Kukla's Korner Hockey
Five and a half minutes of the best saves, goals and hits from the past week in the NHL.
from CBC Sports,
A curious David Marcoux strapped on Miikka Kiprusoff’s pads prior to the National Hockey League’s latest round of changes to goalie equipment.
He then found the nearest phone to inform NHL goaltending supervisor Kay Whitmore of the potential injury risks, should the league and NHL Players’ Association tweak the knee protectors at its meeting in Toronto last June.
It was Marcoux’s belief that changing the width of the knee-strap pads and inner-knee risers from 5.5 inches each would increase the chance of injury. In the end, both parties agreed to keep the status quo entering this season.
“When goalies go down on their knees, the angle of the pads is much better than it used to be because of those cushioned protectors, so it puts less stress on the ankles, knees and hips,” said Marcoux, one of several people who spoke to CBCSports.ca about the growing list of injuries to netminders this season.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Every NHL team must cope with injuries during the course of the grueling 82-game regular season, but the recent run of ailments that has ravaged the Washington Capitals’ roster is so rare that the players, coaches and general manager can only shake their heads in disbelief.
When the Capitals host the Florida Panthers tonight at Verizon Center, they might be without seven players who started the season on the active roster for a fourth consecutive game.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
...In short, the player whom his teammates call “Carts” is blossoming into one of the NHL’s best two-way players.
“You see guys that have the ingredients that Jeff has, but never in the same person,” winger Mike Knuble said. “It’s always somebody who has the big shot, somebody who can fly up and down the ice, somebody who’s a great defender. He combines all of that. He gets matched up against the top players; he can do it all. Whatever you need at a certain point in the game, he seems to be able to deliver.”
“The sky is the limit for Jeff,” coach John Stevens said. “He has the skill set that’s conducive to scoring a lot of goals. He’s near the top of the league in shots. He skates well enough to get separation to get offensive opportunities, and he’s got a shot that can beat goalies from distance.”
Carter, from London, Ontario, is part of a deep 2003 draft that Holmgren said “may go down as the greatest ever.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Dion Phaneuf is well aware Sean Avery will be coming after him tonight.
At least with his words.
Avery, one of the NHL’s premier—to put it politely—disturbers, doesn’t usually need a specific reason to verbally spar with opposing players.
Phaneuf, however, is a big target for Avery when he and the Dallas Stars take to the ice to face the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
Phaneuf’s is in a relationship with actress Elisha Cuthbert, who previously dated Avery.
from Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Frigid fans jamming Wrigley Field won’t be the only ones cheering when the Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day for the NHL’s second Winter Classic.
They’ll be shouting from the rooftops, as well….
“It’s a fierce rivalry. Interest is very high and ticket prices are very high. There’s an opportunity for the rooftops to do some business,” said Tunney, who has introduced an ordinance authorizing rooftop clubs currently limited to Cubs home games to be open Jan. 1.
from Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press,
Mike Ilitch has the most brand power of any owner in professional sports….
That’s according to the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, a survey released Monday that uses scientific polling to pinpoint how teams and owners are perceived by local fans.
As the Red Wings’ owner, Ilitch came in at No. 1 among 122 professional sports owners, and his Wings ranked No. 4 among teams.
SportsBusiness Journal lists the Top 20 and Bottom 5 Teams. Hockey teams in the top 20 are the Wings, Penguins, Canadiens and Hurricanes. One NHL team is in the bottom 5, the NY Islanders.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
Playing for the first time in a week after having been off the ice for five days while visiting his gravely ill father, Claude, in Montreal, Giguere stopped 37 of 38 shots through two periods but exited because of cramping in his groin area….
“I think we did the right decision in not going into the third,” Giguere said. “After cramps, the next thing is a pull. You have to be smart. I cramp up all the time, whether it’s in my hips or calves. It’s regular for me, and I keep playing with those, but in the groin, I didn’t want to take a chance.”
more on the Ducks loss to the Wings last night…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In an interview, (Doug) Wilson listed three primary factors for the Sharks’ strong play — tactical changes by the coaching staff, the overall personnel upgrades and the growth or improvement of his team’s holdover players, many of whom had discouragingly average performances last season.
From the first day of training camp, McLellan stressed a more aggressive fore-check and less play on the perimeter. He especially wanted to see more shots directed toward the net. Last year, Detroit led the league by a wide margin in terms of overall shots on goal. That was a philosophy McLellan imported to his new gig.
It helps that Blake and Boyle both demonstrate strong offensive sensibilities from their defensive positions. Last year, the Sharks received only 113 scoring points all season from their top six defencemen (Craig Rivet, Christian Ehrhoff, Sandis Ozolinsh, Matt Carle, Marc-Eduard Vlasic and Kyle McLaren).
This season, the top six point-getters (Boyle, Blake, Ehrhoff, Vlasic, Lukowich and Alexei Semenov) already have 76 scoring points, with 41/2 months to go in the season.
from Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,
Ilya Bryzgalov says he is frustrated because he has been letting down his teammates.
The Coyotes goaltender, who helped inspire a playoff bid a season ago, has lost his last six starts, and Saturday night allowed two goals on the first two shots he faced. He was pulled from the game by coach Wayne Gretzky about five minutes into the contest against the San Jose Sharks and replaced by Mikael Tellqvist.
“You just work harder, and it’s gonna get better,” Bryzgalov said. “’I’m not mad, but I’m frustrated because I was brutal. I was terrible, and I have to pick up my game, and I’ve got to be better for the guys because they deserve much better goaltending from me than I did in the last game … Two shots, two goals is just horrific.”
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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