Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I was the worst player in the league tonight by far. We should have won that game 3-0. The guys played great. I’m the reason that we lost in a shootout.”
-Blues goaltender Manny Legace. More on the Blues shootout loss to the Wings last night at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
...Part of the problem here—a huge part of the problem I suspect—is that Penner simply doesn’t look like a hockey player. Instead, Penner looks pudgy. Chubby, you might even say, or fat, if you were a coach on a losing streak.
His skating stride appears to be leisurely. He ambles more than he churns the ice. Even when he’s making an effective deke, he appears to be doing so in slow motion.
In those rare moments when he does really get it going, when he hammers a shot on net, or uses his size to hammer an opponent into the boards, it only tends to make things worse for Penner, leaving fans to ask: Why can’t he do that every night?
Penner’s main issue is optics, that hockey players aren’t supposed to be pudgy and slow, and when we rate a player like Penner, it’s hard to overlook our strong visceral reaction to his appearance and style of play.
from Steve Silver of the Las Vegas Sun,
Monday morning at the Orleans Arena was business as usual as the Las Vegas Wranglers and Bakersfield Condors prepared for tonight’s game – until the Chicago Blackhawks strolled in to practice.
Yes, those Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s “Original Six” franchises and the current fourth-place team in the Western Conference with a 27-13-8 record….
After dropping the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night, the Blackhawks headed to the Bellagio for their hockey retreat.
The team watched the Super Bowl together on Sunday then practiced at the Orleans Arena Monday prior to boarding a flight to Edmonton for a showdown with the Oilers on Tuesday night.
TORONTO (February 2, 2009) —Los Angeles Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier has been suspended for five games, without pay, as a result of a blow to the head delivered during NHL Game #732, Jan. 31 against the Montreal Canadiens, the National Hockey League announced.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Gauthier will forfeit $56,451.61. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Gauthier was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct for hitting Canadiens’ defenseman Josh Gorges at 3:50 of the second period.
Gauthier will miss games at Ottawa on Feb. 3, at Washington on Feb. 5, at New Jersey on Feb. 7, at New York Islanders on Feb. 10 and against Calgary on Feb. 12. He will be eligible to return on Feb. 14 against Edmonton.
via Lightning Strikes,
The last we saw of Lightning goalie Mike Smith he was smashing a water bottle and overturning carts in the hallway leading to the locker room after he was pulled from Friday’s loss to the Flyers. It is unknown if that had any affect on Monday’s announcement Smith will not fly with the team for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders. Mike McKenna, signed Monday to an NHL contract, and Karri Ramo will be the goaltending duo.
added 6:35pm, via Bolts Report,
The team did not reveal until well after practice today that Mike Smith was injured and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. I tried to cram that information into the previous post.
Smith did not travel with the team today as he went to seek either some medical testing or a therapy of some type, according to general manager Brian Lawton, who did not rule out Smith joining the team in New York before tomorrow’s game and Rick Tocchet has not ruled anything out at this point.
Penguins centre Tyler Kennedy has been suspended one game by the NHL for initiating a fight with the Maple Leafs’ Luke Schenn on Saturday night.
The Leafs had asked the league to review the incident, saying that Kennedy had come off to the Pens’ bench to start an altercation with the young defenceman.
MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens announced Monday that forward Robert Lang underwent successful surgery to repair a severed Achilles tendon on his left leg. The 38-year old forward is presently recovering from surgery and will be out indefinitely.
Lang suffered the injury during the third period of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Boston Bruins, at the Bell Centre. He was transferred to the Montreal General Hospital where surgery was performed on Sunday night.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The move was less than a shock, considering Ottawa has been languishing at the bottom of the NHL standings for months. But it doesn’t speak to the real problem with the Sens – namely, the holy trinity of salary cap killers that is Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
Much like the Tampa Bay Lightning painfully learned, the Sens need to understand teams simply can’t devote the bulk of their cap room to three elite forwards and have enough left over to address the other needs of their team.
read on plus more hockey topics…
from Sarah Miller of the National Post,
We decided to take a look at some of the NHL’s mascots. If the meanness of the mascot is an indication as to how far the team will go, perhaps that is why the Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup in 42 years: Carlton the Bear looks more like Beenie Baby than a menacing carnivore. The same rationale can be applied to the Detroit Red Wings’ win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in last year’s Stanley Cup final (Al the Octopus looks evil, while Iceburgh looks like he came strolling into Mellon Arena from Sesame Street).
Here are five teams that, despite having a menacing mascot, have not fulfilled their championship potential (all records as of the completion of Sunday’s games):
5. Stinger, Columbus Blue Jackets
Stinger is a, um, green, uh, thing. He’s an insect of some sort. Anyway, his eyes are big and red and his mouth makes him look pretty angry, so he gets a spot on our list as one of the mean mascots in the NHL.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
How much fun is this? As of Monday morning, five teams occupying sixth through 10th place were tied with 53 points and eight points separated fifth through 14th. How crazy is the Western Conference? Well, Phoenix looked like it had firmly established itself as a playoff team as it sat fifth in the conference after the All-Star break, but after three straight losses, the Coyotes are now 10th. Dallas, once left for dead in the nether regions of the conference, was among those teams at 53 points and sit seventh overall.
With 2½ months to go, we figure the Coyotes are cooked unless they find more consistent scoring. Columbus, likewise, doesn’t have enough scoring depth and its power play is the worst in the league. If there’s one team currently in the top eight that we can’t get a handle on, it’s Edmonton.
read on for more Western Conference talk and some Doug Gilmour talk too…
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.
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