Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Schmehl of Mlive,
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard might be out of minor league options, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock said that excuse won’t guarantee him a backup role behind Chris Osgood.
Babcock told told WZAM’s Sports Pen that Daniel Larsson, who was drafted by the Red Wings with the 92nd overall pick in 2006, is giving Howard a run for his money.
“(Larsson) is knocking on the door,” Babcock said. “Howard and he both played in the AHL last year and his numbers were every bit as good as Howard.
“(Larsson) has been the goaltender of the year before in Sweden. It’s not like he’s a kid – we thought he played real well for us the other day and made some big plays.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
And while the Oilers had nothing but good things to say about the man that Khabibulin replaced, team captain Ethan Moreau concurred with the basic premise, suggesting: “Having Khabibulin here allows us to compete with Kiprusoff, Luongo, Backstrom – the elite goalies in our division and conference.
“It’s a daunting task every night because if you don’t get equal goaltending, it’s very hard to win. Goaltending is one of the only positions in hockey, where you can’t cover up your weaknesses. You can have smaller forwards, or if you don’t score enough, you can cover up your weaknesses with other strengths. But goaltending is a must and we have a guy that’s played at an elite level for a long time, so that does give us some comfort.”
Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside of ESPN sit down with Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs at the Denver Post,
The Tom Preissing Era is off to a crummy start. One of the two D-men who came over from L.A. in the Ryan Smyth trade, Preissing had arthroscopic surgery on a knee today and is out 4-6 weeks.
He apparently suffered the injury at some point early in camp, as he never took part in any scrimmages.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets top four defensemen are all sidelined with nagging strains to the groin or hip flexors and management wants to determine if that’s more than coincidence.
Add Rusty Klesla (hip flexor), Mike Commodore (groin) and Marc Methot (hip flexor) to a growin list that already includes Fedor Tyutin (hip flexor) and forward R.J. Umberger (hip flexor)....
General manager Scott Howson is seeking answers. With the help of the coaching staff, medical staff and players, he’s trying to figure out what’s at the root of the problem. Howson even has taken to calling around the league to see if other teams are sustaining similar injuries. He said Phoenix and Minnesota are dealing with the same issues.
Among the possibilities:
—Ice quality in various rinks, including the Dispatch Ice Haus.
—The high pace to the start of camp, which included intra-squad games on the first two days and an exhibition game in Pittsburgh on the third.
While on the Blue Jackets topic, Doug MacLean on Fan590 today mentioned Columbus is trying to find a dman to run the point on the power play. Both Raffi Torres and Jason Chimera are being offered, but no takers so far.
from Naoko Funayama of NESN,
Just telling hockey people you’re going to Quebec City triggers a delightful reaction. But even better was the reaction the people of QC had to us.
“You come for hockey game?” asked our waiter at a quaint corner bistro in Old Quebec City.
“Claude Julien?” he continued in his broken English, asking us about Boston’s head coach and the former Quebec Nordiques defenseman….
Inside Le Colisee, the aura of the old NHL team still remained. Its NHL banners were proudly displayed, with wooden seats high in the “endzones” that were so vertically lined they looked like a wall.
from Sean Gordon of French Impression at the Globe and Mail,
Jacques Martin has consistently praised Gionta’s attitude and work ethic, he’s combative (last night he got up in Geno Malkin’s grille after a bit of a sneaky elbow behind the net) and he can obviously still put the puck in the net.
I say what the hell, give him the “C”.
Until he starts sucking, at which point the experts and open-mouth shows can start chewing on his bones.
But something tells me that’s not going to happen.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray is selling. This week he’s going hunting for buyers ... for a player or two.
Murray said today he’s going to start working the phones to try and move a couple of players he feels are underperforming this fall. In part, his motivation is to open up a spot for centre Peter Regin, who is having a strong training camp. Another factor is to lighten the team’s contract load, which is currently very close to the league’s salary cap.
Ideally, the Senators would like to find new homes for defenceman Christoph Schubert and possibly centre Chris Kelly.
The following statement was issued today by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:
“Adam Burish went into the boards on Sunday night in Minnesota and injured his right knee. When a player like him leaves the ice it is always concerning, and unfortunately he suffered an ACL tear. He will undergo a reconstruction as soon as possible and we anticipate a complete recovery. His return will take approximately six months.”
from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,
When I was doing my due diligence for a “Fab Freshman” article for our annual Poolbook in the summer, I grabbed the opinions of a couple NHL scouts on which players they thought would impress the most in their inaugural run through The Circuit. Names on the list included Tavares, Nikita Filatov, Cody Hodgson, Matt Gilroy, Colin Wilson and more, but when the name Artem Anisimov came up, there was an underlining pause.
The Rangers prospect is the guy to watch out for.
“Honestly, I think he’s the best of the ones you’ve named so far,” said one scout.
Now, we’re not necessarily talking long-term potential here – though with what Anisimov brings to the table, it’s entirely possible he could bloom into a superstar. This is purely about Year 1 and how this year’s Calder Trophy race will most likely play out.
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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