Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete player. He scores, he sets up plays, he leads and he fights too. Lecavalier had a memorable scrap with the Calgary Flames’ Jarome Iginla in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, and held his own against one of the strongest players in the league. Last month, amid Tampa’s struggles, he fought in back-to-back games — against the Washington Capitals’ Shaone Morrison, in which he received a penalty for instigating the fight; and then the next night, against the Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Hartnell. As most players will attest, when a team’s best player is also prepared to do some of the dirty work, it can lift a team’s morale right out of the gutter.
From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,
Richards is off to his best start through 19 games and is on pace for a career high in goals and right on pace to match his career best in points. And while the point production is a big part of Richards’ game, it’s not the sole indicator of how he’s playing.
In watching Richards on the ice this season, he looks quicker, he looks stronger, he appears to have more confidence and seems more intense, noticeable in his fight Wednesday against Carolina’s Justin Williams that left him with a cut on his lip.
“I feel a lot better, I do,” Richards said. “Sometimes you can’t control the points and it would be nice to bury a few more chances, but overall I feel way better, way stronger so I feel a lot more confident going into this part of the season. Whether or not my start - and I think it’s been a good start and that’s obviously going to help - but I feel different and I feel a lot better than I did last year.”
from the Blueshirts Blog at Newsday,
The papers haven’t been signed yet, but the Rangers are all but signed, sealed and delivered to Prague to open next season with a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And that pair of games will only comprise half of the NHL’s season-opening plan for 2008-09. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators are expected to open their season with two games in Stockholm.
continued (permalink is not working for the blog, so off you go to the homepage)...
From the Tampa Tribune,
It took Lightning defensemen 36 games last season to reach double figures in goals scored. It took them half as long, 18 games, to reach 10 goals collectively this season.
And that’s with 20-goal scorer Dan Boyle (left wrist surgery) out for all but four games.
What’s happened, with Boyle out of the picture, is that Coach John Tortorella’s blue liners have begun to become more conscious of trying to help scoring opportunities when they’re available.
“If you’re asking your forwards to play on the other side of the puck defensively,” Tortorella said Friday, “we ask our defensemen to play on the other side of the puck, offensively. We feel like we have the people. It’s just a matter of willingness to get up the ice and make it happen.”
via the St. Peterburg Times,
Pat Burns considers it fortunate that, living in Port Charlotte, he regularly attends Lightning games at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Watching Vinny Lecavalier turn into a superstar hasn’t been bad either, the former Devils coach said, and Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes confirmed what he long has believed.
“If I was to start a hockey franchise and I had the first pick overall, I’d take Vinny,” Burns said. “I’ve said he is the top player in the NHL.”
from the St. Peterburg Times,
Here in the prime of Vincent Lecavalier, let it be agreed there is more to the man than any one of us had reason to suspect.
He is bigger than he has ever been. He is better. There is more strength to him than before, more character, more impact. He has blossomed into a man of a substance. He has developed into something special.
It is true of Lecavalier, player.
It is also true of Lecavalier, person.
from Lightning Strikes,
...It seems you have to believe the part about him not knowing about such a trade because it just doesn’t seem to make sense for the Lightning which was supposed to give up Richards, its second-line center and one of its alternate captains for Ryder and Kostsitsyn who between them have just 11 points, and Halak has 16 NHL games to his name.
I’m sure the potential new owners of the franchise would love to have to fill that kind of hole in the roster.
from On Frozen Pond,
Torts even used Denis Potvin as an example in his pregame press conference, saying the league has gone soft. He says in Denis’ day, players expected to be hit and how a player took a hit was a big part of how the game was played. Now, he says, players don’t expect to be hit.
more and you can see today’s pre-game press conference below…
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster Issued a Statement Today Regarding Dan Boyle:
“The MRI on Dan Boyle’s surgically-repaired left wrist showed that two of the three tendons severed on September 22 have not properly healed and that additional surgery will be required. We have placed Dan on the NHL’s Injured Reserve List retroactive to his last game, November 3, 2007. Dan will be consulting with a number of hand and wrist specialists recommended to him by the Lightning medical staff, after which he will be scheduled for additional surgery on his wrist. Dan will be out of the Lightning line-up indefinitely
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
One day Feaster will have to fire Tortorella – eventually, every GM does it – but that day doesn’t look as though it will happen any time soon.
What’s more likely to happen is the Lightning looking for goaltending help. Johan Holmqvist’s play was problematic on Saturday night and the Lightning were out-goaled by Rick DiPietro on Long Island last week. Prior to that, in games against New Jersey and the New York Rangers, the Lightning looked lethargic and uninspired, which helped fuel some of that Tortorella talk.
added 3:11pm, from Lightning Strikes on a trade for a goalie,
Never say never, but as it stands now, such a trade is very, very remote for several reasons. The Lightning already is about $2-million over its self-imposed $44-million salary cap, so any trade, unless ownership had a 180-degree change of heart regarding how much it is willing to pay, would have to include payroll going out. Who do you get rid of?
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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