Kukla's Korner Hockey
Roberto Luongo took part in an NHL tele-conference today.
Q. There was a drastic difference in play from October to November. Could you explain some of the changes that may have happened, some of the changes in mentality or in certain X’s and O’s that helped you turn things around a little bit.
ROBERTO LUONGO: Well, I think it’s a bit of both. First of all, we lost two of our top defensemen the first game in November when Kevin and Sami Salo went down. So I think that was pretty much rock bottom for us. As a team we really decided to regroup and realized that, if we’re going to win some games from now on, we’re going to have to work hard, but at the same time we’re going to have to work smart. We adjusted a couple things with our system as far as our forecheck and play in our own zone. Since then it’s really been going well for us.
from the National Post,
Vigneault likes the identity his team has forged in the last month and said that Linden doesn’t fit the type of player he is looking for on his fourth line.
“We have to look at our team identity right now,” Vigneault said yesterday, which was a day off for his players. “We have one offensive line, we have a good checking line, we are getting some identity now on that fourth line as far as grit, grind and in-your-face-type hockey ... So that’s where we are right now.
“Where does Trevor fit? If we want to be an in-your-face type team on a fourth line, Trevor doesn’t fit there. We’re in that little dilemma now.”
from the Vancouver Sun,
There is this thing in baseball about a pitcher carrying a no-hitter into the late innings: You never go near him in the dugout and you never, ever say the word “no-hitter.” Never. Ever.
So what are the Vancouver Canucks supposed to do with Roberto Luongo?...
He is shooting for his fourth straight bagel Sunday in Minnesota. The NHL record is five, set by Phoenix’s Brian Boucher four seasons ago.
“The old rule still stands about using the notorious ‘word’ before the end of a game,” Canuck goalie guru Ian Clark chuckled Friday. “Guys get into nicknaming it different things, but they don’t say the dangerous ‘word.’ They’ll use code or talk in various hushed tones, but they don’t want to be caught saying the naughty ‘word’ in case someone hears them.”
from the Vancouver Sun,
“In a way, I never doubted that I’d lost my scoring touch or something,” Naslund said. “I was just used to playing a certain way and playing with certain players. Maybe I’m more dependent on other players. I can only control my work ethic. I feel I’ve done my best. I haven’t scored lots, but I think the effort has been there all along.”...
His offensive renaissance has come since Vigneault consolidated the offence and moved Naslund on to the top unit, at even strength and on the power play, alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
from Russo’s Rants,
I watched Canucks color guy John Garrett last night between periods of the Canucks-Oil game making it like Boogaard threatened everybody on the Canucks and their significant others.
Besides continually trying to put words in Ray Ferraro’s mouth, Garrett said the league should have an IQ test for players and that Boogaard is not the “sharpest tool in the drawer.” I guarantee you Garrett has never had a conversation with Boogaard in his life.
added 1:22pm, Alanah chimes in at Canucks and Beyond. Be prepared…
“Any time a guy takes a two-hander and breaks another guy’s leg, things are bound to get heated,” Wild left winger Brian Rolston said.
Monday, the Canucks recalled minor league tough guy Mike Brown (24 fights in the past 13 months), who last season was suspended two games for a blindside hit that left the Wild’s Matt Foy with a broken nose and concussion. Wild minor league callup Aaron Voros, who has two goals, one fight and 10 hits in five games, spent Monday night on the Internet studying Brown’s fighting tendencies.
It might only be a November regular-season game, but the NHL is also prepared. It’s sent animated, take-control veteran ref Mick McGeough in for the game, and the league headquarters will have multiple sets of eyes on this fiery divisional showdown.
Many of these types of games have not lived up to the pre-game hype, wondering if this one will be different?
from the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks may start a three-game road trip in Edmonton tonight, but the focus is already on what’s shaping up as a grudge match Wednesday in Minnesota.
That would be the second half of a home-and-home series with the Wild, whom the Canucks drubbed 6-2 Friday at GM Place in a game that got very ugly. After a variety of elbows and chops, Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund two-handed Wild centre Mikko Koivu on the ankle, cracking a bone and earning himself a four-game suspension.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But we care not what Koivu did. You want to suspend Koivu for the elbow? Go ahead. Of course, it’s a moot point given that he has a broken leg.
Did we mention that? A broken leg. In the mind of NHL czar of discipline Colin Campbell, that equals four games or a paltry 5 percent of the season.
Given that Campbell went all soft on Randy Jones a couple of weeks ago by giving the Philadelphia defenseman just two games for a hit from behind that may have ended Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s season, four games seems just about right on the NHL’s sliding scale of mayhem.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund has been suspended for four games, without pay, as a result of a slashing incident during NHL game #277 against the Minnesota Wild, Nov. 16.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Ohlund will forfeit $74,866.32. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 16:06 of the third period when Ohlund struck Minnesota player Mikko Koivu with a slash. He was assessed a slashing major and game misconduct. Koivu suffered a broken bone in his left leg on the play.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
If Mattias Ohlund is suspended, it would happen before tomorrow because Vancouver has a game.
It’ll be an interesting decision. After seeing the replay again more closely well after game, one wonders if league disciplinarian Colin Campbell will take into account Ohlund was reacting to Koivu’s attempted elbow.
I would think he would want to suspend him to perhaps keep Wednesdays rematch more civil and to also keep Ohlund safe.
Also, ill tell you what, after looking at Marian Gaborik’s elbow on Ryan Kesler again, he’s lucky he didn’t get a major. It was a leap at Kesler’s head.
*More on this situation written by myself earlier today.
*Additional info on possible suspension time for Ohlund on Jason Botchford’s blog at The Province
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 firstname.lastname@example.org