Kukla's Korner Hockey
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that Blues forward Keith Tkachuk underwent successful surgery on his left pinky finger and will be sidelined 10 days. The surgery was performed today by Dr. Charles Goldfarb of Barnes Jewish Hospital.
via Tarik El-Bashir’s Twitter,
Cam Janssen has been suspended five games by the NHL for “a late hit to the head ...to an unsuspecting” Matt Bradley.
If you want to review the hit, you can watch it here.
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Janssen, who appeared to lead with his elbow, said: “I was just coming back and [Bradley] had the puck. He cycled it back, and he was looking back like he felt the puck was still on his skates. I finish my hits. I thought it was a good opportunity. His head was down and I was just trying to get the boys into it. I hope no suspension, but we’ll see what happens. If it happens, it happens and that’s the way it is.”
Scroll to around the 2:00 minute mark to see the hit a little more clearly…
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
A lot of folks wanted to blame the Blues’ erratic play on coach Andy Murray, and eventually team management came to the side of Murray’s critics by firing him on Jan. 2.
But what has changed since Davis Payne took over?
The answer: not much, really.
This isn’t a knock on Payne. I like him. He’s tried to emphasize the right things. He’s done about as well as could be expected. But as I have been saying all along, and the point needs to be reinforced, so here I go again: this is about the Blues’ players.
from Jim Kelley of Sports Illustrated,
No GM is going to send a coach off into his good night with the reputation of not being able to work with kids. That’s why you hear things like “the team was not progressing” even though many of the players currently on the St. Louis and Columbus rosters were simply going through the learning experience that comes with having success early and then falling back as teams play against them with greater intensity.
Still, you have to wonder if Murray or Hitchcock will get another chance in the now youth-conscious NHL. You also have to wonder if once the Blue Jackets move past Noel (or the 54-yer old shows them that he can relate to their kids), Howson won’t be placing a call to Filatov.
Mother Russia looks nice right now, but NHL money, a spot on Nash’s wing and no one harping about defensive play can be a powerful lure…especially for a GM who has lost a potential franchise player.
via Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues were victimized last night. A 2-2 game, midway through the third period at Vancouver. Paul Kariya was sent off for two minutes for “slashing” Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin. There were only two problems with the call: (A) in an attempt to con the officials with an acting job, Sedin dramatically shook his left hand. Except that Kariya had actually “slashed” Sedin’s right hand. Still, it was very impressive the way Sedin thrashed that left hand around. He was in so much pain that he skated away from the puck — just abandoned the thing — during live action. Sedin was so good in conveying his near-death experience.
I wonder if the ref will have a pre-game chat with Henrik when the meet up again? On the other hand, I doubt it…
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
Without tipping his hand toward any potential trades, Davidson on Friday shot down a Canadian-based trade rumor that had Blues forward David Backes headed to the Vancouver Canucks.
“David Backes isn’t going anywhere,” Davidson said. “There’s nothing to it. We all do our scouting, but the facts are the facts: David Backes isn’t going anywhere. People just love to speculate.”
A report in the Toronto Globe and Mail suggested that Vancouver—which signed Backes to a three-year, $7.5 million offer sheet in July of 2008 that was quickly matched by the Blues—was interested in a potential deal.
The report suggested the Blues were interested in Canucks goaltending prospect Cory Schneider, who is playing for Vancouver’s top farm team, the Manitoba Moose.
Janssen & Hamrlik received 2 minutes for roughing and Blues goaltender Ty Conklin received 2 minutes for going beyond center ice.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
OK, OK, I know that all teams have bad nights. I can accept that. But I can’t accept lethargic play. Given their difficult position in the Western Conference standings, the Blues can’t afford to snooze in any game. Not even after winning four in a row. They must play desperation hockey.
We’ll see what kind of mood they’re in when they compete in Montreal on Wednesday and Ottawa on Thursday. This is a good first test for Coach Payne. We’ll see what he can do to crank the boys up after they went to sleep on him for the first time since he took over.
The Blues’ kids have to do a lot better ... if they can: At some point, shouldn’t we begin to see sustained, elevated play from the Blues’ highly-touted youngsters? Or when do we start to conclude that perhaps they are not as good as promised?
“If a person that’s a huge superstar becomes available, the economics of it are frightening. Then if you have to trade for them, not only do you have to come up with a number of pieces to satisfy the other team, but then the player has the option of walking away on you July 1. That’s tough.”
“If you make a mistake there, that could end up being two mistakes. If he comes here and then decides he doesn’t want to be here and goes July 1, that’s a double-whammy. It’s a scary situation.”
-John Davidson, President of the St. Louis Blues. More from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat including Ed Belfour resigns from his part-time goaltending consultant position with the Blues.
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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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