Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Even if other GMs are peddling, Lou Lamoriello insists he isn’t dealing for a top goalie to hold the fort while Martin Brodeur is out….
When surgery was decided upon for Brodeur, Lamoriello said at the time that he wouldn’t be dealing for a goalie, though it seemed like an automatic, unprepared reaction. Teams like Edmonton (Dwayne Roloson) and Chicago (Nikolai Khabibulin) are believed poised to deal, but Lamoriello thus far has resisted. Last night, he reiterated his stance.
“That’s the way I feel,” Lamoriello told The Post last night of his intent to stand pat in net.
more on the Devils goalie situation…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Devils coach Brent Sutter insists he is looking for a way to diffuse a potential goaltending controversy by making no promises to either Kevin Weekes or Scott Clemmensen….
“To me, we’re taking it game by game,” Sutter said. “I don’t want to sit and say and if things go well tonight he’ll be the one tomorrow night. I don’t know that. Or if he doesn’t play well…
“It’s a controversial thing and I don’t want it to be a controversial thing. To me it’s who do we feel in every game gives us a chance to be successful? We have a two-goalie tandem here. That’s what we have. It’s not a one-goalie situation and a backup. It’s two goalies and we’re trying to get the best no matter who’s playing.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Right now the Devils are digging themselves a hole that they might not be able to climb out of.
They have lost three in row and four out of five since Martin Brodeur tore his left biceps tendon on Oct. 31 against Atlanta. They’ve won only two games of their last nine games (2-5-2) since opening the season 5-1.
They’re trying to stay positive, but there’s a lot to be negative about.
It’s not nearly all the goaltenders’ fault. They’ve gotten decent enough goaltending to win at least one more of the five games they’ve played without Brodeur, probably two. But in the last three games, Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen have allowed at least one bad goal in each game.
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 John McGourty of NHL.com,
On the eve of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Emrick reflected on his career that began with announcing parts of games at Bowling Green University, where he got his doctorate in radio-television-film. Hence, the nickname. He had been teaching near Pittsburgh and was looking to get his doctorate.
“I was considering going to Michigan or Bowling Green for my doctorate and Bowling Green University had the local NPR station with All Things Considered and their usual shows,” Emrick said. “They had a staff member who broadcast the first and third periods and they felt a student should do the second period.
“That’s what Bowling Green offered me that Michigan could not. That made it pretty easy to make up my mind.”
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.”
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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