Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Officially, the Sharks still aren’t saying exactly what injury has sidelined Rob Blake after he blocked a shot against Calgary only to have the puck roll up the shaft of his stick and strike him in the chin.
“I won’t go into the test results, but it was better than we thought,” Coach Todd McLellan said.
But Blake did meet with reporters this morning and some of the damage is pretty obvious: a walnut-sized swelling on his lower left jaw and a wiring mechanism in place that limits its mobility.
Unofficially, another player identified Blake’s problem as a fracture.
Blake was able to talk — his jaw, he said, would be wired shut only a couple hours each day — but he wouldn’t spell out the precise damage, saying that they still wanted to do more tests.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have plucked Wade Dubielewicz off the waiver wire. Columbus, without Pascal Leclaire, was the other NHL team that really wanted the goalie.
added 12:55pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Shortly after Wade Dubielewicz came off the ice at the Islanders’ pre-game skate this morning at the Coliseum, he received a telephone call from general manager Garth Snow informing him that he had been claimed on waivers by Columbus.
“I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn’t,” Dubielewicz said. “He was disappointed, and I’m disappointed.”
Dubielewicz quickly packed his gear and headed out to catch a flight to Vancouver to meet the Blue Jackets.
added 1:08pm, from Puck-rakers,
Blue Jackets assistant general manager Chris MacFarland said the move does not indicate that Pascal Leclaire will miss the rest of the season because of his ankle injury. That determination is still being made.
“We needed a goaltender,” MacFarland said. “We needed an insurance policy. We’ve gone the last two weeks with the bare minimum.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
That is all that separates the Sharks and Red Wings before the clash of the titans Saturday night in San Jose.
“We’ve been looking at the standings all season long, knowing that they’ve been atop our conference and they’ve been the team to beat this year,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom told ESPN.com Friday. “It’s a game we’re looking forward to playing. It’s a bit of a measuring stick for our team to go up against the top team.”
That was Lidstrom’s understated way of saying: We want to kick some butt Saturday night.
Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff updated the status of defenseman Andrej Sekera following Saturday’s morning skate.
The blueliner will be out at least two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury Wednesday night in Chicago. Sekera took a hit from Blackhawks’ winger Dustin Byfulgien in the second period of Buffalo’s 4-1 loss and did not return.
“We’ll just evaluate it [after] at least a couple of weeks. Maybe longer,” Ruff said.
Sekera has 13 points (1+12) in 43 games for the Sabres this season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired goaltender Mathieu Garon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Dany Sabourin, forward Ryan Stone and a fourth round draft pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
From complaints about his goal output (four in 43 games) to concerns about his defensive play (minus-eight), Phaneuf no longer enjoys untouchable status when it comes to criticism from fans and media types. The all-star snub undoubtedly came as a shock to the Edmonton native. After all, Phaneuf already has two trips to the winter extravaganza on his resume.
He leads the league in ice time with an average of 27:41. He has 24 assists to bring his point total to 28.
“I think on the positive side—minutes played, points and penalty killing—those are all things he’s right at the top of the league at or at least close in, ” Sutter said. “I think most of the talk from people is very selective. Meaning, they only look at goals.
“I didn’t know that’s how you evaluate defenceman—by goals. But apparently some people do.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
For some reason, perhaps because they’ve yet to make the playoffs, the Jackets rarely get the benefit of doubt. Heck, they don’t even get the clear calls. Remember Rick Nash’s high stick in Minnesota? Manny Malhotra’s kick-in in Dallas?
Last night, there could have been a hooking call on Madden, a slashing call on Clarkson and a no-goal call from Toronto—all on the same play, the one that ultimately decided the game.
Where’s the balance?
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
There have been long stretches this season when Coach Claude Julien has rotated his goalies. There also have been times when he has ridden the hot one, though neither has started more than five games in a row. Both are No. 1 goaltenders to the veteran coach, who said the careful management of their playing time is a good problem to have.
“I know there have been situations where it has been” a problem with other teams, said Julien, whose Bruins face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight at Verizon Center in a showdown between the Eastern Conference’s top two teams. “But not in our situation. Both goaltenders have reacted very well and have been very supportive of each other. It’s been our position of strength.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Unlike today, doors were open to the media. The Garden’s press box was close to the ice, so it was only a short trip to the clinic, where I found Plante, his nose only inches away from a mirror. He probed at the cut with his fingers.
“Pretty ugly, isn’t it,” he said quietly.
“I guess you could say that,” he was told.
Plante continued to study the wound until the Rangers’ doctor interrupted.
“That’s enough of that,” he snapped. “Get over here on the table. We’ve got to sew you up.” A few minutes later, Plante was on his way to the Canadiens’ room. He wasn’t a pretty sight. He also wasn’t prepared to return to the game unless he was allowed to wear the mask he had been trying out in team practices. Coach Blake wanted no part of it, but with no other goalie, he had no choice but to allow it. The Canadiens won 3-1.
from Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean,
But as the Predators prepare to play an Eastern Conference opponent for the 12th time tonight, they already have mixed feelings about the round-robin setup that features games against every other team in the league at the expense of some meetings with division foes….
“There are plusses and minuses,” General Manager David Poile said. “As a fan I want to see everybody and I want to play everybody, but from a competition standpoint we find ourselves out of the playoffs, and every game we play right now we want to play against our division or our conference to give ourselves the best chance of making the playoffs.”
Every team’s 2008-09 schedule includes eight more games against the opposing conference and eight less against division opponents — Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus, in Nashville’s case — but some players said a win is beneficial regardless of the opponent’s conference.
“All the other teams are in the same position,” defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. “When they lose to the East it’s great for us. As long as we take care of winning it shouldn’t matter.”
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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