Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette,
“He’s beginning to look more like the player we’ve seen for the first 50 games and not the last 20,” general manager and head coach Bob Gainey said. “I see his body language in goal now and he doesn’t resemble someone who’s always guilty.
“Now he’s part of our team who must play well for us, but not more than the others. Everyone has the same responsibility as the goalie. He’s still 21 and is experiencing things he hasn’t experienced before.”
Price has worked hard with goaltending coach Roland Melanson over the last few weeks. They’ve worked on Price’s leg work and improving the way he tracks the puck, the mandate of playing the position.
“I was starting to lean and guess instead of reacting,” Price explained. “It’s a gift being able to pick up the puck and reading the angle off the stick.”
“It must be something about the way Sean looks out there in his helmet, because people want to kill him but Sean was as disciplined and as focused as ever.
“I don’t want to sound corny about it, but I think we’re all proud of him.”
-Chris Drury on Sean Avery. More on the Rangers win over the Devils from Larry Brooks of the NY Post.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Sitting 13 points behind the Flames just two months ago, the Canucks enter tonight’s game in Minnesota just one point behind the NHL’s Northwest Division leaders with a game in hand.
More importantly, their schedule is far more favourable than a six-game Flames finish which includes four road tilts and three back-to-back affairs. The Flames have won just six of 22 back-to-back outings this year.
Last night, the Flames continued their freefall with a 2-1 loss to an injury-riddled San Sharks club which included more no-name products than Superstore.
And the noose tightens.
The undeniable truth is the Flames are gagging down the stretch—again.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Pestilence, War, Famine and Death rumbled down Front Street on Sunday night. The Blue Jackets lost a game. Heavens.
Columbus and its fans are in a playoff race, and every shift is taking on biblical proportions. Victory is redemption. Loss is damnation. Isn’t it fun?...
During the weekend, the Jackets had a home-and-home series with the St. Louis Blues, and the Jackets were less than inspiring. They lost in overtime in the Scottrade Center and got thumped 5-2 in Nationwide Arena. As the fans filed out of the building into the chill of Sunday night, their thoughts could be read, as if they had cartoon bubbles floating above their heads.
“We’re so close.”
“Why, God? Why?”
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
The Kings tonight held a 90-minute ``teleconference’’ in which season-ticket holders were allowed to call in and ask questions of Dean Lombardi, Terry Murray, Luc Robitaille, Ron Hextall, Chris McGowan and Jeff Solomon. According to Nick Nickson, who moderated the event, more than 1,300 people called in, and the Kings allowed me to be one of them.
First question was about why the Kings didn’t acquire a ``big-name left wing’’ at the trade deadline. Lombardi said a number of players fit that description, but none of them were available at the deadline. He said they made a serious run at one player but that none of those type of players ended up getting moved. ``It just wasn’t there,’’ Lombardi said. ``You don’t want to end up bidding against yourself and paying too much.’‘
The next question was for Lombardi, about whether he feels the Kings are ahead of schedule or behind schedule. ``Quite frankly, I think we’re ahead of schedule,’’ Lombardi said. ``I didn’t anticipate being this young this quickly. When I came here, I talked about the dearth of young players on the back end. We not only addressed that, but they’re already playing. When you look at our defense two years ago, we had Blake, Norstrom, Miller, Sopel and Modry. That would have been a great defense 10 years ago, but obviously it didn’t have a lot of upside….
via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,
With the playoffs fast approaching, can we please make a sincere request to a small, miniscule, fraction of the fanbase at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Shut up. Please. For five minutes, please put a sock in it.
Case in point: Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Heather Liscano launches into the Star Spangled Banner. And some idiot starts yelling, “Nabokov, you suck!” “Thornton, you suck!”
Look, fans pay their money, so they have the right to hurl insults at the players, coaches and officials. That’s the way it works.
But can we please show some respect to both national anthems? As Canadians, we want American fans to act civilized during O Canada. Should we not repay the favour?
from Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
With the Devils’ losing streak reaching a season-worst five games and only six regular season games remaning, Sutter rippped into his players.
“I’m trying to stay positive and trying to stay positive, but at some point you lose five in a row and you’ve got to recognize that there’s some problems here and there’s some issues,” Sutter said. “Am I (ticked) off? You’re darn right I’m ticked off because I expect more from this group,”
Sutter called on his veterans to straighten out this mess..
“The kind of leaders and experience that should be in that room, this shouldn’t be happening,” Sutter said. “It has nothing to do with anything outside of the fact that you’ve just got to want to have it a little more than the opposition. It has nothing to do with systems. It has nothing to do with anything like that. It’s strictly how motivated you are to want to have success. That’s what it comes down to. I’m disappointed in the whole group outside of our goaltender tonight,
“In the third period, we played with a sense of urgency and a sense of desperation. Why didn’t we have that in the first two periods?”
from Bob Duff of Duffer’s Dabbles at the Wndsor Star,
• The Detroit Red Wings are seeking to become the first team since the 1974-75 Montreal Canadiens to include three of their rearguard among the top 10 in scoring for NHL defenceman. Currently Brian Rafalski sits third overall with 10-47-57 totals. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom (13-40-53) is sixth and Niklas Kronwall (4-43-47) is in 11th spot. During that 1974-75 campaign, Guy Lapointe (28-47-75) finished third, Larry Robinson (14-47-61) was fifth and Serge Savard (20-40-60) was tied for sixth.
• Central Division netminders have combined to post an NHL-leading 38 shutouts. Next best total in the league is the 26 zeroes put up by Pacific Division goalies.
more hockey notes including some Steve Sullivan talk…
via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
During the melee, Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and the Hawks’ Duncan Keith got tangled and Burrows yanked Keith to the ice by his hair and continued pulling on the defenseman’s mane as they wrestled on the ice.
“That’s not something I’ve ever had happen to me,” Keith said. “My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It’s kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice.”
“I don’t know what the ruling is,” Keith said. “I don’t know if the league reviews that or not. It’s pretty blatant he was pulling my hair.”
The pulling of hair is prohibited and normally would draw a match penalty. However, none of the officials on the ice saw it as they were tending to ther other fights on the ice.
“I think it’s silly,” Hawks forward Adam Burish said. “There’s no spot for that. I think that’s stupid the way he was pulling [Keith’s] hair. Especially a nice haircut like Duncan has. I didn’t see it at the time [but] I’m sure I would have been more mad than I was already.”
The video of the whole incident was posted on KK early today if you missed it.
Blues goaltender Chris Mason participated in a tele-conference today…
Q. Just wondering, I’m sure this is a question that you have not been asked yet, but do you think you need rest before the end of the season?
CHRIS MASON: No, I don’t, actually. You know, I’m getting good rest on the off days, and they are taking care of me like that.
So I’m definitely saving my energy for the games, and, you know, at this point in the season, you just find the energy. It’s just when you go out on the ice and you’re playing these games that mean so much, you just find the energy. All of the other players are expected to do it, so I don’t see why the goalies can’t, 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.
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