Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ken Warren at The Ottawa Citizen,
On Thursday night against the Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators right-winger Chris Neil crossed the fine line he skates as a member of the NHL’s agitator/enforcer class.
It wasn’t the first time, it won’t be the last and, even though Neil was widely criticized for showing off to the crowd while fighting the Thrashers’ Eric Boulton in the second period and for taking a double minor penalty late in the third period, during which Atlanta scored twice—he says he won’t change how he plays the game.
“I’m here, I’m a motivator,” said Neil, taking issue with observers who claimed his WWE-style antics in waving to the crowd during the fight had no place in the game and served to inspire the Thrashers. “I get the fans going and that’s part of my job. That’s a trait I do (during) fights at home games. I don’t do it on the road. It’s for our fans. We don’t sell tickets on the road. We sell them at home.”
The Ottawa Senators have indicated they will make a significant announcement this morning and sources tell TSN centre Jason Spezza has been signed a multi-year contract extension. More details to follow.
update 11:38am, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Jason Spezza has a new seven-year contract extension worth $49 million with the Ottawa Senators.
Spezza will get $8 million in each of the first five years of the contract and $5 million and $4 million, respectively, in the final two years. The cap hit will be $7 million per year for the Senators.
Ottawa Senators star Jason Spezza missed practice Wednesday, and might miss Thursday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers because of a slight groin pull.
He sat out practice after suffering the injury during Tuesday’s skate. He has one goal and 12 assists in 10 games, the second-highest points total on the team.
“It happened yesterday [Tuesday] and right now it doesn’t feel that good,” Spezza told reporters Wednesday. “We’re just going to kind of take it day by day.”
Meanwhile, veteran forward Dean McAmmond declared himself fit to play. He has missed all 10 games this season while recovering from a concussion and shoulder injury suffered when Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie ran into him in pre-season.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While Neil was chirping at winger Dany Heatley for a hook during a 1-on-1 drill and then winger Brian McGrattan near the end of the workout, Emery was screaming expletives at winger Patrick Eaves for getting a shot up high early in practice.
Once Emery took that shot to the mask and chewed out Eaves for it, nobody dared shoot high the rest of practice because there’s no question that Emery is one of the club’s toughest customers.
From Allen Panzeri at the Ottawa Citizen,
Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock never would have predicted that his team would zip through the first 10 games with a 9-1 record.
He won’t predict the pattern is going to continue, either. The Senators are not going to finish 72-10. The National Hockey League is just too good for any team to do that. However, if it did, if it continued to play at this opening level for the next 72 regular-season games, Paddock would be a happy man. After all, that’s the goal of any hockey team: to win every game it plays.
“If you’re not trying to be 82-0. “you’re not trying,” Paddock said yesterday. “Dany Heatley’s paid to score goals, yes, but, really, he’s paid to win, and so are all the players. That’s their job.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
“It’s funny, you don’t play for a week, and you watch a couple of games, on TSN, and how they love Detroit ... and Detroit has the best line in the league right now,” Paddock said, a reference to the Red Wings’ combination of Henrik Zetterberg-Tomas Holstrom-Pavel Datsyuk and comments apparently made by hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. “That’s what everybody’s saying and it’s only because, well not only because ... they’re good players ... but we haven’t played in a week. Everybody has forgotten about (Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson-Dany Heatley) because you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. We haven’t played. Now Detroit has the best line in the league….”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
It might not help them win any hockey games, but the Senators enjoyed their three-day bonding session in cottage country.
They fished, golfed, played cards and watched Monday Night Football during their togetherness session.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Why the Senators would want anything to do with Forsberg in the first place is mystifying because – read this out loud a number of times if you have to – Forsberg is nowhere near being the player he once was. He plays on the perimeter and while his vision and passing skills are as sharp as ever, his body is broken down and he literally cannot be counted upon from one game to the next.
read on and a it looks like Belfour has some back problems again…
From The Sports Network,
Florida Panthers left wing David Booth was removed from the ice on a stretcher during the second period of a game against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.
Booth was in the offensive left corner when he was checked from behind by Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov with 15:12 left in the period. Booth’s head went flush into the boards and he remained on his back until medical personnel assisted him to the stretcher.
Volchenkov was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Update 10:45pm ET - George Richards at On Frozen Pond
Booth has been taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, said to be alert and moving around. The Panthers are optimistic doctors at the hospital will release him and he’ll be able to make the charter flight home. [...]
The hit by Volchenkov may have been in retaliation for a similar hit just moments earlier. There, Florida defenseman Branislav Mezei sent Nick Foligno into the boards. Foligno had to be helped off the ice…
from Bruce Garroch of the Ottawa Sun,
It was 2:30 a.m. yesterday by the time Foligno pulled into the driveway of his Sudbury home after the Wolves made their way back from a game in Brampton and his wife, Janis, had the VCR cued up so the father of Senators winger Nick Foligno could see his son in action.
The former NHLer had already heard Nick paid tribute to him by leaping in the air after scoring his first goal in the club’s 4-3 victory over the Canadiens on Thursday, but the elder Foligno couldn’t wait to see it….
“I really thought the jump was great. You know, I thought it was nice that the Senators allowed him to do that. They are such a class organization because they respect the tradition. I really think whenever somebody scores in the NHL, that’s the one time that you’re allowed to be a kid again.”
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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