Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
It’s not unusual for the Detroit Red Wings to have the NHL’s best power play this season—the Wings were third in 2007-08 and have been in the top five every year but one this century. But this season’s group is putting up numbers that haven’t been seen in a long time.
Detroit’s power play is connecting at a 28.1 percent rate—a figure that no team has come close to in nearly two decades.
continued and many more NHL notes…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The NHL on Friday will send security officials to Montreal to meet with local police following reports linking a number of Montreal Canadiens players with an organized crime investigation, sources said.
from Canucks Nation at the Vancouver Province,
According a to a published report, the twins are seeking identical five-year deals that average $6.5 million US a year. Meanwhile the Canucks have offered $5.5 million US over three or four years. These numbers shouldn’t shock anyone especially given some context. For starters it’s a negotiation so each side is seeking a deal that best suits its interests. Given that, there is still room to meet somewhere in the middle, which is about what everyone expected, to get a deal done.
“There’s still several months before July so I’m not terribly concerned,” Barry said. “Based on our discussions, they want them to stay and they want to stay. We’ll just have to keep working.”
Barry would not confirm or deny the figures but said: “As far as I can see from those numbers, that’s about a million apart and any other way to take is funny math as far as I’m concerned.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
They begin a six-game road trip Friday night in Detroit, a critical juncture in their season that will very much determine what Ducks GM Bob Murray does before the trade deadline.
“Obviously, we haven’t had the success that we were anticipating, or that’s required,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told ESPN.com on Thursday night from Detroit. “It’s as simple as that. For whatever reason, we’re in the situation we’re in. “This road trip is basically going to determine whether we are buyers or sellers.”
When Murray replaced the Toronto-bound Brian Burke as Ducks GM in November, he addressed the players and told them their performance would dictate what would happen going forward in terms of contract extensions or trades. Their inconsistent play and ultimate dip in the standings is pushing Murray perilously close to the latter.
The road trip, which also stops in Columbus, Buffalo, Boston, Dallas and Chicago (all playoff teams), concludes March 3, the eve of the trade deadline. By the time the Ducks next play at home on March 6, who knows what the team will look like.
from Bomber’s Blog (Bill Lindsay) at FloridaPanthers.com,
We are getting down to crunch time in the NHL season, and the race is on to make the playoffs. The good news if you’re a Panther fan is that the Cats are one of the few teams headed north in the eastern standings. An amazing run since the start of the New Year has the Panthers poised to end their long playoff drought.
Florida is a team on the rise, which is more than can be said for some of the other teams in the East. I wrote in an earlier blog, that I would much rather have a player that performs well in the second half of the season than the first half. That adage would hold true for teams as well. This is money time, when you really start to find out about your hockey club.
Three teams that had good first halfs, and are now headed south are the Rangers, Canadians and Penguins.
from Cory Wolfe of the StarPhoenix/Canwest via Canada.com,
As a regular feature, Canwest sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with a sports figure. Today, Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow gets cornered. Morrow, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, is heading home to Saskatchewan for Hockey Day in Canada.
Canwest: OK, let’s have a little fun. You and Marian Hossa roomed together as junior teammates with the Portland Winter Hawks. How do his video-game skills compare with his hockey skills?
Morrow: I’d say that I was A-plus in video games and he was the A-plus hockey player. It was reversed with my hockey abilities and his video gaming.
Canwest: You’ve roomed with Stars goalie Marty Turco. Any weird goalie habits?
Morrow: He’s as normal as a goalie can be, I think, because there are some messed up ones. Rooming with (Mike) Modano was the weirdest. The moment he walked in the hotel room he’d be naked. Marty was almost too normal. We liked the same temperature in the room. I got to work the remote and we both liked it cold in the room. I don’t know why we ever switched roommates.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The most outrageous moment of the night belonged to Jason Williams in the shootout. He pretended to fan on a shot to open up the legs of rookie goalie Justin Pogge. The puck slid between the wickets and in the net. Williams says he has used the risky move before.
“It was a great trick shot,” Nash said. “I wonder how he practices that one, but we’ll take it.”
more on the Blue Jackets SO victory of the Leafs…
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Rene Bourque’s dream season won’t likely include a 30-goal milestone.
Right now, the Flames forward is just hoping to be back in action sooner than later.
Bourque scored his 21st goal of the season last night in the club’s 3-2 overtime win, but was knocked from the game in the second period with an ankle injury, assessed to be a high-ankle sprain….
Head coach Mike Keenan said Fritsche slew-footed Bourque on the play.
“Not only didn’t he get a call on it, he got a shorthanded goal,” Keenan said. “It was a disappointment, in terms of the officials just didn’t see it. We watched it on tape, which is always easier than live action.
“He’s got a very damaged ankle now. He’s going to be gone for a long time.”
more and the video below is not the best, but it does show Fritsche and Bourque colliding.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche will take some shots tonight at its former goalie, Jose Theodore. A day before their game with the Washington Capitals, Theodore took a few preemptive verbal shots at the Avs.
After Thursday’s Capitals practice, Theodore was asked if he misses playing for the Avalanche.
“Look at the position I’m in now and where my game has been for the past two months. I think that pretty much speaks for itself,” Theodore said.
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
The Canadiens took one of a possible 12 points on their road trip.
They are clinging to a playoff spot, and the future of their most talented player is uncertain.
Things couldn’t possibly get worse, right?
La Presse columnist Richard Labbé is on 110% (TV show) promising a blockbuster story in Friday’s edition of the paper.
It pertains to the suggestion, by former coach Jean Perron, that some younger Canadiens have been enjoying too much of Montreal’s celebrated nightlife.
Boys will be boys, right? This is a great party town.
Labbé says this is more than a few beers, a few shots and some late-night skirt-chasing. He’s hinting at behaviour that brings criminal charges.
continued & the site is getting hit hard, so it may be slow to open…
added 2/20/09 at 8:55am, Read the La Press (translated) story.
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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