Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
SN: How would you explain your team’s fast start overall?
Stastny: I think we’re just four lines playing with confidence. Everyone is playing well from all our defensemen — starting with our goaltending, from the back end to the front end. Our special teams are big. We’re killing well and have a good power play. Any time you’re doing that, you’re giving yourself a chance to win.
SN: Honestly, have you been surprised by the strong start?
Stastny: Yeah, you never know. You look at the schedule at the beginning of the season, you tell yourself you can win some of these, you could lose some of these. We’ve played some pretty good teams. There are no easy games these days….
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The scoring slumps of Vinny Lecavalier and Alex Tanguay are growing to concerning proportions.
Lecavalier has zero goals in six games this season and none in 13 straight games going back to last season. Tanguay has zero goals this season as well and none in nine games going back to last season. At least Lecavalier has five assists and 24 shots on goal. Tanguay has just one assist and six shots.
After Tampa Bay’s 7-1 loss to the Senators, Tanguay said, “I (stink) right now.”...
“I thought Vinny and Tangs were getting chances , but in the last couple of games not as many,” Tocchet said. “I think that has more to do not with personnel but more their style. We have to get them playing more north-south. They’ve been a little too much east-west, and a little too much perimeter, and they know it.”
The picture in picture will be in use tonight along with the remote.
Games start at 7:00pm ET and all the action should be over by 1:00am.
I’m getting my errands done early and then settling in for some hockey all night long.
See the full schedule below.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Two weeks into this fledgling NHL season and it’s like being told you’ve just won a month’s vacation in Tahiti - with Louise Harel.
You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
If you’re a partisan of Les Habitants, you want to weep.
But if you also happen to hate the Maple Leafs, you’re collapsing in hysterical giggles every time someone hits the punch line: “Brian Burke.”
As this tale of two cities unfolds (and it’s important to remember that the season is still so young it has to be burped after every game) the rapidly eroding fortunes of the Leafs and Habs are a big part of the early-season story line.
from Sam McCaig of The Hockey News,
So, maybe it’s time to rewrite history a bit and find a spot for Lidstrom among the game’s all-time greats. At least, let’s see where the smooth Swedish blueliner fits among the best rearguards the NHL has ever seen….
Bobby Orr ranked No. 2 in The Top 100 behind Wayne Gretzky and Orr forerunner Doug Harvey was next (among D-men) at No. 6.
Orr (eight) and Harvey (seven) are the only two rearguards to win more Norris Trophies than Lidstrom. And while it’s nigh on impossible to truly compare players from such drastically different eras, it would be difficult to argue that Lidstrom has had a similar impact on the way the game is played as did those two revolutionary defensemen…
And, as the best blueliner the league has seen in the past 20 years, the Red Wings great deserves to be slotted somewhere in the No. 15-20 range, among the very best NHLers of all-time.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
There was a time when it was uncertain whether Gilbert Brule would be able to find a place on the Edmonton Oilers roster.
Now seven games into the regular season, there’s little doubt the local product is here to stay….
Now Brule is showing off the offensive ability that made him the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The two goals last night give him seven points on the season.
“I think each game I’m feeling more confident and comfortable out there, no matter who I’m playing with,” Brule said. “I think I just have to play my game and be more responsible in my own end of the ice.
“I think the coaches are putting a lot of trust in me and I’m playing a lot. That’s what I need, I thrive off that and I just want to get going, get in the game and that’s what helps me.”
“Once again, we didn’t play close to 60 minutes tonight. We haven’t played 40 minutes this season and we’re lucky to be 2-4. It’s inexcusable. We’ve got to start grinding it out and playing with a little edge.
“We have a good lineup and a skillful lineup and it’s like we played too defensive in the first 40 minutes. We almost played scared. We can’t be doing that. We have to press and go on the offence.”
-Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. More on the Vancouver loss to Calgary last night from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Alexei Kovalev hopes he’s welcomed back to his old haunt tonight with open arms.
The Senators winger will make his return to the Bell Centre for the first time since signing an off-season contract with one of the Canadiens’ archrivals and the 36-year-old Kovalev isn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect from the Habs faithful.
“I don’t know. I hope it will be a good one,” said Kovalev before the Senators bussed to Montreal yesterday. “There could be good moments. There could be bad moments. There could be boos. It could be happy. Like I said, I can’t expect anything. I just have to go play.
“I’m not playing for Montreal anymore. I’m playing for Ottawa. I’m just going to try to focus on the game. I know it will be hard, but I’m just going to go in there and try to get the win.”
from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,
For the first time ticket sellers can remember, Leafs tickets with face values of $100 to $300 each are routinely selling for as little as half that amount.
“In the past, they always said it didn’t matter what the Leafs produced on the ice because people will still pay top dollar,” said Shawn Brookes, director of operations with FanXchange, a website that connects buyers with sellers. “This is the first time I’ve seen customers finally getting fed up with these astronomical prices.”
Most of the Leafs tickets sold on FanXchange this season were snapped up for below face value, says Brookes.
For a home game against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 13, “there were tickets – dead centre golds – selling for $90 or $100 instead of the $203 face price.”
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Like every coach in the NHL not named Bruce Boudreau, Ron Wilson can only dream of having an Alex Ovechkin in his lineup every night.
But failing that, the Maple Leafs coach feels he can use the NHL’s top sniper as a teaching tool for his struggling team.
As suspect as the defence and goaltending have been, Wilson knows that if the Leafs don’t start finding the back of the net soon, the six-game losing streak to start the season isn’t about to end.
So after watching the league’s deadliest sniper fire 12 shots at the San Jose Sharks and scoring twice on Thursday, Wilson hammered his message home yesterday.
“The best player in the league, he spends all night shooting,” Wilson said after practice at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence. “He shoots from everywhere and creates lots of opportunities.
“If we want to score more goals, we need more guys shooting and driving to the net.”
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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