Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Watching Todd Bertuzzi get mugged by Alexandre Burrows Tuesday night, you couldn’t help but feel bad for the Calgary Flames winger.
Pushed, whacked and prodded by the Vancouver Canucks’ agitator into the bench, Bertuzzi tried to be the better man and get back into the play.
Jabbed some more, he looked pleadingly for a man in stripes who would see the abuse and make a call.
None came, and Bertuzzi finally had enough. He poked back and took a coincidental roughing minor with Burrows….
“Well, you know what, he’s a big brute,” said Flames defenceman Adrian Aucoin.
“He’s obviously a marked man.
“I’m not complaining about the officiating, but he’s got a reputation and obviously he’s got to be careful out there. It’s got to be an obvious penalty to go the other way on him.”
read on and watch the incident below…
“I don’t want Justin Pogge to be what Carey Price is today, a shell of himself…”
-Leafs coach Ron Wilson this morning. Wilson did go on to say Price will get out of his slump. You can listen to the whole Wilson interview at Fan590 in Toronto. The Pogge talk starts around the 2:30 mark.
The latest on Jay Bouwmeester and the Sedins, a look at the Rangers, Oilers and Devils, a Predators defenseman seeks a trade and plenty of scouts are being seen in certain NHL arenas.
from Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars have three games in five days at home against one team that’s likely to make the Western Conference playoffs and two that are virtually guaranteed of it. Edmonton, trailing the Stars by a point, is followed by Chicago, a team that has had its way with the Stars lately, and the conference-leading San Jose Sharks.
The Stars not only need to collect their share of points in those games, they need to do it with someone other than Turco leaving the ice as the No. 1 star.
Not having Richards makes it harder, but it has to be done. Winning games the way they beat Columbus on Monday almost isn’t worth it.
If Turco is going to have to be that good – 41 saves, 3-for-3 on shootout stops – while playing every game for more than two months, then I’m sorry, he’s not going to have left what it takes to make a significant playoff run.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Even though the Kings were 4-3 winners over the Ducks on Wednesday at a far-from-sold out Honda Center, showing pluck and patience after they squandered a 2-0 lead, they have too many shootout losses and not enough wins to think they can leap several spots in the tight West playoff scramble.
The Kings likely will finish a few points out of the top eight and that’s not a bad fate. They’re playing pressure games for the first time as a team—many players for the first time in their NHL careers—and they can only get better for it.
“It was probably one of the more important games in our franchise history the last five, six years,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, who gave the Kings a 2-0 lead at 9 minutes 18 seconds of the first period.
These teams have passed while moving in opposite directions, the Ducks disintegrating more quickly than the Kings are maturing.
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
The Rangers can’t afford to open it up more with defensemen who have minimal offensive ability. They cannot pretend that Markus Naslund is any longer the player he was in Vancouver, nor can they expect that veteran B or B-plus players will morph into team-carrying players this late in their careers.
Sather, responsible for this big miscalculation, can keep Zherdev, an upcoming restricted free agent, or save that cap room for somebody more often going to show up.
But unless the Rangers swallow Redden’s cap-choking contract for five long years, there will be little maneuverability to sign the level of scorer the team badly needs.
And making a coaching change isn’t going to bring him.
more about the Rangers…
from Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog,
If you think Boston Bruins center Stephane Yelle is smart on the ice, you should see and hear how wise he is when insults and innuendos start flying across the Bruins’ dressing room.
The 34-year-old Yelle knows just how to toss in a phrase or two and then get out of the conversation unscathed.
“He’s dry. He’s really dry. He’s always throwing his little bombs from the corner,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference explained to TheBruinsBlog.net about his longtime teammate this week. “We call him a giant, wooden spoon. He just likes to stir the pot and then kind of get out of there once the water’s moving around.”
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette quoting Guy Lafleur,
- “If I were in (Alex Kovalev’s) skates, I’d have played my last game for the Canadiens.
No player with his talent would accept being humiliated like that. ... I don’t know what (Bob) Gainey is trying to prove in front of everybody.”
- “If you’re paying guys $4 million, $5 million a year, give them the tools to make sure they’ll produce. You just can’t switch lines and try things every night and hope something will come out of it.”
- “I don’t think this club has a team spirit. They don’t play for each other. They’re not playing as a team and they’re not ready to sacrifice themselves to win.”
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Thomas Vanek is back doing some light exercise but the Buffalo Sabres’ leading scorer says returning in 3-4 weeks from his fractured jaw may be an overly optimistic timetable.
“I hope that I haven’t lost too much of my fitness but we’ll see about that once I start skating again,” Vanek wrote in a diary entry posted on his official Web site for fans in his native Austria. “The doctors said that I would miss at least four weeks altogether but it also could be five to six weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Here are the NHL’s 10 biggest disappointments, with the Canadiens and Penguins leading the way.
1. Underachieving Pittsburgh
“We’re still confident we can make the playoffs,” Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis told SportingNews.com on the night Therrien was fired. They might be the only ones.
The Penguins could get a boost with the firing of Therrien, but the bigger boost comes from the return of defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Even with Gonchar, this team is still a scoring winger away from returning to the playoffs
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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