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David Krejci’s unexpected rise to stardom

The Bruins’ first pick in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (63rd overall), David Krecji, 22, has climbed fast on the Bruins depth chart.

Currently the Bruins’ third centre behind point-producer Marc Savard and proven youngster Patrice Bergeron, Krejci is quickly making his mark in the NHL. His new line-mates Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder have perfectly clicked together. Through 30 games this season with the Bruins, Krejci has eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points, currently on pace for 79 points. He also ranks 10th in the league with a +15 plus/minus differential.

The Sternberk, Czech Republic native, has already surpassed last year’s career-best, 27 points in 56 games, thanks to his plethora of skills. Krejci’s strongest assets are his soft hands and smooth puck-handling abilities. He is good on face-offs and possesses good defensive instincts for a second-year player. Krejci also has a highly accurate wrist shot, and he can make smart, crisp passes to him teammates. He isn’t afraid of playing in heavy traffic and drive the net.

After playing two years in the QMJHL with Gatineau where he recorded 144 points in only 117 games, he smoothly made the transition to the AHL with the Providence Bruins where he notched 74 points in 69 games in 2006-2007. Krejci adjusted very well everywhere he played, and there is no reason he can’t continue with the Bruins this season…

Expect big things from Krejci in the next few years, as Bruins’s coach Claude Julien is not afraid to use him in every situation. Krejci is currently on fire, having notched five goals and fifteen assists for 20 points in the past twelve games!

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  Tags: boston, bruins, krecji

Do we really need Sundin? A fans rant

You know, there was a lot of things that came to mind when Nonis got fired.  First came shock, then came denial, then came acceptance.  Nonis was great for the Canucks, he brought Luongo here, added to our extremely bare cupboard of prospects.  The only bomb of a prospect he drafted was Pat White, but everyone has a bad pick.

  When Gillis came, I had a little bit of hope, but I obviously wasn’t impressed with what he said about Nonis.  Blaming him for the team being the way it is, but thats another story completely.  Gillis promised big changes and results.  We got some change, but not at the level he promised.  He basically revamped out fourth line, and got Demitra and Bernier to replace Naslund and Morrison.  Not that much of a upgrade considering Demitra is made of glass, and Bernier has not lived up to expectations.

When Sundin was offered 10 million over 2 years, my jaw dropped as I walked aimlessly around the neighborhood trying to make sense of this obvious overpayment.  Gillis promised youth and change, and then he offered 10 million dollars to a guy who is almost 40, approx 3 million more then what ANY other team would have offered him.  Doesn’t make Naslund look overpaid anymore does it?

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Is the Price really right?

Coming out a phenomenal 2006-2007 hockey season, during which the Anahim Lake, B.C., native won the gold at the IIHF World Junior (U20) Ice Hockey Championship in Sweden (he was named the Tournament MVP) and the Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs (he was named playoffs MVP), expectations were very high at the beginning of last season in Montreal.

The 6-3, 212 lbs, butterfly goaltender made the team out of training camp. He shared duties with French goaltender Cristobal Huet for the first few months, before being sent down to the AHL in January 2008 to regain his form after a lackluster start. After a one-month stint with the Bulldogs, the Canadiens called him up and gave him plenty of action before trading Huet to the Capitals at the trade deadline. Price responded very well, leading the Canadiens to a strong finish atop the Eastern Conference. Price finished the 2007-2008 season with a 24-12-3 record, a 2.56 GAA and a sparkling .920 save percentage.

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  Tags: canadiens, halak, montreal, price

Time for D’Agostini to get an apartment in Montreal

After playing 20 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, during which he recorded 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points, forward Matt D’Agostini was recalled by the Montreal Canadiens on November 28th.

After watching his first game from the press box in Washington, a 3-0 loss, D’Agostini was inserted in the line-up the next day at home against the Buffalo Sabres. D’Agostini, 22, played 13:52 that night, finishing with a +1 differential.

Paired with captain Saku Koivu and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native has shown flashes of brilliance since he was promoted to the Habs’ first line. In five games with the Canadiens this season, D’Agostini now has 4 goals, 1 assist and a +4 differential. He is currently on a 4-game scoring streak.

The 6-0, 200 lb, right wing is only one of two right-handed forwards with the Habs this season (Robert Lang is the other) which gives the Canadiens another weapon on the power play. He uses his speed to find open areas on the ice and create scoring opportunities. He really likes to drive the net where he scores most of his goals.

D’Agostini might be the last year’s Sergei Kostitsyn who was recalled in early December 2007. Kostitsyn sparked the Habs offense with his skills and speed, notching 27 points in 52 games after beginning the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

D’Agostini’s fortune is Guillaume Latendresse’s nightmare, the latter being a healthy scratch for the Habs last 4 games. After a quick start (6 points in 5 games), Latendresse slumped to a point where Guy Carbonneau had no choice, but the put him in the press box.

