Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Canucks Nation at the Vancouver Province,
Alain Vigneault told the rest of the world how he felt about Kyle Wellwood after Tuesday’s game.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he let Wellwood in on this Thursday morning at practice — he’s not happy.
“I’m not here to be liked. I’m here to get the most out of him,and that’s what I’m trying to do.” Vigneault said. “As a coach you have to push the right buttons. Some guys need to be pushed a little harder, some guys need to be handled differently. Kyle needs to be pushed and that’s what I’m doing.”
from Jack McCaffery of the Delco Times,
Without substantial new investment, Stevens has aligned his seven defensemen so snugly that should the March 4 trade deadline pass without Paul Holmgren adding one more big body to the group, the Flyers will be no less likely to make a serious postseason push….
Holmgren still could add a defenseman at the deadline. Injuries happen, and the Flyers’ defense was fractured during the last postseason. Derian Hatcher is still threatening to make a return. Luca Sbisa likely will rejoin the team for the playoffs. Lasse Kukkonen remains with the Phantoms, providing depth.
But for now, the Flyers’ defense is set, complementary and effective, with just enough youth, just enough experience, just enough offense, defense and skill to work.
The bench boss of the defending Stanley Cup champs joins The Game Plan on Fan590 to discuss being the fastest coach to ever reach 200 wins, his team’s struggles between the pipes, and whether he would be interested in coaching the Canadian Olympic team.
Mike Babcock also talks, Hossa, Lidstrom, the goalie situation and Datsyuk.
Well worth a listen if you are fan of the Wings.
from Lightning Strikes,
Rick Tocchet said after Thursday’s morning skate that defenseman Paul Ranger, who has missed four straight games with a mysterious upper-body injury, likely will be shut down for the rest of the season. He gave no specifics about the injury, but indicated Ranger will need surgery to correct the problem.
“He’s probably going to get shut down. We’ll probably make that decision later today,” Tocchet said. “We’re going to have one more meeting about it.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Since Ron Hextall’s excellent first tour of duty in the Flyers’ net from the 1986-87 season to 1991-92, the revolving door in the Flyers’ goal has been mesmerizing. The search for a true No. 1 has been endless.
It started with Tommy Soderstrom in 1992-93, followed the next season by Dominic Roussel. Then came Hextall’s second tour of (twilight) duty, followed by the likes of Garth Snow, Sean Burke, John Vanbiesbrouck, Brian Boucher, Roman Cechmanek, Robert Esche, Niittymaki and then Biron.
By our count, that’s 11 masked men who have had legitimate handles on the Flyers’ No. 1 job over 16 seasons. The New Jersey Devils have had the same guy in net for the past 15 seasons. The Flyers? They’ve averaged about 1.5 seasons per starting goalie. Talk about a short shelf life.
from Craig Stancher at ColoradAvalanche.com,
Sakic - who underwent successful surgery for a herniated disc on Jan. 7 - spoke on a wide range of topics Thursday, including his back injury, the status of his rehabilitation and his drive to get back on the ice.
“We just started rehab this week, so we’re just working on stability right now. After surgery, we haven’t been able to do anything for about six weeks,” said the 20-year NHL veteran. “Just a lot of rest and making sure you don’t move around too much. We just started, but things are progressing.”
While there is no definitive timeline for his return, Sakic’s ultimate goal is to get back on the ice before the end of the 2008-09 campaign.
“For now, it’s still too early for a timetable. I definitely want to be back sometime near the end of the year, give or take a couple of weeks,” said Sakic. “I’m not too sure right now, but as long as rehab keeps working and my back does fine and progresses, hopefully it will be by the end of the year.”
Find out what it’s like to be a professional hockey player on ‘Day In The Life,’ airing tonight at 7:00pm ET on the NHL Network.
from Let’s Play Hockey,
As a group, fans of the Minnesota Wild take their hockey seriously. They’re a knowledgeable and passionate bunch. It appears, however, that some followers of the NHL franchise have taken their love for the Wild and the game of hockey a bit too far.
According to reports out of the Xcel Energy Center, fan Chris Lagasse (Crookston, Minn.) received a healthy dose of verbal harassment from a sizable group of die-hard Wild fans at a recent game at the St. Paul arena. Reportedly, Lagasse had to ask for security assistance from ushers in the second period of the Valentine’s Day game vs. Ottawa when a group of fans heckled the 24-year-old graphic designer for tucking in his replica Derek Boogaard jersey.
“My wife and I were enjoying the game when out of nowhere this group of fans in our section started yelling at me to untuck my jersey,” Lagasse said. “They were merciless. They had half the upper deck chanting, ‘Untuck your jersey,’ followed by the familiar ‘clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.’”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Ultimately, I expect any initial round of boos Sundin will hear Saturday night quickly will be drowned out by cheers of fans who are well within their right to appreciate the 13 years of loyal, classy service he provided to the team.
But I don’t fault any Leafs fan for tossing raspberries and profanity-riddled verbal bon mots Sundin’s way. They’ve got the right to do anything they want to do, just as Sundin, the great libertarian, did less than a year ago.
And if they choose to jeer him, they’ll be looking out for their own interests first – precisely what Sundin’s last lesson taught them.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Figuring out what Lou Lamoriello is going to do at the trade deadline is a fool’s errand, so here goes. Dig we must.
Surely, the Devils’ general manager is in it if there’s any chance of prying Scott Niedermayer or Chris Pronger from the Ducks, but failing there, sources have touted Coyotes Derek Morris and Ed Jovanovski as his likely quarries.
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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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