Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Are the Canucks that fiery team who started off the season guns blazing, or are they the team critics warned fans about back in July, the one that won’t have enough skill to compete? It’s a plate-half-full, half-empty question, and the answer depends entirely on how hungry you are.
“We had basically been on a high since the first preseason game. We started getting loose. We were too loose [Monday],” Henrik Sedin said. “After that loss, everyone seems hungrier, refocused, re-energized. We aren’t as loose any more.
“Thursday’s is a big game for us and we are going to show if we can come back from a big loss like that.”
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
When healthy, the Canucks have a top-5 defense. In goal, they have “The Captain,” Luongo, who figures to be better than he was last season.
I wanted to hate the Canucks because I don’t like it when ownership does goofy things that set their franchise backward, especially in a hockey-crazy place like Vancouver. Luckily, the new GM has inherited a pretty good group from the old GM.
I like the Canucks (much more than I thought I would).
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
While his teammates flew to Washington on Sunday to continue a six-game road trip, Kevin Bieksa flew back to Vancouver to have his injured left knee further evaluated.
The Canucks defenceman will have an MRI [magnetic resonance image] on Sunday to assess how long he’ll be sidelined following a first-period collision Saturday with Wayne Primeau..
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Geez, tough marker. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault appeared reluctant to give the Flames much credit for their one clear decision — Jarome Iginla’s left-hand flooring of Willie Mitchell in the first period.
“They have a great leader obviously in Jarome and he was a man on a mission tonight,” said Vigneault after his team’s 4-3 overtime triumph on Pavol Demitra’s heroics. “But you know Willie was a man on a mission too — he did a great job defensively against him and he stood up toe to toe. If Jarome’s sweater doesn’t rip, I don’t think he wins that one.”
continued for more reaction to the OT win by Calgary and watch the Iginal/Mitchell battle below…
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
...Even Flames President Ken King has said that Bertuzzi, having paid his penalty (an indefinite suspension that amounted to 20 NHL games, approximately $500,000 in lost salary, plus assault charges that yielded a year’s probation with community service and no criminal record), deserves a second chance. Despite polls that indicate a split opinion in that regard, King maintains that fans in Calgary are willing to give it to the notorious forward.
Funny, but I can’t help but wonder who speaks for Steve Moore.
Moore can’t say much on his own. The matter, more than four years removed from the terrible event, has still not made its way into court. Because of that, there is a moratorium regarding public comments on the case in Canada.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
He can’t wear a ‘C’ on his jersey, but Roberto Luongo doesn’t see how the league could stop him from putting one on his mask.
League rules prohibit a goalie from being a captain, and during games the NHL will not recognize Luongo, the first netminder to captain a team since 1948, in the role.
Because of the rule, the NHL also does not permit a goalie to wear a ‘C’ on his jersey. But Luongo said he has given some thought to painting one on his mask
“It could mean anything, it could be C for Canucks,” Luongo said..
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Canuck general manager Mike Gillis vowed Sunday to let players determine the market and said he won’t set limits on how many new players could make the National Hockey League team or how many veterans—who are on one-way contracts—might need to shed.
“I think the timing is right this year for that approach,” Gillis said. “We were determined to change the makeup of the team as best we could. You have to allow players to compete if you want competitive behaviour. You have to give players the opportunity.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Province,
As he looked back Thursday, Naslund admitted he wasn’t overly happy here last season and that the Todd Bertuzzi incident weighed heavily on him, given he and his former linemate are close and it was he who was, in a small way, part of the reason the whole thing took place. After all, it was Naslund who was originally nailed by Steve Moore in Denver….
“It still bothers me what Todd has had to go through over this and the way it’s dragged on and on over the years,” said Naslund.
“I still keep in close contact with him and it’s been tough on him. It’s taken its toll. There’s no question he was standing up for me and for his teammates when it happened, and it all went too far. All of the circumstances around it went the wrong way and got out of hand. It’s been a long road and he’s been through a lot. I feel bad for him and the way it’s worked out for everyone involved.”
more from Naslund as he talks about his days in Vancouver…
from the CP via the Sporting News,
Ohlund sidestepped the question of whether he would waive his no-trade clause.
“I’ve never been asked,” he said. “As far as I know, I’ll be here.”
He could fetch a lucrative new deal with another team in the offseason, because many teams would covet his offensive prowess and defensive dependability.
While open to moving on, he is also willing to negotiate a new deal with Vancouver during the season.
Meanwhile, Ohlund’s more immediate concerns are to help the Canucks return to the playoffs—and rebound from one of the most difficult seasons in his career.
from the Canucks Nation Blog at the Vancouver Province,
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault didn’t say Kyle Wellwood is a lost cause but he did leave some tread marks on the waiver-wire pickup after he drove the bus over him.
AV took direct aim at Wellwood’s fitness level after the two-day training camp in Whislter.
“His commitment to conditioning and being a professional athlete probably wasn’t where it needed to be for him to have success,” said Vigneault. “His test results showed from early July [to training camp] significant improvements. That being said, it’s still not NHL calibre.”
Ouch. And that wasn’t the only shot that Wellwood absorbed.
added 9:17pm, More on this from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun…
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 email@example.com