Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
With the Penguins returning to Prudential Center tonight, the challenge for New Jersey’s coach is to demonstrate that he not only has complete control of his hockey club and the support of his captain, but that the men skating for him are behind him all the way.
The confrontation between coach and captain on the bench during the second period of Saturday night’s victory over Los Angeles certainly didn’t hurt the Devs short-term, but what effect it has long-term bears watching.
Sutter was correct—as a coach—in berating Langenbrunner for missing his assignment in a game New Jersey HAD to win
from Fire & Ice,
The Kings will be without defenseman Rob Blake tonight. He returned to Los Angeles because of a stress fracture in his ankle/foot and is expected to miss two weeks.
more on the Kings/Devils matchup…
added 2:25pm, More on Blake at Inside the Kings…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The clutch weeks have just begun.
Which is why tonight’s melodrama also will indicate which goalie—Brodeur or Lundqvist—has more clutch-ability. That is, assuming that Renney opts for Henny.
In his past two games, Marty has allowed leads to dissipate—first to Montreal and then Pittsburgh—before the home fans. He needs a win for confidence to be restored.
more on the Rangers and Devils…
via Fire & Ice,
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has pulled out of the Sunday’s NHL’s All-Star Game in Atlanta to deal with family matters. Brodeur said he informed Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello of his decision about a week ago, but it was not announced by the NHL until today. Brodeur will be replaced by Boston goaltender Tim Thomas.
“It’s a tough decision,” Brodeur said. “I’ve got some stuff going on with the family back home, so it’s something I just wanted to make sure I was here to take care of. It’s definitely a tough one. It’s such a great weekend to miss. That’s why I waited so long. I tried to avoid making that decision, but I think it’s for the best.”
Brodeur would not divulge the details of his “family” stuff other than to say, “health-wise everybody is OK.”
From Rich Chere at the Star-Ledger,
John Madden said it is very unlikely he will be in the lineup tonight at the Prudential Center because of the risk involved with the skate cut on his right ankle.
“It’s just in a bad spot,” Madden said yesterday after missing a second straight day of practice. “There would definitely be contact with my ankle. Where the cut is, it keeps rubbing. Who knows what could happen?”
If the cut is reopened and with sweat inside his skate boot, Madden’s ankle could become infected and he would be lost for a much longer period of time. That’s a risk the Devils would rather not take.
...and more on the race in the Atlantic Division.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
With the Devils’ Martin Brodeur, the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist all among the NHL’s elite, the debate over who’s the best hearkens back to the days of Willie, Mickey and the Duke.
via Fire & Ice,
NHL Executive VP Colin Campbell confirmed that Derian Hatcher will not be suspended or fined for alleagedly biting Travis Zajac’s left middle finger. Campbell said via e-mail that there was insufficient video evidence of the incident.
thanks to a KK member for the heads-up…
from the AP via TSN,
...Hatcher’s version of the story was different.
“If he’s cut, good, but I didn’t bite him,” Hatcher said. “I didn’t think anything of it until someone mentioned it to me.
“He went like that (face wash) right across my face. He got his glove on my tooth, almost pulled it out. It’s all sore.”
Hatcher could face an NHL suspension, especially if there is video showing him biting Zajac. Devils coach Brent Sutter saw one replay, but didn’t get a total picture of what happened.
“It shows Trav pulling his hand away with the glove still in Hatcher’s mouth, like a dog on a bone,” Sutter said. “It’s not something you like to see in the game, let alone a veteran player like that.”
from the Record,
Martin Brodeur has a message for those who believe he plays too many games and should rest more often.
“Leave me alone,” the Devils’ goaltender said Thursday. “Point the finger somewhere else now.”
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
Brent Sutter is home for the holidays. This area, this rink, is as familiar, as comfortable, as warmly accessible to him as a cherished old bathrobe.
“I’ve coached a lot in this building,’’ he reminds you, needlessly.
“Calgary and Edmonton are both so close to home. But I’ve been so focused on the task at hand I haven’t gotten too caught up in it.”
Clearly, though, he’s happy being back in western Canada, and particularly in Alberta. And later tonight, he’ll be climbing back on the old bus.
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.
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