Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has denied claims by defenceman Shane O’Brien that he was asked to fight more often.
Gillis, head coach Alain Vigneault and two other Canucks executives met with all of the team’s players last week to address a prolonged losing string — now eight consecutive games and nine in a row on home ice.
O’Brien, fresh off a benching during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild last Saturday, said that in his meeting, the GM instructed him to fight.
“In no uncertain terms was he told he had to fight,” Gillis said last night. “How he ever got that message is unbeknownst to me. He clearly misinterpreted the message that we were trying to send, that each player has to be accountable and work hard individually.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
They and we are honor ing a role model at the Garden tonight, honoring a superior Ranger who was and is a greater New Yorker than he was a hockey player, honoring Adam Graves for who he is as an individual, and not merely what he was on the ice.
He embodies all the qualities we wish for our children to inherit; generous, selfless and genuine. He is the friend you’d trust with your life.
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Here’s general manager Dean Lombardi on the suspension: “We didn’t believe he deserved a penalty, let alone a suspension. When you stop the tape, his elbow is clearly down and at the point of contact, his feet are on the ice. They both ended up halfway up the boards, so it’s not a charge….”
“I was the worst player in the league tonight by far. We should have won that game 3-0. The guys played great. I’m the reason that we lost in a shootout.”
-Blues goaltender Manny Legace. More on the Blues shootout loss to the Wings last night at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
...Part of the problem here—a huge part of the problem I suspect—is that Penner simply doesn’t look like a hockey player. Instead, Penner looks pudgy. Chubby, you might even say, or fat, if you were a coach on a losing streak.
His skating stride appears to be leisurely. He ambles more than he churns the ice. Even when he’s making an effective deke, he appears to be doing so in slow motion.
In those rare moments when he does really get it going, when he hammers a shot on net, or uses his size to hammer an opponent into the boards, it only tends to make things worse for Penner, leaving fans to ask: Why can’t he do that every night?
Penner’s main issue is optics, that hockey players aren’t supposed to be pudgy and slow, and when we rate a player like Penner, it’s hard to overlook our strong visceral reaction to his appearance and style of play.
from Steve Silver of the Las Vegas Sun,
Monday morning at the Orleans Arena was business as usual as the Las Vegas Wranglers and Bakersfield Condors prepared for tonight’s game – until the Chicago Blackhawks strolled in to practice.
Yes, those Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s “Original Six” franchises and the current fourth-place team in the Western Conference with a 27-13-8 record….
After dropping the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night, the Blackhawks headed to the Bellagio for their hockey retreat.
The team watched the Super Bowl together on Sunday then practiced at the Orleans Arena Monday prior to boarding a flight to Edmonton for a showdown with the Oilers on Tuesday night.
TORONTO (February 2, 2009) —Los Angeles Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier has been suspended for five games, without pay, as a result of a blow to the head delivered during NHL Game #732, Jan. 31 against the Montreal Canadiens, the National Hockey League announced.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Gauthier will forfeit $56,451.61. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Gauthier was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct for hitting Canadiens’ defenseman Josh Gorges at 3:50 of the second period.
Gauthier will miss games at Ottawa on Feb. 3, at Washington on Feb. 5, at New Jersey on Feb. 7, at New York Islanders on Feb. 10 and against Calgary on Feb. 12. He will be eligible to return on Feb. 14 against Edmonton.
via Lightning Strikes,
The last we saw of Lightning goalie Mike Smith he was smashing a water bottle and overturning carts in the hallway leading to the locker room after he was pulled from Friday’s loss to the Flyers. It is unknown if that had any affect on Monday’s announcement Smith will not fly with the team for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders. Mike McKenna, signed Monday to an NHL contract, and Karri Ramo will be the goaltending duo.
added 6:35pm, via Bolts Report,
The team did not reveal until well after practice today that Mike Smith was injured and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. I tried to cram that information into the previous post.
Smith did not travel with the team today as he went to seek either some medical testing or a therapy of some type, according to general manager Brian Lawton, who did not rule out Smith joining the team in New York before tomorrow’s game and Rick Tocchet has not ruled anything out at this point.
Penguins centre Tyler Kennedy has been suspended one game by the NHL for initiating a fight with the Maple Leafs’ Luke Schenn on Saturday night.
The Leafs had asked the league to review the incident, saying that Kennedy had come off to the Pens’ bench to start an altercation with the young defenceman.
MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday that forward Robert Lang underwent successful surgery to repair a severed Achilles tendon on his left leg. The 38-year old forward is presently recovering from surgery and will be out indefinitely.
Lang suffered the injury during the third period of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Boston Bruins, at the Bell Centre. He was transferred to the Montreal General Hospital where surgery was performed on Sunday night.
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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