Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matt Caputo of the NY Daily News,
Sixteen years after his NHL career was cut short by a stroke, Brian Mullen is still on the ice.
Much of his life has revolved around Madison Square Garden, but on this day, the former Ranger and Islander is standing on the practice rink at the Prudential Center in Newark, coaching the New Jersey Rockets junior hockey team.
“Coaching these guys is a lot of fun. They soak everything up,” says Mullen, pointing out his 19-year-old son, Chris, warming up before a game. “I loved broadcasting and working for the NHL, and it’s good to be around the game again. If something like an NHL coaching job happened, I’d jump at it.”
Since his playing days came to an end in 1993, when he was 31, Mullen has worked for the Islanders, the Rangers and the NHL.
These days his office is about a mile north of the Garden at the CBS’ “The Early Show” where he is a stagehand for the popular morning program.
from Ted Leonis of Ted’s Take,
We lost by one goal. We lost yet another player to injury.
Last year, we were fourth in man games lost to injury. We are giving it a good run again this season to be a leader in man games lost.
Tom Poti was hurt in the first period. Hence we didn’t have Poti, Jurcina and Morrisonn on D in the lineup. We didn’t have Semin, Knuble, Gordon, Laing and Nylander in the lineup front. We didn’t have Theodore either in goal. That is goofy, huh? $25 million in payroll NOT playing.
We still could have won that game but missing this many players does scramble the game plan and the rhythm of the team. No one feels sorry for us. We can’t use injuries as an excuse. We just have to tough it out.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
So Brent Sutter finds the corporate culture inside the Calgary Flames locker-room too casual for his liking.
Craig Conroy respectfully takes exception with that contention.
“I have a big problem with that,” the Flames alternate captain told reporters Friday before the team boarded a charter flight for Los Angeles to prepare for an afternoon clash today with the Kings.
“I’d like to know what people want us to do inside that locker-room. We’re trying to lead the best we can and do it and be positive.
“It’s not always positive. There are times when there’s yelling, and guys are on each other.”
Maybe so, but the new sheriff behind the Calgary bench wants his charges to show more outward disgust and loathing in the aftermath of a National Hockey League defeat as humiliating as the 7-1 spanking administered by the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
via George Richards of the Miami Herald,
The one negative out of Florida’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Red Wings on Friday was that Stillman—who had goals in six of eight games coming in—sustained a left knee injury. Stillman was driven into the boards midway through the second period, and coach Pete DeBoer said he will be out for some time.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
What the results of late are telling me is this:
- This team still has too many guys who get self-satisfied with a little success and want to take a breather once they do. You’ve absolutely got to identify those guys and try to fix it fast, or else get rid of them.
That is Joe Sacco’s big challenge right now.
- Too many guys maybe never believed they were as good as their record. I could be wrong on that, but instead of getting wild with excitement over their fast start, I just sensed a little too much “Wow, how did that happen?” attitude around some players.
It’s a good bunch of guys and I do think this team is going to be competitive most nights, but something is really missing right now and it’s hard to define. It just seems like some guys aren’t buying into the system all of a sudden. Or, maybe they want to buy into the system, but still don’t know their roles.
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
“Twenty-one games into it, it’s way too early to be looking at standings,” Tortorella said Friday. “But having said that, we need to play more consistently, especially at home. I don’t want to get too far ahead as far as what’s going to happen if we lose. But we have concerns about our consistency, and that’s what we’re trying to work on.”
The Rangers are 6-4 at the Garden — not a good sign, because, as Tortorella said, “You have to take care of business at home.”
There are other signs of diminishing returns. The explosive attack that yielded 46 goals in the first 12 games has produced only 17 in the nine games since — and one of those 17 was a goal the league automatically credits to the team that wins a shootout.
Only the kinetic pairing of Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal has continued to score at a high rate, while almost everyone else has hit a slump. Gaborik has 15 goals, tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for most in the league, and 27 points, second only to Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles.
via John Glennon of the Tennessean,
One game after Predators Coach Barry Trotz ripped into the organization’s clock operator, the NHL offered a little assistance.
Dave Baker, the NHL’s manager of officiating, flew into Nashville and worked with the clock operator before the game against New Jersey on Thursday.
Two days earlier during the win over San Jose, there had been a couple of late-game delays caused by the clock running after the whistle — and the ensuing time needed to reset the clock.
Trotz was upset that the delays allowed San Jose to rest its top players and put them back on the ice during a close game. On Thursday, Trotz sensed that practice paid off for the clock operator, who is new to the role this season.
“I was very happy with the way they got the clock going,’’ Trotz said. “They finally got it right. They did let the clock go one time, but it was fixed within seconds this time.’‘
from Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun,
Despite all of the bombastic banter, and off-season acquisitions, the Leafs at the 20-game mark have won just three and lost 17. Spare us the argument that overtime or shootout losses are ties!
The “pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence” Burke promised seems to have instead become poor, pathetic, pitiful and pomposity.
Still Burke woos always wishful Leafs Nation with sweet-talking BS about “like a movie” one day the Leafs will “ride off with the girl on the horse followed by a parade.”
Problem is this movie so far is a flop and a lot of Burke’s promises so far have amounted to nothing but hot air as we saw with the charade he played while in Anaheim when he was rumoured to come here?
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So if the water keeps rising, and it’s rising very quickly around the Leaf enterprise right now, Burke may ultimately get pushed into doing something he is dead set against.
The guess here is that Wilson has 10 more games to show some noticeably positive results.
The team is healthy, particularly the key players, Wilson was lucky enough to have a pure scorer in Phil Kessel added in early November and he’s working with a team that isn’t overly inexperienced.
The club, however, was dead last in defence and penalty killing last year. It still is. Youngsters like Luke Schenn, Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell are going backwards or sideways.
Whatever Wilson and his assistants are preaching either isn’t getting across to the players, or it’s a game plan they can’t execute.
When asked to share his opinion on Stars forward James Neal’s hit on Blue Jackets winger Derek Dorsett, which cost Neal two-games via disciplinary action from the NHL, Roenick didn’t pull any punches in labeling the Stars’ leading goal scorer.
‘‘If Neal would have done this 20 years ago, he would have been blackballed from the league,’’ said Roenick. ‘‘If you’re going to get challenged, then drop your gloves and go to it - fight, but don’t come back later on and then give a cheap shot to a guy who has already challenged you.
‘‘To me, that’s kind of gutless and I’m sure a lot of guys in the league think that’s gutless also.’‘
more from Roenick on different 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.
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