Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Jason Spezza suffered a right knee injury and is expected to be out for “weeks” the Senators said today.
“It looks fairly serious. Right knee,” said coach Cory Clouston after the team’s practice today. “It means we’re going to have to be more of a team than ever. It’s a great opportunity for some guys.”
Clouston said the injury is similar to one suffered several weeks ago by Chris Neil. The team is still awaiting more information, but if it is similar to Neil’s injury then he could miss four to six weeks.
“We will know more tonight,” said Clouston.
I am hearing no tear in Ericson’s knee, expected to be out 2-3 weeks.
from Bertrand Raymond at RueFrontenac (translated),
Item in the news: the Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers were discussing a trade involving goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
To know what it returns, there is nothing like talk to an actor who finds himself in spite of himself at the heart of this rumor: GM Bob Gainey.
“Bob, as a journalist, I’m what’s the story? I treat it as a new or I consider it a rumor, just another rumor?
Gainey is well known, does not usually comment on rumors. Rather than sending everyone into the left field, he usually prefers to say nothing.
“This is not for me to suggest what you write, the chief replies. All I can say is that it was I who called the Flyers, not the contrary. “
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Will the Blues ever deploy another forward combination that thrills fans as Hull and Oates once did?
Will the Note ever find another rugged superstar capable of winning hearts as Shanahan did?
Will this team ever find a goaltender capable of single-handedly stealing big games with insane saves, as CuJo once did?
The new regime tried to add some sizzle by signing Paul Kariya, who used to be one of the NHL’s most dazzling performers. But injuries, advancing age and declining skill have relegated Kariya to this team’s supporting cast.
He is a private guy who generally avoids the media and public interaction. He seems likely to get through his three-year stint in St. Louis without leaving much of a mark.
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Onlookers have witnessed a blossoming in the play of Wild winger Martin Havlat.
One of those onlookers has the view from behind the Wild bench.
“A visible change,” coach Todd Richards said of Havlat’s play, noting that the shifty winger’s wheels are on fire.
“He can make a play at any moment,” he said. “There are a select few in the NHL that have that potential of making a play, and he did that in Phoenix by going coast to coast on the power play and put it off the pipe.”...
While the Wild have been climbing the NHL charts since an awful start, going 12-5-3 in their past 20 games, Havlat coincidentally has found the game so many expected from him after he signed a six-year contract worth $30 million. After scoring 77 points on 29 goals and 48 assists for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, he came on board expected to pick up the slack left by the departure of star winger Marian Gaborik.
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers,
Is anyone else feeling like they’ve been transported back to 2004? Holy sheep shank. The Jackets are stringing together some absolutely brutal performances – particularly against teams that can skate – and tonight brought another dismal outing.
The Nashville Predators defeated the Jackets 5-3 before a small band of ticked-off hard-cores in Nationwide Arena. Home ice. Archrivals in town. No forecheck. Awful. There was a crowd of 12,856 on hand, and half the folks were shuffling for the exits, heads bowed, with 7 minutes remaining. The rest stayed to boo after the final horn.
“I’d boo too,” defenseman Mike Commodore said.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Wilson isn’t issuing a bold prediction to order tickets for April to beat the rush, but if the Leafs can overcome some Northeast Division demons this week and continue a string of home success, the Eastern Conference standings will start to speak for itself.
From an 0-7-1 start and national scorn, the Leafs began last night just four points back of a post-season berth as they began their final 50 games of the NHL schedule.
“We’re getting close enough to that eighth-place line to realize where we’ve come from,” coach Wilson said before taking on the Senators. “We do want to make the playoffs this year and to take our foot off of the gas right now would not be a wise choice.”
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Matt Duchene spoke with a slight lisp Monday morning, the result of just having work done on a chipped front tooth. Although the prized Avs rookie missed the team’s optional practice because of it, it would take a lot more than that to keep him out of tonight’s game against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
“It’s going to be very cool. Obviously, he’s one of the best players in the league,” Duchene said. “I know I can pick up a lot of great things from him. To be able to play against him, it’s going to be great. He’s pretty exciting and a guy I’ve really watched and admired growing up.”
via Katie Strang (took 3 tweets),
Statement from Garth Snow after the game:
“Ricky has been seen by the team doctors and most recently a specialist to make sure we are taking the proper steps in his rehabilitation. We will seek an additional opinion and should have a time line by the end of the week.”
In case you were unaware, DiPietro left his last rehag game early due to soreness in his leg. He was scheduled to play again tonight but did not.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
• Brooks Laich with a great observation on Nicklas Backstrom: He’s a great passer because he doesn’t need to turn his body before firing one tape-to-tape. He can do it all in one motion.
One GM told me that if you’re going to sign a player to a long-term, big-money deal, he’d better be three things: critical to your success, consistently healthy and, most importantly, extremely self-motivated. Backstrom (who has not missed a game in three years) fits that profile.
Serious question Capitals must ask themselves – does Alexander Semin?
• Don’t understand why Senators fans are so infuriated with Alexei Kovalev. What did they expect? After 15 years, he’s going to change?
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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