Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
Tonight Zherdev returns to Columbus, the scene of his first four NHL years of underachievement, with two goals and three assists in his first nine games as a Ranger.
“To me, he’s a 40-plus goal scorer,” Blue Jackets Coach Ken Hitchcock said about the 2003 fourth-overall pick. “When I took over in November , he was moody and very unhappy but he made big changes.”...
“He’s a good guy, really coachable,” said Renney. “His dangle instincts are a little different than a North American guy and I don’t want to take that away from him. He’s a great passer….
Asked about his game and expectations of a breakout, the English-shy Zherdev smiled and said: “Next level.”
from Empty Netters,
...a Penguins fan who was hit by a puck during the team’s home opener wrote in to give us an update on his health.
I was the guy that was hit with the puck in A 27 Row B at the 3:28 mark of the first period. Just to be clear, I WAS paying attention. Have you ever sat down that low? You can’t see a damn thing…
After receiving medical attention for my bleeding head, I returned to the game for the second period. In a very classy move by the Devils, one of their trainers handed me a Reebok Devils hat, signed by all of the scratched players that evening.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
This is Philadelphia, so there’s already a buzz that Flyers coach John Stevens’ job security could be in trouble if the club’s losing streak reaches eight games after weekend games with the New Jersey Devils.
Stevens should NOT be on the hot seat. Last year’s strong regular-season finish and the team’s drive to the Eastern Conference finals has to count for something, right?
The Flyers are 0-3-3 because their goaltending and defense have been lousy, their power play has been inconsistent, and they miss some of last year’s players (R.J. Umberger, Jason Smith, Sami Kapanen, the injured Derian Hatcher and Jim Dowd) more than they expected.
added 7:32am, via Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Over the years, the Philadelphia Flyers have become known as the most cutthroat organization in the league when it comes to coaches. This is a franchise that once fired a coach because he contracted cancer.
So don’t expect John Stevens to enjoy a long and leisurely tenure if the Flyers continue to struggle. The Flyers were on the brink in the late stages of last season and back then, the word was out that Stevens was in a precarious position. As it happened, the Flyers rallied down the stretch and had a commendable playoff run.
Even so, the honeymoon is over.
Milan Lucic threw a big hit on Mike Van Ryn, shattering the glass, and cementing the two of them on this season’s highlight reel.
Update 1:18am ET— In the Metro West Daily News, a quote from Lucic:
“It felt kind of weird because you usually just bounce off the boards and this time you went through.”
From Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports:
Fortunately for the Flyers, the baseball club’s World Series presence is hogging the spotlight around town these days, but those who are paying attention to the ice prancers couldn’t be faulted for seeking out the panic button because Philadelphia is the NHL’s only winless team two weeks into the season.
If that seems like an overreaction to a slow start, consider that last season only four of 14 teams that were below the playoff cutoff line at Thanksgiving ended up getting to the postseason. And Philadelphia, which has allowed more goals than anyone already has six teams to climb over as it readies for a home-and-home set this weekend against the surging New Jersey Devils, an arch division rival. In other words, Philadelphia could find itself in a potentially insurmountable hole before Halloween.
from Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,
So now we get to see how he reacts to playing the Thrashers. It would be tougher for him if he was playing in Atlanta, so maybe this won’t be a big deal given that the game is in Detroit. Maybe it will. And maybe it’ll be a big deal to some of his former teammates. Last year the Thrashers went into Detroit and won 5-1 on the strength of a Hossa hat trick. Wouldn’t you love to see Ilya Kovalchuk torch the defending Cup champions for a hat trick of his own? And will former Red Wings Jason Williams, Mathieu Schneider and Slava Kozlov pull out the stops in a building where they all had so much success?
Sportsnet has learned Bret Hedican has signed a one-year, $870,000 deal with the Anaheim Ducks.
The veteran defenceman spent the last six seasons in Carolina and has also spent time in Vancouver, Florida and St. Louis during his 16-year career. Hedican has appeared in 988 career games recording 288 points.
added 4:52pm, More on the signing at Ducks Blog.
from Pierre LeBrun’s blog at ESPN,
I’m scrolling through the NHL stats Thursday morning and do a double take. Keith Tkachuk is tied for the NHL goal-scoring lead with seven?!
What gives Mr. 36-year-old, I’m-supposed-to-be-in-the-twilight-of-my-career?
“I wish I could tell ya,” Tkachuk told ESPN.com Thursday. “I think it’s just being around the net and playing with players who are finding you. Just putting yourself in position and being in the right place at the right time is the reason why….”
from the CP via Yahoo,
Kim St-Pierre has made another breakthrough - playing in goal at a Montreal Canadiens practice.
The 29-year-old goaltender for Canada’s national women’s team was called in when goalie Carey Price missed practice for a second straight day with a flu.
She was on the ice for the full 90 minutes and did not look out of place as the NHL players fired pucks at both her and back-up goalie Jaroslav Halak through a succession of drills.
John Loomis is the manager of game presentation for the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, and it’s his job to “entertain the fans between the whistles.” From Travis Brillowski of the Minnesota Wild (via NHL.com):
From pregame videos to between-periods entertainment, to anything that happens outside of the action on the ice, it falls on Loomis and his staff to keep things coordinated and organized, and most importantly, keep the building loud. Considering the Wild have sold out every game during their first seven seasons—and season No. 8 is tracking to be another full-season sell-out—he and his crew must be doing something right.
Here is what an average game day is like for Loomis, leading up to the drop of the puck at 7 p.m.
read on for ‘a day in the life’ of entertaining a hockey crowd
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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