Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
If Chris Pronger keeps playing the way he has through the first quarter of the season and remains injury free, he could be on the verge of doing something truly remarkable.
In what has been a rather wide-open race for the Norris Trophy, Pronger has installed himself as the favorite so far. Should he win the Norris, he will have gone eight full seasons (nine years if you include the lockout) between being named the league’s top defenseman, something no other player has ever done before.
Pronger currently leads all players in ice time at 26:47 per game, is on pace for a career-high 73 points and is second on his team – third in the league – to Matt Carle in plus-minus at plus-13.
Anyone who saw this coming, you might want to apply for a job with the Anaheim Ducks, who saw fit to keep Scott Niedermayer instead of extending Pronger’s contract.
more hockey talk…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Mathematically, then, 14 of 16 teams that had a playoff berth a year ago now held on to those positions. If that holds true this year then look for playoff regulars the Rangers, Montreal, Carolina, Anaheim and Vancouver to be on the outside looking in.
more on this topic plus additional NHL talk…
2. San Jose
3. New Jersey
See the rest and a comment about each team at ESPN.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Marc Savard, a sometimes impatient patient, did what he was told. For bone strength, he diligently drank milk, although he sometimes opted for the chocolate variety, just to break up the moo-notony.
Once a day, he applied an electric bone stimulator, shooting silent and painless healing rays for 20 minutes into and around the fractured bone in his left foot that sidelined him last month.
“I don’t know if that helps, might be a gimmick, who knows?’’ offered the Bruins’ top center, who is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow night in St. Louis after a five-week absence. “All I know is, I’m ready to get back and I’m glad about that. It will be great to get back in there with the boys.’’
Meanwhile, things have been looking better for the battered Bruins, who got top winger Milan Lucic (fractured finger) back in the lineup Thursday and proceeded to win two straight games.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Just writing the name “Uwe Krupp” brought back a little tingle to my fingers.
It’s probably been about three years since I have done that, and that’s far too long. Uwe Krupp will be back in Denver Monday night for “Uwe Krupp Night” at the Pepsi Center, and even though I have Monday off, I can’t miss Uwe Krupp Night. So I’m going to go, maybe just sit in the stands and watch the game with the rest of you. Screw the press box. The view is the worst in the building anyway.
Lots of old memories when Krupp’s name comes up, none bigger, of course, than the goal he scored to win the 1996 Stanley Cup. It’s a night I can never forget, naturally, not the least of which because I still have a t-shirt with the front page of the next day’s Denver Post reproduced on it. Ever see a t-shirt with a story you wrote on it? It’s a weird thing, believe me.
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
• You watch the Capitals on Saturday night and see Mike Green commit a horrific giveaway in the final seconds of OT and you think there’s no chance the talented blueliner can be part of the Olympic. He’s super-skilled, but oh-so-casual and a little too-cool-for-school.
• Everyone’s focussed on the Phil Kessel trade. But a far more costly transaction for the Leafs in the short term was that which sent Pavel Kubina to Atlanta for Garnet Exelby.
• Georges Laraque sticks out a knee on Nicklas Kronwall, Wade Belak viciously reefs Jarred Boll in the groin - in the grand tradition of the departed Chris Simon, it’s usually the NHL policemen who commit the crimes.
Laraque, by the way, should be gone for 20 games. But don’t hold your breath.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Mike Fisher made a vow to his girlfriend of almost a year when she wrote a love note to him for all the world to see.
“I told her that when my CD came out, I’d return the favour,” the Senators centre said with a laugh after Saturday’s 5-3 win over Buffalo.
In an exclusive interview with Sun Media, Fisher also chuckled when asked if he had any immediate plans to propose to country singing superstar Carrie Underwood, who he has been dating since near the start of this year.
“Who are you, Ellen?” he joked, referring to Ellen DeGeneres, the popular daytime TV host who last week pressed Underwood with similar questions.
While saying there are no marriage plans in the immediate future, Fisher admitted Underwood is just his second “serious girlfriend.”
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
...it was up to a few of the Edmonton Oilers veterans to offer some insight as to what was discussed in a long Sunday morning meeting with head coach Pat Quinn.
“Honestly, we went over everything imaginable,” said Shawn Horcoff after the group finally emerged. “That’s a good thing to do. He vented to us, he told us some things we needed to hear, and we let him know what we’re seeing as well.”
Roll call was early. Real early. At 9 a.m. — a mere 10 hours after the Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Oilers in a 5-2 drubbing — the players sheepishly filed back into Rexall Place and, not so many minutes later, most filled back out. The exception being the seven veterans who were holed up in a meeting room with the head man.
Captain Ethan Moreau, defencemen Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, and wingers Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky rounded out the gathering.
“Sometimes you don’t take the necessary time to address some problems you have, or issues, or philosophical differences you might have,” Moreau said.
from Ray Ferraro of TSN,
I know the game moves so fast,and there is no way Laraque had time to think “I am going to stick out my leg and hurt Kronwall”. However, that is exactly what happened. Again, look at the play. Laraque’s leg was off the ice, that meant he could,and did, stick his leg into Kronwall’s path.
This will be suspendible, but for how long? Kronwall will be out anywhere from four to eight weeks with a sprained MCL. With my history of knee problems, I’m guessing it is closer to eight weeks than four weeks.
To me, it appears that the message a suspension is supposed to send often gets lost on the players. Anything less than five games for this play is, in my opinion, too light and no deterrent at all. Most NHL viewers usually agree on what is suspendible, but I want the suspensions to be more firm.
I do understand how difficult it would be to get GMs, coaches and players to agree on anything, let alone longer suspensions. Injured players or suspended players, what do you want? I want less of both. If it can be agreed upon, send a memo, state that as of January 1st, there will be a new standard.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
It seems stupidly arrogant and self-defeating for a sports writer to ridicule his readers, to tell them in so many words that they’re a bunch of dopes. Why would you want to knock the people you hope will read your column?
But there he was, David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail, sneering at the Toronto Maple Leaf fans and heaping scorn on them from a high place.
Shoalts explained in his Saturday column that “your agent” – that’s him – had been cooped up at home for two days and, therefore, was able to put his ear to the pulse of “Leafs Nation” by listening to the radio. And guess what he learned?
“If most fans had their way, Brian Burke would be busy this weekend firing Ron Wilson, trading Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, Luke Schenn and just about any other prospect the Toronto Maple Leafs have, and presto, they would no longer be the worst team in the NHL…
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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