Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Spin, his blog at the Toronto Star,
Mats Sundin, it would appear, has three choices.
Two make sense. One is a terrible risk.
The risky choice is to succumb to the pull of the hockey world and announce a return to the NHL sometime before Christmas.
This, it appears, is what most believe is going to happen. And that’s too bad.
See, the smarter choices for Sundin would be to either retire - which I’ve come to believe is what he really wants to do - or take the season off entirely and then join a new team next summer.
Jumping into the fray now is a recipe for trouble.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.
The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.
Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.
from Dave Strader at PhoenixCoyotes.com,
This past Saturday night was a special one at Jobing.com Arena. The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings were in town, a vocal crowd of 16,000+ was on hand (thanks in part to some loyal Red Wings fans) and the two teams put on an entertaining show.
But for me, it was also special because I had the opportunity to spend some time with my first TV partner in the NHL, Mickey Redmond….
The first season we worked together was 1985-86 and the Wings weren’t projected to be a very good team. We only televised 15 games that year (thank goodness!). The Wings were 1-13-1 in those contests and the average score was 8-3 for the opposition. Moments before my very first telecast in the NHL in Minnesota, Mick told me to take off my headset and stop staring at the rosters that I was trying to memorize. He said that we had to be prepared for the worst.
from Paul Kix of ESPN, To put it bluntly,
Sean Avery was the extent to which we followed hockey. A sartorially minded on-ice agitator who trashes the new boyfriends of his old exes? That’s reason enough to stay tuned, dude. We won’t any more, now that the Stars have banished him from the team, even agreeing to pay his salary so long as he keeps out of the arena. But with a look at Avery’s sins, one thing’s for certain: Whoever gets the Stars’ sloppy seconds will have to up the tolerance for anarchy, because this is milquetoast stuff.
And the NHL wonders why it can’t expand its audience….
This is the problem with the NHL: It thinks a guy who interns at Vogue and routinely shows up in People and on PerezHilton is bad for the game. You fools. He’s growing the game. Or at least, he was.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Believe it or not, there was a time just a few months ago when some of hockey’s most well-known experts were saying the Avalanche was a better team than the Detroit Red Wings.
“Colorado,” NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire said quickly, when a couple of us nosy reporters asked who would win the Avs’ Western Conference semifinal last spring with Detroit. “I like how they stack up against Detroit.”
Four games later, the Avs were done. Game 4 was the humiliating 8-2 Detroit romp at the Pepsi Center. Henrik Zetterberg was scoring on backhanders while falling down and Johan Franzen flashed his big Swedish grin for the final of his approximately 46 goals he scored in the series (actually, only nine — but still a Detroit record for one series).
This foolish reporter was actually sipping the Avalanche Kool-Aid before the series, too.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sundin told friends money will not be the prime factor when it comes time to choose a team.
The Blueshirts currently have approximately $1 million of cap space. Pro-rating cap hits, the Blueshirts would need approximately $2.877M of space on Dec. 27 in order to be able to offer Sundin a full-season contract of $5M, half of Vancouver’s standing bid.
Trading or waiving Petr Prucha by Friday would add approximately another $1M of space. Returning freshman Lauri Korpikoski - who has had three straight games of under 10 minutes of ice time - to the AHL Wolf Pack by Friday would add approximately another $635,000 of space.
That would give the Rangers about $2.635M of space - enough to allot Sundin around $4.25M.
Understand, the Rangers are not trading Michal Rozsival to Dallas in exchange for the right to bury Sean Avery in the minor leagues.
They are most certainly not attempting to deal Scott Gomez.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Vaulting to a 21-5-4 record, with a roster filled with young, fresh faces who play a fun style of hockey, the Bruins have finally softened the heart of their city.
“In Boston, it’s a tough crowd,” General Manager Peter Chiarelli said. “People are now critiquing how we win. You know what? This is a good sign.”
The Bruins have lost only three games since the beginning of November, one of them in a shootout to the Rangers. They have won 16 times in that span, including a 5-3 victory last Monday against the Lightning. And they ended up lamenting having given up the three goals to Tampa Bay.
But the fans loved every minute. They watched one of their young stars, 21-year-old Phil Kessel, score at least a point for his 12th straight game, a streak he has stretched to 15 games. They howled at every hit and shot taken by Milan Lucic, who at 20 is fast becoming a folk hero for his scrappy play. Lucic is constantly serenaded by chants of “Luuuuu,” from an increasingly boisterous crowd.
‘It wasn’t feeling like it was supposed to be feeling, so I got off the ice. I didn’t want to make it worse and I’m going to stay off the ice until I’m 100 percent.’‘
‘Week-to-week? Tough to say. This is the first time I’ve dealt with a groin injury. Just when I thought I was ready to get back into it, my groin was telling me something else.”
‘‘I’m a competitor; I want to be in goal every day.’‘
-Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. More at TSN.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Two injury updates from the morning skate:
Joe Pavelski could be in the lineup against L.A. on Monday night, but just in case he isn’t, the Sharks plan to call up another forward from Worcester. Nothing official yet, but Jamie McGinn would be a pretty good guess.
And Jeremy Roenick will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder tomorrow. That decision means he’s definitely going to be out of action longer than the three-week forecast given yesterday, but just how much longer won’t be known until the procedure is completed and the training staff knows what it’s up against.
continue for more on the Sharks
I wonder if the Sharks would attempt to bring up Claude Lemieux who would have to clear waivers first?
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• If you’re wondering who has the best ice in the league, it’s not Edmonton. We’re still in the top 10, but closer to No. 10 than No. 5 because there’s lots of snow buildup now. It’s often only good for the first five minutes or so of a period. The best sheets are in Montreal, Minnesota , Philadelphia and Detroit.
• Sergei Zubov’s body is breaking down. The Dallas defenceman might need hip surgery now.
more hockey topics…
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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