Kukla's Korner Hockey
We also have the semi-finals of the WJC.
Canada vs. Switzerland at 5:00pm ET and Sweden vs. United States at 9:00pm ET. Both games are on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN/TSN2 will cover the games in Canada.
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
There weren’t outward signs of anger after the Penguins’ fourth loss in a row and fifth loss in six games. Nor was there an outpouring of bewilderment.
Yet definitive answers weren’t forthcoming, either.
“It’s kind of like we’re just showing up and—I don’t want to say expecting to win because you do have to have kind of a confidence or swagger that you expect to win, but I think right now we think we’re good enough to show up and beat whoever we play, and we’re not,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said yesterday after the Penguins folded in a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum to match their longest skein of the season.
“I don’t know how good we are, to be honest. I think early in the season we got lucky with a lot of games in a lot of different aspects. Maybe it’s catching up to us. I guess that’s the best way to describe the picture—the level of desperation isn’t what it needs to be.”
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
The Panthers have been saying that injured winger David Booth is expected to return to the lineup sometime this month.
Coach Pete DeBoer on Saturday added some doubt to that timeline, saying that it’s possible Booth could be done for the season.
Booth, who led the team in goals last season, was knocked unconscious by Philadelphia captain Mike Richards in a brutal open-ice hit on Oct. 24. Booth sustained a major concussion and has resumed skating and working out. But DeBoer said Booth’s return is an uncertainty.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
• People who have watched Jiri Hudler with Moscow Dynamo say his heart’s not in it, but as one NHL executive says, “How do you turn your back on $10 million?” I’m sure he’ll be back in Detroit in two years. I know one thing: If the Red Wings knew Hudler was bolting for Russia, they would have moved to keep winger Mikael Samuelsson. Instead, they saved money for Hudler, who is seven years younger.
- - The Wings don’t feel Johan Franzen (knee) will be back until mid-February, so the Olympics are out, but if he somehow makes a quicker recovery, they have no objection to the Swedes adding him.
• The NHL is taking bids for next year’s Icemen Cometh outdoor game, but come on, if Alex Ovechkin, the best player in the game, isn’t on the bill at Yankee Stadium for the Washington Capitals against the New York Rangers, they’re missing the boat.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell was slated to meet with Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, this weekend at the World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in what could be a defining moment in this long saga.
If the Kovalchuk camp doesn’t sign the multiyear deal (10 to 12 years) that’s on the table, hold on to your hats. Then, the fun begins as the Thrashers will finally pick up the phone and open up the bidding for Kovalchuk on the trade market.
My guess is you’ll see the usual suspects inquire about Kovalchuk, teams such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and several others, but an NHL executive from a Western Conference team told me recently he wouldn’t be surprised if the Chicago Blackhawks got involved…
If Kovalchuk is put on the trade market, I believe the Thrashers will not allow other teams to talk contract with him. He will be dealt as a rental only.
No official word from the Blues on the condition of Tkachuk.
from Izzy Gould of the St. Petersburg Times,
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said “everybody’s fine” after a stretcher was wheeled into the coaches room after the game. No one was brought out. Asked if anyone was in trouble, Bylsma pointed to the players’ locker room and said, “The ones who are in trouble are in there.”
more on the Lightning win over the Penguins today…
I take pride in the fact that the building is full all the time,” Murray said. “You look at the development of the young players. Look at some of the guys and the (Olympic) recognition they’ve gotten recently. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my job. It’s a tough job to lose, but I’m appreciative. I don’t blame the players. It’s my job to get wins. I didn’t get enough of them.
-Ex Blues Coach Andy Murray. More on Murray from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
You can get more information at LAKings.com.
“There are a lot of nights when it’s pretty tough to watch us.
“If we’re going to turn this around, we’re going to have to do a complete 180 degrees. We know we’re better than this, but we can’t seem to put our finger in the hole to stop the water from leaking out.”
-Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers. More on the Oilers from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
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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