Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun talk about the soaring Jets and the struggling Capitals.
Burnside: ...they shocked the NHL’s hottest team, the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins 2-1. That was the first regulation loss in 16 games for the Bruins, who look like they have repeat on the brain. But the Jets hunkered down and played tough against the cream of the Eastern Conference. They’ve now won three in a row and seven of their past 10. The goaltending and defense seems to be coming around after some pretty wacky moments through the first quarter of the season. As of this writing, they are but one point out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and you have to commend Claude Noel for keeping his team on track when they could have gone completely sideways.
LeBrun: ...I’m not sure I’ve heard an NHL crowd that loud or passionate all season than what was on display at the MTS Centre last night. There are going to be growing pains as the Jets build this team, but it’s nights like Tuesday that remind you just why it was the right call to put a team back in Manitoba.
more at ESPN…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Matty’s Short Shifts:
• Winnipeg Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien is the most unique player in the NHL, but nobody can convince me he’s a true NHL defenceman. True, he misses the creative Tobias Enstrom, who covers up a lot of mistakes, but Big Buf is a forward masquerading as a blue-liner. Stick him in front of an opposing net and he’s a terror. Play him on the point on the power play with his ripper (100 shots so far this season), but play him on the wing at even strength.
• If Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is actually listening to pitches from teams on Bobby Ryan, he should take a trip down memory lane and ask former Jets GM John Paddock if he’d like a do-over on that trade of a young Teemu Selanne to the Ducks for Oleg Tverdovsky and Chad Kilger. I don’t think that one turned out too well.
much more from Matheson…
“They should support me, maybe I’m one of the reasons they moved here.”
-Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils, responding to the Winnipeg fans who booed him tonight. More on the Devils from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger.
from Bartley Kives of the Winnipeg Free Press,
All of Winnipeg’s major arts organizations are suffering at the gate during the first fall season in 15 years to see the likes of opera, ballet and theatre face off against the National Hockey League.
In what’s being described as an unprecedented situation, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg Art Gallery and Royal Winnipeg Ballet are experiencing disappointing fall seasons as walk-up attendance falls short of expectations….
While the arts administrators do not draw a direct correlation between soft sales and the return of the NHL, they said it would be foolish to ignore the attention devoted to the league’s heavily anticipated return to a city desperate to watch hockey again.
“We’re all thrilled the Winnipeg Jets are back, but the entertainment dollar is the entertainment dollar. There is only so much of it,” said Manitoba Opera’s Desrochers.
Andre Deveaux of the New York Rangers and Zach Bogosian of the Winnipeg Jets each face NHL disciplinary hearings today for incidents that occurred in separate games Wednesday night.
Deveaux received a match penalty for a hit to the head of Florida’s Tomas Fleischmann at 10:59 of the second period.
Bogosian will have his hearing for a hit on Washington’s Cody Eakin at 9:21 of the 2nd period. Bogosian was not penalized on the play.
You can watch the Bogosian hit below and Deveaux hit here...
A fanned shot from the point by Pronger leads to a shorthanded goal for the Jets.
Here kid, have my stick.
“I’m pretty sure good people, beautiful people live in Winnipeg. I’m pretty sure passionate fans. I didn’t mean it and I don’t want to offend anybody. I just I sincerely apologize if I offend somebody, fans in Canada and Winnipeg. I didn’t mean it to be honest.”
-Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Today Bryzgalov apologized for the statement he made when it was a possibility the Coyotes could be moving to Winnipeg, remember?
“Not many people live there, not many Russian people there,” he said at the time. “Plus, it’s cold. There’s no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It’s going to be tough life for your family.”
more from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
It’s not often a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers serves as a demarcation point for a franchise, but that’s exactly what happened to the Winnipeg Jets a week ago.
After losing to the Panthers and looking putrid doing so, the Jets were booed off the ice by their own fans. The same fans, incidentally, who waited 15 years for the NHL to return the way a spinster pines for marriage and who hadn’t seen the team in action at home in more than two weeks.
It was then the Jets stopped being cute and cuddly. And now if the team has any hope at all of making the playoffs in their first season back in Manitoba, they have to establish an identity beyond being the former Atlanta Thrashers, beyond being the new novelty act in the NHL, beyond being Canada’s seventh team.
Yes, NHL hockey belongs in Winnipeg. We all get that. Now it’s up to the Jets to prove they belong in the NHL.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Despite having moved to Winnipeg and taken on a new name and colours, the Atlanta Thrashers still, unfortunately, exist.
But a renewed campaign to permanently extinguish them is upon us.
Management and some players in the Winnipeg Jets dressing room have seen enough of the Thrashers’ way of doing things and are now intent on eliminating any remaining DNA.
Management doesn’t like the approach the group takes, as evidenced by recent comments from coach Claude Noel.
“We have to raise our standard of existence. We have a low standard of ourselves. That’s what we are right now,” said Noel. “That’s part of trying to change your identity.”
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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