Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube, a former teammate of Tocchet, believes the NHL’s two-year ban on Tocchet was too harsh.
“He got run through the ringer for no reason, and that puts a bad taste in your mouth,” Berube said Friday. “To me, that was worse than anything. He didn’t do anything wrong, and his picture’s all over the paper. He’s a good guy with a good reputation. The guys who know him know that, and that’s what matters.”...
Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher said he’s happy to see Tocchet back in the NHL, saying gambling among NHL players is commonplace.
“I’ve bet on Super Bowls and I played football pools in the dressing room,” Hatcher said. “So what? He never bet on hockey, and that’s the important thing. I’ve always respected him, and personally, I’m glad he’s back.”
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
While the Flyers continue to wait for news from free agent winger Brendan Shanahan, they made a more critical move to strengthen their ailing defense, sending Steve Downie and Steve Eminger to Tampa Bay for 24-year-old defenseman Matt Carle.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Also feeling his oats was Aaron Voros who battled Ryan Malone in another excellent toe-to-toe bout in the first period and later traded punches with Tampa’s belligerent goalie Mike Smith at 18:19 of the third. Voros also took an ankle chop from Smitty preceding the bout.
“I think he (Smith) should be suspended for that,” says Renney.
more on the Rangers win against Tampa last night and watch the Smith/Voros battle below as captured by HockeyFignts.com…
“The biggest thing I want the players to know is that it’s really not acceptable last night to come out with a point against that team. I don’t know that it was in the past, but it definitely isn’t in the present. ... That was a team that was down, and we have to recognize that and develop more of a killer instinct. To their credit, they did what they had to do, but it shouldn’t sneak up on you.”
-Tampa GM Brian Lawton after the Bolts lost to New Jersey last night. More at Lightning Strikes…
from Lightning Strikes,
St. Louis has just one goal and 21 shots in 10 games. And while he readily admits “that’s not enough,” he also said his spot on the point has made him think more about passing than shooting. Melrose said he hopes that will change.
“I hope it increases (St. Louis’ shots) because he has the puck more,” Melrose said. “Marty has to be selfish on the point. He has a great shot that he gets away quick.”
St. Louis had zero shots Saturday against the Senators and missed the net on a shorthanded breakaway. That followed a four-shot, three-post effort Thursday against the Sabres.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Asked what he thinks about the fact many suggested goaltending was one of the big question marks facing the Lightning heading into the 2008-09 season now that his numbers rank among the best among NHL puck-stoppers, Smith smiles.
“Some people are still saying that,” he says with a laugh.
They shouldn’t be.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
In the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, one of the most memorable exchanges occurred in Game 3, when the Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier and the Flames’ Jarome Iginla, each team’s best player and biggest star, dropped the gloves.
The fight sparked both teams to a memorable seven-game series, eventually won by the Lightning.
Who won the fight that night in Calgary four years ago is pretty meaningless. What does matter, though, is who the better player is. That’s for the fans to decide.
from Lightning Strikes,
So, the Lightning players, who have really taken to Stamkos (“He’s always smiling,” captain Vinny Lecavalier said), decided to let him skate onto the ice first during warmups. What Stamkos didn’t know is that his teammates were going to hold up in the runway to the ice and have him skate out by himself. It worked as it took Stamkos about a half a lap of the Lightning zone to realize he was out there alone.
from Lightning Strikes,
“It’s definitely a change,” Lecavalier said before the game with the Maple Leafs. “I would like to play more, and I like to play more. I want to get the 20 minutes in there, or 21 minutes. A lot of people say we played too much last year and I understand that. But 20, 21 minutes, I think, would be a good number.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Early-season struggles put immediate pressure on ex-ESPN analyst Barry Melrose to put some wins together after being the hand-picked, surprise coaching choice of owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, and, not surprisingly, Melrose chose to lean on veteran players early, leaving Stamkos with as little as 6:05 of ice time.
Stamkos, along with the rest of the team, hasn’t produced much offence, and through seven games the 18-year-old has yet to record his first NHL point.
Sending him back to the Sarnia Sting of the OHL is out of the question after all the pre-season fanfare. Giving him more and more playing time is now the plan.
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.
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