Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Richard Durrett at the Dallas Stars Blog:
Ott bangs the boards, fights for loose pucks, gets in front of the net and has shown a deft scoring touch too. He’s becoming more and more like a Brenden Morrow clone by the game. Ott had a goal and two assists on Friday, extending his career-long point streak to seven games (4 goals, 6 assists). He also has at least one point in nine of the last 11 games.
“If I can be a quarter of the player Brenden is, that’s great,” Ott said. “He’s a great leader and a team guy and I’d love to have him back in this dressing room. I’m just trying to play hard hockey and tha’ts something Brenden brings on a nightly basis and he’s a mentor to me so I want to keep playing that way.”
Ott has said for years that he was more than just a physical player. Now he’s proving it.
Also, Tom Cowlishaw has a piece on the “rejuvenation” of Mike Ribeiro in today’s Dallas News, as well
from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
There’s a reason why we haven’t been hearing the Hawks mentioned in trade rumors with the March 4 deadline fast approaching.
It’s because GM Dale Tallon and his staff still aren’t sure they want to mess with the special chemistry in the dressing room, and can you blame them?
The Hawks might be good enough as is to get out of the Western Conference, and anyone that thinks I’ve been drinking too much Canadian beer isn’t paying attention to what’s happening….
If the Hawks need anything, it’s an experienced center who can win faceoffs. Will they go after one? Probably, but it will be on Tallon’s terms.
from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
It’s all business now. Coaches really put the screws to the players at this time of the year, ensuring no bad habits form. I know it’s a cliché, but this is the time coaches remind players to pay attention to the details. Those details win and lose games in the stretch drive and the playoffs.
So what do we the fans get back in return?
more and with that, hockey starts at 1:00pm today, the full schedule can be viewed below..
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
...you talk to Aaron Ward because, unlike most of the players in this league, Ward actually talks. And he does so without spewing a single cliché or ducking a question, which is a rather religious experience in this column business.
And when a player has three Stanley Cup rings, has been to five finals, was almost destroyed by Scotty Bowman, and once nearly scrapped with teammate Jaromir Jagr on the bench, there is plenty to talk about….
“One night in Chicago, I blocked a shot with my mouth and from the lip to the nose, I was gushing blood everywhere. As I headed to the room, Scotty yelled ‘If you’re not back in five, you don’t play another shift.’ Our doctor was about 80, so I knew there wasn’t a chance that the stitches were going in that fast!” Another night in Colorado, Forsberg and Sakic stepped on the ice, and Detroit assistant Dave Lewis sent Ward and his partner out.
“Scotty came running down the bench, yelling ‘Jesus Dave are you trying to make us lose the game!?!’ I was halfway across the ice, but I could hear it so clearly, I decided to save my career so I did a 180 and went back to the bench.” Ward would leave Detroit with two rings—and zero fear.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The Calgary Flames will win the Northwest Division title.
They will have the No.-3 seed in the Western Conference standings and likely win a playoff round over—let’s say, Minnesota.
For all the hand-wringing by the fans, assertive meetings by the brass and wide-eyed “what happened?” looks of the players, their three-game losing skid is just a blip on the big screen.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Those who thought Rodney Dangerfield had it tough, should try hanging out with Chris Osgood for a while.
Talk about a guy not getting any respect.
Despite winning three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, Osgood has long been a favourite whipping boy and has always had his share of critics in town….
“It’s like in a lot of sports, there is that one position that takes a lot more heat than the rest of the players,” said Wings forward Kirk Maltby. “Here in Detroit, it’s the goaltenders. This is Chris’ second go-round here and it’s no different. But Ozzie has the perfect mentality to, not only be a goaltender, but to deal with criticism.
“He doesn’t get up or down. If he goes on a five-game winning streak, it’s not like he’s flying around here. He keeps a pretty even keel. It’s a long season and things are going to happen. But if you ask anybody in this dressing room, they’re going to tell you that we have all the confidence in the world that he will be ready come playoff time.”
from Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank,
How do you respond to a fraud?
Do you even try?...
Do you link to all the stories written by pros questioning his integrity and even his life story?...
Do I discuss how the Islanders once caught the fraud back-timing his reports to make it look like he had a trade scoop before anyone else?
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Tomorrow, you will step on the ice at the Mellon Arena for the first time since you snubbed the Pens. And you will be wearing the red-and-white jersey of the Red Wings, who carried the Stanley Cup on this same surface eight months ago in front of the loyal Pittsburgh fans who supported you through thick and thin.
Let’s be honest. You will be perceived as a traitor and will be treated as such.
Are you ready to be showered with boos? You had better be.
“It will be loud,” Hossa acknowledged yesterday. “And when I touch the puck, it will be louder. That’s what I’m expecting. I try not to think about it—just focus on my game and do my stuff.
more plus more hockey talk including some trade scenarios…
added 7:42am, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Hossa believes the 12-year, $73-million pact Zetterberg signed helped him get a better gauge of his own market value. He made it sound as if a deal with the Red Wings would eventually happen.
“I know what I kind of want, I want to stay for a long time,” Hossa said. “This is great to be part of. We’ll see how the negotiations will go, what Ken and Ritch (Winter, his agent) tell me. It could be a few days, a few months or after the end of the year.”
more on Hossa and Franzen negotiations…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Ron Wilson joined the pile on his goaltender Friday, a couple of days after his boss, Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke, gave Vesa Toskala a public spanking.
“No, I don’t disagree,” the head coach said of Burke’s charge that Toskala does not work hard enough in practice. “I would have expected Vesa to have much better numbers at this point. He’s been inconsistent at best.
“I want to see him practise harder. You can say you’re saving something in practice for the games. But if you are failing in certain parts of your game, the only thing to do is practise harder. We are talking to Vesa about that.”...
“We have to have better numbers,” Wilson said. “You can’t have 20 shots and five go in. We have to get closer to a .900 save percentage.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The last week of February, that’s when you should expect to see Sean Avery in a Rangers uniform, assuming all goes well in the rehabilitation and waiver processes designed to bring the winger back home to the only NHL city in which he can play.
It can’t come soon enough for a team that is in need of shock treatment to avert a complete breakdown in the wake of last night’s colossally humiliating 10-2 defeat in Dallas that extended the losing streak to a season-high four games (0-3-1).
Just like that, the Rangers are somehow just six points up on the ninth-place Hurricanes and 10th-place Penguins, with one game in hand on Pittsburgh. Just like that, the Rangers are no sure thing.
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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