Kukla's Korner Hockey
By Matthew Feuerman of TiqIQ,
Not many would have predicted that going into the 2012-2013 season, the Northeast Division would arguably be the NHL’s most competitive. That’s how things have turned out, however, and teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators--who many experts and fans discarded before the season started--have ended up shocking the hockey world.
The Senators, in particular, had excelled against all odds. Who would have thought that a team decimated by injuries and without established firepower, which has for months looked more like the Binghamton Senators than the Ottawa Senators, would not just be in possession of a playoff spot with less than four weeks to go in the season, but the 6th seed in the East?
from Brian Stubits of Eye On Hockey,
As part of a chaotic sequence around the Senators' net on Friday night, Anderson was peering into the corner following the puck while Henrique was skating right next to him. Slyly, Anderson stuck out his stick and, with the butt end, caught the face of Henrique.
At the same time, David Clarkson and Zack Smith were having a fight behind the net. There was more pushing and shoving going on, so Anderson's high stick wasn't seen or called by the referees.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Ottawa Senators woke up Thursday morning in a frightful three-way tie on points with both the New York Rangers and Islanders, just two points clear of the danger spot held by Winnipeg.
For so much of the season, it was about fifth place for the Senators.
That comfy spot is now gone for good, the rival Toronto Maple Leafs five points ahead with just over two weeks to go in the regular season. They've lost the opening four games of a 7-game road trip, and lost 5 in row overall, starting with a home loss to Toronto.
Now it’s about survival for a Senators team that has lost five straight heading into crucial, crucial games Thursday night at Philadelphia and Friday night at New Jersey.
If they don’t stop the bleeding over the next two nights, they could be on the outside looking in come Saturday morning. And that would be a travesty for a team that has defied all odds in surviving the losses of its top players early in the season.
from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,
With five consecutive losses in a row — all in regulation time — the Ottawa Senators players can feel the pressure mounting in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“It’s frustrating. When you get frustrated, you grip your stick tighter or whatever. We have to get our swagger back, if that’s what you want to call it,” said forward Chris Neil on Wednesday morning.
The Senators did not hit the ice in Philadelphia on Wednesday, opting for an off-ice workout at the team’s hotel instead. A lengthy practice probably would not help the Senators right now, as many of their problems appear to be mental at this stage of the game. The club is well aware that their recent slide has many people wondering if they have the resolve to make the playoffs.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
People were stunned that the Senators would use a first-round pick to draft a 150-lb. defenceman from Sweden in the first place, never mind that, two years later and only a few meatballs heavier, the same kid would score 45 points in his rookie NHL season.
Nobody dreamed that, the very next October, at the tender age of 21, he would begin a march to the Norris Trophy, edging such imposing, polished veterans as Zdeno Chara and Shea Weber in voting done for the league's best blue-liner award.
But this? Really? This is something else.
Seven weeks after having his Achilles tendon sliced, Erik Karlsson has been on the ice with Senators skating coach Mark Power, making his way toward a comeback from an injury that's supposed to keep a normal human out of action for at least six months.
Acrobatic toe-save by Clemmenssen as the Florida Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1. The Senators had a 41-17 advantage in shots for the game.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray told CTV Ottawa before Thursday's visit by the New York Rangers that the back surgery the club's top centre had may not allow him to return this year
"(Erik) Karlsson and (Spezza) are real borderline at this time," said Murray.
Speaking during the morning skate, Murray said Spezza has been having pain since the procedure and hasn't been on the ice lately. Earlier this month, Murray was hopeful Spezza would have returned in "two or three weeks".
Watch/listen to the interview below... The Cooke remark starts at the 5:11 mark but you really should listen to the whole interview.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
“Oh my gosh, I like to think of myself as a pretty strong hockey mom because I’ve seen pretty much all of it but I was instantly sick to my stomach — that sickening feeling when you just don’t know,” she says, recalling the overwhelming helplessness as the game broadcast unfolded 11 days ago.
The mother watched as her son, rubbery-legged and disoriented, was helped to the Ottawa dressing room. Then she waited.
After 20 minutes, the phone rang.
“He called and said, ‘I’m okay.’ . . . Of course, I was crying. Because I’m a mom I guess.”
“I knew she’d be worried,” the 23-year-old says of being the reassuring voice at the other end of the line. “As soon as I got everything figured out, I thought I should give her a call. It probably didn’t look too good on TV.”
No it didn’t. And as it got replayed over and over again on the highlight shows, fuelling the fighting-in-hockey debate, Dziurzynski became part of Canada’s hockey consciousness in just his 10th NHL game. Many Canadians now know his name even if they’d have no idea how to spell it.
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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