Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Strongly believe there was one, possibly two teams who were willing to take Cristobal Huet from Chicago. (Should clarify: I’m more certain about one than the other.) But the Blackhawks decided to stand pat, much to the surprise of other GMs. Unloading Huet’s contract (two years remaining, $5.625 million cap hit) would have cost at least a first-rounder and an established player. (I know you’re going to ask, but I’d be guessing on whom. The source wouldn’t tell me.)
Why did Chicago decline? Scotty Bowman believes strongly in the Detroit model: If you don’t have a top-three goalie, you protect him with great team defence and puck possession. The Blackhawks – disciplined and talented – have a shot. But, to duplicate the Red Wings’ success, they will have to show two things: their forwards are as committed to back pressure as Detroit’s and their defensive corps is as good. As great as the Blackhawks look, we’re talking Lidstrom/Rafalski/Kronwall/Stuart here. What a tough, tough call to make.
more hockey talk and notes…
from Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,
In an item on hockeybuzz.com, written by the blogger for the Vancouver Canucks, the Coyotes are all but packed and ready to head to Winnipeg.
Here is his headline: ‘They are coming home! The Coyotes ARE returning to Winnipeg!!!”...
Wonder if he was talking to the same driver who trucked Robert Irsay and the Colts out of Baltimore.
I do not believe the Coyotes are going anywhere – except to the playoffs in about a month.
from Robyn Norwood of the LA Times,
The final indignity came in the shootout, when goaltender Jonas Hiller appeared to have made the game-winning save against Brian Gionta only to lift his left leg and allow the puck to trickle into the net.
One shooter later, Tomas Plekanec made good on Montreal’s second chance by scoring the shootout winner to hand the Ducks their third loss since the Olympic break.
Here is the Gionta shootout goal…
Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some email,
After enjoying the Olympic hockey in-depth analysis, I dread returning to the Avalanche’s homeboy cheerleading. Many of my hockey friends and I currently watch Avs games with the sound off because we learn little or nothing from the commentary. Is there any possibility Altitude could move from less “rah-rah” to more “this is how it works” or “here is something that didn’t work?” Thanks.
Good luck with that. Altitude is owned — lock, stock and barrel — by Stan Kroenke, so any kind of critical talk on the Avs or Nuggets or any other team they have a stake in is about as likely as Steve Jobs calling me up tomorrow and offering me a job designing his next big Apple product. So, keep that in mind when you rip on Mike Haynes or Peter McNab. If your livelihood depended on you following orders, would you go against them? How critical are you about your bosses on TV or on the Internet? Hmmm?
That said, I agree with people when they say it’s just a sporting event, and that it’s OK to be critical of a bad play by your own team. A bad play is a bad play. But when something dumb is done by an Avs player, too often it becomes “tough luck” or a “bad break” for them, instead of what it was: a stupid play by an Avs player.
more Colorado related questions and answers…
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
While more than 100 orga nized Glen Sather haters gathered on Seventh Avenue looked about ready to slit their wrists over the mediocre state of their team, John Tortorella tried to open a vein in the Rangers’ stone.
“Honestly, let’s call a spade a spade, our top guys were no-shows and it can’t happen at this time of year,” the coach said 20 hours off a 2-0 shutout defeat in Washington, four hours from a 2-1 home overtime loss to Buffalo.
“Listen, they are good people. Erik [Christensen] is put in a spot here he hasn’t been in a long time. He’s a No. 1 center right now, and he has to try to handle that responsibility. He has had some good games for us, but it can’t be the inconsistent roller coaster.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Between the second and third periods of the Feb. 14 game against Chicago, Brassard was working to repair his stick on a table inside the locker room. It’s a quite common occurrence. Players will use torches and hot glues, sometimes donning surgical masks so not to inhale the chemicals.
Brassard had removed the stick’s glue-covered nob and placed it on the table. When the table was accidentally bumped, the knob fell. Brassard reached for it out of instinct.Yowza
Strange as it sounds, even in defeat, the Blackhawks were the better hockey team. A proper respect still remains for the Red Wings prowess, but the fear is gone. Over a long series, Chicago’s talent should win out. Plus, Howards’ long rebounds are hardly an upgrade over the Hawks goaltending woes.
-Mark Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential. More on The Wings/Blackhawks game.
A few emails today from Chicago fans claiming the refs wanted the Wings to win because of the goalie interference call against Dustin Byfuglien.
All I can say is get used to it and watch the video for an example.
No penalty on the play and no update on Savard who went off on a strether.
The video is raw and I will try to find a better quality vid soon (found one)
added 7:05pm, via the Boston Bruins,
Marc lost consciousness briefly on the ice after being struck in the head. He suffered a concussion from the hit. He was not transported to a hospital, but will remain at the team hotel in Pittsburgh with a member of the Bruins’ medical staff tonight as a precaution.
No further update on Marc’s condition is expected tonight.
“We’ve accomplished nothing. The Cup stuff is fine because we have a very good team and we have a legitimate shot. But let’s take it in steps. Today was an education. The only difference is we didn’t have to pay tuition. With our record being what it is, this loss didn’t cost us much. Down the road, we’ll probably view it as a crucial lesson.”
-John Madden of the Chicago Blackhawks after losing to Detroit today. More on the game from Christopher Botta of NHL Fanhouse.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Coach Mike Babcock said Bertuzzi has a charley horse and didn’t know anything beyond that. Bertuzzi said “I’m OK.’’ But he will be further evaluated Monday to see if any tests are needed.
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