Kukla's Korner Hockey
Jarkko Ruutu and Darcy Tucker had a great middleweight fight last night that seemed to send a wake-up call to the Pens.
Empty Netters has a breakdown of the game if interested.
from Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star,
Wellwood, along with other younger Leafs – except none are very green and scrubeenie anymore – have been treated with excessive gentleness in their prolonged adjustment to the NHL. It’s as if they were dainty creatures – the Stajans and the Steens – overly praised on the nights they acquit themselves decently and usually protected from reproach on the more frequent nights when they don’t.
It’s as if an entitlement has settled upon the more youthful members of this club, itself an extension of franchise arrogance, where one win a fortnight is sufficient to quell anxiety and as you were, boys. This is evidenced in the dressing room, as well, where young pros without the chops to support such haughtiness can be witheringly snide and condescending to reporters. Where they learn such attitudes is a mystery because they certainly aren’t emulating the class of a Mats Sundin or Tomas Kaberle.
Paul Maurice when asked what he said to the team after the Leafs 6-1 loss to the Rangers last night, via the Toronto Sun,
“Some things you should keep to yourself,” Maurice said. “That’s a tough game to sit through when you are beaten that bad that early. Our penalty killers were dragging their butts (because they were on the ice so often). It doesn’t matter (about the skewed number of minor penalties). We’re not blaming anybody else for this.”
more on the game and the Leafs…
from the Toronto Star,
The NHL will not break policy and place referees on the ice for the pre-game warmup leading into tonight’s game between the Maple Leafs and Rangers.
But the league will be watching in case there is a repeat of a potentially ugly incident that occurred the last time New York came to town. Before that game, Rangers super-pest Sean Avery almost came to blows with Toronto’s Darcy Tucker as the two exchanged insults at the centre line.
A referee, however, will be standing in one of the corridors watching the warmups and the league has asked TV crews to film the skate, a practice that has become common across the league since early in the season.
from the Globe and Mail,
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN—Pity poor Major Eric Cottenoir of the Vandoos.
A brand new hockey sweater arrived in the mail for him yesterday. But when he put it on at the hockey rink, all his friends laughed at him.
Instead of sending him the red, white and blue of the Montreal Canadiens, a big Canadian clothing chain had instead mailed the blue and white sweater of the hated Toronto Maple Leafs.
All the other players favoured les Canadiens. Nobody wanted to wear the Toronto sweater. Major Cottenoir was booed by his fellow hockey players the moment he put it on.
This hot-and-cold argument has raged almost from the time composite sticks became popular, early in the 2002-03 season. It was very much a topic in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ dressing room Friday after defenceman Pavel Kubina’s stick disintegrated as he leaned into a wide-open slapshot in Tampa on Thursday, which might have provided the visitors with a last-minute victory.
Instead, the Lightning broke away on an odd-man rush and Vincent Lecavalier slapped in the decisive tally with 41.6 seconds left in regulation time.
“Yeah, a broken stick probably cost us a game the other night,” forward Matt Stajan said.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The original premise of these games – going back to hockey’s outdoor roots – was dubious at best. How playing in a football stadium in front of 70,000 fans is going back to the days of pickup hockey on a pond is beyond me.
Yes, I will be at the outdoor game in Buffalo on Jan. 1, but only because I was ordered to attend.
And now they propose to have one of these things under the dome where the NFL’s Detroit Lions play. How in the name of Bill Spunska is that supposed to be a celebration of the game’s roots?
more & David, you are missing the point. Detroit fans just want to see a home team win at Ford Field!
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Just when you think he has gone under the waves for good, weighted by the fat contracts he doled out for defencemen, his free-agent forays or tangled in the twine of three controversial goaltender moves, his team gets hot or his boss tosses him a life preserver.
Such fluctuations make it hard to judge Ferguson’s impact, other than the Leafs have had two close calls with making the playoffs. Is this season already a write-off as one broadsheet columnist boldly claimed, or is this modest December indicative of a better second half?
from the Toronto Sun,
Leafs coach Paul Maurice, obviously frustrated at losing a 27-minute-a-game defenceman until at least the all-star break, snapped during his post-game press conference, accusing Kostitsyn’s hit of being “a cheap shot” and “a bulls—- play.”
Toronto general manager John Ferguson and Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau were far less critical of Kostitsyn, a sentiment echoed by McCabe.
“I don’t even know exactly what happened,” McCabe said. “We just seemed to get tangled up. It was a freak thing, that’s all.
“I knew something was wrong right away. At first I couldn’t move my hand. Then, when I could start moving it, I could feel bones moving around in there. That’s never a good thing.”
from the CP via TSN,
But worse news for Toronto was that workhorse defenceman Bryan McCabe will likely be lost for at least six weeks after breaking three bones in his left hand midway through the third period after falling awkwardly into the boards after a check from Andrei Kostitsyn.
Toronto coach Paul Maurice was livid, saying Kostitsyn horse-collared McCabe and threw him into the boards.
“He’s too good a player to miss that much time after a (expletive) play like that,” he said.
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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