Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Kansas City Star,
When Columbus was awarded an NHL franchise in 1997, critics howled that the city had no business getting a team. Bob Kravitz sarcastically wrote in the Rocky Mountain News: “It’s like I always tell my hockey-loving friends, ‘If there’s one thing I’ve always believed, it’s that Columbus, Ohio, deserves a hockey franchise.’ ”
As the NHL ponders expansion, many of the same things are being written about Kansas City.
from Lightning Strikes,
Brad Richards, limping noticeably as he left the locker room Monday night, declined comment about his injured left knee, and coach John Tortorella said he had “no idea’’ about his star center’s status. Richards, though, did travel with the team to Montreal, where the Lightning plays on Tuesday.
That the Lightning lost 6-1 to the Maple Leafs in what Tortorella called “just an old-fashioned (expletive) kicking’’ was bad enough, but consider the possibilities if Richards is out
from the Ice Hole,
So, it turns out a “coach’s hunch” is a rib contusion.
Good, now we know.
It was strange to everyone when Roberto Luongo didn’t address the media after the Penguins game Saturday. It was out of character and the first instinct of many was that Luongo was suffering some sort of injury.
The Canucks had made the decision to hide the injury and their commitment to that decision went from the odd to the ridiculous.
Well we know the Ducks are soon to make a trade and this bit from the Ducks Blog adds to it; or does it?...
With the Ducks down to six defensemen because of a bruised knee that sidelined Kent Huskins for a third consecutive game, the club signed and recalled minor-league veteran Bruno St. Jacques from American League affiliate Portland, Maine. St. Jacques might have been in the lineup because of a nagging injury plaguing one of the club’s defensemen who did play, but weather-related delays prevented St. Jacques from arriving from Portland in time for the game.
from Russo’s Rants,
Jacques Lemaire, without much prodding I may add, called out his “skilled players” after today’s practice, saying their scoring slumps have become an “emergency” as the Wild continue to be severely offensively challenged (two goals or fewer in 15 games).
He says they need to work harder to get out of these slumps and that there’s a difference in opinion in what they think “working hard” means and what the coaches think “working hard” means.
Of all the people to bang the “let’s pick on the goalies because we only need to pick on thirty guys to increase goal scoring” drum, Eric Duhatschek certainly went on the attack last Tuesday afternoon:
Two years after the NHL introduced rule changes in order to spur offence - limits to obstruction, no more centre red line for offside, a trapezoid behind the net to limit goalies handling the puck — it appears as if goaltenders are in the ascendancy again.
Scoring is down almost a goal per game since the early post-lockout days. The rule changes — and rule enforcements — may have changed the game for the better, but it did nothing to help the bottom line. For anyone who wanted to see an up-tick in scoring, it just hasn’t happened.
via Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Burke is sitting on some deals that could be done in a heartbeat. He could move veteran Defenceman Sean O’Donnell for a draft pick or package defenceman Shane Hnidy and forward Brad May and the financial issues would be solved. But Burke is entertaining the idea of a “hockey trade” that would improve the Ducks and defenceman Mathieu Schneider would be part of that were it to happen.
from Thrashers Blog,
A couple of you noticed Fred Brathwaite’s disappearance from the Chicago Wolves. He got a bunch of money from a Russian team to play there. Officially, he was suspended by the Thrashers for failure to report, but there’s little the team can do about it because there’s no agreement with the Russian hockey federation.
more on the Thrashers including Recchi’s first practice…
From the CP via TSN,
Murray employs a tough style that is ‘‘demanding not demeaning’’ and puts a lot of responsibility on the players. After arriving in St. Louis, he found a group of men that felt as if they had let down Mike Kitchen, the man Murray replaced behind the bench.
The Blues have gone a combined 43-28-10 since - including 16-10-1 so far this season. His message to the players has been simple.
‘‘Basically we just tried to sell a belief system that if we played hard every night and competed that we would have an opportunity to be successful,’’ said Murray. ‘‘Losing is misery ... I think the players were just fed up with the way they were feeling here.’‘
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
Crosby will definitely be “The Man” in the NHL for the next 15 years and deservedly so. But are people overlooking what Lecavalier is doing for the Tampa Bay Lightning right now?
“He is the best player in the league; I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Lightning GM Jay Feaster said on the phone to Sportsnet.ca from Tampa on Monday. “I thought he was the best player in the league last year. I think he’s the most complete two-way player in the game today.”
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