Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, Parise tells us what it was like to upstage Sid the Kid, how his father helped get him to the bigs and what latest prank has one of his teammates fuming….
Q: Any pranksters on the team?
A: Yeah, it’s getting ugly in the locker room right now [laughs]. The latest prank was on Brian Gionta. He just got a new car, a BMW M6. One guy, I won’t say who, took this huge mannequin, like 6 feet tall, put a little skate towel around him, took Gionta’s car keys and stuffed the mannequin into the front seat. This is a little two-seat sports car, so it is literally jammed into the car. Gionta is freaking out. He loves his new car and there’s this mannequin inside scratching it up [laughs]. So, guys are doing all kinds of crazy stuff.
via the Vancouver Province,
Just compare the New Jersey Devils’ air (and bus) miles since Dec. 1 to the kilometres racked up by the Canucks.
- Canucks: Vancouver, St. Paul, Chicago, Nashville, Vancouver, Los Angeles/Anaheim, San Jose, Edmonton, Vancouver—13,705 kilometres;
- Devils: Newark, Manhattan, Washington, Boston, Newark—1,440 kilometres.
from Fire & Ice,
Devils coach Brent Sutter and right wing Arron Asham got into a heated, profanity-laced exchange near the end of this afternoon’s intense practice at Prudential Center. Most of what was said can’t be printed, but Asham said it started because he didn’t chip the puck in the way Sutter wanted. Asham said something about the puck bouncing and Sutter ripped into him.
From Tom Gulliti at Fire & Ice,
There appears to be a slim chance it will happen before tonight’s game against Boston or it might not be until later this week, but the Devils are about to name Jamie Langenbrunner as their captain.
The usually-talkative Langenbrunner became extremely tight-lipped when asked this morning if he had been given the captaincy.
“Something will happen soon,” he said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”
What would it mean to Langenbrunner if he were named captain?
Update 6:37pm ET: Langenbrunner is now officially the captain, it appears. Gulliti updates that he was wearing the “C” in warmups. (*thanks to a KK reader for pointing it out…)
Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice asked Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello, “What’s Wrong with the Ice?”
Lamoriello said the problem has been with a malfunctioning computer that is supposed to regulate the ice’s temperature, hardness, etc. These things can be affected by numerous factors: the outdoor temperature, humidity, being covered for basketball games, concerts and other events. For Sunday’s game against Atlanta, they turned off the computer and changed the settings manually. The idea, however, is to get the computer working properly.
“We’ve been talking to CIMCO and had people from the NHL here to work on (the ice),” Lamoriello said. “This is the best system in the country. There’s no excuse not to have the best ice. We’re completely comfortable that this is all going to get straightened out.”
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Coming off the Devils’ seventh straight win, I spoke to Brodeur about his goaltending style, his new coach and teammates and the league’s progression from the neutral-zone traps of the ‘90s to the more wide-open style played today….
Who’s the player you’d least want to see coming at you on a breakaway or in a shootout?
Jagr. He’s so skilled, he can beat you with his reach, his moves, his shot. He’s really talented, he’s one of the guys I fear most in the league.
Other than yourself, who would you say are the three best goalies in the NHL today?
[Roberto] Luongo has to be one. DiPietro, for sure. [Henrik] Lundquist, he’d be another one.
from the Star-Ledger,
Two months into his first season as an NHL coach and with the Devils riding a seven-game winning streak, Brent Sutter sat down yesterday for a one-on-one interview with The Star-Ledger….
You’ve been tough on some guys. Is part of your coaching style to challenge, push and test your players?
Coaches need to find the right buttons with players. There is accountability. They need to play at a certain level for the team to be successful and there are different ways coaches have to get them to do that. It depends on the circumstances and what is going on at that point in time. Coaching isn’t always about soft love. Sometimes there is tough love involved.
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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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