Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ian Mendes at Sportsnet,
Your Senators are sitting in first place and have not lost a single meaningful game this season. Who cares about Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs? That rivalry now has as much intensity a mid-November meeting between Columbus and Carolina.
Four losses in four games to the Capitals? If it happened in April, I’d be really concerned. But when it happens in January, you have to admit it’s slightly humorous from a media person’s perspective.
Losses to these inferior teams are the sign that Stanley Cup hangover has officially hit the Ottawa Senators.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Sticking with his win-and-you’re-in policy, Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock will give Ray Emery the chance he’s looking for Saturday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, a pressure cooker if there ever was one.
Martin Gerber, who has played and won the last two games, took the fall for Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, even if Paddock was far more critical of Jason Spezza for his giveaways than his goaltender.
From Damien Cox at ESPN,
Well, the Senators haven’t been looking so much like those old Montreal teams of late. In fact, suddenly this season’s Habs are bearing down on Ottawa in the Northeast Division, largely because recent losses to teams like Washington and Florida have contributed to a mediocre 7-6-0 record in January.
Even ESPN hockey guru Barry Melrose has abandoned the Sens, now suggesting that Montreal will win the East. Murray chuckled when asked if his team’s confidence has been shaken by its recent struggles.
“Our confidence is really good,” he said. “But our dedication to checking is really shaky.”
The Ottawa Senators may be without the services of Daniel Alfredsson for Thursday’s game against Boston, as the captain is day-to-day with a hip injury.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
If Senators general manager Bryan Murray has had his fill of Emery and is already making inquiries about a trade for another goalie, he should zero in on the Atlanta Thrashers and offer general manager and interim coach Don Waddell a package, which would include Emery, to primarily secure the guy who was sent to Atlanta 21/2 years ago for Dany Heatley: Marian Hossa.
Sure, this might be the biggest fantasy or pie-in-the-sky scenario of the year. Yet speculation is rife about a Hossa trade because talks to get the player, who becomes an unrestricted free agent come June, re-signed to a multi-year contract aren’t going smoothly. Hossa, one of the best two-way players in the game, was a favourite in Ottawa before former general manager John Muckler pulled the rug from under him.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
The simple fact is the kid has become toxic and not just because he was a few minutes late for practice Monday.
Emery has passed the stage of being “free-spirited” and of “moving to a different tune”. He’s now morphed into the worst possible world for an elite athlete; he has become a talent that is too much trouble for his team.
You really expect someone to make a trade for a guy like that?
I understand players go off course from time to time, but Emery has given every indication that he’s a player who has gone off the tracks.
Update 1:49pm ET: From Ken Warren at the Ottawa Citizen,
Ray Emery will be fined as much as the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement will allow, according to Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray.
Murray says Emery, who was late for Monday’s practice on Long Island, will be fined a “substantial” amount.
The Senators general manager says he has talked to other general managers about trading for a new goaltender - the first time he has openly discussed the possibility of dealing Emery.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Ray Emery is going to have some explaining to do.
The Senators goaltender, who has had his share of time management issues this season, showed up at 4:04 p.m. for the team’s 4 p.m. practice at the New York Islanders’ practice facility.
Senators coach John Paddock didn’t let Emery on the ice. The club is believed to be considering its options - including a suspension.
added 9:10pm, from Ian Mendes at Sportsnet,
After being late for another practice on Monday, you can make the argument that Emery’s trade value has never been lower. So if you are a general manager in Tallon’s shoes, now is the time to strike. He is looking to the future and despite what everyone is saying about Emery today, the guy still has a lot of upside.
And in the Blackhawks arsenal, Tallon holds a netminder with playoff experience that the Senators would likely covet.
And that man is Patrick Lalime.
Ok, just kidding.
While I will always be a fan of Lalime’s, the netminder I am speaking about is Nikolai Khabibulin.
From David Shoalts in the Globe & Mail blog,
“The game itself is the most fun,” he said on Friday. “Skills competition, I can’t say that I enjoy too much because I’m not really good at anything. The game is the most fun.”
Even more fun, Alfredsson said on Saturday, is just being at the game.
“It’s an ego trip, to be honest” he said. “Everyone tells you how great you are.”
more… on the skills event and thoughts on showboating.
note: a reminder that Steve will be hosting a LiveChat when the skills competition starts.
via the Ottawa Sun,
“It was a fun night,” said Alfredsson. “Our line played well, we moved the puck, created chances and had them running around a bit.
“The way I look at it, you add them up at the end of your career ... maybe it will be ‘you remember that night in Tampa?’ When they come, you take them. It doesn’t happen that often.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The plans to open the 2008-09 NHL regular season on two European fronts are now finalized.
The league is apparently ready to formally announce this weekend at the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta that, as expected, the Ottawa Senators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm and the New York Rangers will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague.
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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