Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“He’s such a great athlete,” Brodeur said. “What I look at is a guy’s ability to skate, and he’s a really good skater. The foundation is his mobility, how athletic he is, how competitive he is.
“Everything is there. It’s just that sometimes a couple of things are going the wrong way and the next thing you know, everything doesn’t fit.
“But when he finds a way to put everything together, relax and be patient, he has so much skill, so much speed, that he’s going to be all right. I love watching him play, because he’s a spectacular goalie.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
After the Penguins’ 3-2 loss on Long Island Saturday, Therrien spoke of their inability to get breaks of late. But a few hours earlier, he suggested that some of his forwards have been reluctant to venture into the areas where blue-collar goals are scored.
“When a player struggles offensively, you have to get the dirty goals,” Therrien said. “This is how it’s going to start for those guys. You just have to put the puck at the net and go there and get whacked. Eventually, you’ll get rewarded. Right now, too many players are playing on the outside.”
from Woody Paige at the Denver Post,
Then there was The Great One. Now it’s The Great, Too.
In their first visits to Denver, the Prodigy Boys scored two goals.
Each. Almost 28 years and 1.8 miles apart.
Sidney Crosby scored two goals in the first period last night at The Can.
But Wayne Gretzky scored two goals and added an assist last millennium at Big Mac.
Score two for the local teams, though.
From Jim Souhan at the Star-Tribune,
With a French-Canadian lilt that transforms Marian Gaborik into “Mary-Ann,” and the ability to invert sentences like Yoda, Lemaire offers insights and hockey philosophy in a soft-spoken tone that makes listeners lean forward in anticipation.
Tuesday morning, Lemaire raved about Penguins phenom and Shattuck-St. Mary’s product Sidney Crosby. Tuesday night, Lemaire watched Crosby become the third opponent ever to score four points at Xcel Energy Center, in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory.
Lemaire praised Wes Walz’s checking line for its defense on Crosby—even though Crosby’s line produced nine points.
The performance left Lemaire feeling covetous. “I’d love to have one on our club,” he said of Crosby, “if they make any more.”
From the CP via TSN,
The Montreal Canadiens are calling for an NHL rule change after defenceman Francis Bouillon suffered a shoulder injury from a hit in the dying seconds of overtime.
The Canadiens feel that Pittsburgh defenceman Sergei Gonchar should not have been allowed to take part in a shootout after he was called for boarding with 1.6 seconds left in the five-minute overtime in Montreal’s 4-3 win over the Penguins on Saturday night.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
When “Sid the Kid” really was a kid, or more accurately a hotshot teenager burning out red goal lights for fun at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., Crosby, like thousands of Minnesotans, got caught up in Wild Fever. It was 2003, and the Wild was in the midst of its Cinderella run to the Western Conference finals. Crosby, a native of Nova Scotia, was 15 years old attending the Minnesota boarding school/hockey haven, and he spent many nights cheering on the Wild down at 7th and Kellogg.
“When Minnesota made the run there, I was lucky enough to see all the playoff games and go to games as a fan,” Crosby said during a telephone interview. “I went to five or 10 games during the year, too, and every game was sold out. Even for a regular-season game, the atmosphere there is pretty amazing.
“But in the playoffs, especially, it was a fun place to be. I remember thinking, ‘Boy, this would be a cool place to play,’ so it’s kind of fun that I’m going to have a chance to finally play there.”
From Sharon Linstedt at The Buffalo News,
“It was 90 degrees and everybody was talking about the Ice Bowl,” Corsi recalled about the rumors that starting swirling in July that the Buffalo Sabres would play the Pittsburgh Penguins outdoors in Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day.
“And nobody was calling it the NHL Winter Classic, it was Ice Bowl, Ice Bowl, Ice Bowl,” he said.
When many hours of Internet research turned up no evidence that anyone, including the National Hockey League and the Buffalo Sabres, had registered “Ice Bowl” as a protected trademark, Corsi phoned his lawyer and filled out a federal trademark application.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins had been outscored by seven goals during five-on-five play.
“We do have to make sure we are more effective five-on-five,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “You cannot always depend on your power play and penalty kill.”
Crosby said the Penguins need to improve their work around the net to better create traffic in front of opposing goaltenders.
“We need to get a few more dirty goals,” Crosby said. “If you look at the goals we do score, a lot of times they are right around the net. That is no fluke. You have to score like that.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Last season, Fleury became the Pens’ undisputed No. 1 goaltender, finishing with a save percentage of .906. However, the whispering started when the Penguins were quickly dispatched in the first round of the playoffs by the Ottawa Senators.
Those whispers grew much louder a few weeks ago when the Penguins did not start well. Sidney Crosby may not have been scoring, and still isn’t, but it was Fleury who took the criticism.
“The one thing we can’t forget is that [Fleury] is the youngest No. 1 goalie in the league,” Penguins head coach Michel Therrien said yesterday. “He is still learning. It seemed a lot of people were panicking, but we weren’t panicking because we knew his game was going to get back where it was supposed to be.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Penguins center Jordan Staal yesterday accepted a plea deal through attorneys that resolves his case in Cook County, Minn., stemming from a late, loud bachelor party for his brother Eric.
Cook County prosecutor Tim Scannell said in an e-mail interview that Jordan Staal, 19, accepted a deal in which he pled guilty to reduced charges of petty misdemeanor disorderly conduct and underage drinking. He will pay $737 in fines.
Scannell said Eric Staal, a center for Carolina, accepted a similar deal, without the underage drinking charge.
more bits on the Pens…
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