Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Remember how the Blues blew out of the gates this fall, looking very much like a playoff contender?
Forget about it. Now this hybrid team -– an interesting mix of kids and hardened veterans -– faces a season-defining challenge.
The Blues lost four of the last five games on a seven-game homestand, then opened a five-game trip by losing in Anaheim.
Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices their opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Question No. 3: Which is the best line in the NHL right now - Datsyuk, Hossa and Holmstrom in Detroit; Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz in Anaheim; Spezza, Alfredsson and Heatley in Ottawa or Thornton, Setoguchi and Marleau in San Jose?
Bob McKenzie: Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz in Anaheim. This line is as good as it gets right now and if you want to talk about Getzlaf compared to Datsyuk, they lined up against each other in a recent game it was Getzlaf and the Ducks who came out on top.
Keith Jones: Datsyuk’s line and why else but the fact that Marian Hossa is on it. They are a perfect mix with Holmstrom and the best line in the league.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News via Inside Bay Area,
This is terrific. This is awful.
This is terrific, how the Sharks are off to their best start in history. They won their 11th game Tuesday night. Let’s put that in perspective. The Sharks of 1992-93, back in the Cow Palace days, won only 11 games in that entire season. And they did not win the 11th game until April 6.
So, yes, the current Sharks are ahead of that pace. By five months.
This is awful, because those of us who have watched the Sharks since the Cow Palace can tell you how meaningless the results of October and November are by the time the NHL gets to the second round of the playoffs.
from Jay Feaster at ESPN,
While we realize fans and media may want to know about injuries, we also recognize there are lots of things they would like to know, from our trade deadline strategy to whether we intend to make a coaching change. Nonetheless, we do not give the public access to this information (except, perhaps, in very general terms) for a host of competitive and business reasons.
The bottom line: the extent and severity of a player’s injury is proprietary business information and most GMs would like to keep it “club confidential,” even if nondisclosure gives members of the press and some fans an upper-body ache.
added 11:47am, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Because there is proof of targeting, we can buy the players’ safety issue. But our argument would be that the policy should be amended so full disclosure still exists from mid-September (the start of training camps) through March 1 (the beginning of the stretch run). From then through the playoffs, teams can hide injury details all they want.
Holland didn’t shoot down our idea.
“I mean, listen, we’ve disclosed Johan Franzen has a Grade 2 ACL sprain and that he’s out 3-4 weeks,” said Holland. “We disclosed the Andreas Lilja injury. For me personally, I just think over 82 games you’re probably going to play your player when they’re healthy. But the playoffs are different.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
But one thing that isn’t sitting well with me is the Avery addition. Mike Modano exploded to the media after last Saturday’s loss in Boston, a game in which the antics of Avery and fellow agitator Steve Ott essentially cost the Stars in a third-period collapse. Avery and Ott got into it with fans and on-ice officials. Modano called it “idiotic and stupid.”
And you might suspect, Tippett did his best to downplay it to me. That’s his job.
“Mike’s got no problem playing with Avery or Ott,” said Tippett. “He’ll be on a line with Avery today at practice. There’s no problem there at all. It’s the frustration of losing that’s got everyone upset.”
Still, Tippett did have a chat with his agitators.
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
He might be pushing 60 but Bob Clarke can still show them a thing or two.
The Flyers legend accepted coach John Stevens’ invitation to step on the ice yesterday and share a few tips about winning faceoffs.
Considering the Flyers are third-worst in the NHL (46.0 percent) on draws, any input was going to be helpful.
In this case, youngsters like Jeff Carter (42.4 percent) can learn something from a Hall of Famer who used to snarl at linesmen: “They’re not paying money to watch you drop the puck!”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The owner of the Los Angeles Kings has joined the owner of the Minnesota Wild in a legal motion aimed at recouping the $17 million (all figures U.S.) they loaned to a William (Boots) Del Biaggio so he could buy part of the Nashville Predators….
The bankruptcy court will hear arguments on Nov. 21 from lawyers representing Anschutz’s AEG Facilities, which is owed $7 million, and Leipold, owed $10 million. They’ll argue they should be allowed to foreclose on the loans they gave Del Biaggio ahead of all other creditors who are owed money from the disgraced financier. He owes about $57 million.
That would give them part ownership of the Predators, but the NHL would likely force both to sell.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
We did the Oilers and Blue Jackets game Wednesday night. Columbus has two of the best rookies in the NHL in Derek Brassard and Jakub Voracek. Coach Ken Hitchcock, not one to over hype young players, calls them this year’s version of Toews and Kane. Brassard scored Wednesday, and leads all NHL rookies in goals and points. He has arguably been the best player on the team.
more hockey bits…
from Ted Montgomery of USA TODAY,
In an NHL season that so far has been exciting but fairly nondescript, let’s take a look at a few emerging trends.
The early mediocrity of the Southeast Division: No one expected this to be a powerhouse division, but Carolina, Washington, Tampa Bay and Florida are all hovering around the .500 mark, and none of those teams are showing convincing signs of getting hot. No team in the division has scored more goals than its opponents
read on for more trends…
from the CP,
Now 43 and busier than ever, Yzerman paradoxically looks younger and fresher than he did during the final injury-filled seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings. The intensity that made him one of the greatest NHLers in history is still there, but there’s also a renewed vibrancy that has come with new challenges.
Perhaps that’s why it seemed just a little strange to see him among the inductees to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Yzerman is a little more than two years removed from announcing his retirement, but his contributions to the game continue as a vice-president with the Red Wings and the executive director of Canada’s 2010 Olympic men’s hockey team.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org