Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jean Lefebvre at the Herald Hockey blog,
And it hasn’t been a poor start for Iginla so much as a strange one. In 14 games, for instance, he’s had six multiple-point efforts (two of which led to a NHL first star of the week award) and six contests in which he’s been completely held off the sheet.
There’s also been the matter of linemates. Just when you think Mike Keenan has given up on teaming Iginla with Todd Bertuzzi, the coach gives the wingers another whirl as a partnership. Just when it seems Conroy is destined for permanent bottom-six duty, he gets another chance to play with Iginla (and, as was the case Thursday against Nashville, delivers a three-point performance to go with Iginla’s four-pointer).
Update 1:51pm ET: In other Calgary news, after 14 straight starts Kiprusoff is finally getting a night off.
from Cam Hutchinson of the StarPhoenix,
• Carol Alt is reportedly romancing her way through the NHL, position by position. Once married to defenceman Ron Greschner, and currently (?) in a relationship with forward Alexei Yashin, New York Post sources spotted Alt snuggling with Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The 47-year-old model apparently showed off the 26-year-old goalie at her agency this week during bring your NHL player to work day . . . Is Lundqvist Swedish for YoungQuest?
• Jeff Funnekotter says the appearance of members of the L.A. Kings on The Price is Right this week has started a trend: “Similarly inspired, Chris Chelios will appear on Beat the Clock and Sean Avery will star on the Biggest Loser.’‘
more hockey bits along with other sports notes…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The NHL season is only a month old, but it’s never too early to look at the good, the bad and the ugly.
The bad? Gary Roberts doesn’t have a point in a dozen games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He still has a big heart but perhaps his legs have given out at age 42.
MOST IMPRESSIVE STARTS
1. The Sabres gulped hard when they matched that $50-million offer sheet for Thomas Vanek in the summer of 2007, but he’s already got 11 goals.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
If you were looking for reasons why the Phoenix Coyotes lose in excess of $20 million U.S. annually, they were sitting there on press row – all the way down press row. The Coyotes had 28 credential holders, none of them independent media outlets – at GM Place for a 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday….
All of it seemed funny, if not for the fact that the Coyotes are NHL have-nots, siphoning money from Canada’s six profitable franchises. In that sense, Canadian ticket-buyers were funding this excursion.
via Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Like local kids who idolized Mickey Mantle or Derek Jeter, John Madden had his hero as a youngster in Ontario - Doug Gilmour of the Maple Leafs.
When Madden arrived from college for his first Devils training camp in 1997, there was Gilmour, acquired by New Jersey from the Leafs during the previous season. In that moment, Madden was an awestruck hockey fan.
“He was pouring himself a coffee and I was just waiting. He looked at me and said, ‘Do you want a cup? Here, take this one,’ ” Madden recalled. “You wouldn’t believe how many phone calls I made back home to tell my friends and my family.”
from Bill Eichenberger of the Sporting News Today,
Question: What has it been like playing for Barry Melrose?
Stamkos: He’s a very positive coach. If you do something wrong he will tell you in a way that you realize you made a mistake…. Everyone enjoys him in the room.
from Lightning Strikes,
But the bottom line, it seems, is the money. Carle’s salary cap hit, thanks to a four-year, $13.75-million deal, is $3.438-million. Eminger’s cap hit on his one-year deal is $1.2-million. That’s a savings of $2.238-million that lowers Tampa Bay’s team cap number to about $52-million. The limit is $56.7-million….
Asked if the trade of Dan Boyle, which in great part was done to shed his six-year, $40-million contract, now should be viewed as a failure, Lawton said, “I think it’s a continuation of the process in evaluating what we have and being comfortable we have the right chemistry and the right balance and enough youth in the organization. It’s one younger player for two younger players. ... When we went through it, we felt t was something that made sense.”
from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,
Two weeks ago Al Strachan reported that Lightning co-owner Len Barrie was designing the team’s power play. Last week on Hockey Night in Canada the longtime hockey reporter said there was discontent on Long Island. Strachan discussed an alleged shouting match between Scott Gordon and Bill Guerin and mumbled something about the team - oh no! - having to do a pair of charity events. You can watch the segment here, if you have a few minutes to waste.
This is what Al Strachan does. It’s what he’s been doing since the invention of the goalie mask. That is, when he’s not making Nazi references about Jewish media relations executives.
Here’s the tried-and-false Strachan formula:
Find a team that’s losing, preferably far away from his Toronto base so he can turtle.
The Maven explains why…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube, a former teammate of Tocchet, believes the NHL’s two-year ban on Tocchet was too harsh.
“He got run through the ringer for no reason, and that puts a bad taste in your mouth,” Berube said Friday. “To me, that was worse than anything. He didn’t do anything wrong, and his picture’s all over the paper. He’s a good guy with a good reputation. The guys who know him know that, and that’s what matters.”...
Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher said he’s happy to see Tocchet back in the NHL, saying gambling among NHL players is commonplace.
“I’ve bet on Super Bowls and I played football pools in the dressing room,” Hatcher said. “So what? He never bet on hockey, and that’s the important thing. I’ve always respected him, and personally, I’m glad he’s back.”
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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