Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the CP,
Ottawa right-winger Daniel Alfredsson and Dallas goaltender Marty Turco are the NHL's players of the month for November. Alfredsson was named top offensive player after amassing 25 points - 13 goals and 12 assists - and posting a plus-14 on the plus-minus scale in 12 games. He helped the Senators to a league-best 11-1-0 record during the month. Ottawa's captain edged Atlanta Thrashers left-wing llya Kovalchuk (13-13), Los Angeles Kings centre Pavol Demitra (6-15) and Philadelphia Flyers left-winger Simon Gagne (13-7), who put up their numbers in 14 games. Turco was named top defensive player after leading all goalies in wins with a 10-2-0 record, 1.90 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Turco edged Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff (8-2-0, 1.77) and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph (7-3-0, 1.79) for the award.
Over at the Hockeyfights forum, they discovered a story in the Swedish paper Afton Bladet that Stephen Walkom is interested in finding the best officials in the world for the NHL and is trying to establish an academy of some sorts in Europe. I am all for it, find the best in the world, train them properly and the officiating will be better in the long run. The raw translation of the article can be found in the comment section of this post.
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
I knew the Broadway Blueshirts would be good the moment Sports Illustrated picked them to finish 30th - - as in dead last! - - out of the 30 NHL teams. Since SI is never right, figuring that the Rangers would be hot stuff came easy to me. Actually, there were many factors playing into my optimism over Tom Renney’s skaters. One litmus test is how well the Blueshirts play when Jaromir Jagr is off his ‘A’ game. Interestingly, they usually win because of hard work, grit and determination. Thinking Stanley Cup is not out of the question; providing Jagr and Lundqvist stay healthy – and happy!more
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Penguins led the way in increased November attendance among individual clubs, followed by Carolina (+26%), Calgary (+24%), Tampa Bay (+24%), Boston (+18%), Florida (+16%), Nashville (+16%) and San Jose (+13%).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Had Thornton been a little angrier, played with the kind of ferocity that one usually associates with a captain and one of the highest paid players in the league, there might have been legitimate Cup talk in Boston, not parting shots for a favored son. But that wasn't in Thornton's nature. Never was. In the end, it turned out to be a huge mistake on the part of the Bruins to believe he could be that player, like a Messier or a Stevens or an Yzerman. In fact, in an interview with ESPN.com shortly after signing Thornton to a three-year, $20-million deal this summer, O'Connell invoked those names, suggesting it was time for Thornton to assume that kind of leadership mantel in the Bruin dressing room.read on
from Terry Frei of ESPN,
As soon as I'm done with this, I will have to battle the irresistible urge to call one of the Boston sports-talk radio stations and whine. ("Long-time listener, first-time caller, thanks for taking my call, hey, I mean, I gotta tell ya, was Mike O'Connell getting consulting advice from Theo Epstein on this one since Theo doesn't have anything to do these days?") It comes down to this: The Bruins are blaming Joe Thornton.continued from the Daily News,
Most hockey folks thought that would mean one of these three options: fire head coach Mike Sullivan; fire general manager Mike O'Connell; or fire both Sullivan and O'Connell. Instead, the Bruins brass decided to deal away Thornton — the player they inked to a three-year, $20 million dollar contract just 113 days ago — and get what they could for him.more
The Montreal Canadiens will be without captain Saku Koivu tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre. Koivu, with one assist in the last five games, is suffering a groin injury and the team will call up a player from Hamilton of the AHL. The Montreal Gazette reports that Koivu left practice early Wednesday after feeling what head coach Claude Julien described as "a twinge" in his groin. It's a recurring problem that Koivu has reportedly been been playing through.
Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft pick Gilbert Brule suffered a stress fracture of the fibula during Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks, according to MOJO 730 in Vancouver. The 19-year-old centre played just over 11 minutes in Wednesday's contest against the Minnesota Wild but complained of pain following the 3-2 victory. He took a couple of shifts early in the third period and then came out for about 10 seconds just after the midway point of the third and then was done for the night.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Sunday, less than 24 hours after he allowed four goals on 20 shots in Atlanta, a discouraged Roberto Luongo picked up the phone and dialed his former goalie coach, Clint Malarchuk, in Nevada. Not to talk hockey, Malarchuk said. Just to talk, for the first time since the summer, when coach Jacques Martin replaced Malarchuk with Phil Myre and Luongo found out from a reporter while on his honeymoon. Asked if he was disappointed about Malarchuk's departure, Luongo said, "That's a given. Clint is my very good friend, and he knew me and knew how to handle me. It was disappointing to see him go because we had such a good relationship."read on
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The shock value of a trade like the Joe Thornton to San Jose trade is pretty unbelievable. We knew that the Boston Bruins were in dire straits. Maybe firing the general manager or the coach wouldn't have surprised anybody. We knew the San Jose Sharks were in dire straits, but what we didn't think was that the Bruins would trade the face of their franchise and their number one overall pick from 1997.more added 9:03am, from the Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe,
Thornton was always a polite and accommodating kid. In my limited dealings with him, I found him both likable and respectful. He was neither duplicitous nor difficult. And yet, as I walked away, I couldn't help but feel something was . . . missing. He was too nice. He simply did not exhibit the killer instinct that elevates a very fine player to a feared and invaluable superstar. He should have been a leader, but he never was. He was too laid-back to fit the bill. Obviously the Bruins have come to the same conclusion.more
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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