Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
In honor of tonight’s game between the Penguins and Rangers, Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has posted what they think is the best NYR video to be found on YouTube. (So go check it out.)
Meanwhile, I think I have a pretty strong challenger for that honor. If you ask me, this one should win the prize:
*hat tip to GGower.com.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“We’ve got confidence in Marc-Andre Fleury,” Therrien said. “He won a lot of games for us last year. We believe in the kid. He just needs to be himself.
“Right now, we’re not panicking. We know that he’s going to get better. It’s a matter of time. There’s nothing wrong with facing adversity for a player or as a team because you know that eventually it’s going to make you better.”
General manager Ray Shero also backs Fleury and denied a report by TSN’s Bob McKenzie that the Penguins are shopping for a veteran goaltender to back up and perhaps challenge Fleury.
from Empty Netters,
We’re going to jump the gun a bit here and briefly preview the Penguins-Capitals game in Washington Saturday.
Many EN readers have told us of the Capitals’ attempts to minimize the healthy contingent of Penguins fans that usually show up at Verizion Center anytime the Penguins are in town. We went to both Penguins games in Washington last season and there were at least 5,000 Penguins fans in the house each game.
The Capitals are attempting to stage a “white-out” night and are encouraging their fans to wear white to the game. They are also handing out white towels to the first 15,000 that show up.
read on for more and numerous NHL bits…
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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