Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL provided a media conference call with Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin today. To interpret for Evgeni, Sergei Gonchar joined in on the call.
Earlier today, Evgeni was named First Star for the month of February after leading the league in scoring with 9 goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 14 games. He currently sits first in overall NHL scoring with 88 points on 37 goals and 51 assists. The Penguins are tied atop the Eastern Conference standings with Montréal, each with 81 points.
Q. Evgeni, can you tell me if you’re seeing different players checking you than before when Sidney Crosby was playing in terms of like different defensemen against you and different centers playing against you?
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
So, right now in Pittsburgh there is satisfaction in the season thus far, and rightly so. But that mood pales in comparison to the anticipation of what might yet be. Everyone wants to see what this team looks like fully assembled. Shero smiled broadly when I put that premise to him and he offered a sly, “We’ll see.”
Penguins’ fans who have been waiting patiently will see all the pieces in place during the first week of March. No doubt, the organization envisions this group together during the first week of June, perhaps with the Stanley Cup in hand.
from jenniejenniewho’s at NHL Connect,
The hockey gods are one of the best things about hockey; they are the mystical forces that let you believe things will work themselves out. If they don’t, it wasn’t meant to be.
The hockey gods take the pressure off fandom. Sure, the fact that Marian Hossa got hurt in his debut with the Penguins seems terrible, but the hockey gods know why it happened. You hope against hope it’s to set up an stirring comeback that coincides with Sidney Crosby’s return to the ice; you like to think the hockey gods will make it a game that will be talked about for ages, one that vaults the Penguins to the top of the Eastern Conference,
from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,
Malkin’s performance will likely merit him consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. I still believe Alexander Ovechkin will win it, but Malkin’s performance means it’s no longer a sure thing.
It also puts pressure upon the Penguins management to lock up Malkin a year before he becomes a restricted free agent as they did with Crosby last summer, but like Crosby it’s gonna cost them, probably in the neighborhood of $8.5 million per season.
From the CP via TSN,
But it’s not all bad news. Hossa considered himself fortunate to have avoided anything more disastrous than the mild sprain of his medial collateral ligament he did suffer.
With the Penguins in Ottawa to face the Senators on Saturday, Hossa, wearing a brace, was able to work out off the ice to rehab his knee while his teammates ran through a practice at Scotiabank Place on Friday afternoon.
‘‘It’s bad news, but it’s also good news because I didn’t know what to expect and it’s a first-degree MCL and it should be better within hopefully a week,’’ he said.
From the Boston Bruins,
“You know, re-breaking your nose—I broke it again back in Florida—the last thing you want to do is get in a fight with a broken nose,” said Lucic, laughing at the incredulity of the action. “It’s probably the most fragile thing, even when it’s healthy.
In fact, earlier on the night, Lucic begged off an encounter with Pittsburgh’s noted heavyweight, and Sidney Crosby’s bodyguard, Georges Laraque.
“He felt I was running around,” said Lucic, in reference to his noticeable physical play throughout the evening. “I said, ‘No thanks. I’ve got a broken nose and I need to stay away from this one.’”
But he didn’t stay away from the next one. Milan Lucic and Jarkko Ruutu go for it—video from the Bruins below…
My understanding he took a knee to knee hit from Glen Murray.
Will be re-evaluated tomorrow according to FSN Pittsburgh.
added 9:59pm, via TSN,
Marian Hossa’s first game as a Pittsburgh Penguin ended pre-maturely as the Slovakian sniper left after suffering a grade 1 strain of his MCL.
via Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
(Marian) Hossa said he heard whispers about landing in Boston, where he would have been reunited with fellow Slovakian Zdeno Chara, former Atlanta teammates Marc Savard and Glen Metropolit, and ex-Senators Peter Schaefer and Shane Hnidy.
“I heard news about Boston too, but it never happened,” said Hossa. “I always enjoy playing with Big Z. Maybe one day again. We’ll see.”
from Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
OUR TAKE: We don’t like this deal at all on many levels.
1.) Hossa is a noted playoff underachiever. He’s produced only 35 points in 55 postseason games. After racking up 100 points during the regular season last year, he disappeared in Atlanta’s four-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers producing only one assist.
2.) This flies directly in the face of the philosophy the Penguins supposedly have as far not giving up too much of the future for the present.
added 4:37pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
For Pittsburgh, meanwhile, there is a considerable long-term risk attached to the move. Given that Crosby’s contract extension kicks in next year (for $8.7 million per season) and they will ultimately have to pony up big to retain Evgeni Malkin the year after that, it is unclear how general manager Ray Shero might also find the $8 million or so required to sign Hossa beyond July 1.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenceman Hal Gill to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-round and fifth round pick.
Gill, 32, signed a $6.3 million, three-year contract with the Maple Leafs in 2006.
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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