Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When you consider what the bodies of the Vancouver Canuck players have been through in the last four days, it was pretty surprising they were as close to winning as they were last night.
When you mention they’ve just played three games in four nights with a diagonal trip across the continent thrown in just to make it fun, it sounds like you’re making excuses for these guys.
But the fact is it doesn’t matter how much money you get paid, how well conditioned you might be or how well you’re supposed to perform, the human body is simply not going to function at the level required to win at this league.
Just why the NHL does this to the customers they so desperately need to please is a mystery. Really, at what point is the insatiable greed which begets this type of ridiculous scheduling counter-productive?
Both Mats Sundin and Vigneault have indicated that he will not play tonight and while Sundin will debut in a Canucks sweater tonight for jersey off our backs fan appreciation night, neither have a confirmed date for his debut in a Canucks sweater on skates.
“I haven’t even thought about dates to be honest with you,” said Sundin. “I’ll play it by day.”
Sundin continued skating in solo sessions while the team travelled to Nashville and Atlanta and participated in two game-day skates but has yet to join the team in a full practice since arriving at GM Place December 30.
“I think I need to skate with the team just once,” he said. “I haven’t had one practice yet with the whole group so I think getting a good practice, with two days, tomorrow and the next day, and then we can evaluate how everything feels.”
more on the Canucks…
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Just 22 seconds into Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver, Tootoo dropped the gloves with Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows, who’d infuriated the Predators last month by leveling Nashville’s J.P. Dumont with a flying check.
“I was just sticking up for my teammates,’’ said Tootoo, who missed the previous Vancouver game. “The last game we didn’t have that physical play there. We wanted to set the tone and we did that.’‘
Tootoo had to do some talking to Burrows before the Canucks forward was willing to fight, but Tootoo made short work of him.
“Obviously he knows what kind of fighter I am and he was a little intimidated,’’ Tootoo said. “But if you’re going to be able to dish it out, you’re going to have to be able to handle it. He knew it was coming.’‘
more on the Predators and watch the fight below…
The Vancouver Canucks placed Curtis Sanford on injury reserve Tuesday and listed the goaltender as week-to-week.
With star netminder Roberto Luongo (groin) still on the mend until at least the All-Star break, the Canucks acquired Jason LaBarbera from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 7th round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry draft.
Sanford suffered a groin injury in Tuesday’s morning skate but had hoped the injury would loosen up prior to the evening contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Boston Bruins have placed forward Patrice Bergeron on injured reserve.
“His headaches are always better as we move on. But they’re still there,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Globe. “That’s the reality of it. He is feeling better, and certainly at a better rate than the first time it happened. It’s not even comparable. But the headaches are still there. They’re minimizing every day and hopefully, sooner or later, they’ll disappear.”
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
The Kings have traded Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks for a seventh-round draft pick in 2009.
We all know it’s a long season and I missed the playoffs the last few seasons, so I’m going to do what I can to help the team get into the playoffs. That’s the most important thing, to secure a playoff spot.”
-Mats Sundin after his first practice with the Vancouver Canucks. More at the Vancouver Sun.
The Vancouver Canucks will be without the services of Taylor Pyatt for an indefinite period of time after the winger suffered a broken right foot in Friday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
The injury looked to happen late in the second period when Pyatt’s right skate caught a Willie Mitchell slap shot from in front of the Canucks net.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
It has taken a self-inflicted wound to keep Teemu Selanne from inflicting more pain on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at GM Place. It has also reopened debate within the NHL Players Association whether players are properly protected from razor-sharp blades penetrating ultra-thin uniforms….
“You think about the socks and how much that plays a role in it and how thin they are these days,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday. “I know I’ve spoken about it to a few people on the NHLPA and hopefully it’s something they address.”
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Now that he’s a Vancouver Canuck, all bets are off on whether Mats Sundin will play again and where.
But that doesn’t mean wagering and Sundin can’t be used in the same sentence. Aside from the daily (hourly?) updates regarding Sundin until the merciful conclusion last week, the Big Swede had been most visible as a so-called “celebrity supporter” of Pokerstars.net.
While not associated with sports wagering, the free poker website is affiliated with a play-for-cash one based in the Isle of Man, a haven for internet gaming. Sundin’s link to the wildly popular poker site hasn’t raised red flags with NHL brass officially, but the league is at least investigating the association.
“We need to understand the nature of the relationship and the entity it’s with before we have an official position,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sun Media via e-mail yesterday.
“But I don’t anticipate that it is inconsistent with any of our policies. Pokerstars does not accept wagers.”
continued plus more hockey notes…
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Sundin is expected to make his debut with the Vancouver Canucks any time after New Year’s Day. He is 37, two-and-a-half years older than Niedermayer, with nearly 200 more NHL games played than the Anaheim defenceman.
“You’re stepping into a season [that is already] underway, where the team has got things going. Strategy-wise, personnel-wise … they’re already set with their D-partners, powerplay, penalty kill,” Niedermayer said. “And physically, there is a lot going on, obviously. Your legs, your hands…”...
“He has to have patience. His expectations will have to be a bit lower, at first,” Selanne warned Sundin. “It took me three weeks.”...
“It depends on how much intensity there has been in his workouts. You can’t know,” Carlyle said. “If it’s a sore hip, a sore groin, a sore back… Without the benefit of training camp, that’s one thing you have to be wary of. In essence, this is his training camp now.”
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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