Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Officially, the Sharks still aren’t saying exactly what injury has sidelined Rob Blake after he blocked a shot against Calgary only to have the puck roll up the shaft of his stick and strike him in the chin.
“I won’t go into the test results, but it was better than we thought,” Coach Todd McLellan said.
But Blake did meet with reporters this morning and some of the damage is pretty obvious: a walnut-sized swelling on his lower left jaw and a wiring mechanism in place that limits its mobility.
Unofficially, another player identified Blake’s problem as a fracture.
Blake was able to talk — his jaw, he said, would be wired shut only a couple hours each day — but he wouldn’t spell out the precise damage, saying that they still wanted to do more tests.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
That is all that separates the Sharks and Red Wings before the clash of the titans Saturday night in San Jose.
“We’ve been looking at the standings all season long, knowing that they’ve been atop our conference and they’ve been the team to beat this year,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom told ESPN.com Friday. “It’s a game we’re looking forward to playing. It’s a bit of a measuring stick for our team to go up against the top team.”
That was Lidstrom’s understated way of saying: We want to kick some butt Saturday night.
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Defenseman Rob Blake will miss the next two games because of an injury suffered when a deflected puck struck him on the chin during Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.
A team source did not disclose the specific injury, but did rule out a concussion after Blake underwent tests last night and again today. He will miss tonight’s (Saturday night’s) game against Detroit and Tuesday’s against Vancouver, but is expected to be ready to return after the NHL All-Star break. San Jose does not play again until Jan. 27 in Colorado.
San Jose Head Coach Todd McLellan will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
“There are two ways players can be better interviews,” Roenick said. “No. 1: speak your mind. If you feel passionately about something, then grow a pair, grow a thick skin, and say so. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to say the wrong thing. If it comes from your heart, if you know that you’re right, step up and let people hear what you have to say.
“And No. 2: for christ’s sake – for christ’s sake – show some (expletive) enthusiasm during interviews,” Roenick said. “I see too many interviews where young guys say the same thing night after night after night. It’s (expletive).
“You know what, guys? Don’t just give us the usual clichés. Don’t do interviews where your eyes are just staring off into space when they should be looking into the camera. Say something funny once in a while! And if somebody scores a sick goal, it’s OK to say ‘damn, my teammate scored a sick goal!’ ”
from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Threatened with the possibility of getting dumped on a last-place team if he didn’t comply, Boyle waived his no-trade clause to come to San Jose, but he felt betrayed because he had agreed to a $40 million contract extension to stay in Tampa earlier in the year. So pardon Boyle if he doesn’t have the fondest of feelings for his former club, which he will face tonight at HP Pavilion.
“It was pretty ugly, to be honest,” Boyle said. “I’d just signed there for six years, they told me a lot of things, and then a lot of stuff was done behind my back.”
Said teammate Jeremy Roenick: “The wrist thing and the way that team treated Dan left a bad taste in his mouth. The spat he had with the owners - I think he really wants to win the Cup and shove somebody’s nose in it.”
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
That nagging injury that kept Brad Lukowich out of the past two games is a sports hernia problem that could mean surgery for the Sharks defenseman as early as this week.
Sharks Coach Todd McLellan confirmed a tip that came my way earlier today that Lukowich, who had sports hernia surgery while he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is dealing with the same issue again.
The source said a decision has been made to have the surgery, but McLellan said it was his understanding that options were still being weighed — though the answer could come as early as later today when McLellan and trainer Ray Tufts are to meet with General Manager Doug Wilson.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
“We’ve tried different things with Cheech,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “We’ve tried to play him in that (first-line) situation, we’ve tried to take pressure off of him as a scorer.”
Following his breakout campaign, the native of Moose Factory, Ont., had a respectable 37 goals the following season. Last year, he scored 23.
The way things are going, Cheechoo will be hard pressed to break the 20-goal barrier this season.
“One of the road blocks is perhaps is the fact that he scored 56 goals,” McLellan said. “The microscope is on him night in and night out. Perhaps if he had only scored 35, we’d be somewhat happy with his impact on the game right now. But the fact that he has scored 56 and everyone is aware of it, makes it a little tougher for him.”
When Todd McLellan created his coaching staff upon his arrival in Silicon Valley, he brought one constant with him from Detroit. He hired his old video coach Jay Woodcroft and made him an assistant coach.
Yet, he might be the assistant coach Sharks fans are the least familiar with as they never see him on the bench. At practices, Woodcroft is working with McLellan and Assistant Coaches Trent Yawney and Todd Richards to run drills and see that the foundation for games is in place.
However, during games at HP Pavilion or on the road, Woodcroft is settled into the coach’s offices watching the contests through state-of-the-art video monitors and replay equipment.
“During games,” Woodcroft said, “I watch the game in our offices as it happens.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Finally, Dan Boyle got his due.
The 11-year NHL veteran, among the league’s top defensemen for at least half that time, was selected to play in the All-Star Game for the first time.
“You know what, I had been in this situation before, where I had a good start to the season but didn’t go, so I wasn’t thinking about it too much, to be very honest with you,” Boyle told ESPN.com. “But when I found out, it is a bonus. It’s not a goal I set every year. I’ve got bigger and more important things on my mind.
“But it’s only human nature to feel good about it. It’s nice to get recognized.”
continued plus a ldiscussion with Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild..
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com