Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Carter Gaddis at The Tampa Tribune,
Foremost in Vinny Prospal’s mind coming into his 11th NHL season was to get off to a good start. After a drop in production to 55 points last year from 80 in 2005-06, it was imperative that he not allow the downward spiral to begin again.
“I just didn’t want to go through what I went through last year,” Prospal said after scoring two goals in Tampa Bay’s 5-2 victory Saturday against Atlanta. “Everybody struggles, but it’s always easier when you get to that point in the season when you have something to look back to. And last year, from the beginning, I really didn’t have anything to look back to.”
Prospal — who has entered the final year of his contract with the Lightning — didn’t score his third goal last season until the team’s 18th game on Nov. 15. Through two games, he has three goals.
Wings forward Johan Franzen is expected to miss three-to-four weeks with a Grade 2 sprain to his right medial collateral ligament, general manager Ken Holland said Sunday. Holland said either Matt Ellis or Aaron Downey will replace Franzen in the lineup. No one will be re-called from Grand Rapids.
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Mark Recchi and Darryl Sydor have been friends for years.
They became teammates in July. And Wednesday, they will officially become co-owners of a hockey team.
Recchi and Sydor are part of a five-man group that has negotiated the acquisition of their old Western Hockey League club, the Kamloops Blazers, for a reported $7 million.
*And other notes on the Penguins this week, including nicknames on their sticks, etc.
From the Edmonton Sun,
Don Cherry thinks Steve Downie got off easy.
The outspoken commentator said Downie should have been suspended 30 games for his preseason hit on Dean McAmmond during Saturday night’s segment of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.
Cherry called the hit by the Philadelphia Flyers forward on the Senators defenceman a “cheap shot” and added that players shouldn’t hit like that in the preseason.
Video of Cherry’s comments can be viewed on the CBC video player. There is no direct link, but just click on the “Hockey Night in Canada” link on the left, then the sub-menu will provide a link to the October 6th edition of Coach’s Corner.
note: unfortunately, U.S. viewers may not be able to access the video, unless you have a way of accessing the page using a Canadian proxy IP.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres were outworked by the Islanders, just as they were in the postseason last year. New York outshot Buffalo, 34-26. The Sabres were sloppy defensively, which led to goalie Ryan Miller having a tough night. Toni Lydman had no excuse for taking a breather on Mike Comrie’s second goal, but he was hardly alone….
If that continues, it’s going to be a long season. Ruff can address such issues with a dryerase board or a few bag skates. They should be fine, but we’ll see. Quick question: Was “fine” ever acceptable for Chris Drury or Daniel Briere?
Steve Zipay at On the Rangers Beat states Sean Avery has a sprained shoulder…
We don’t know how severe; he’ll be evaluated tomorrow (Sunday).
Check out the video of the hit Neil put on Avery…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Will the Hawks be better? Sure, but marginally. They aren’t playoff-bound just yet.
Will they be more interesting? Absolutely—and by a lot. This is a team worth watching, even if those watchers won’t see enough victories to put it in the playoffs. Optimistically, I see an 82-point season, which is notably up from the 71 of last season, which was up from the 65 of the year before, which was up from the 59 in the last season before the NHL lockout. Progress will be made, however slowly.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
“It’s like he had a week off instead of three months. He’s continued right from where he left off in the playoffs,” Senators coach John Paddock said of Alfredsson. “I couldn’t come up with enough superlatives to describe the way he’s playing.”
“He has been just unbelievable to start the season. Everything he touches ... he’s skating well, shooting well. He just sees the ice so well,” said Senators centre Mike Fisher of his captain.
Alfredsson stood out on a night when the Senators got a great team effort. The penalty killing was flawless again and is now a perfect 20-for-20 on the season.
from On Frozen Blog,
We would have blogged with passion aplenty absent any intervention from the Washington Capitals, but in reflecting on the past year, we’re overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the team’s communications professionals, its athletes, and that filmmaker fella with the nice perch at Verizon Center. The very first comment left at OFB one year ago today was from Mike Vogel. The second came from Ted Leonsis. The next thing we knew we were being invited into Verizon Center’s press box and players’ rooms. What’s excited us most about that remarkable hospitality is its visionary democracy: the Caps have led the entire professional sports industry in laying out the welcome mat to committed bloggers, and there were times last season when a press box row was populated entirely by bloggers.
Without a doubt, the Caps are very blogger friendly. I remember my first interview with Ted Leonsis…Phone rings at my home, “Hi Paul, it’s Ted”...
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The Rangers, who want the right to control their own website instead of adopting the league’s “homogenized ... cookie cutter” model, argue the addition of Drury and Gomez have “made the Rangers a strong contender ... creating enormous opportunities to increase traffic to the Rangers website, as well as to use the Rangers website to cultivate fan excitement, attract new fans, and enhance the Rangers business.”
The Rangers surely won’t need to draw on their new high-priced forwards in court. It looks like history may be on their side.
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