Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
“The coaching staff made it known why I was sitting out and what I needed to do,” Liles said. “They wanted more of me. They wanted me to elevate my game, and it’s something that I’m not going to say that I disagree with them. They felt it was the right move to sit me out. You come back, work hard and try to respond. That’s what I was trying to do (Saturday night).”
Liles, 29, has 15 points in 29 games and is a minus-4. Seven of his points have come on the power play (two goals), on which his lack of production probably is most responsible for him landing in coach Joe Sacco’s doghouse.
Sacco had nothing further to add to his assessment of Liles from last week at the time of the defenseman’s benching, other than the coach is looking for a better all-around game and perhaps the intangible of more hunger to succeed.
The AO lookalike is pretty funny although he looks more like Malkin.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Heading into this season, there were two worries in regards to the goaltending of the Edmonton Oilers, that starter Nikolai Khabibulin would get hurt and miss a huge number of games, and that the young-ish Deslauriers wouldn’t prove to be a capable back-up, let alone being able to carry the load as a starter….
Khabibulin had been slowed and knocked out of the line-up in Chicago on numerous occasions during his four years as a Black Hawk. In 2005, he missed ten games with a groin injury. In 2006, he missed 13 games with a knee injury. At age 36, he wasn’t getting any younger. If he was having injury problems before, one would expect they would only get worse.
As for Deslauriers, he had never been a dominant goalie in the minor leagues, just an OK-to-good one. In his brief appearances in Edmonton, he had looked shaky in net, not strong or balanced on his skates. It was certainly possible that a goalie who looked so unorthodox would still have success at the NHL level, but I’d be curious to know if anyone can point out a goalie with Deslauriers’s poor positioning in net and tendency to wobble so often who has become a stand-out goalie at the NHL level.
At this point in time, L.A. Kings fans are better than the vast majority of Senators fans. Why? Oh, I don’t know—it’s the little things. Things like everyone standing up and cheering when a goal is scored, and having people stay to watch when the good guys are a goal behind in the third (as opposed to running for their cars). Last time I checked, Los Angeles traffic was far worse than anything coming out of Kanata.
-The Universal Cynic. More hockey bits from the TUC.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Avery has looked lost lately. It isn’t that his hands have turned to stone around the net, or that he hasn’t been able to contribute to the breakout without first going backward with the puck, or that he hasn’t been able to cleanly receive passes.
It’s that Avery is not fulfilling the role he was born to play, the one in which he forechecks, grinds and cycles like crazy and antagonizes like he’s certifiable.
The prevailing wisdom was that Avery would become a better player if he left the extra-curricular activities behind. But that wisdom was actually ignorance in disguise. Avery needs to play with bravado, he needs to stoke emotions and he needs to skate on the edge.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
From the press box in Nationwide, Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline text-messaged general manager Scott Howson, who was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scouting the world junior championship. Portzline asked whether the firing of Murray gave Jackets management pause to reflect on Hitchcock’s job safety. Portzline phrased the question differently, but that was the gist.
Howson’s answer: “The decision in St. Louis is not relevant in Columbus.”
The Blues aren’t running the Jackets, and vice versa. The Jackets will handle their own coach as they see fit. Understood.
But the question, in some form, will not go away—not when the team is losing at this rate. Would Hitchcock still have his job if he started the season 1-13? Is there anywhere else in the league where a coach can survive a 3-13-7 streak? Would anyone be shocked if Hitchcock got the boot tomorrow?
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Even just going where he is told, Mathieu Schneider is creating another problem for the Vancouver Canucks. He also stands to collect a $250,000 US bonus payment on Jan. 15.
The 40-year-old defenceman, who cleared waivers Wednesday after leaving the National Hockey League team, reported Sunday to the Canucks’ minor-league affiliate in Winnipeg. The re-assignment of Schneider, whom the Canucks were unable to trade or place with another organization, puts the Manitoba Moose one veteran over the American Hockey League limit of five and coach Scott Arniel will have to sit out a player to make room for the defenceman.
But by reporting, Schneider continues to collect his NHL base salary of $1.55 million, which includes a $1 million signing bonus divided over four payments.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
The Oilers, no doubt stinging from a 2-1 loss to the Flames earlier in the evening, drowned their sorrows and brought in 2010 with the help of $8,248 worth of booze – including two $500 magnums of Dom Perignon and a $250 round of shooters.
The alcohol amounted to nearly half the total bill, which reached $16,796.39 once an 18 per cent tip was tacked on, according to a newspaper report confirmed by owner Maurizio Terrigno.
According Mr. Terrigno, the team – which has a payroll of $59,253,000 before certain cushions bring it down just below the National Hockey League’s salary cap of $56.8-million – refused to pay the full bill and forked over only $12,381.45.
Mr. Terrigno said the players argued they should pay for their “shooters” – small one-ounce shots of strong drink – by the bottle rather than the round.
The Maven calls them out…
I won’t mention the names, but how about the teams they are associated with?
Dallas, San Jose, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Florida.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
NHL leading scorer Joe Thornton, Jonathan Quick, John Tavares, the Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Miller, Marian Gaborik, Tomas Plekanec, Steve Sullivan’s comeback, Steve Yzerman’s Hall of Fame induction speech.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ...
The Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers, Alexei Kovalev (his four goals yesterday aside), Tim Thomas, Olli Jokinen, Phil Kessel, the KHL and the NHLPA executive.
more (link not working, trying to find the story again)
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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