Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Peter Horachek has tried everything to light a fire under the big-name, small-effort Maple Leafs.
Now the heat is really on them, starting with a game against an old rival with playoff aspirations on a Saturday night. If the highest-paid Leafs aren’t pumped when they skate out on Canadian Tire Centre ice to face the Senators and their Hamburglar goalie -- with some diehard fans on hand -- then they truly have no pulse.
“We’re NHL players,” said winger Phil Kessel after Friday’s practice. “You’re paid to do that job and you’re held to that standard. It’s your job to work hard and try your best. Obviously, lately, it hasn’t been great. But we’re paid to work hard, try your best and I think guys do that.
“It’s an important game for them and you always want to try and knock teams out of a playoff spot.”
The Sens need a win to sustain their late-season drive and add to the Hamburglar hype of Andrew Hammond, now with a record of 12-0-1.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
• I asked a scout earlier this week about what the trade value of Rangers’ backup/late-season hero Cam Talbot is likely to be. The answer won’t thrill New York’s fans. “Best-case for the Rangers? If they find someone really desperate? Maybe a second rounder,” the scout said. “More likely, though, a third and a little something on the side. Depends on where the [acquiring team] is picking.” He also said that unless he was blown away by the offer, he’d be inclined to retain Talbot if he was Rangers GM Glen Sather. “He’s cheap [$1.45 million] and reliable. You never know what can happen. He’s quality insurance.”
• The same scout on Toronto’s Phil Kessel: “He's a unique talent, but I don’t know about him. I think he’d excel as a supporting player on a top team, but if that’s true do you want to assume the risk that comes with him? You’d have to have faith in your leadership’s ability to bring him into the mix [and] find him a place where he fits in. It would take him a long time to get out from under [this] cloud, you know? I'd prefer a guy with a lower ceiling who was lower maintenance.”
many more hockey topics...
A clip of Peter Horachek post-game after Toronto's 4-1 loss to San Jose.
Watch the full, post-game Q & A with Horachek below...
Numerous report of Nazem Kadri receiving a four game suspension for a bad hit a few nights ago.
I will update this post as soon as the official NHL suspension is released, but in the meantime, here is the hit.
added 12:59pm, NHL suspension video is below...
Two minutes for illegal hit to the head for Kadri on this hit...
Andrew Ference with a message for Kadri, watch below...
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
- Early in the 2005-06 season, the Boston Bruins stunned the hockey world when they traded Joe Thornton to San Jose for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau. On the surface, the deal made no sense. Thornton was then a 26-year-old centre who’d averaged over 80 points a season over the three previous seasons in the middle of the dead-puck era. The three players the Bruins received in return were all second-liners.
In search of illumination, I asked a Bruins insider why they’d make that deal.
“Because Joe’s not a leader and he’ll never be a leader,” said the insider.
Thought about that last week when the feud between Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Thornton became public. Thornton has put up big numbers in San Jose but the Sharks have never made it out of the West with him as the team’s leader.
The Bruins, you may be aware, won the Stanley Cup five years after the trade.
- Spot quiz. What do Zach Sill, T.J. Brennan, Andrew MacWilliam, Joakim Lindstrom and Brandon Kozun have in common?
Class? Anyone? Anyone?
No, they are not five people who’ve never been in my kitchen. They all played for the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. It’s sad, really.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
You have to wonder what the highly paid minds at Rogers are thinking these days about their Sportsnet’s investment in the NHL rights for the next 10 years.
Certainly the first year couldn’t possibly have gone much worse, particularly with their flagship-bearing team, the Toronto Maple Leafs in which they also have part ownership, being so bad at this point it’s actually hard to believe.
There is so much room on the ice for the opposition when they play. The Canucks must have thought they had stepped out of a straight jacket and onto a frozen Pacific ocean when it comes to the difference in skating room between the Leafs and LA Kings.
And what has to trouble those who invested the $5.2 billion into this product, expecting an uptick in ratings which has most certainly not materialized, is that there is no particular reason to think this team is going to get any better in the near future. That's at least if you look at it reasonably in terms of hiring people who might be able to turn it around.
"It's on us" says Leafs' coach Peter Horachek.
Kadri met with the media after practice today, he is scheduled to play tomorrow night.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I asked interim head coach Peter Horachek after Thursday's practice how he would have reacted had I told him in training camp that everything listed above was going to happen.
"Take a hike," Horachek said would have been his answer, and while he was chuckling, it's probably true.
I posed the same question to goalie James Reimer, to put himself back at camp and imagine for a moment that the season would have rolled out like this nightmare.
"No, going back to camp, I thought we had put a pretty good group here," Reimer said Thursday. "Obviously you're never going to have the perfect team, but we definitely had potential to do some stuff. If a team comes together, that's a real possibility. A lot of bad habits crept into our game. We just weren't able to correct them and things just kind of fell apart."
The Maple Leafs' headline-a-minute season has been the talk of the NHL. One cannot get off the phone with a coach or scout or team executive without the Leafs coming up unprompted in the conversation.
We asked one rival team executive Thursday how he would put the Leafs' season into words.
"Before the season began, they undercut a very good GM by firing his support staff," said the executive, referring to Dave Nonis and his assistants, Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin, who were let go last summer. "They fired a good -- albeit tough -- coach in Randy Carlyle before the midway point in the season and declared that his replacement was only a temp.
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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