Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
From the aforementioned list only Vachon, in the early 1970s, provided top-notch goaltending for more than a few seasons. The Kings’ inability to find and develop elite goalies transcends generations and general managers and generally defies common sense.
That’s why it’s tempting to get excited about Quick, who has two shutouts in his first four starts this season and will start for the fifth consecutive time when the Kings play the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Staples Center.
He stays square to the shooters. He doesn’t get rattled. He’s competitive and he’s a quick learner—after being banished to the ECHL last season because he showed up late to a couple of practices, he now takes practice as seriously as games.
“To his credit, he actually handled it pretty well,” General Manager Dean Lombardi said.
Son of a father who’s a route salesman for Entenmann’s bakery and does construction work on the side, the 22-year-old native of Milford, Conn., knows the value of hard work.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
With 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points, while at the same time being a plus player this season, Souray has not just been a big shot from the point but a complete player at his position.
Scoring the game winner in each of the previous two games and producing a goal and an assist when it mattered most in last night’s 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators, Souray became the Oilers’ top goal scorer for the season to put him on pace to duplicate his 64-point Montreal Canadiens 2006-07 season and do it without that massive minus.
“You are always a work in progress but I don’t think people knew me well enough, or had seen me play enough,” said Souray of those who thought his acquisition was a major mistake by the then general manager….”
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
A sneak peak at some potential 2009 hockey headlines:
Guy in a Cubs hat leaning over the glass at Wrigley Field accidentally deflects a puck into the Chicago net, giving Detroit the Winter Classic.
Insisting that John Ferguson had laid the groundwork, Brian Burke denies tampering in the Leafs’ 10-player deadline deal with Anaheim.
read on plus more hockey notes…
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The Hawks set a record for the 82-year-old franchise Sunday night with their ninth consecutive victory, a tidy 4-1 decision over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
“I kind of feel like the Boston Celtics a little,” captain Jonathan Toews said.
It might be more appropriate for the Hawks to feel like the Detroit Red Wings, whom they now trail by only 4 points in the Central Division.
Next up: back-to-back games with the defending Stanley Cup champs, including Thursday’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.
“I think we can win every night,” said Dustin Byfuglien, whose 2 first-period goals got the Hawks off to a fast start. “We’ve got the group of guys and the work ethic to go out and beat any team we want to beat.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It’s fine for Tom Renney to call out “very key members of our hockey club who need to better,” as he did without naming names following Saturday’s 4-2 loss at the Garden to the Devils New Jersey Devils , but the head coach’s words won’t mean a thing unless he’s willing to back them up.
Which means benching and/or scratching those athletes who consistently fail to play to their capabilities, regardless of the names on the back of their uniforms, the letters on the front, or the numbers on their paychecks.
And that means Chris Drury Chris Drury , the captain who has had a distinctly disappointing Year II on Broadway. That means Scott Gomez Scott Gomez , the alternate captain who is playing the worst hockey of his life. That means Wade Redden, who for most of the season has appeared so unaccountably detached from the action around him.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Wilson said Sunday night that Lemieux — a right wing once regarded as the league’s top agitator and most hated player — will be given a two-way contract Monday that would enable the Sharks to bring him to San Jose from the franchise’s Worcester development team where he has been playing for the past month.
The G.M. emphasized, however, that the evaluation process is far from complete and continued to play down the likelihood of Lemieux winding up in San Jose….
Offering Lemieux a two-way contract also gives every other NHL team a chance to claim him by noon Tuesday under waiver rules. But if none does, the Sharks would be free to bring him up just as they have several rookies this season.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Although short on talent, the Avs displayed plenty of spunk during their neutral-ice game at the Pepsi Center against longtime hated rival Detroit.
Neutral ice? Sad, but true.
The most unsettling trend in the blood feud between the Avs and Wings might not be that Detroit remains a legit Cup contender while Colorado now too often seems like a gritty pretender. What really grates is how many Detroit fans treat the 303 like their own area code.
What gives? There were more Red Wings sweaters in the building on this Saturday night than red Chrysler Sebrings were sold in the Motor City during the entire month of December.
more on the Avalanche…
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals retired Mike Gartner’s No. 11 jersey prior to tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, honoring the Hockey Hall of Famer who ranks second in Capitals history in goals (397), assists (392) and points (789). Gartner becomes the fourth player in Capitals history to have his number retired, joining Yvon Labre (No. 7), Rod Langway (No. 5) and Dale Hunter (No. 32).
“I always look back on my 10 years in Washington with great memories, great admiration and great thankfulness,” Gartner said. “I will always have a very special place in my heart for this area and for this franchise. I really became a hockey player here, and I also became a young man, and was shown the importance of being involved in the community.”
continued at WashingtonCapitals.com…
Watch a tribute video below that the Capitals put together for Mike…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Brent Sutter’s squad has faced significant challenges along the way and successfully handled almost all of them. The Devils, who have won four of their last six and 13 of 18, trail the Rangers by four points and the Flyers by two, and are one point ahead of the Penguins.
“I think it has something to do with leadership and something to do with character in your room,” said Sutter, who gave his players a day off Sunday, said of his team’s rise. “It’s a very confident mind-set in the dressing room. It’s been there since Day One of training camp. Guys have worked and played hard and paid attention to what is put in place.
If you hurry, you can watch the Winter Classic ice crew painting the ice at Wrigley. White is going down now and next would be the ice markings, including blueline, redline, etc.
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.
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