Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
• I spoke with a few NHL executives from other teams Saturday to try and separate fact from fiction on this, and here’s the best I could come up from sources I trust:
The Blackhawks have done their due diligence around the league and looked at the available goalies, but ultimately believe there’s no real upgrade on what they have, not to mention how difficult it would be to fit in a new salary given their cap situation (it only got worse, short-term, with the acquisition of Kim Johnsson on Friday).
In the final analysis, I don’t think the Hawks are totally sold on their goaltending, but they also don’t believe there’s a fix out there that makes sense at the present time.
• Making the playoffs is real important to this franchise, so I think if I was a betting man, I’d say Hamhuis survives the March 3 trade deadline. But there’s always the chance the Preds could move him for some much-needed offensive help. That’s another option. The best solution to all this, of course, is Hamhuis signing an extension before March 3 to take away all the stress.
“We’ll talk to all our unrestricted free agents during the Olympic break,” said Poile. “What I want to do is sign Dan Hamhuis, but I don’t know if that will happen.”
Tomas Holmstrom left the Wings game tonight. His knee is still bothering him.
Does Team Sweden make a switch and select Johan Franzen and sit Holmstrom for the Olympic Games?
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Center Valtteri Filppula will sit out tonight’s game against Ottawa due to a sore groin. Filppula said it flared up on him in Thursday’s game in San Jose. He is hoping to be ready for Finland’s first game at the Olympics on Tuesday.
“I’m concerned,’’ Filppula said. “I definitely want to play (in the Olympics). I want to play tonight, too, but we’ll have to see how it is. It’s much better today than it was yesterday.’‘
Andreas Lilja, back from his conditioning stint with Grand Rapids, skated and said he’s ready to play. But he first must be cleared by doctors on Monday. If he is cleared, the Wings must clear about $700,000 under the salary cap. The most likely scenario is putting Kirk Maltby on long-term injured reserve.
from Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal,
The city of Glendale won the latest court tussle with the Goldwater Institute watchdog group over possible lease concessions and incentives for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge Friday ruled against a Goldwater request to hold Glendale in contempt for not turning over documents in the case fast enough.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Can Andrew Cogliano be transformed into the next Todd Marchant?
If the young Edmonton Oilers forward can’t score, maybe it’s time to plant the seed and find Cogliano a new job description so he can stay in the NHL for the next 15 years.
Turn Cogliano one of the game’s five fastest skaters, into an indispensable checker, a super pest, a penalty-killer and a good faceoff man, just like Marchant.
via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Toronto claims Jamie Lundmark on waivers from Cgy. NYR put Steve Valiquette on re-entry waivers. May and Cheechoo clear waivers.
First game starts just after 2:00pm ET today.
It does seem kind of strange that the Olympic games have started but the NHL continues to play.
View today’s complete schedule below.
from Bruce Mason at the Detroit Free Press,
This column was submitted by a freep.com reader and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland’s hockey expertise heavily outweighs mine. It’s kind of like comparing the brain capacity of Albert Einstein versus Pee Wee Herman.
But something has to be done about Bertuzzi. Bench him. Cut him. Trade him. Heck, send him across I-96 to Grand Rapids. Because, in the end, he will kill this team, if he hasn’t dug their playoff grave already.
Bertuzzi, although skilled with his spin-o-rama shootout goals and occasional offensive flair, really lacks the hockey intelligence instrumental for winning games. Simple plays he cannot make.
And in a puck-possession system, simple plays are critical.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
There was Chris Drury getting up off the deck to drop his gloves with Matt Cooke, who had been standing over him like Ali over Liston in Lewiston, Maine, and Michal Rozsival was right there to protect his captain the way Marian Gaborik should have been protected, but wasn’t last month in Philadelphia.
But this was a different night and this was a different Rangers team. This was a team that battled throughout, even and especially after Michael Del Zotto was lost to a nasty skate wound above the ribs just 2:29 into the match and Gaborik was forced out following the first period after trying to play three days after suffering a skate gash in the right thigh.
“I loved seeing what Dru did,” Henrik Lundqvist said the Blueshirts’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Penguins on Olli Jokinen’s right wing wrist shot at 1:02. “We need that energy and edge to our game so that if something happens we don’t take a step back.
“I think everybody took charge and really focused on what they had to do. We’re not like [the Penguins], with so much talent. We’re a different team. We have to accept that. It’s important that the leaders lead the way, but at the same time we need everybody focused and locked in on doing what they do best.”
Hey, the all count- Mikael Samuelsson with the game winner last night.
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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