Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Marie Joelle Parent at the Toronto Sun,
After a two-week stint in behavioural therapy, Avery started meditation. He also got a new tattoo. “You used to be alright, what happened,” lyrics from a Radiohead song, now adorn his arm. But seriously, what happened?
“I think that any time you say something that’s hurtful towards somebody you’re always going to regret that,” Avery said. “If I’ve said something that’s done that, then I don’t feel good about it. Regrets are tough words because you know you did it. You kind of have to deal with what you’ve done.”
Following his suspension, the Dallas Stars—Avery’s team at the time—didn’t want anything to do with him. He was eventually sought out by the Rangers, for whom he played before going to Dallas.
Avery, for his part, seems to have found his niche in the Big Apple, a city as flamboyant as his personality.
“I just blend in with the city and its people,” he said.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The power play is snappy and the lineup is filled with kids in prominent roles, but the most striking difference between this Rangers squad and the scores of teams preceding it is that drama only comes in the games.
There is no doubt the Blueshirts have deficiencies. There is no down payment with the jewelers. They go back to work today in order to correct the fatal flaws that were on display in Monday’s 7-3 lashing by the Sharks, which put an emphatic end to their seven-game winning streak. They go back to work.
An era is over at the Garden. The Rangers no longer operate as a cult that revolves around a particular star’s personality. The Blueshirt play up-tempo hockey that by nature is entertaining, but John Tortorella isn’t on Broadway to direct a show.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Mark Messier’s title with the New York Rangers is Special Assistant to the President, one of those felicitous-sounding designations that could mean almost anything. The widespread guess it best translates to “GM general in waiting.” The assumption is Blueshirts president Glen Sather will muddle on for the next few years, show Messier the ropes and eventually turn the daily operations of the team over to the dauphin.
There are pitfalls to a neat succession, of course, but this seems to be a career path already working splendidly for players of stature like Messier. Joe Nieuwendyk, who has Hall-worthy credentials, already has taken a GM seat in Dallas after understudying in Florida and Toronto. Al MacInnis has been getting rave reviews for his work in player development with the St. Louis Blues. Steve Yzerman might not be ahead of the estimable Jim Nill on the Detroit Red Wings front office pyramid—Nill, GM Ken Holland’s top assistant, is the league executive most deserving of running his own team—but he’s already shown enough to be Team Canada’s GM for the 2010 Olympics, among the most stressful jobs in hockey.
From Ron Francis in Carolina (player development) in Carolina to Luc Robitaille in Los Angeles (president of business operations), Messier’s generation of stars is generally proving itself capable in executive capacity.
The only question is whether Messier will be willing to put in the work.
more plus additional NHL talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Fleury suggests that because he was such a high-profile player having such a good 2000-01 season for the Rangers (29 goals, 37 assists for 66 points in the first 51 games), physicians Dr. Brian Shaw and Dr. Dave Lewis conspired to undermine the program on his behalf by overlooking his series of “dirty” tests.
Thus, he essentially charges that the program was a sham and that the physicians and counselors who supported him throughout his many ordeals were co-conspirators.
See, this is what Fleury did and still does. He takes people down with him. He now takes the program down with him just as he took the Rangers down with him when he was suspended on Feb. 28, 2002, for the remainder of the season for drug- and alcohol-related issues for what apparently was a 14th failed drug test that was one too many for the program to bear.
more plus other hockey topics….
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
There have been plenty of surprises in the early going thus far, but is there a better story than the New York Rangers?
I don’t know how coach John Tortorella is doing it, but he has his Rangers riding a six-game winning streak and their next game in Toronto should be a gimmie. This season’s edition of the Rangers may present Tortorella with his toughest challenge yet as an NHL coach. When he looks down his bench there’s no Vinny Lecavalier to tap on the shoulder to leap over the boards. No Martin St-Louis, or Brad Richards, or Dan Boyle.
continued and other topics discussed are new coaches, the Leafs and Vinny Lecavalier.
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider gets Terry Murrays’ explanation of the Prospal goal last night…
(on the explanation he got after Prospal’s reviewed goal…)
MURRAY: “No explanation, really. It’s just a reviewed goal by the league office.’’
(on whether a whistle is reviewable…)
MURRAY: “I think it was just an unfortunate break for us, that’s all. My understanding of it is that it’s not a reviewable situation. The referee on the ice makes the call. He waves it off, the whistle blows and there’s no goal and it’s not reviewable. But even with that, there’s still half the game to go. There’s plenty of time and opportunities for us, on the power play, to get things back, and we didn’t capitalize.’’
You can watch the goal below... What I think happened the ref lost the view of the puck, which was actually in the net, even before he blew or intended to blow his whistle. Therefore it could be reviewed and I feel the proper call was made.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If Wade Redden looks like a different player in his second season with the Rangers, and he does, much of the improvement can be credited to the fact that he is now playing in a system that maximizes his skills as a skater and puck mover while minimizing his deficiencies in defensive zone coverage and reading the rush.
Redden might as well have been on an island last year, so lost was he playing coach Tom Renney’s safety-first system, in which the defense invariably seemed to be backing up or battling for survival in its own end of the ice.
But now, six games into Year Two on Broadway, which continues tonight at the Garden against the Kings, Redden appears liberated by the puck-pressure system installed by head coach John Tortorella.
I noticed the Leafs/Rangers game on CI, with the Sportsnet feed is in HD on Directv.
I can’t recall this happing before with a Canadian feed.
Is my memory going bad?
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times, I
n an interview published over the weekend in the Russian daily Sport Den za Dnem, defenseman Alexei Semenov made his first public statement on his sudden departure from the Rangers before the season opener on Oct. 1.
Semenov said he declined to sign with the Rangers after being invited to try out for the club in training camp not because of his wife’s objections, as Rangers General Manager Glen Sather had told reporters, but because he did not think the contract would pay him enough.
“The story is somewhat different than what was presented,” said Semenov, who is now playing for Dinamo Moscow in the K.H.L. “I love my wife; I take her advice on family matters, but never on hockey! On that I have my own views, or I confer with my agent.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Let’s face it. If Vesa Toskala continues this sub-par play much longer, maybe he’ll soon be hearing those same jeers from the Marlies fans at Ricoh Coliseum, where many frustrated observers feel he belongs.
In any event, if Toskala and his teammates feel their moribund offence, struggling defence and leaky netminding will suddenly turn around tonight when they face off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, they are in for a rude Big Apple awakening.
With the Rangers set to unleash both their No. 1 goaltender and their top agitator on the visitors, the Leafs might well be starring in their own off-Broadway production of Les Miserables by the time the evening is over if they don’t get their act together in a big hurry.
Winless thus far, Ron Wilson’s troops will have to deal with all-star goalie Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes and the Pickering Pugilist, Sean Avery, in the corners. Neither is an attractive prospect for a Leafs team attempting to shed the shackles of a tough start, one that has seen them manage just one of a possible eight points.
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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