Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Empty Netters,
When Ray Shero re-signed Mark Eaton back on July 1, many questioned the decision to bring back a player who spent much of his previous two seasons on injured reserve. With some of the Penguins other needs in free agency at the time, why devote a decent chunk of change to an oft-injured defenseman?
Two months later, Shero’s looking like a genius. Granted, he couldn’t have foreseen what would happen to his two most prolific defensemen before the season started, but he saw the value of having depth. With Eaton and Brooks Orpik back in the fold, the Penguins ensured they would have nine NHL-caliber blueliners in the organization. Without Gonchar and Whitney, the Penguins still seven solid reliable players they can dress on the blue line.
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers,
The Jackets’ A team played the Blackhawks’ B team in an exhibition at Nationwide tonight. The Jackets won, 7-1 But they lost left winger Raffi Torres to a separated shoulder. Torres will miss six weeks.
“Very costly. Disappointing,” Jackets coach Ben Hitchcock said. “It works every time. Every time you play against a (largely minor-league) team like that brought in here, something bad happens.”
At 14:29 of the second period, Torres backed away from the faceoff circle and squared off with Ben Eager. Torres apparently called out Eager, a noted pugilist, because Eager had slashed Jackets rookie Jake Voracek across the hands during the previous shift.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
While we can conclude very little from any pre-season, it’s clear we have ourselves an Ottawa Senators team with more question marks than the Riddler’s outfit, and an Eastern Conference as wide open as Saskatchewan….
That leaves it wide open for….take your pick…Montreal, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Washington…
The early line on the Sens is Sesame Street simple. If Martin Gerber is really good, they finish somewhere between 4th and 7th in the conference. If Martin Gerber is…uhh…what Martin Gerber was most of last year, then they’ll be golfing by mid-April.
from Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning traded rugged wing Nick Tarnasky to the Predators for a conditional 2009 draft pick. Tampa Bay received a sixth-round pick that would turn into a fifth if Tarnasky plays at least 50 games.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
We came to practice in Traverse City, and it’s a sellout [every day] for practice,” Hossa said. “It’s a small arena, but that shows me something. Obviously, in Atlanta there were good fans, but it’s not a traditional hockey market. You can tell the difference.”
It’s a difference, he said, that helps the Red Wings.
“You’re still playing the same game, [but] there’s definitely more atmosphere,” he said. “You get more fired up before the game. Everybody’s talking about it. You’re more under the microscope. Everybody’s talking about hockey.”
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues defenseman Jeff Woywitka has a cracked bone in his right foot and will miss four to six weeks, according to the team.
Woywitka suffered the injury while blocking a shot in Friday’s 9-4 victory over Atlanta at Scottrade Center.
He becomes the third Blues’ defensemen to be injured during the preseason, leaving a huge void less than two weeks before the start of the season.
Sergei Gonchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins will mis 4-6 months due to surgery on a dislocated left shoulder, a source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun on Monday.
The team is expected to announce Gonchar’s injury status on Tuesday.
added 9/30/08, via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his dislocated shoulder Thursday and will be sidelined for four to six months.
UPMC physician Dr. Mark Rodosky will perform the surgery to repair cartilage and ligament damage to his left shoulder. Gonchar suffered the injury during the first period of the Penguins’ pre-season opener against Tampa Bay on September 20.
“It is always difficult to lose a very talented player and leader for an extended period of time, but we all believe this is the best decision for Sergei,” said Ray Shero, the Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager. “We are confident that he will come back strong after this surgery. In the meantime, we’ll look to our other defensemen to step up in his absence.”
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Riding shotgun for Sidney Crosby seems like the easiest duty the NHL has to offer. Sometimes, though, looks can be deceiving.
It takes a player with a special set of skills—and a high dose of confidence—to play on Crosby’s flank. The Penguins are hoping Ruslan Fedotenko, signed as a free agent from the New York Islanders this summer, emerges as that player.
“I think with Sid, you need to be a certain type of player,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “I like the way (Fedotenko) plays. He’s got decent speed, he’s good on the boards, and he has the capability to finish.”
from the CP via TSN,
The situation in Phoenix is reminiscent of the one Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane enjoyed as rookies last year in Chicago. Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky wants to give Boedker and Turris every chance to showcase their talent in the desert.
“We’re not going to trap,” said Gretzky, who enters his fourth season as coach. “We’re going to go offensively and we’re going to utilize our speed.
“And we’re going to enjoy watching this team grow and watching this team play.”
It’s been 15 years since the Stanley Cup was awarded to a Canadian team and the Montreal Canadiens enter the season with the best chance of ending that drought.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
“We’re fortunate to be a part of these things,” Therrien told NHL.com Monday. “The Winter Classic was a great experience for us and we were looking forward to it for a long time. We’re fortunate to be involved in events like these. That’s the way we look at it. We see the positives.”
Penguin General Manager Ray Shero was singing a similar song Monday as his team went through a strenuous practice at the Hovet Arena. Shero has been to Stockholm several times to scout tournaments here and loves the city. He is glad his team can experience such a magical place, especially those players from North America who have never been abroad.
More importantly, he is glad the Penguins have this time to bond and develop team chemistry.
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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