Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is encouraged by the Samuelsson signing—and not just because he is one of only two members of the team to have a Stanley Cup ring.
“Sammy and I played together in Florida and I’ve always thought he was kind of an under-the-radar player with the skills he has and the way he shoots the puck,” Luongo said. “In Detroit, he learned how to play the right way—effective both offensively and defensively. And ... he’s still got those skills, which is good for us.”
Samuelsson smiled when he heard what Luongo said and agreed.
“I’ve always thought I could do some damage in this league, and I still think I can,” he said. “I came into Detroit four years ago ready to play a lot. It was an easy team to play for, especially for me as what you would call a late bloomer. I got more and more confidence each year I was with the Wings.
“That’s the confidence I have right now. I believe in myself, I know what I can do out there. The records may show I’m 32, but I’m physically fit and have played only 400-some games in the NHL. Today I feel like I’m about 20.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Things always get a little crazy around trade deadline time, but imagine the bind GMs will be in this year when they are faced with a roster freeze that extends over the Olympic break. The freeze begins Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. ET and ends Sunday, Feb. 28, just days before the 3 p.m. ET March 3 deadline.
A number of GMs told ESPN.com it will make for a frenzy once the roster freeze is lifted after the gold-medal game that Sunday in Vancouver. GMs who like to do their shopping early, like Peter Chiarelli of Boston, will find life a little more difficult this year.
“For me, if I can do a deal before the deadline, I try and do it,” he said. “Now I’ve got a two-week gap where I can’t do it.”
more plus other NHL topics…
from the CP via NHL.com,
Longtime fans of the Montreal Canadiens, who mark their 100th anniversary on Dec. 4, can remember when winning the Stanley Cup was more of an expectation than a hope.
The Habs won 15 NHL championships in 23 seasons between 1956 and 1979, with dynasties as bookends. It was a level of success that, given how the hockey business has changed, will never be repeated.
So, how did they do it?
Picking the right people to manage and coach had a lot to do with it.
Go back to the days of the Original Six.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
It must be nice to have the problem the Atlanta Thrashers are facing right now – too many NHL goaltenders. It’s a much better quandary than ‘failed power play’ or ‘no team chemistry.’
Nevertheless, the fact the Dirty Birds have two shutouts over NHL royalty (Detroit and Philadelphia) in their past three games with two different netminders posting the goose eggs is something that will need to be addressed once Kari Lehtonen returns from injury.
from Ray Ferraro of TSN,
Things have gone from bad to worse in Edmonton with the recent loss for the season of Ales Hemsky. Bright spots have been few and far between for the Oilers, who enter Monday’s action with just four wins in their last 18 games. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for their problems, starting with an incredible run of the flu that sapped the club as they were off to a good start and injuries to defencemen Sheldon Souray, Denis Grebeshkov, Steve Staios and lately goalie Nikolai Khabibulin among others.
However, the problems run much deeper in Edmonton.
The biggest red flag for the non-playoff team last year was a group of forwards that were pretty much all the same size and the same skill set.
NEW YORK (November 30, 2009) —Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Niklas Hagman have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 29.
vis Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
Stevens is a classy man who is one of the NHL’s most dedicated coaches, but if the Flyers (13-10-1) are around .500 a month from now, I don’t think he will still be here.
Asked to evaluate Stevens’ job this season, GM Paul Holmgren, who is a staunch supporter of his coach, didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement Sunday.
“We’re ninth in the conference and I’d like to be in a better position,” he said, “but the coaches are working hard.”
“But it goes back to what I was saying about the players. The results need to be more positive.”
If they’re not, if this team doesn’t show marked improvement in the next month, you’ll probably see a new man behind the bench.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Examine Saturday’s victory at Colorado, and it might be impossible to come up with another game in which the Wild has spent more time in the opponent’s zone. The Wild probably spent three-quarters of the game forechecking the rubber off the puck.
Now, it’s safe to say the Wild is starting to get it. There’s a reason why the team has earned points in 10 of the past 13 games (7-3-3) and in each of the past four (3-0-1).
As coach Todd Richards loves to say, the Wild’s level of “compete” these days is off the charts. It has a lot to do with General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s ability to add motivated newcomers, such as Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Guillaume Latendresse.
But it also has to do with a bunch of veterans setting the tone.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
The more players they lose through injury, the better Lou Lamoriello’s team plays.
Jimmy Devellano, the Red Wings executive vice-president, was on the phone.
“How do they ever do it?” asks Jimmy D.
What can I tell him after watching this over-achieving hockey club since opening night?
An easy answer comes by way of Hockey Night Live analyst Butch Goring.
“It’s the culture developed by Lou (Lamoriello) and his winning teams over the years,” says Butch.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Tortorella joined the Rangers preaching, “It’s not about defense, it’s not about the defensive zone,” before amending his mantra. The problem is, his team has apparently taken him at his original word, for the Blueshirts enter tonight’s match ranked 24th in the NHL in goals-against average.
The Rangers have no presence in front of their own net—how exactly do we know that Lundqvist isn’t feeling the effect of being smashed down repeatedly by marauding forwards?—and no clue in their own end, where they habitually chase both the puck and opponents….
It is time for Tortorella to take ownership of that. It is time for Tortorella to take ownership of the Rangers. If he does not, he will never need to worry about having to acknowledge a Garden crowd giving him a standing ovation.
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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