Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
It figures to be an interesting goaltending match-up Tuesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs open their western Canadian trip in Calgary to play the Flames. Not only do the Flames’ Miikka Kiprusoff and the Leafs’ Vesa Toskala both hail from Finland, they were both groomed in the San Jose Sharks’ organization and both traded away so that Evgeni Nabokov would be that organization’s clear-cut No. 1 netminder.
Kiprusoff and Toskala are considered among the NHL’s goaltending elite, but their numbers don’t reflect that at the moment…
from Damien Cox at his Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
Unless you want to change the rules, there’s not much that could have been changed about the hit on Mike Van Ryn on Saturday night.
Van Ryn was doing his job, trying to make the toughest, most courageous play in the game, which is hustling back to get the puck in your own zone knowing you’re going to get drilled into the end boards.
Don’t tell me about the “tough guys” of the games, the guys who scrap. Tell me about the Van Ryns who make that play night after night. Those are the tough guys. Those are the players you need more of to make a tough hockey team.
So Van Ryn was making the right play. So too was Tom Kostopoulos, a 29-year-old winger from Mississauga who isn’t in the league to be fancy and score but to skate hard, finish his check and be a grinding forward.
In case you missed the hit, you can see it here...
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
A 6-3 Toronto victory, during which the home side outplayed Les Glorieux by a hefty margin, was marred in the first period when Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn was sent to hospital with a concussion, broken nose and broken left hand after he was smashed from behind into the boards by Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos. Later in the period, Leafs rookie defenceman Luke Schenn went hard into the boards when he was tripped by Andrei Kostitsyn.
Van Ryn, who was knocked out on the play, will be out for at least a month. Schenn was not hurt.
read on a and a video of the Kostopoulos hit on Van Ryn below
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
Guy Carbonneau didn’t hold back when he was asked about the Canadiens’ 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
“It was the most embarrassing game I’ve ever been associated with,” said the coach whose team has back-to-back games for the first time this season.
There was plenty of room for embarrassment here.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Wilson is a modernist, in the way he applies technology and statistical analysis to the game of hockey, and he is a traditionalist, in the way he believes his players ought to feel a special responsibility donning the uniform.
He does not suffer fools, he is expansive in conversation, he is confident of being the smartest guy in most rooms (or at very least, dressing rooms), he has won more than 500 games in a sport where anyone resembling an egghead is met with a degree of suspicion, he has taken one team to the Stanley Cup final and been fired three times.
And Wilson talks in a way the Toronto sports crowd is still trying to process.
from Bill Clement at NBC Sports,
Toronto is off to a surprisingly good start. Who would have figured the Leafs to get 14 of their first 26 possible points? Who would have figured that in the first week of November they would be eighth in the Eastern Conference standings after finishing 12th last season? Not many people, maybe not anyone.
Toronto coming out of the gate this impressively raises the very interesting question of can the Maple Leafs keep it up? Can they exceed expectations and most importantly to their faithful, can they end their playoff drought?
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
“We always have concerns, but to me team toughness is more important than anything,” Fletcher said. “Would we entertain getting a tough guy at some stage? Sure, but only if he could fit in and play some hockey too.
“But we’re not out there pounding the pavement or making telephone calls to see if anything’s available,” Fletcher added. “I think we can handle ourselves.”
Fletcher reiterated that it is quiet on the trade front but he is open to deal for some offence, likely giving up one of the club’s inactive defenceman, probably Ian White, who hasn’t played a regular season game as of yet, or Carlo Colaiacovo, who has been a healthy scratch for five games in a row.
more on the Leafs who are not interested in Shanahan…
From Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News,
Try wrapping your brain around some of these absurdities:
• The Toronto Maple Leafs are a firing squad. Overall, the Leafs are averaging 34.1 shots per game, third-best in the league. But in its past five games, Toronto is putting an average of 40 pucks on goal, including a 48-shot effort Tuesday night against New Jersey.
There may be a dearth of talent among the Leafs forward group (hence the low goal total despite all the shots), but to borrow and alter the meaning of a phrase from Jay-Z, you can’t knock the hustle.
read on for more unexpected weirdness this NHL season
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
The improved Leafs.
Well, actually, they’re not. Paul Maurice had the team 4-2-2 out of the gate last season, good enough for 10 points.
...Against a slumping Ottawa team on Saturday, the Leafs were first to the puck all night and outskated a Senators team that used to outskate the Leafs with ease.
But was that more of a measure of the Sens or the Leafs?
The Boston victory was impressive because it was a comeback win, and in three games last week, the Leafs allowed just six goals, certainly evidence of enhanced defensive play.
But two games in an 82-game slate don’t prove much, and Wilson’s dilemma, just as it was for Pat Quinn and Paul Maurice and those that came before, is that the city is as easily satisfied as the players.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
Some things you get over. You move on, and life goes on, and the what-ifs just seem to melt away with the years. Graeme Townshend wishes he had scored 500 goals and played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League, instead of three goals and 45 NHL games….
Lake Charles is in Louisiana, in the Deep South—the Old South—where a Confederate flag is still often viewed as a symbol of states’ rights and better days….
Townshend did not know this when he moved his family into the house on Comanche Street in the town of Sulphur, a suburb of Lake Charles, in the summer of 1997. He only knew Sulphur was where “the best schools were,” and he wanted the best for Seth. He had no idea he would be the only black man in the neighbourhood. And over the next two years the Townshends would learn an indelible lesson about race relations in the Deep South—the Old South—where simple, plain-as-day facts, such as the colour of a man’s skin, mean everything.
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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