With the latest injury to Christopher Higgins (likely a separated shoulder), Latendresse is supposed to draw back into the lineup against the Lightning on Thursday.  If the Habs were to lose Higgins for an extended period of time, look for GM Bob Gainey to tell Matt D’Agostini to get an apartment in Montreal to finish the season with the Habs.


D’Agostini was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 6th round, 190th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com

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  Tags: canadiens, d'agostini, higgins, latendresse, montreal

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD PEDDIE

TheGoodPoint.com got an exclusive interview with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Richard Peddie.

Surprisingly, Peddie says he’d rather be stuck in a room with Leafs fans than with school teachers, “because they’re all passionate and they’d come with their faces painted.”

CHECK IT OUT HERE!!!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: richard+peddie, toronto+fc, toronto+raptors

Seix Degrees of Sean Avery

per Mouthpiecesports.com, a great Chicago-based sports commentary.

Pretty good. I would have liked to see the end with someone better than Chris Klein (spoiler alert!), but I digress.

related: The Six Degrees of Separation of OJ Simpson

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John Grahame drinking his way out of the KHL

From Caroilna On Ice, via Beyond the Blueshirts:

“More trouble for Avangard Omsk”

“Yesterday near the club “Atlantid” Grahame was noticed in an intoxicated state, after which a police squad arrived and took him to a detoxification center. Club president Konstantin Potapov and Avangard general manger Anatoli Bardin came shortly after to collect him from there. Later from a source in the club came information that the management of the Hawks is going to terminate the contract with the hockey player. Another option that is not ruled out is the possibility of trading the player. The press service of the club has not yet officially commented on the situation.”- Russian site, Sports Planet

So let me get this right.. a man can’t even get drunk in a bar anymore without losing his job? What’s this world coming to?

Strange news as the Russian translation is so vague on the description of events. Was Grahame just seen drunk and buzzed? Was he found passed out face down on the sidewalk outside the club? Did he almost Jimi Hendrix/Jim Morrison himself?

I’m not sure what exactly went down, but I do know that he hasn’t been playing well - and the team finding out that he’s piss-drunk and being arrested to detox would get just about anyone dismissed from any pro hockey team. This one here hopes he can get his act together to at least make a decent back-up goaltender in the NHL one day. Perhaps he could consult current River Rat Dan LaCouture - who gave up alcohol for the betterment of his personal life and hockey career.

After all, if you can’t handle your liquor - you shouldn’t be drinking in the first place.

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  Tags: hurricanes, john+grahame, khl

Laviolette fired; Hartsburg might be next

The Carolina Hurricanes have just announced that they have fired head coach Peter Laviolette, who led the team to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship. They have replaced him with former Hurricanes and Maple Leafs head coach Paul Maurice.

Sources say Maurice will remain on as head coach at least until the end of the season, at which point the position will be re-evaluated leaving the Hurricanes the freedom to head in a different direction, or sign Maurice to a long term contract.

The Hurricanes missed the playoffs the last two seasons and are 12-11-2 this season after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

The team has called a press conference to announce the news…

The next NHL head coach that might be shown the door is Senators’ head coach Craig Hartsburg, and that might be very soon as the Senators are struggling to avoid the league’s basement. Tonight the Sens face the Atlanta Thrashers, the only team keeping them from being dead last in the Eastern Conference. A loss against the Thrashers, who lost 5-4 to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, could be the last nail in Hartsburg’s coffin.

As I previously stated in a previous blog, Hartsburg is on a short leash since the beginning of November. Ottawa went 4-5-3 in 12 games, scoring only 23 goals (1.92 goals/game). A loss against the cellar-dwelling Thrashers might force GM Bryan Murray to make a coaching change to sparkplug his hapless team. From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com

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  Tags: hartsburg, laviolette, murray, ottawa, senators

NHL’s Cy Young Leader, etc.

There has been a lot of discussion on who is leading the Calder and Art Ross races, but there is another race that NHL fans should be looking at: the leader for NHL’s Cy Young award. The leader right now has to be has to be Thomas Vanek with an 18-5 record (the exact record that Tim Lincecum finished with after winning his Cy Young award this past season). However, he is followed close behind by Jeff Carter, who got his 17th and 18th goals (wins) last night, but also got an assist to bump up his total of 7. Whoever can reach the 40 mark without getting 20 assists will be saying “woo hoo!” in no time. My bet is on Vanek, whose game is more in front of the net; while Carter is a center and handles the puck more, and should see his assist total come up a little bit more. Despite their great starts towards the NHL’s Cy Young award, I’m not too sure if either will match Marek Svatos’ ratio of 26:11 last season. Incredibly, through 23 games this season, Svatos has more assists than goals (4-7)!

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Avery’s Sloppy Seconds

Sean Avery just landed in Calgary and already he is stirring the pot:

“I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada,” Avery told the media.  “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds.  I don’t know what that’s about.  Enjoy the game tonight.”
read more

Ouch. What a burn. Obviously directed at Dion Phaneuf who is now going out with Elisha Cuthbert, Avery’s ex-girlfriend.

Should be a good game tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

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