Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
All three Moore brothers, Mark, Steve and Dominic, have Harvard diplomas. It doesn’t take one of those to figure out that the NHL would frown on the Avalanche making a public display of support for Steve, who, after all, is suing a one-time fellow NHL player and an NHL team, the Canucks, and who tried to include other individuals (i.e., Brad May, Brian Burke, Marc Crawford) in an original suit that was tossed out in Denver. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: The Avalanche should tell the NHL to mind its own business and plan to honor Steve at a home game in March.
It’s probably poor taste to bring this up, but it wouldn’t be a bad public relations move for a franchise that increasingly needs it and has taken deserved criticism for turning its back on a former player in a sport that takes pride in its one-for-all ethic in the dressing room and on the ice. I’d say do it at the March 4 game against Detroit, because that probably would be a sellout, anyway, and thus the team couldn’t be accused of making the move only to sell tickets. The problem there is that many Red Wings fans would be among the crowd and wearing red that night, so I do think the Avalanche could justify holding the Moore night at another game.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
For some reason, Kiprusoff is not getting his due around the league for the Flames fortunes.
The critics, especially those who don’t watch the unflappable Finn mind the twine for Calgary night after night, are quick to point out his higher-than-expected goals-against average (2.76, tied for 25th best in the league prior to yesterday’s action) and lower-than-usual save percentage (.905, good for 27th place).
Despite a league-leading 30 wins—which gives him a shot at becoming the first goalie in NHL history to reach 50 in a season—Kiprusoff’s success is pinned on playing for an upper echelon team nearly every game.
The argument may be valid, but Kiprusoff warrants more respect than he’s receiving.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
If you strapped Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland to a chair and jabbed him full of truth serum, he’d say he wants to keep his hoss, Marian Hossa, more than his Mule, Johan Franzen, if Holland only has so many dollars to spend.
Franzen developed a cult following in Detroit after those 28 goals in his final 32 games last season, including the playoffs, and he’s followed it with 22 in 43 games this year, six of those game-winners. That’s 50 goals in 75 games, but Hossa, 30, is the world-class talent, almost a point-a-game player (695 points in 749 games).
If Hossa says he’ll play the next six years in Detroit for an average cap hit of between Henrik Zetterberg’s $6.1 million a year and Datsyuk’s $6.7 million, Holland is dancing. If Hossa wants to play hardball, then Holland will go to his Plan B, Franzen. Yet, while Franzen often looks like John LeClair from his Legion of Doom glory days with Eric Lindros with his bullish ways around the net, there’s a gnawing feeling that the 225-pound Swede benefits greatly from the cast around him.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Maybe it was unrealistic to expect him to make an immediate impact. Maybe it was unrealistic to expect him to step in and be the player we last saw in Toronto.
But, by any reasonable standard, he’s been here long enough to acclimatize himself to the NHL grind and bring his conditioning and timing up to an NHL standard. And not only has he failed there, he’s actually hindered the Canucks’ attempts to get on track.
Against the Wild, the final line told you all you needed to know—just over 17 minutes of ice time, minus-one, no points, three shots on goal, none of which resembled a scoring chance, and two more minors to his rapidly increasing PIM total.
But what that ledger doesn’t reveal is the number of times he was put in a position to make a difference; to change the momentum of the game or to sustain momentum in the Canucks’ favour. Alain Vigneault gave Sundin every chance to succeed, every chance to leave his imprint on this game. And each time he failed.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Luke Schenn’s fight with Tyler Kennedy in the second period last night was a crowd pleaser, but the Leafs were far less enamoured with Kennedy’s actions prior to the bout.
Toronto GM Brian Burke phoned NHL disciplinarians last night seeking a review of the incident at 9:36, which the Leafs feel was instigated by Kennedy.
“(Burke) called the league and they are investigating,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said after the Leafs’ 5-4 win over Kennedy’s Penguins.
“In my opinion, he (Kennedy) came off the bench and instigated the fight, so we’ll see what the league’s investigation finds.”
continued and watch the video evidence below…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If I were John Tavares, I would be clear about my future and make certain I never play for the New York Islanders.
Tavares hasn’t said that much—and quite likely he won’t. But if I were in his position, as the logical No. 1 pick in June’s National Hockey League entry draft, I would pull a John Elway, an Eli Manning or an Eric Lindros.
And find a way to get out of playing for the Islanders.
If you think about it, why would anyone with dreams and aspirations of greatness want to play for the Isles?
They have become a Gertrude Stein kind of franchise: “There is no there there.” From the owner to the front office to the players to an old rink and older fan base, there is nothing about the Islanders that represents hope.
read on for more hockey notes…
from David J. Neal of the Miami Herald,
The Panthers haven’t been this happy with their position in the late January standings since 1999-2000, their last playoff year. Now, the question is what the Panthers will do with Bouwmeester at the coming trade deadline—deal their No. 1 defenseman or risk losing him for nothing as an unrestricted free agent?
‘‘I hope he’s here for a lot of years,’’ Weiss said. ``I hope we can all stay here. I’m pretty stubborn that way where you want to finish where you started. I was drafted here and I want to make this work and get this team consistently winning and make the playoffs and do something in the playoffs. I think a lot of guys have that mind-set—you know what, it hasn’t been good here, but we’re going to turn this thing around and make it work down here.’‘
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
A few thoughts from Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, in for a visit Tuesday night with the Capitals playing on Causeway Street:
On the NHL Players Association’s recent decision not to break the collective bargaining agreement, guaranteeing labor peace through at least 2010-11:
“It seemed the only intelligent thing they should do, and they haven’t necessarily done the smartest things right along. There are a lot of things I don’t like about [the CBA], but for us and the league, it’s the right paradigm.”
On what he doesn’t like about the CBA:
“It’s expensive. It’s hard to live with . . . it’s a lot of money [to the players] and it’s hard to make these businesses successful with what is left for [owners]. I am not in a position to talk too specifically, otherwise I get in trouble. But for the Bruins, it’s very expensive to live with…
more and more hockey talk too…
Way to be a ‘partner’ Mr. Jacobs!
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
General manager Scott Howson confirmed late last night to The Dispatch that Mason has been suffering from mononucleosis for three to four weeks.
The rookie-of-the-year candidate made his 18th consecutive start last night but allowed three goals in the first 11 minutes of a 7-3 loss to the Dallas Stars and was pulled for the first time in his NHL career.
Howson said doctors did not diagnose Mason’s infection until Thursday, and he defended the team’s decision to play him in back-to-back starts this weekend.
“Our doctors feel he’s had it for a while and they feel he’s on the other side of the virus,” Howson said. “The worst of it is probably over.”
Mason’s spleen is not enlarged, one of the complications sometimes associated with mono, Howson said.
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
How much the Caps can take from this victory is debatable. The Red Wings, after all, were missing two front-line players because of injuries, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg. Holmstrom is a monster in the crease; without him Detroit’s power play, the best in the NHL, suffers. And Zetterberg might be the best two-way player in hockey right now.
Throw in the relative good health of the Capitals and the fact that they beat Ty Conklin, not Chris Osgood, in goal—and that the Red Wings entered the game in the midst of their first four-game losing streak in nearly a year—and Detroit was a good bet to go down.
But at the same time, that’s the NHL regular season. Before a team’s greatness is defined in May and June, they have to show signs in the regular season, and the Caps have now consistently shown they belong in the Boston-Detroit-Montreal conversation.
What really happened on the ice yesterday was another example of why the Capitals can never again be Ovie and the Overachievers.
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