Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
“As a player, we all have our pride, and all have a certain way we want to play and a certain way we expect ourselves to play. It’s certainly not going all that great for me, but what can I do about it. I’ve just got to worry about the next game, and, hopefully, be better tomorrow.”
Heading into tonight’s clash with the Phoenix Coyotes, Tanguay has collected 10 goals and 33 points in 40 games. It’s behind the pace he’s set in recent campaigns, but that’s just the beginning of the cloud hovering over him.
While Kristian Huselius has flourished in the top-line left-winger—earning the NHL’s second star of the week honours with yet another prolific spell—Tanguay has been demoted to the second unit.
Compound it with the fact he’s not on the top powerplay unit, and Tanguay’s offensive totals have taken a hit.
from Lightning Strikes,
Let’s look long term here for a second because in that case, it seems to me like an argument could be made that it might not be the worst thing in the world for the team to miss the playoffs. Yes, there would be some short-term pain. Ticket sales might slump, fans will scream, etc. But for a team that seems to be in a quasi-rebuilding mode anyway—a talented young goaltender and a young defense learning the ropes and growing together is not a bad thing either—the benefits might outweigh the pain.
I’m talking the draft here.
from Terry Frei at All Things Avs,
...but I think it’s clear now that the Avs have a pair of backup goalies — at best. (I know a lot of fans believe Theodore is short of that.) For a long time, this has been the pattern: When they play solid games, the sort you expect from bona fide NHL goalies, many of us (including me) overreact, treating that showing as potential harbingers. And the next thing we know, the goalie in question looks in his next start as if he’s the weak link.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It was two days since Price had struggled through a 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, having sat Saturday almost inconsolable in the dressing room.
“It’s time to move on,” he told reporters after Monday’s Bell Centre practice, only his wet jersey peeled off. “You learn what you did wrong and take what you can out of it.”
But privately a half-hour later, Price said he’s not yet let go of the disappointment of his effort that earned him the wrath of the team’s proudly fickle fans.
“I won’t be over it until the next game,” he said. “It’s not going to drag me down for my next start, but I’ll be over it only when I play better.”
Update 12:15pm ET:
But Price’s next start won’t be today. From TSN,
With rookie netminder Carey Price battling the flu, the Montreal Canadiens have called up goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Hamilton of the American Hockey League.
The Slovakian netminder was recalled on Dec. 3 and played one game with Canadiens this season against the Carolina Hurricanes, allowing one goal and making six saves in 19:59 of action.
Update 3:38pm ET:
TSN has updated the previous story link to state that Price has now been demoted to the AHL.
from Peter King at Sports Illustrated,
I did, however, care about the New Year’s Day hockey game in Buffalo. Fantastic visuals, fun event, tremendous game capped by the best player in hockey scoring the winning goal in the last round of a shootout, with 71,000 riveted fans in the stadium. This was the best new sports-event idea I’ve seen in years, and I don’t say that because I draw a paycheck from NBC.
a little more from Peter and thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from the Buffalo News,
Vanek, Afinogenov and Stafford were supposed to be the team’s go-to guys. They’ve fallen badly. Vanek is on pace for 24 goals and 26 assists after getting 43 and 41 last year. Afinogenov had 61 points last season; he’s on pace for 36. Stafford provided 13 goals and 14 assists in just 41 games last year, and Ruff continually said in the preseason Stafford could replace the missing offense. But Stafford’s first full year projects to only 16 goals and 16 assists.
“We’re underachieving in both categories,” Vanek said, referring to himself and the team.
from the Toronto Sun,
While dropping a couple of expletives yesterday to describe the club’s wasteful efforts of late, Sundin reaffirmed his desire to see his one-year contract through as a Leaf and play beyond April 5.
“I have not talked to my agent (J.P. Barry) about anything,” Sundin said of waiving his no-trade clause. “We’re not going to give up when our conference is so close. When we play our style of game, when everyone works together, we’re a good team, as good as a lot of teams that are ahead of us.
“We have to learn to close out games, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
added 7:32am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
But it is way too early for this topic to dominate all discussions about the team. It is at least a month away for several reasons.
First is that Sundin gets traded only if the Leafs are out of playoff contention. Strange as it sounds, this is not a sure bet, given the collective mediocrity in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
However, the other problem is that it is clearly not in Ferguson’s personal interest to trade Sundin. The trade is the equivalent of a white flag in the playoff fight and it’s been made clear many times by Peddie and other MLSE poobahs that missing the playoffs for an unprecedented third consecutive year would mean dismissal.
from the LA Times,
Teemu Selanne said the only reason he has not retired is because he believes the Ducks have the pieces in place to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup and is trying to decide if he wants to be part of that.
“Every time I come to the games, I get really excited,” he said before attending Monday night’s home game against Nashville. “But when I go home, it’s with mixed feelings.”
Selanne, 37, said he is on a program where he’ll skate up to five days this week with the intention of making a final decision in “about two weeks.”
And if he does return, it will be with the Ducks and no one else.
“I have to know if I’m ready to start pushing it to get back to the level I want to be at,” said Selanne, who had 48 goals last season. “There’s no way I’m coming back at 90 or 95%. It has to be 100%.”
continued (reg. req.)
via the Mercury News,
The Sharks took a calculated risk Monday and placed little-used backup goalie Dimitri Patzold on waivers.
If no team claims him, Patzold will report to San Jose’s minor league affiliate in Worcester, Mass. But he could go to another NHL franchise without any compensation for the Sharks.
“We hope not,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said, noting that Patzold needs to play more in this stage of his development than he has as Evgeni Nabokov’s backup. “We believe in our goaltenders and we believe they don’t improve by not playing.”
When Patzold was sent to Worcester in late November on a conditioning assignment, he did not have to clear waivers. That was no longer an option under NHL rules.
via Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
The Canes are trying to add a forward, something that could happen in the next 48 hours.
They’re concerned about their NHL depth with Justin Williams out indefinitely and Matt Cullen’s recovery from his concussion proceeding slowly. The price would probably be a draft pick or low-level prospect.
The Canes are continuing to pursue a puck-moving defenseman as well, at a much higher price, but you can read all about that in the Tuesday newspaper.
Ludicrous internet rumors aside, don’t look for the Canes to start dumping players unless they’re clearly out of contention at the deadline.
I sort of enjoyed the “Ludicrous internet rumors” remark. More MSMs should be doing that.
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