Kukla's Korner Hockey
Sharks coach Ron Wilson via Working the Corners,
“What’s going to happen if you don’t win that game? Now we’re the underachieving team again. Last week we were rated #1 team in hockey . . . It’s all a bunch of …
“Geeze, you win a few games, you lose a few games — it’s part of life in sports. It’s where you are at the end of the year. They don’t hand out awards for where we are today, tomorrow — it’s only at the end of the year and what you do in the playoffs….”
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
I wasn’t surprised to see Lindy Ruff take the blame for the Sabres’ recent slide. Ruff is a leader and a stand-up guy. He did the noble thing by pointing the finger at himself, deflecting criticism from his soft, overrated players.
But Ruff was too hard on himself. He’s not the problem. He’s taking the bullet for the Sabres’ bumbling and dysfunctional management — for General Manager Darcy Regier, managing partner Larry Quinn, and most of all, for absentee owner Tom Golisano, who has been conspicuously unavailable during this troubling and turbulent period.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Win and you’re in.
After alternating goaltenders for the last nine games, Senators coach John Paddock is changing things up in the net.
With an eye toward picking a clear-cut No. 1 after the next 10-15 games, Paddock is looking for either Martin Gerber or Ray Emery to show they’re worthy of the job.
Crunch time is coming.
Paddock put a time frame on it yesterday.
from the New York Times,
Leetch will get the credit he deserved Thursday night when the Rangers raise his No. 2 sweater to the rafters at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s important for people to recognize how great he was,” said Leetch’s longtime teammate, goaltender Mike Richter. “But it’s also important for him to recognize how much he meant to his teammates, to this city, to his sport. He’s one of the best that’s ever played his position, for sure.”
Leetch, perhaps the best American-born player, came to the Rangers fresh from the United States Olympic team in February 1988. He was 19.
The Rangers have set up a tribute page on Leetch, check it out for videos, stories, stats, etc…..
added 12:53pm, from Stan Fischler at Game On,
After scanning the morning papers today, the first thought that came to The Maven’s mind was that everything that could be said about Brian Leetch HAD been said.
The second thought—without coffee, mind you—was that NOT everything has been said.
So, here are a few of my personal reactions to Brian’s fabulous—and I rarely use that term—night at The Garden.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“It’s not really on my mind whether I’m going to be a free agent or not,” Jagr told The Post yesterday. “The only thing that bothers me is that even if I do become a free agent, I would like to continue playing next year in the NHL and in New York, no other place, but we have to do good this year because why keep someone around if they don’t do it?...”
from Lightning Strikes,
We already know the basic plot of the day after the Lightning’s bad loss on Jan. 15 to the Avalanche; the 8 a.m. skate and then the players-only video session that lasted two hours and forced the players to be accountable to each other. We also have heard from coach John Tortorella about how it wasn’t done to embarrass the players.
But in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Tortorella for the first time gave a few extra details about the players-only session, what was expected and what was accomplished, and why, perhaps, it was the starting point for a three-game winning streak.
from Access Atlanta,
Shapiro accused Kincade, without naming him directly, of being “racist” for using the term “urban,” which is a common euphemism radio professionals have used for years for “African American.”
Kincade was upset that the NHL is putting its promotion dollars with the Zone instead of the Fan, which is home to the Atlanta Thrashers. Here’s a key excerpt:
So the NHL brings the showcase event of the sport to Atlanta and decides to “partner” their marketing effort with a station that does not promote or discuss the sport on a regular basis. The NHL chooses to “partner” for the event with a station that has a majority urban audience. There are NHL fans all over, but the vast majority of the fans of the sport are not following it or getting their information from urban stations.
from the AP via Yahoo,
(Larry) Quinn, the team’s managing partner, was both defiant and upbeat during a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. He had no time for excuses, blame or regret over questionable personnel decisions, injuries, and plain bad luck that have contributed to the Sabres’ free-fall - from first overall a year ago to the NHL’s near-worst.
“It’s been a tough stretch, and there’s no hiding that,” Quinn said. “But like I said to everybody, ‘We got here together and we’re going to get out of it together.’ And that’s all we can really do.”
From Jim Matheson at Canwest News via the National Post,
Jared Staal, a six-foot-three right-winger from Thunder Bay., Ont., is projected as a second-round pick in this April’s draft. That might be because it’s a very deep draft pool this year and because Staal’s skating needs some work.
“He certainly has skill, but there’s a lot of pressure on Jared following his three brothers. This is a big week for Jared,” said Kevin Prendergast, the Edmonton Oilers’ vice-president of hockey operations.
Staal is keeping the Top Prospects game in perspective.
“I’ve got to realize it’s just one game,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll make or break things for me ... I’m just trying to show I deserve to be here.”
more… on the next Staal heading towards the NHL
Ilya Kovalchuk gets a one game suspension for his hit on Rozsival last night.
added 5:23pm, via TSN,
After the game Kovalchuk tried to explain the hit. “I just tried to finish my check, and he kind of turned right before I tried to hit him,” he said.
“He hit the boards; it wasn’t my [intention] to hurt him or anything,” added the 24-year-old. “It’s a contact sport. I wasn’t trying to kill anybody.”
added 5:27pm, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
“Personally, what I can’t judge is they see these every night in the room. I’m only looking at one circumstance. I don’t think it’s that bad, but they’re the ones that review it. They see it every night,” said Waddell when asked if he thought the NHL would suspend Kovalchuk. “He has no history at all, that all weighs in your favor.”
The AJC also reports Kovy received a fine.
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.
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