Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the News & Observer,
Riding a season-best, five-game win streak, Carolina (20-14-4) faces the Buffalo Sabres on the road tonight and the Anaheim Ducks at home Friday.
“It’s two big tests for our hockey club,” Carolina center Eric Staal said. “If we want to show we will be in the thick of things, we need to play well and to get wins in these two games.”...
“Every team wants to play good against us, because we won the Cup last year, the same way you want to play good against the best teams in the league,” Walker said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve got them back-to-back.”
from the Delco Times,
Peter Forsberg and Robert Esche were back, but now it looks like Antero Niittymaki will be gone for at least a little while. And the soap opera continues for the Flyers, who, by the way, lost for the 10th straight time, 3-1 to the Florida Panthers.
Forsberg played, but got winded after the first period. Esche played too, but only because Niittymaki got hurt.
Niittymaki said he felt pain in his left groin for most of the game and that it kept getting worse and worse.
via the Arizona Republic,
The NHL lifted its holiday roster freeze on Wednesday, and according to multiple sources the Coyotes have been getting inquiries from other teams about impending unrestricted free agents Ladislav Nagy, Mike Comrie and Shane Doan.
No deals are imminent, but by virtue of their weak offensive numbers, those three players have given the Coyotes no choice but to consider all offers.
The Coyotes might be willing to part with one, two or all three forwards considering there are several younger forwards waiting in the wings…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Unlike a handful of other players, Vyborny never went batty while trapped in a culture of losing. He never requested a trade, never quit playing hard, never headed back to the Czech Republic.
And now that the Blue Jackets are tasting victory and tracking upward under coach Ken Hitchcock, nobody’s enjoying the success more than Vyborny.
“It’s more fun to go home at night,” Vyborny said. “It’s more fun to come to the rink the next day.
“It’s something new for all of us here, including the fans. We’ve waited for it, a long time.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Sitting among the National Hockey League scouts yesterday was Steve Yzerman, who retired from the NHL in July after more than 1,500 games with the Detroit Red Wings. Yzerman now is vice-president of hockey with Detroit and has adjusted well to life off the ice.
“I’m still learning a lot about what goes on behind closed doors with the front office,” said Yzerman, who won three Stanley Cups with the Wings. “I can watch these players, but I don’t know how to project them. That’s what I am trying to learn from our scouts, talking to them about what they look for in a junior that will make a player a good NHL player.”
Nolan’s anger boiled over last night, and it cost the Isles whatever chance they had of coming back in a tight one-goal battle with Ottawa. Reacting to simultaneous minors against Alexei Yashin and Richard Park that gave the Senators a five-on-three power play for a full two minutes at the 12:30 mark of the third, Nolan told referee Eric Furlatt exactly what he thought of the officiating.
Recounting the confrontation, Nolan said, “He asked me what I said. I said, ‘It’s a—call.’ He asked me again, and I told him again. He asked me a third time, and I told him a third time. He asked for it, and I just told him what I said.”
from the Palm Beach Post,
The search for an assistant general manager to work with Panthers GM and coach Jacques Martin drew interest from one candidate on Wednesday while losing another.
NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, who served as an assistant coach for Martin in Ottawa, said he “would definitely have an interest” in the position.
“Jacques created an excellent situation in Ottawa, and I know that, given time, he’ll do the same in Florida,” Murphy said from NHL offices in Toronto.
from the Star-Tribune,
Boogaard said he thinks he can’t find a willing combatant because his horrifying uppercut that rearranged the face of Anaheim’s Todd Fedoruk on Oct. 27 has become folklore.
“That just means they’re scared,” Boogaard said. “They don’t want to get hurt.”
Plus, the prototypical NHL fighter is a dying breed.
“We’re not playing a lot of physical teams right now,” Boogaard said. “They don’t feel they need a guy, so I’ll just go out and do whatever I want. I’ll just run them over.”
from Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated,
Hockey names can also tangle the tongue or eyes. Trying saying (or reading) Guillaume Latendresse or Antero Niittymaki three times fast. Consider the games between the Rangers and Devils several years ago that featured the following players: Randy Moller, Kirk Muller, Corey Millen, Kevin Miller and Brian Mullen. The broadcasters were fortunate that Mike Millar was with Toronto at the time.
from the Province,
“I’m not disappointed in falling a spot,” Fitzpatrick said. “If I fall a couple more spots that would be even better. That way there’d be no chance of me having to make a decision on whether to play in the game. Then everybody who thinks this is so important and has personal things to say can drop it and move on to the next story.”
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