Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
That’s the question buzzing in the mind of Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, who suddenly has an unforeseen goaltending dilemma placed on his lap.
Goaltender Ray Emery, who lost his starting job to abdominal surgery in early December, says he’s ready to play Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Flyers. Brian Boucher, who lost his starting job to a sliced ring finger, has been cleared to play for a week now, but hasn’t because of Michael Leighton’s strong play.
And Leighton, who was plucked off waivers for insurance purposes on Dec. 15, is 6-0-1 in eight straight starts.
Logic tells you Leighton must get the start on Saturday night. He’s certainly earned it. But can a goalie lose his starting job to injury? Apparently, Laviolette thinks so.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Barrie Stafford is currently in his 29th season with the Edmonton Oilers’ organization and in his 28th as the team’s head equipment manager. Since joining the Edmonton training staff in 1982-83, “Staff” has contributed greatly to the success of the Oilers as a member of five Stanley Cup championship teams….
the former Vice President of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers is the logical choice to ask about the arduous process of moving an NHL team from city to city during a season.
NHL.com: When the Flyers played Dec. 30 in New York and then had to get to Boston for practice the next day, the Rangers gave them a truck to make the trip. Meanwhile, the players, coaching staff and team executives took a train. There’re different travel arrangements sometimes for the equipment staff than there is for the team. The equipment managers don’t always leave with the team?
Stafford: Our training staff works independent of the team and pretty much all teams in the NHL work that way. It’s a little different in the East Coast than it is in our conference because there’s a difference between cities. But, generally speaking, the home team supplies the vehicle that we use to go wherever we might need to go. The Toronto Maple Leafs came to Edmonton last week after playing the other day in Pittsburgh. Our truck driver, after their practice, packed up their gear and took them to Calgary….
“We had — particularly, our line — had five times when three guys were laying in the crease, and we couldn’t get the puck by everybody. Howard, he was playing good, no question about that, but there were just a couple lucky bounces here and there, and we could have won that game.”
-Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings and the play of Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. More from Kopitar via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The Blue Jackets room was kept closed for several minutes after their 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Rexall Place last night.
Music was cranked and players let loose for a few moments. It’s doubtful many Jackets knew they had averted tying a franchise record for the longest winless streak (14 games). Ending the 13-game skid, however, brought temporarily relief and lots of smiles.
The scene is open to interpretation. They were celebrating for finally winning a game against the only team worse than themselves? Or, maybe it showed a lot guys care and there’s pride in the room, however wounded.
“It’s exciting to win again, but it’s just one game,” Jackets captain Rick Nash said. “We will enjoy it but there is another one (tonight). We will have to be ready.”
from John Down of the National Post,
Word is Dion Phaneuf has allegedly asked to be traded and Darryl Sutter is exploring the possibilities of swinging a deal for Vinny Lecavalier or Ilya Kovalchuk or John Tavares or, apparently, any other elite player you can name.
All of which is very amusing to the Calgary Flames general manager.
“Everything is false,” Sutter said of the rampant rumours surrounding his 24-year-old defenceman. “Whoever makes up that stuff is not doing anything. We’ve worked really hard at building a top young defence in the league and our intention is to keep them so that’s just from somebody who didn’t have anything to do on that day.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Blackhawks laughed off the Bruins’ early lead and pumped four pucks behind Tim Thomas, prompting coach Claude Julien to replace his starter with Tuukka Rask at 10:13 of the second. Chicago added a third-period goal to secure a 5-2 win before 17,565 at TD Garden last night, exposing the Bruins as having neither the skill nor the character to belong on the same ice surface.
“It’s getting to the point where talk is getting so cheap right now,’’ said Blake Wheeler (goal and assist). “Rah-rah speeches, hitting the boards on the bench, that only goes so far. You’ve just got to do it.
“We’ve got to quit treating this like it’s a privilege or a right of ours to play in front of 18,000 people every night and start playing like it’s the most important thing to us. For whatever reason, we’ve lost sight of that night in and night out.’’
more on the game last night plus Marc Savard will have an MRI on his knee today…
added 9:10am, Watch below how Savard received his knee injury…
Flyers vs. Penguins tonight.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Somehow, between acting lessons, reading movie scripts, pawning his book, recording a country music song and shooting the accompanying video, Theo Fleury managed to write a blog that has underscored just how little The Little Big Man can be.
Burning perhaps the last bridge he had to the hockey world by referring to those in the Flames organization and the NHL who gave him the chance to clear his name with a comeback attempt last fall as “stupid” the 41-year-old went further by suggesting he never should’ve been cut.
Taking shots at Craig Conroy and Robyn Regehr who both had the class to speak well of Fleury during camp despite the fact all players thought his publicity stunt was a joke, Fleury tried justifying his words Thursday by suggesting “Oprah and Larry King don’t have to take calls and explain every blog they write.”
Note 8:05am 01/08/10, For some reason lateley, Sun Media has been posting stories and then changing the link a few hours later. So this link, like other Sun Media links, was working, then it went bad, but I changed it now to the new link so it is now working again.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Defenseman Ed Jovanovski continues to exhibit a mean streak as a dominating presence for the Coyotes, and it’s one of the key reasons the blue line has exceeded most expectations.
His physical play - and the idea planted in opponents’ minds that he could strike at any moment - is nothing new, but it appears to have taken on a new urgency for a team trying to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Forward Shane Doan does not think the JovoCop of old ever really went away, noting when a team is not having success a lot of things get overlooked.
“He’s been that way,” he said. ” . . . He doesn’t take nights off, the guy’s incredibly intense and loves to win.”
Funny, really, to hear Ron Wilson bleating today about how unfair it is that the media is allowed to watch his practices and report on them.
This is the very same coach, ladies and gentleman, who upon coming to Toronto last season ripped the very same media people for not taking the time to watch practice carefully and to ask questions specifically related to drills and practice techniques.
-Damien Cox of The Spin. More on Wilson from Cox.
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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