Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
Meet the man out to stop the bleeding on Channelside Drive.
Barry Melrose is gone. Was he ever here? We’re still not sure about the new owners. But Lightning players, even if they haven’t turned it into wins, can feel a change. The circus has left down.
“It’s feels gone,” Lightning winger Mark Recchi said.
“The dust has started to settle,” Marty St. Louis said.
They feel they’re moving in one direction, just like Rick Tocchet once did as he charged the net or threw his fists.
“He’s a straight-up guy, the same guy he was on the ice,” said Recchi, who was once traded for Tocchet and later played with him. “He helped stabilize things. We’re well prepared. We know where we stand. There’s no gray area.”
“We’re finding our way,” Tocchet said.
from Lightning Strikes,
A Capitals official told Washington reporters after Thursday’s game that he did not believe Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin would get supplemental discipline for his hit on Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward that left Heward unconscious on the ice for 90 seconds but, thankfully, only with a concussion.
Still, NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said early Friday morning that the hit, like all others that results in injury, will be reviewed.
added 1:28pm, “Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward has been released from a Washington D.C. hospital and is traveling back to Tampa today. Heward suffered a concussion during the third period of last night’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Heward, 37, was taken to Sibley Memorial Hospital last night, accompanied by Lightning Assistant Athletic Trainer Mike Poirier. He underwent further testing, where it was determined that no damage to his cervical spine occurred. Heward was kept overnight as a precaution and will be sidelined indefinitely, though the prognosis for his personal health is good.’’
added 1:40pm, No action will be taken against Ovechkin.
“Ovechkin just doesn’t sit on the outside and take one-timers, he’s in front of the net, he goes behind. He does a lot of wraps. He’s a special player because he’s an aggressive player. That’s why I think he’s the best player, because he’s an aggressive player. He’s not just a pure sniper who sits on the outside all day.”
-Lightning coach Rick Tocchet on Alexander Ovechkin. More from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes as the Bolts prepare for the Capitals tonight.
from Mark Masters of the National Post,
He is the first to tell you that most of the criticism he has faced is fairly accurate. Through 35 games this season he has just four goals and 10 assists and is minus-10.
“It has probably not been the best start I had envisioned for myself and the team,” he said. “It’s definitely been an adjustment coming from the juniors and I have learned a lot so far. The NHL is the best league in the world and these guys are the best players around and it’s going to take some time to make that jump, but I’m starting to feel as comfortable as I can be right now.”
He even understands Melrose’s position that he is not ready for the NHL. He will not turn 19 until February and still has the body of a teenager.
“I’m going against men now and you know they’ve got 10 years of physical maturity over you and you kind of realize that when your battling in the corners. And that’s something I’m going to have to work on in order to be more successful.”
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Christin Kolzig was trying to hold a conversation when son Carson climbed into her lap and whispered in her ear. “Can we do it now?” he asked. “I can’t now,” Christin said. But Carson, who turns 8 on Jan. 1, was persistent in his quest for help setting up a favorite video game on his laptop. Christin laughed like she was being tickled and called husband, Olie, to get their son settled. “You learn to appreciate these moments,” Christin said. “You just realize what a miracle it is to have happy kids. In our world, you forget about that stuff.”
The Kolzigs’ world changed forever when Carson, at 15 months, was diagnosed with autism. It was devastating, said Olie, the Lightning’s backup goaltender. And it took time for the family, which now includes daughters Kendall, 6, and Ashlyn, 5, to realize what it faced.
It’s plain and simple, there’s not enough guys that want to make a difference, their clock killers, that’s all it is. I’m [expletive] fed up.’’
“I don’t think there’s enough guys who really want to win. Yeah, we say the right things, but [forget] that. What’s winning? It’s being aware of every flipping play that matters, especially now when you’re in a hole. When you’re six or seven games over .500 and everything is rosy, you can make mistakes, it happens, you can live with it. But right now, when we’re in the situation we are, it’s plain and simple embarrassing.’’
-Marty St. Louis after the Lightning lost to the Thrashers last night. More from Eric Erlendsson at Bolts Report.
from Damian Cristodero of the Stt. Peterburg Times,
The shootout must go. It is an argument that will fall on deaf ears. The fans love it, and if the fans love it, the league loves it, too. But after what happened Thursday in the Lightning’s shootout loss to the Avalanche, it should be clear the shootout is evil.
Start with this: It is a gimmick, and a gimmick should never determine who wins and loses a game. Earlier this season, the Lightning and Senators needed eight rounds to decide a winner. That is not a test of skill; it is a coin flip and a disservice to players who knocked themselves out for the previous 65 minutes.
from Bolts Report,
Jussi Jokinen has cleared waivers this afternoon and will play tonight against Atlanta. Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawton said that as of now there is no intention of sending down to AHL Norfolk and possibly putting him on recall waivers.
from Lightning Strikes,
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, said the ruling that Lightning goaltender Mike Smith deliberately threw his stick to disrupt Milan Hejduk’s shootout attempt on Thursday was the correct call.
“It was a very tough call. It was a gutsy call. It was a call that was made in an instant, and I support the call,” Walkom said.
Walkom said the referees did it right by conferring amongst themselves to try to get the call correct. As for perhaps in the future expanding video replay to include such situations, Walkom said no because, “Where does it stop. It’s a judgment call. You can watch this play 1,000 times, and the only thing you can say is the decision that was made you need to support.
In case you didn’t not see the disputed call, you can see it here.
From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes:
The Tampa Bay Lightning placed Jussi Jokinen on waivers at noon Friday. We will know whether he clears or is picked up by another team at noon Saturday. Jokinen has six goals but zero in his past 15 games.
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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