Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,
The Devils have a new starting goaltender for the first time in 15 years, which is major news in the NHL that no doubt barely created a ripple on the streets surrounding the team’s new arena. Even in their second season in downtown Newark, the Devils sometimes feel like they were dropped in from another planet. Would it be any different if residents found out that new goalie was black?
Would that matter?
Kevin Weekes considered that question Tuesday and decided that, well, it couldn’t hurt. He is an outspoken advocate for diversity in his sport who will take a major role on a team struggling to make inroads in a mostly black city. He is living proof that hockey, despite its reputation, excludes no one.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
It’s a Kafka-esque absurdity that 544 wins, 98 shutouts, four Vezina Trophies, three Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal don’t convince everyone that he’s a terrific goalie. You know the lame arguments: “The Devils play a defensive system, which makes him look better.” “He stopped pucks behind a great defence.”
The first complaint is just ridiculous. If it’s so easy to win the Stanley Cup playing defensive hockey, why doesn’t the trophy have a permanent home in Minnesota? It is important, yes. Since Pittsburgh in 1993, only one champion hasn’t been among the top 10 in goals against in the season of victory. (That was Carolina in 2006. The Hurricanes were tied for 17th.)
As for the second whine, how do you feel about Ken Dryden? Is he overrated because he played behind Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe? Like Brodeur, Jacques Plante had two Hall-of-Famers on the blue-line when the Canadiens won five consecutive Stanley Cups from 1956-60 - Doug Harvey and Tom Johnson.
It’s not the worst-case news: That would be a year-ending injury. But losing Marty Brodeur for 3-4 months it’s tough stuff for the Devils. We asked hockey writers Rich Chere and Colin Stephenson to break down the situation:
1. We know Brodeur is “better” than Kevin Weekes. He may be better than every other goalie in the world. Give us your thoughts on Kevin Weekes’ skills? Is he good enough to be a No. 1 goalie?
continued at the Star-Ledger…
added 4:34pm, from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
“I’m in shock a little bit, but I don’t feel too bad,” the Devils goaltender said this afternoon. “This is something that I didn’t see coming, but I understand the whole process of it. We took our time. We didn’t make a decision on it right away. We made sure we saw a few doctors and we did our homework about the surgery that is going to be done.”
via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will have surgery Thursday morning to repair a torn distal biceps in his left elbow and will miss three to four months, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning.
Update 2:07pm ET: (alanah): Eric McErlain at AOL Fanhouse has video of Brodeur’s injury, and some comments on what this means for the Devils.
10,567- Announced attendance for the Buffalo @ New Jersey game last night.
10,184- Ditto for the Columbus @ Islanders game.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Kevin Weekes, who will start in goal against the Sabres, said the torn tendon in his catching arm that required surgery in the offseason was originally diagnosed as a bruised elbow.
“We talked (Saturday) night a couple of times. We texted back and forth,” Weekes said. “He’s a little bit unsure as to what his status is. We kind of bounced some things off each other. He was nice enough to text me. I appreciated that. I texted him back and gave him what information I had.”
Brodeur described to Weekes what he was feeling. He apparently hurt the elbow reaching for a shot during the second period and felt more pain when he made another move.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello insisted that Martin Brodeur suffered only a bruised left elbow when he left tonight’s 6-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
“It’s just a bruised elbow,” Lamoriello maintained. “It’s just a bruise.”
Lamoriello would not answer when I asked if Brodeur underwent an MRI or any other tests after he was injured.
Devils coach Brent Sutter also had no answer for how long Brodeur will be out or if he will be able to play Monday.
“I don’t know,” Sutter said. “You’re asking me something that I’m not sure of and I’m not trying to be disrespectful at all because I just don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know any more than you guys know that’s been mentioned here. So, I don’t know right now. I guess we’ll see where Marty is at tomorrow and see how it goes.”
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
In the middle of the second period Oct. 22, with the Devils leading 1-0, Brodeur cleared the puck past an on-charging Dallas winger - Brodeur’s nemesis, Sean Avery.
“I saw somebody,” Brodeur told The Post. “It’s hard to know who it is when you’re playing the puck.
“I got the puck by him, saw it was him, and said, ‘[Rats], I should have hit him.’ “
A possible brawl was averted, but only by the slimmest of margins.
The Devils’ list of injured players grew by one more on Friday, when it was announced that defenseman Andy Greene is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a broken hand.
Greene, who leads New Jersey defensemen with six points (1g-5a), sustained the injury in Wednesday’s 6-5 shootout loss to Toronto, but did not leave the game. He has five points in the last four games, including a three-assist night against the Leafs.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
The Devils earned their first post-game stationary bike ride of the season with tonight’s 6-5 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Niklas Hagman scored the deciding goal in the shootout, but the damage had been done in regulation, in which the Devils gave up a season-high 48 shots and three power-play goals in blowing leads of 2-0 and 4-3.
So, after briefly speaking with the media after the game, the players had to do a 15-minute ride on the stationary bicycle.
“A lot of players in there have to play better than they have the past three games,” Devils coach Brent Sutter said afer his team’s third consecutive loss. “That’s just basics, getting back to what they’re supposed to do. Certain guys have certain roles and they’re getting away from our game plan and what each individual has to do. Saturday (home game against Atlanta) can’t get here quick enough.”
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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