Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Last night they looked like the Oilers who were booed out of their building again and again and again last year and conspired to get Craig MacTavish fired as they missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
They were back to being a pushover to play in their own building and unable to score a goal for the second game in a row as they recorded their third straight loss of the season, 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche.
“Obviously it’s embarrassing getting shutout two games in a row,” said Sam Gagner. “Tonight we didn’t even show up in the first period.”
It was the worst first period the Oilers played this year.
It started with the $7 million dollar man, Shawn Horcoff, losing the opening face-off and then turning the puck over as the Avalanche took a 1-0 lead only 25 seconds into the game.
Kopitar’s early success ranks him ahead of Marian Gaborik, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Rick Nash and even Sidney Crosby—all the superstars you would see on national TV if the NHL had a decent broadcast deal with a network that’s not in a dispute with DirecTV.
-Helene Elliott of the LA Times. More on Kopitar and the Kings from Helene.
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
While it expects to complete its purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes next week, the National Hockey League has not committed to a timeline of when it will flip the troubled franchise to another buyer, with the NHL deputy commissioner saying a re-sale is “not imminent.”
Bill Daly also said the Coyotes, mired in sometimes heated bankruptcy proceedings since May, have attracted more than one suitor. Ice Edge Holdings, a consortium of Canadian and U.S.-based businessmen, has publicly confirmed its interest in the team, and met league commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this week.
“Ice Edge isn’t the only horse in the race,” Daly wrote in an email yesterday.
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
We’re four weeks in. You’ve managed to resist trading away the Luongos and Lecavaliers of the league that were killing you out of the gate. With a little luck, your core is slowly, but surely, taking hold and giving your group the traction you’ve been waiting for. Cool like the cucumber, you didn’t dump Doan (2 points in the first 5 games, 8 in the next 5) in order to covet Captain Tkachukles (6 points in his first 3, 2 in the next 6).
And despite wanting both badly, you’re thankful now that you didn’t get your paws on contract-year juggernauts Marc Savard and Ilya Kovalchuk.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
The health status of Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook will be the first thing Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is asked about after practice Wednesday. Of course, we may get our answer sooner if either Toews or Seabrook is on the ice for the workout.
Quenneville is probably getting as tired of the Toews/Seabrook questions as we are of asking them.
It’s a long season, not even November yet, so there should be no reason for the Hawks to rush Toews and Seabrook back into action.
In fact, the smart thing would be to hold them out the next two games on Thursday and Friday against Nashville and Montreal, take your chances and let them shoot for a return on Nov. 5 at Phoenix.
Vancouver forward Ryan Johnson was taken off the ice on a stretcher after crashing into the end boards early in the second period of the Canucks’ game against Detroit on Tuesday night.
With just under three minutes gone in the period, Johnson raced into the Detroit zone, swerved past defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom but lost his balance and crashed into the boards head-first.
Medical personnel put Johnson onto a stretcher and he was wheeled off the ice.
Upated word is Johnson has been taken to the hospital for observation and tests. He is alert and has movement.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Having one of the game’s best young talents certainly helps. Kopitar has clicked with new linemate Ryan Smyth, who is willing to do the dirty work required to score goals.
Kings captain Dustin Brown sees a bit of Smyth’s influence rubbing off on Kopitar, who now is winning those battles in the corners. He’s also competing harder than ever.
“A couple years ago, he’d get pushed around and the puck would get away from him,” Brown said. “This year, he’s saying, ‘That’s not going to happen.’”
That’s added strength. It’s also confidence.
via Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Flyers forward Simon Gagne has two small hernias in his right groin area, the team announced today.
The diagnosis was made after an examination by Dr. Allen Schurict from Pennsylvania Hospital, after Gagne had an ultrasound procedure yesterday.
The Flyers said their medical staff will meet with Gagne on Wednesday to discuss possible treatments.
from the Denver Post,
The Avalanche confirmed Tuesday that the national swine flu scare has hit the team’s bench. Goalie Peter Budaj, out since Friday with flu-like symptoms, is suffering from the H1N1 virus, the team said.
Craig Anderson, who has started in goal in a team record-long 11 games to begin the season, will again be in the net tonight as the Avs take on the host Oilers.
Budaj was set to start in goal last Friday in Denver against Carolina. But he fell ill Thursday afternoon and was scratched. Tyler Weiman was recalled from Lake Erie to backup Anderson and he will remain on the roster.
From the first sign of Budaj’s flu last week, the team was concerned it might be swine flu.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
If there is a problem with Montreal’s goaltending, it is not so much the ability of the two puck-stoppers but the dynamic. While all the “1 and 1A” stuff sounds swell, teams generally prefer defined roles—a clear-cut top guy and a reliable backup who can fill in competently or at times spectacularly as Craig Anderson (now with Colorado) did in Florida and Ty Conklin (now in St. Louis) did in Detroit last season.
But Halak is 24 and Price is 22, hardly the age in which either would care to play Sancho Panza to the other’s Don Quixote. And as they are similar in age, they are not all that dissimilar in ability even though Price, the 2009 All-Star game starter, has more renown. The situation should work fine in the short term, but if this construct doesn’t eventually change, some creative friction might arise that would not be as healthy.
more plus a look at the injuries throughout the league and a look at the Oilers…
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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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