Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
They not only survived, the Devils prospered, their plague of injuries becoming a plague on their opponents. And they’re all the stronger for it. The players are the biggest heroes, but significant credit must go to coach Brent Sutter, this recent prodigy of junior coaching no longer unproven at the NHL level.
Sutter doesn’t go around telling everyone what a genius he is, quite the opposite. He sometimes feigns not being taken seriously, pretending he’s wrongly regarded as a rube from the prairie, when he’s not being so viewed.
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
New Jersey Devils goaltender and former Maple Leafs farmhand Scott Clemmensen will be having nightmares of Jason Blake for some time to come.
Blake pulled off one of the most spectacular moves in recent shootout history to score on Clemmensen last night at the Air Canada Centre and give the Leafs a 3-2 victory.
Toronto’s fourth shooter, Blake charged in on Clemmensen, slammed on the brakes in front of the net, did the old Savardian spin-o-rama, and then backhanded a shot past the bewildered Jersey goaltender.
“He was either going to be a hero or a bum, because anything can happen (with that move),” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said afterwards. “But I think it took a lot of guts to try that.”
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Brian Rolston’s ankle wasn’t feeling as good as he had hoped.
Three games into his return from a high ankle sprain, the Devils winger decided to get some firsthand information about what he might expect. So one week ago, after a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rolston talked with Sidney Crosby.
“I don’t know if his was the same as mine, but his was an ankle, too. It was good to get a player’s perspective,” Rolston said. “The first few games back, no question I felt it. I didn’t know what to expect, so I had a conversation with Sidney Crosby. He just said it’s going to be sore and you have to try to strengthen it and to keep taping it.”
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
Devils coach Brent Sutter said after Wednesday’s practice that he’s “assuming” Rolston will play tonight. Rolston said he’s anxious after a seven-week layoff.
“It has been a long time, but that’s the only thing that really heals ankles,” he said. “If I would have broken it, you know in four to six [weeks], you’re ready to go. With ankle [sprains], it’s not that simple. I’ve been patient and the team has been patient with me so I feel 100 percent.
“I’m not used to sitting out.”
Center John Madden also will play tonight after missing the last four games with a bruised left ankle.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Thursday will make it four weeks since Brodeur’s surgery. He has an appointment to see the doctor on Wednesday. His rehab right now is simply to get his arm to straighten out fully.
“Just baby stuff, trying to get my range of motion,” Brodeur said. “I’m almost there. I’m almost straight out now. It’s probably another 10 degrees to go without feeling any pulling in the tendon. It should take another week to two weeks before it heals and after that I should be able to work harder and do more stuff.”
Although the tendon was torn off near his elbow, Brodeur has to work on strengthening his wrist too.
“It’s like a sprained wrist almost,” he said. “When I’m in the brace it’s not bad. When I’m not in the brace, there’s no support.”
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
“It’s been good,” he said. “I feel good. I thought I played pretty well. I didn’t make any mistakes, which is good. Everything physically-wise was good.”
That is what (Barry) Tallackson, 25, is most thankful for on this Thanksgiving.
He had an extra electrical pathway in his heart that would cause it to race to 300 beats per minute during “incidents.” Tallackson said the incidents started about four years ago and would occur “a couple of times a month,” sometimes during games.
“Three hundred beats a minute is not normal,” he said. “So, I would feel tightness in my chest and eventually it would kick back into place and go right back down. It’s scary.
“When your heart is racing that fast, you don’t know what’s going on. Plus, you start to feel a little lightheaded. And then it goes away. It was a little nerve-racking, but I dealt with it.”
from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,
Two games for Mottau. Laughable…
The Islanders, on the other hand, prefaced their comments with the poetry of “I know Mike Mottau and Mike Mottau is not a dirty player…” Please. As Don La Greca said so eloquently on our radio show, “What a bunch of garbage. He is now”!
Would you ever hear Arbour say that? Would you ever hear the Red Wings, Devils or Bob Gainey’s Canadiens testify for the character of a player who ran down one of their players? What NHL team would have gone away as quietly as the Islanders did last night? I’m the first to admit I’ve never fully grasped the enforcer concept, but I can also tell you I never saw what I saw in the final ten minutes in New Jersey last night.
added 7:16pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Devils defenseman Mike Mottau received two games from the NHL for his elbow to the head of Islanders center Frans Nielsen Friday night at the Prudential Center. Nielsen received 8-12 weeks on the injured list—a span of up to 36 games—from Mottau’s reckless action.
The uneven hand of NHL justice strikes again.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
No one would have been surprised if Gordon threw the 6-8 Fritz on the ice at that point even though he had played just one second-period shift and a total of 2:30 in the game. But Gordon didn’t light the fuse to Fritz’s cannon then, and even after the Devils put the game out of reach at 5-2 with a five-on-three power play goal, the Islanders’ coach refused to fire his big gun in what he apparently regarded as a vain attempt for payback….
Why not use him when the game was out of hand to send a message to the Devils? “No, I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” Gordon said. “You jeopardize your own players’ safety if you put a player out like that. It kind of gives the impression that you’re trying to create or do something. I didn’t want to put Mitch in that situation or the rest of the players on the team in that situation where the other team thinks this is what we’re going to do.
more with expanded comments from Bill Guerin regarding the league must get tougher when dealing with cheap shots…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Islanders captain Bill Guerin called for Devils defenseman Mike Mottau to be suspended for his high hit on Frans Neilsen 3:22 into the third period of the Devils’ 5-2 victory over the Islanders tonight.
Neilson injured his right knee on the play and the Islanders are also worried that he has a head injury.
Guerin compared it to a hit that the Islanders Thomas Pock had on Ottawa’s Ryan Shannon earlier this season. Pock received a five-game suspension for that one.
“Mike Mottau’s not a dirty player, but that was a dirty hit,” Guerin said.
Given the league’s recent statement that it would like to cut back on hits to the head, it would not be surprising if Mottau received some supplementary discipline.
added 3:10pm, via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils defenseman Mike Mottau was suspended for two games by the NHL today for his hit on the Islanders Frans Neilsen in the third period of Friday night’s game.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
So now the Devils, who also must contend with a woefully underachieving Gionta (a franchise record 48-goal 2005-06, followed by 25-, 22- and now two-goal outputs) have Elias, who had his captaincy stripped last season by coach Brent Sutter, was denigrated at times last year by Sutter, was moved from the wing into the middle and back, with four more years on this killer deal and with no way out.
No way out, that is, unless Elias agrees to go, and without any of the coercive and degrading tactics used by the amateur- hour bunch in Tampa that ultimately convinced Dan Boyle to pack up and leave for San Jose.
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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