Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
What is certain, though, for every feel-good story that grabs headlines, even if only for a short while, there is another team that believed it, too, and had the Cinderella goods, only to find it still wore the garments of the scullery maid.
For teams like the Washington Capitals, that feeling of disappointment, even disbelief, is hard to fend off.
The Caps were one of those teams that began the season with that kind of iron-clad belief they were ready, even if the rest of the league didn’t believe it.
Owner Ted Leonsis told fans emphatically, “The rebuild is over!”
Sources say when the National Hockey League’s waiver transactions are sent out at Noon et on Friday, the Anaheim Ducks will make netminder Ilya Bryzgalov available.
added 11:18am, from the OC Register,
“We’re making this move, first and foremost, to give Ilya Bryzgalov a chance to play,” Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. “He’s a good guy who’s played well for us, but we’ve committed to the other goaltender.”...
“I’ve been unable to move Ilya in a trade,” Burke said. “I’ve laid it out for his agent (Don Meehan), and told him we would take this next step. We’ll see where it goes.”
added 11:59am, via the CP,
“What I promised Bryz is that I would find him a place to play,” Burke told The Canadian Press on Friday. “Bryz is a great kid and a loyal soldier. He’s won three playoff rounds for us and he deserves to play somewhere. But I was unable to move him.
“The single, biggest obstacle was that he’s unrestricted at the end of the year. I wasn’t offered anything of value for him. But I promised him, `If I can’t get something of value for you, we’ll put you on waivers.”’
added 12:16pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprsuoff for every game this year, an indication that - salary-cap permitting - they might be in the market for an established back-up, rather than trust the youngsters that they’re carrying on their rosters at the moment.
added 12:43pm, more from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
One more possible destination for Ilya Bryzgalov, the goaltender put on waivers by the Anaheim Ducks this morning: The Pittsburgh Penguins, who’ve gotten decent work from back-up Dany Sabourin so far this year, plus some up-and-down play from starter Marc-Andre Fleury.
from the News-Democrat,
McKee spoke with Murray about why he was chosen to sit out.
“We had a brief talk and he expressed to me that he was happy with most of my play, he just wanted me to work on puck-handling skills,” said McKee, who watched his last game on video to look for problems. “I was surprised, I’ll say that. I didn’t think my play warranted being pulled from the lineup. It’s his decision to make and that’s what he did.”
Murray realizes tough decisions come with the territory.
“There’s some certain areas where we’ve asked him to address his game,” Murray said. “He’s such a proud guy and a professional, and he will do that.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
“It’s our job to do that, tonight I didn’t,” he said, adding he’s been fighting it a bit lately. “I’m trying to force myself to make a save, I have to relax and let the puck come to me. I’m not reading the play as well as I normally do.”
MacTavish has a team that has to rely on its goaltender, so expect him to go with the hot hand from here on in. And right now, it ain’t Roloson.
“We can’t win right now with average goaltending, I don’t think there’s many teams that can, and in my estimation tonight he was average,” said the coach.
“He’s not playing at the level that he has played. That’s obvious. But the one thing he’s got going for him is a bunch of mental toughness and a bunch of battle.”
more on the Oilers…
from the Calgary Sun,
According to an eastern-based columnist, rising star defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his agent had rejected a contract proposal from the Flames.
Only one problem, said Phaneuf’s agent Don Meehan.
“We have never discussed a number,” he said yesterday.
from the Buffalo News,
“Goalies have to get smaller or the nets have to get larger,” Regier said. “That goalie has to get significantly smaller for the likelihood of an outside shot to go in. If we can’t make the goalies smaller, then I don’t know what other options we have but to consider making the nets larger.”
He added that if the nets get bigger, it must be a significant increase. He argued that just a small bump would put teams into a bigger defensive shell. That’s the leading cause of the scoring dip. Coaches have begun crowding their five skaters near the net, which rids the shooters of their open lanes.
“Most goals are probably scored within 30 feet,” Regier said. “So it argues that if you can defend that area and protect that area, then you’re less likely to get scored against.”
from the PJStar,
Do not worry about Nikolay Lemtyugov.
The St. Louis Blues and Peoria Rivermen prospect is not among the Russian players who in the past have left North America - or refused to come at all - once an NHL roster spot was not guaranteed….
“If I wanted to earn money, if that was my goal, I would stay home in the Super League,” Lemtyugov said. “I came over here to play at the world’s best level. I will work in the AHL, wait for my chance, earn it.”...
“If it’s clear I can’t play at the NHL level, I’ll go back home,” Lemtyugov said. “But finding that out could take two or three years. The AHL is the third-best league in the world (behind the NHL and Russian Super League). I understand it’s part of the process in getting to the NHL.
“Too many players don’t have patience.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The NHL, unlike other major sports leagues, does not have lucrative national television contracts. The Blue Jackets rely heavily on gate receipts and recognize the value of letting fans attend free practices in the Ice Haus adjacent to the arena.
“We’re not in a position to be losing fans,” left winger Rick Nash said.
Fans can learn a lot about the sport, Hitchcock said, by attending practices. Former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Terry Crisp used to run one session a season wearing a microphone to educate the crowd.
“To me, the most fun is watching how a team performs in practice and how the coach yells and how many swear words he uses,” Hitchcock said.
Just thought you’d like to know that Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is…
absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The most fascinating aspect of the Penguins’ struggle is that it provides us the first opportunity to gauge what kind of administrator general manager Ray Shero will be. Because this is his first GM job, we have no history to review.
But my hunch is Shero will be able to walk the fine line between aggressiveness and panic. I believe he will continue to look for scoring wingers, and I believe he will continue to be patient with Fleury. I believe he will be more patient with Fleury than his coach seems to be. I think if Shero believed Fleury needed an older goalie playing beside him, he would have acquired one last summer.
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 email@example.com