Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Lightning captain Marty St. Louis missed Wednesday's practice with what the team said was a lower-body injury. There was no other immediate information.
St. Louis, who had two goals and three points in Tuesday's 5-1 victory over the Kings, took a Drew Doughty slap shot off a foot about five minutes into the third period while killing a penalty. He finished the game but walked with a noticeable limp as he left the locker room after the game.
St. Louis, 38, is off to a terrific start with four goals and 10 points in his first six games. His 10 points are second in the league behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
“On the bench after that goal, we were kind a looking at each other just thinking, ‘Did he really do that?’ It’s a shame when he was in Detroit with Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom for all those years, because not a lot of people talked about him. But he is getting a chance to show what you can do and it’s impressive.’’
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Valtteri Filppula. More on "Flip" from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
Below, watch the goal Stamkos is talking about...
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
His team had just beat the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to pick up its first win of the season, but Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper remained uneasy. Despite tying the road game in the third period and going on to win in a shootout, the Lightning had gotten off to an ugly start, recording zero shots on goal in the first period.
"I was looking for the police when we left the locker room," Cooper said on Saturday night after the comeback win, "because I thought we'd get arrested for stealing. We stole two points."
Spoken like a true attorney — which was, just a decade ago, Cooper's full-time profession, but which these days seems like an increasingly distant past life. Once a public defender in Lansing, Michigan, who snagged some pickup ice time with colleagues here and there, the Tampa Bay Lightning's coach has worked his way up through the hockey ranks to become one of the NHL's more intriguing recent hires.
His résumé spans outposts like Texarkana and Green Bay; he's won championships with ragtag teenagers and with men on the cusp of an NHL dream. He has a career trajectory similar to some on-ice prospect who's short on pedigree but long on performance, who expects little but is willing to go through a lot. And oftentimes, he sounds more like a newly drafted player than a 46-year-old coach.
"Yes, I believe a player should get a game misconduct for fighting. We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking, in an effort to reduce head injuries, yet we still allow fighting.
"We're stuck in the middle and need to decide what kind of sport do we want to be. Either anything goes and we accept the consequences, or take the next step and eliminate fighting."
-Steve Yzerman, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning talking with Darren Dreger of the Dreger Report at TSN. Read more on this topic...
via the tweets of Willy Palov,
Drouin said he had "no clue" the Lightning were considering sending him back to Halifax: “Obviously it was devastating in a way...
You want to make the team as quick as possible. There’s a lot of years in front of me, one year’s not going to change much...
It’s disappointing but I’ve got to move on and help the team win another championship.”
Lightning announced one of the cuts today was Drouin, who will head back to the Halifax Mooseheads.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
In his first two preseason games since signing a five-year free-agent deal with Tampa Bay, Filppula looks every bit the part Tampa Bay signed him to be — and more. In those two games before Tuesday, Filppula produced four assists and had a successful shootout attempt.
In the offensive zone, Filppula has impressive puck control, poise and vision that can give opposing defenders fits, all while keeping his linemates on their skates to be ready at a moment’s notice.
“As you play more with him, you pick up on some of his tendencies, like you don’t have to be so close to him because he is so good with the puck and does a good job of holding it,’’ said right wing Teddy Purcell, who played camp scrimmages and the preseason opener on a line with Filppula.
“To support him, you have to get away from him, let him do his thing and get open because (the puck) can come at any time.’’...
“He gives optimal effort every shift. He does what he is asked and you can’t ask for more as a coach,’’ Cooper said. “I think the big part, and everybody is looking at his offense and his offense is all well and good and we want that, but in the end we need a defensive player, somebody who is going play at both ends of the ice and on the penalty kill.
“If he delivers on that end, the rest is gravy for us.’’
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
Vinik on patience in building a winning franchise: There’s no other way to do it. We want to win the Stanley Cup this year. Do we hava shot at winning the Cup this year? We absolutely do and I hope we do, and three years ago we almost did. So, there’s no predicting. But the way to develop a program that’s going to be in the top of the NHL year after year after year is to draft young players and have them develop in the system and be contributors over time. It takes patience, but we’re getting there. These players are coming up and making a difference right now.
On Yzerman I think Steve is doing a great job, yes. ... I couldn’t be more pleased with the job Steve Yzerman is doing. I think he's put together the best, or one of the best, staffs in all of hockey. I think they’ve done a great job in drafting and developing young players. I think he’s made a lot of good moves over the years. My general manager has my support 100 percent.
More on Yzerman: Again, Steve has my full supprt. I think I said it the day at the first press conferece … He was at Detroit for, like, 19 years. I hope he's with this organization for 19 years, too.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Filppula signed with Tampa Bay on July 5, eight days after Lecavalier’s buyout. The natural inclination, then, is to view Filppula as the replacement for Lecavalier.
But Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he will go into training camp with no preconceived notions regarding Filppula’s role or what line he will play on when the season opens Oct. 3. Cooper has never seen Filppula play in person and knows the player only from tape, so he will see how things play out in training camp and during the preseason.
Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall pick by the Lightning in 1998, has 383 goals and 491 assists in 1,037 career games. Filppula, also a left-handed shot, has 100 goals and 151 assists in 483 career games.
“I think everybody in our organization 100 percent knows that it is not even comparable,’’ Cooper said of comparing Filppula with Lecavalier. “But because they play the same position, they shoot the same hand, of course they are going to be compared. I just think that’s unfair to put that on Val, because Vinny has been doing it in this league for 15 years at a high level. So, that’s an unfair comparison.’’
Cooper is certainly savvy enough to know Filppula will be a welcome addition to the roster.
“I think he is coming right into his prime, and he’s spent pretty much his entire professional career being educated at a Grade-A organization,’’ Cooper said. “And he has won. He comes from a winning organization, so any time you can take players out of that environment while you are trying to create that in your organization, it will help us.’’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org