Kukla's Korner Hockey
The holidays are finally here! The Habs’ bags are packed and they’re ready to go, set to take off on Friday for a seven game road stint. Defenseman Andrei Markov will be boarding the flight with his teammates – and not just as a passenger.
On the shelf since the first game of the season with a lacerated tendon in his foot, the veteran blue-liner is poised to make his highly anticipated return this Saturday on Long Island. The original prognosis had Markov slated to come back only at the end of January, but the shifty rearguard will join new D partner Ryan O’Byrne on the Habs’ blue line this week and Marc-Andre Bergeron will move up to forward.
via Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The Detroit Red Wings will be without forward Henrik Zetterberg for a minimum of two weeks. An NHL source told Sporting News that the MRI results revealed that the forward suffered a slight shoulder separation.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
David Koci did what he thought he had to do – what he knows he can do well, what they’re paying him a half million dollars to do, what some other plumber would gladly do if given the same chance – and that was hit Mike Green, and hit him hard.
If Koci doesn’t do that, maybe – no, probably – he knows he’s going to hear it from the coaches. It might not be said explicitly, but the point will get across:
You didn’t do your job. You didn’t nail that guy when you had the chance. You eased off, and that’s not what we pay you for.
Koci did what he thought he had to do, and crushed Green into the boards. Except, Green had his back completely turned and Koci had plenty of time to see that and ease up a little as he got within the last four or five feet of him.
Koci knows he’s a huge guy, and skating at full speed, from that far away from Green, he knew, or should have known, what kind of damage he could do to Green. Besides, when a guy’s back is turned completely like that, he should known an automatic boarding penalty would have resulted – and should have known that wouldn’t do his trailing team any good.
That’s why he deserved a suspension for the hit on Green, and I remain completely shocked that he didn’t get one from the NHL today…
from The Edmonton Journal,
Fernando Pisani has some colour in his cheeks and bounce in his step five weeks after his most recent ulcerative colitis scare that sent him home from a road trip when the Edmonton Oilers were in Atlanta.
He says he didn’t feel his career was in jeopardy, but he did spend time in hospital, which is always a major worry.
His intestinal disorder needs constant monitoring, but he’s feeling better, and plans on playing again in the New Year to try to revive an NHL career that’s been a horror show the past three years.
Pisani has had colitis, a broken leg, sore back, and colitis again, which has limited him to 100 games while sitting out 98 since the start of the 2007-08 season.
from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
This is what I know about the Thrashers-Kovalchuk talks. Optimism aside, Waddell is saying the same thing he was saying in September. If anything, he has backed off a little.
Kovalchuk? This is where it gets interesting. When I asked him following Thursday night’s 5-4 overtime win over Dallas, his initial response was, “Same, I think. You should ask them.” And he went on to talk about how he is “just focusing on my game.” Standard response.
But when asked whether he still believed a deal would get done, neither his tone nor his words were quite as positive as they had been in the past.
“Hopefully,” he said. “But, you know — you never know. It’s all [up to] our owners and management.”
This is how one generally translates that: “I want this amount. Let’s see if they give it to me.”
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
They do not need to trade a spare part on the roster for a different spare part just to get everybody’s attention - because that has already been accomplished with the arrival of new coach Peter Laviolette. They certainly do not need to sacrifice an important player, to cut off a significant appendage, just to wake everybody up.
Everyone knows this is a better team than it has shown in the last month. Now is the time to give the roster a chance to show it. The coach has hinted at a locker room that isn’t tight enough and, well, fine. The truth is that the talent is there - or has everyone forgotten that this team was once 12-5-1?
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Redden, utterly devoid of passion through the first 109 games of his Ranger career, finally showed some emotion upon hearing the news oh boy about the scratch by confronting and shouting at Tortorella in the visiting coach’s office prior to the morning skate.
Later, the defenseman who represented himself as worthy of a $39M investment over six years upon reaching free agency on July 1, 2008, complained to the press that he was being “singled out” and being made an “example.”
How absurd. How outrageous. But how typical. Though, in a sense, Redden was correct. He is an example ... of what happens when players are not held accountable. Management shares the responsibility for Redden’s sense of entitlement.
more on the Rangers
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
A downtown department store in a major Canadian city is bound to be a madhouse during the holiday shopping season.
But it is nothing compared to a public appearance by Alexander Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals superstar and the worldwide face of hockey.
That much was proved yesterday at the Olympic boutique inside The Bay in downtown Vancouver, as roughly 1,000 people formed a circuitous queue 30 minutes before Ovechkin’s late-afternoon arrival. Autograph and picture seekers were forced to buy one of five items – the cheapest costing $89 – yet the line snaked around several displays, and ended outside the boutique, somewhere between clocks and cosmetics.
“Why not?” Ovechkin replied earlier in the day when asked why he would agree to two hours of sign and smile. “It’s good stuff for me. People are going to recognize me and shake my hand. It’s easy.”
Henrik Zeterberg is done for the night with an upper body injury after taking a shoulder check from Mattias Öhlund of the Lightning.
added 9:00pm, Video of the hit…
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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