Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Byfuglien and defenseman Brent Sopel were scratched for the game against the Stars. Both have been mentioned in recent trade speculation. Quenneville said Sopel, often injured this season, was a healthy scratch and was in the Hawks’ locker room after the game.
Most prominent of the trade rumors have Byfuglien going to the Capitals in a deal that would bring Nylander back to the Hawks. A straight-up deal was nixed by the Hawks this week, apparently because they couldn’t stay under the salary cap if they acquired Nylander. Adding Sopel to the deal would allow them to do that…
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Craig Conroy twice experienced the wrath of Patrick Roy.
On his first day on the ice as a rookie with the Montreal Canadiens, a high shot in warmup brought about a confrontation with the Hall-of-Fame goaltender…
“It was actually my very first day on the ice. Patrick was on my team for the scrimmage,” said Conroy, who was a little excited in warmup and watched his first shot at Roy get away from him.
“It kept rising and hit him in the head. He kind of stopped everything, cleared off his crease, then he came out and actually punched me in the head with his blocker.
“I thought, ‘What do I do?’ He’s Patrick Roy. I’m just nobody. I didn’t throw any punches or anything. I just kind of took it and they broke it up. I was sent down (to the AHL Fredericton Canadiens) pretty soon after that.”
more from Conroy on Roy…
via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Holmstrom, who was supposed to be on the first line with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa, had back spasms. Little wonder, with all the cross-checks he takes in front of the net. Holmstrom took the pre-game skate but couldn’t go.
“I’m sure it’ll stiffen up on the bus to the airport and the flight, but we’ll see how it is,” Holmstrom said.
Kronwall has a sore ankle.
“I hurt it last game (Monday against the Oilers in Detroit) when I fell down with a player on top of me, and slid into the boards. Nothing major,” Kornwall said
Also missing the game was Wings TV color-man Larry Murphy. His daughter was involved in a car accident and surgery is planned for today but a full recovery is expected.
Filling in for Murphy was Craig Simpson, who did a great job. Sometimes it is nice to ‘hear’ a different voice in the booth and Simpson as always, was bang-on with his game analysis.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres spent most of October at or near the top of the NHL in goals-against average. They entered Thursday’s play just 16th at 2.83.
“The time is now,” Ruff said after Thursday’s practice in HSBC Arena. “This is not just a couple little mishaps. This is a stretch of poor games that has been poor in a lot of areas.
“. . . Every team will have a segment of season where your goaltending will be tough, your special teams won’t get the job done, offensively you can’t seem to score. In an 82- game season, you deal with all these highs and lows and there’s never a team that doesn’t go through them. Maybe this is our little segment but now is the time to come out of it.”
The Sabres started November with back-to-back shutouts. Since then, they’ve been pillaged for 29 goals in just six games.
from Dan Ellis of the Nashville Predators at the Hockey News,
You would think after 10 years of hockey the city of Nashville would be crazy about the sport, but that’s not necessarily the case.
I think our ownership group has done a good job emphasizing a connection to the local community to get support. Now the team just needs to continue to have success and bring more and more fans out.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
The elite ...
… or the men who get the most out of their rosters, regardless of how good (or otherwise) those rosters are.
Mike Babcock, Detroit
Any quarrel here? Other than the fact that the rich got richer, which isn’t his “fault”? His broad-based background, his Stanley Cup résumé, his adaptability all add up to this: He should be at the top, or near the top, of any list. Stock: Up.
Jacques Lemaire, Minnesota
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’ve got to give the devil—or ex-Devils coach—his due.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHL’s rookie race looks nothing like what the preseason pundits predicted.
Steven Stamkos, Kyle Turris and Fabian Brunnstrom were far and away the leading September picks to challenge for the Calder Trophy this season.
Someone forgot to tell Derick Brassard, Kris Versteeg, Mikhail Grabovski, Jakub Voracek and Patrik Berglund—the top five scoring rookies through Wednesday night.
Fellow rookie forwards Blake Wheeler, Mikkel Boedker and Oscar Moller also have been impressive as the NHL season reaches its quarter pole, as have first-year blueliners Alex Goligoski, Drew Doughty and Luca Sbisa.
Still, let’s be honest here. For the first time since the lockout, the NHL has a wide-open rookie race without the big-name attraction.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• The issue is how long Senators owner Eugene Melnyk will tolerate an underachieving team? Will Bryan Murray trade (not easy) Jason Spezza? (Edmonton is said to be a possibility.) Will Murray go the Tampa route and can Craig (Hardly Inspirational) Hartsburg? How safe is Murray? The Sens are home Thursday (Montreal) and Saturday (Rangers). By Sunday Melnyk will have had enough time to pick his route; especially if his club is in a rout!
• Has it dawned on any of the Ottawa genius fans who booed Wade Redden that his absence is one reason why their Senators are plumbing the NHL depths?
more hockey topics from Stan…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
San Jose Sharks: A-plus
The current gold standard for Stanley Cup contenders. But, of course, we’ve heard that story before when it comes to San Jose, haven’t we? The Sharks have jelled surprisingly well under rookie coach Todd McLellan and, as of midweek, have yet to lose in regulation at home. Dan Boyle is doing what GM Doug Wilson thought he would on the back end and forward David Setoguchi is another homegrown gem. As always, the question is whether they can bring it come April when the pudding is on the table.
Detroit Red Wings: A
Stanley Cup hangover? What hangover?
read on for a report on every NHL team.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, ...
while Leafs coach Ron Wilson said he did not expect Colaiacovo’s ailment to be an issue, watching the defenceman limping around suggested otherwise….
Acknowledging that Colaiacovo was en route to having X-rays taken, Wilson suggested that Colaiacovo’s injury-plagued history is related to less-than-ideal physical conditioning.
“The big thing with Carlo — and I tell him that every day — is that ‘You’re not in very good shape. It leads to all the other issues in the past’,” Wilson said, adding the organization is working with Colaiacovo to improve his preparation.
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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