Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
For the Eastern Canadian players on the Kings, tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center offers a rare chance to show off for friends and relatives. And they were eagerly looking forward to it.
“All my buddies and family and friends will be watching back home, so I know they’re pretty excited,” said rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, who’s from London, about a 120-mile drive from Toronto.
“It’s awesome. It’s always been a dream, in a way, growing up and watching the Leafs play. And so it’s going to be fun.”
from Marty York at Metro News (Tuesday story),
NHL sources told Metro yesterday the Oilers are poised to complete a significant trade and/or fire coach Craig MacTavish, likely this week.
“They (the Oilers) have come nowhere close to what they expected to be this season and (club chief) Kevin Lowe is extremely annoyed,” an NHL source said. “Kevin’s just about ready to pull the trigger.”
The Oilers were supposed to be a contender this season. Oddsmakers reckoned they’d likely qualify for the playoffs. Yet they’ve turned out to be inconsistent, at best, and are below .500.
read on and if I recall previous stories from Mr. York, not many have come true.
Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…
I’m not worried about it. I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.
“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”
more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Don’t view any investment as a safe investment. Don’t draw an inside straight. Don’t argue politics with someone who didn’t want change. And don’t ever, ever discount the Minnesota Wild’s chances of making the playoffs as long as Jacques Lemaire is coach.
I’m not even waiting for New Year’s Day to make my resolution. That’s now my philosophy after watching November unfold.
In October, my prediction was that the Minnesota Wild wouldn’t make the playoffs. Today, they have the third-best winning percentage in the Western Conference and they are leading the NHL in goals-against average.
Looking at Minnesota’s roster and reviewing how the Wild have performed this season, my conclusion is that as respected as Lemaire is around the NHL, we might still be underestimating his importance.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. Whatever happened to that really good player Alexei Kovalev?
Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, the great Alexei Kovalev—the one that generated Hart Trophy talk and ended up leading the NHL in power-play points last season—has gone AWOL. Poof. After the Habs’ 3-2 win Saturday against Buffalo, Kovalev has gone 13 games without a goal. He has just five goals so far and is fourth in team scoring.
read on for more Q & A…
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2008)—Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and New York Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for November.
From Mike Ulmer of the Toronto Maple Leafs:
I was curious about the ramifications of the relationship between Ron Wilson and Brian Burke. They go back, as you may have heard, to their first week of school at Providence College in Rhode Island.
“There’s a reason best friends often don’t date,” I said. “You two have never run an NHL team together. Are you worried that the pressures of the job will affect the friendship?”
First, guys don’t like it when you refer to their business relationship as “a date.” Wilson let that one go, which was kind.
Second, this is a classic cart-before-the-horse question.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
In this week’s rankings, we grade the performances of the goalies so far this season for each team:
Click here to find out more!
(Last week’s rankings are in parentheses).
1. San Jose Sharks (1): Before getting injured, Evgeni Nabokov was solid, if not quite up to his usual standards. Brian Boucher (7-1-1, .928 save percentage) has been great in a relief role. Grade: B+
2. Boston Bruins (3): Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez have emerged as the league’s best goalie tandem. Grade: A
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2008)—Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller and St. Louis Blues goaltender Chris Mason have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 30.
from the blog of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
There was an interesting development at the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena – while talking about tonight’s game against the Ducks, Mike Babcock threw out a question of his own.
“Who’s the hardest working team in the National Hockey League?” he said. “Well, in the past I’ve been able to say without any question, here. I don’t think that’s the case right now.”
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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