Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Several adjustments have played a factor in Staal’s scoring slump. He has worked as a center most of this season after playing on the wing last year. Also, he is no longer skating alongside Evgeni Malkin, who assisted on 11 of Staal’s 22 non-shorthanded goals last season.
Even though he was a minus-6 player with a 3.8 shooting percentage, Staal had the backing of his coach, who sees him “in more of a defensive role.”
“He is a good defensive forward,” Therrien said. “He surprised a lot of people with his offensive numbers. I was not expecting that.
“We would like him to have more goals, but he is working hard. I am not worried about him at all.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins have sputtered through the first 16 games of this season, and it remains to be seen what, if anything, general manager Ray Shero is going to do about it.
Shero has made it quite clear what he won’t do.
He won’t fire coach Michel Therrien.
He won’t replace Marc-Andre Fleury as the team’s No. 1 goalie.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin didn’t practise Friday because of an unspecified knee injury but said he expects to play Saturday night in Philadelphia.
The Sabres announced today that more tickets will be made available:
Larry Quinn, Managing Partner of the Buffalo Sabres today announced the organization has secured 4,500 obstructed-view seats from the NHL for the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic that will be sold for $10 each through a random selection process at Sabres.com.
Also, info on the retro jerseys to be worn at the game:
Buffalo will wear the white version of the jersey worn by the club from 1978-79 through 1995-96, which features the familiar circular logo of the charging buffalo over crossed sabers. Pittsburgh will return to the powder blue version worn from 1968-69 through 1972-73. This marks the first time the Penguins will wear powder blue since switching to black and gold in 1980.
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.”
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