Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Brendan Shanahan’s signing with the New Jersey Devils received barely a fraction of the ink that Mats Sundin got when he became a Vancouver Canuck, but one could argue that Shanahan might mean as much to his new team in the stretch run and into the playoffs….
Shanahan will take three Stanley Cup rings into the Devils dressing room, a cache that Sundin can only dream about. That kind of winning brings instant credibility, but in the case of Sundin, it’s something that still has to be earned. Shanahan won’t be looked upon as a saviour with the Devils, but more as a piece of the overall puzzle that could get the Devils deep into the playoffs. Sundin? Well, he has been treated as the second coming in Vancouver.
read on and more hockey notes…
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Defenseman Rob Blake will miss the next two games because of an injury suffered when a deflected puck struck him on the chin during Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.
A team source did not disclose the specific injury, but did rule out a concussion after Blake underwent tests last night and again today. He will miss tonight’s (Saturday night’s) game against Detroit and Tuesday’s against Vancouver, but is expected to be ready to return after the NHL All-Star break. San Jose does not play again until Jan. 27 in Colorado.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
For a month I have been pleading patience to those who have been so quick to rip the likes of Wade Redden and Dmitri Kalinin, yet both are now showing their worth. It was Redden who set up the game-winner after Drury won the face-off deep in the home team’s zone. The defenseman looked up, noticed the captain on his radar and delivered a drive two feet off the ice that was deflected behind Nik Khabibulin for the winner.
Perhaps it’s too soon to start thinking about the Rangers possibly catching Boston for the Conference lead, but I’ll tell you this: I was not overly impressed after seeing Boston on the Island on Thursday night.
We’ve got almost half-a-season left and lots can happen. One of those things could be a Bruins slump and a Rangers streak.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Rayzor decides to take a wrist shot up the middle, which we all know is real easy with those big paddle-board sticks, with a catchers’ mitt on one hand and a body full of heavy equipment.
Pass gets knocked down by Horcorff, leading to a chinese fire drill in which Rayzor kicks back out the puck he appeared to have saved between his legs, only to flop around and watch Horcoff slide the puck in for the 3-2 game-winner.
Rayzor makes about 50 saves tonight, many of them great ones. Then loses a game because he decided to act like Moe, Larry or Curly, take your pick.
from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
We’re all very aware just how close many of the top teams in the NHL are to each other and just how fine the line is between winning and losing.
Currently three teams have put together excellent first halves to this season, losing fewer than 10 games, which is a remarkable feat. They are Boston, Detroit and San Jose.
Impressive to be sure, but none of these three teams may be the best in the league right now.
What may surprise some people is the Calgary Flames are as good as or even better than anyone right now.
People around the league are really starting to take notice of the Flames because right now they have zero weaknesses.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Now that we’re at least halfway into the season, it’s a good time to take a look at power play production, from an individual perspective. That’s the goal of this week’s edition of Backchecking, which also includes Trade Rumours, Hot n’ Not and the best in quotes, Chirping.
Sure, you can check out the leading power play scorers:
1. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington (8-16-24)
2. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh (6-18-24)
3. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim (3-21-24)
4. Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary (9-13-22)
5. Todd White, C, Atlanta (9-13-22)
read on for loads of power play stats…
“I almost felt like a bridesmaid in Mats Sundin’s wedding.”
-Brendan Shanahan. Much more on Shanny from Damien Cox of The Spin blog.
I am half Armenian, so here goes…
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings are offering a special Armenian Heritage Night ticket package to their fans for the Kings-Atlanta Thrashers game at STAPLES Center on February 16.
Fans who purchase the Armenian Heritage Package will receive a discounted ticket to the game – which takes place one month from tonight—along with a pass to a private post-game party at Club Nokia at LA Live, a special Kings/Armenian mini flag and one premium Armenian beer or soda. The post-game party will feature a special appearance by Armenian DJ Vick One from Power 106 and a performance by popular Armenian hip-hop artist R-Mean.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I must chime in on this quote by Peter Budaj that was in Terry’s story of our beloved and worthy Denver Post.
The quote was this: “I lost the net before and I knew it was going to happen this season, that there were going to be times Rayzor was going to be playing. That’s the nature of the business sometimes.”
Look, I know things get said sometimes that are taken out of context and sometimes guys who are from a different country say things that might not mean exactly - or that they think they mean.
But, geez, if I’m Tony Granato or Francois Giguere or Stan Kroenke and I’m reading that statement, I’m having a little sit down with Boods to ask him about it. So, basically, you knew you’d be no good eventually and lose your starting job, is that what you’re saying?
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News:
With Gerber’s current cap hit at $3.7 million, he is virtually untradeable for the Senators. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, the Senators could find a team looking for some goaltending depth for the last two months of the season. Any team wanting to trade for Gerber would owe him $1.4 million for the remainder of the season if it made a deal Feb. 1.
And there’s absolutely no way any team is going to commit that kind of cap space to Gerber. But what if the Senators were willing to pick up half - or more - of the remainder of the contract? Then Gerber might be a more viable option.
The only problem is that isn’t allowed under this collective bargaining agreement.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org