey, but how can you not get totally amped up while watching a Bob Probert tribute video?
This leads me to the question of the day: Was Bob Probert the toughest guy to play in the modern NHL?
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The time-honored tradition of bestowing NHLers with nicknames by adding a ‘y’ or an ‘er’ to their surnames means rookie Predators winger Patric Hornqvist will be referred to as:
(d) Mr. Qvister.
more multiple choice questions…
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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