Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
Defensive partner Matt Niskanen said it best at Thursday’s practice: “Everybody had a smile on their face today, and he’s got a lot to do with it.”
That’s the effect that Sergei Zubov has on this team. He should make his season debut tonight, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Stars need his calm during this stormy start. They need his veteran leadership on and off the ice. And they definitely need his fantastic play….
Newly acquired right wing Mark Parrish said he couldn’t wait to get into a game situation, and he’ll get his chance tonight. He’s someone who wants to prove he has a place in this league, and that could lead to some good work fast.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Also feeling his oats was Aaron Voros who battled Ryan Malone in another excellent toe-to-toe bout in the first period and later traded punches with Tampa’s belligerent goalie Mike Smith at 18:19 of the third. Voros also took an ankle chop from Smitty preceding the bout.
“I think he (Smith) should be suspended for that,” says Renney.
more on the Rangers win against Tampa last night and watch the Smith/Voros battle below as captured by HockeyFignts.com…
from Russo’s Rants,
Late in the second period, Tucker and defenseman Nick Schultz clashed deep in the Wild’s zone. After the pushing match, the two lined up next to each other and Tucker began screaming at him as the Wild was on a penalty kill. Schultz was called off the ice on a line change and as he skated by, Tucker continued barking at him.
Then, 6:33 into the third, in a despicable act but one he’s done often in his career, Tucker came in way late on Schultz, bent down and went right for the knees. He was called for clipping.
I got Schultz alone in the locker room, and he was still fuming. Here’s his comments:
“My concern is at the end of the second, he tells me he’s going to come and take out my knees, and then he actually does it. It says everything you need to know about that guy.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Wilson is a modernist, in the way he applies technology and statistical analysis to the game of hockey, and he is a traditionalist, in the way he believes his players ought to feel a special responsibility donning the uniform.
He does not suffer fools, he is expansive in conversation, he is confident of being the smartest guy in most rooms (or at very least, dressing rooms), he has won more than 500 games in a sport where anyone resembling an egghead is met with a degree of suspicion, he has taken one team to the Stanley Cup final and been fired three times.
And Wilson talks in a way the Toronto sports crowd is still trying to process.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
If Mats Sundin truly wants to play for one of the teams with a better shot at winning a Stanley Cup, he will have to leave a wad of money on the table.
Currently, the three teams that seem like the most logical fit for Sundin would be the Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens and none of those teams have any significant room under the salary cap.
The Rangers and Ducks essentially have no room, and the Canadiens have approximately $1 million.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers are seeking a compensatory selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft for the loss of Alexei Cherepanov, The Post has learned.
Glen Sather raised the issue at the general managers’ meeting in Chicago two weeks ago, citing CBA Article 8.3 (b) that stipulates that compensatory picks be awarded to teams unable to sign first-round draft picks.
Sather is submitting that the Rangers should receive the 17th selection in the second round of June’s draft as compensation for losing Cherepanov, the 17th overall selection in the 2006 Draft who died in Russia on Oct. 13 while playing for Omsk.
“At this point, the league has taken no position on the Rangers’ request,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Post. “The matter is in front of the league’s general managers, who will address the subject at their next meeting in March.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Now I don’t expect a goalie will slip some netting between his pads or anything like Tony Esposito was alleged to have done way back when, but is it outside the realm of consideration to think a netminder might have an equipment guy go back and get that “favourite” glove or blocker, the one that wasn’t quite up to stuff at the start of the season when measurements were made?
Who’s to determine whether the incoming goalie’s stick is extra long or has a paddle that is just a shade wider than the league allows (after all, poke checking is less of an art and more of an advantage if the stick is longer than the rules allow)?
from Bill Clement at NBC Sports,
Toronto is off to a surprisingly good start. Who would have figured the Leafs to get 14 of their first 26 possible points? Who would have figured that in the first week of November they would be eighth in the Eastern Conference standings after finishing 12th last season? Not many people, maybe not anyone.
Toronto coming out of the gate this impressively raises the very interesting question of can the Maple Leafs keep it up? Can they exceed expectations and most importantly to their faithful, can they end their playoff drought?
“The biggest thing I want the players to know is that it’s really not acceptable last night to come out with a point against that team. I don’t know that it was in the past, but it definitely isn’t in the present. ... That was a team that was down, and we have to recognize that and develop more of a killer instinct. To their credit, they did what they had to do, but it shouldn’t sneak up on you.”
-Tampa GM Brian Lawton after the Bolts lost to New Jersey last night. More at Lightning Strikes…
from Sam Kasan at PittsburghPenguins.com,
Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin has gotten a lot of attention from the media following his comments about Penguins star Sidney Crosby.
The drama continued today when Pittsburgh head coach Michel Therrien was asked about Semin’s comments. Therrien, who has never shied away from giving his opinion, laughed and then responded:
“Is he talking about the youngest guy to get 100 points in the history of the National Hockey League? Is he talking about the youngest guy to win the Hart Trophy and lead the league in scoring? Is he talking about the youngest captain in the National Hockey League to bring his team to the Stanley Cup Final? That’s all I have to say.”
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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