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Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It’s especially embarrassing to lose like this at home. Last year, we fought hard and competed like crazy to be a competitive team, a playoff team. The respect we got from our fans was incredible. They really bought into us. I have to think that right now we’re just letting them down. It’s frustrating for them, for sure. They’re paying good money at a tough time (economically) to come watch us, and there have been too many bad performances here at home.”

-R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets after a home loss to the Leafs.  More on the Blue Jackets from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: r.j.+umberger

Wings Still Depending On Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

There aren’t many who’ll argue that the six-time Norris winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion—more durable than Bobby Orr, more complete than Paul Coffey—is one of the best ever.

“If you need a goal, he’s out on the ice, if you’re protecting a lead, he’s out on the ice,” said Draper. “He’s been so valuable to this hockey club for what he does day in and day out.”

And now, with Detroit hurting on the blue-line, they’re leaning on the 18-year veteran more than ever.

“First and foremost he’s the smartest player there is,” said Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, who’s been benefiting from Lidstrom’s poise, experience and subtle, pressure-relieving decisions for 13 years. “He’s like a Peyton Manning in football, a really smart player who’s also a great athlete, which makes him a superstar. But what amazes me is the consistency night in and night out.”

That’s why he has the highest plus-minus rating in the NHL since breaking into the league in 1991 (plus 414).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom

Pressure Off Latendresse In Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,

For every player who aspires to be part of a hometown team, there is another who has found that familiarity can breed surprising unhappiness. So it went with Guillaume Latendresse, who spent the final weeks of his tenure in Montreal preparing for an inevitable trade.

The lofty expectations that fall upon young French Canadian players in that city had pushed his career into a corner. Though he was completely unfamiliar with Minnesota, he viewed his Nov. 23 trade to the Wild as a chance to be appreciated for who he was, not who others wanted him to be. Relieved of both the pressure and the preconceptions, Latendresse didn’t remain a stranger for long….

“The biggest problem in Montreal was that I was born there,’’ Latendresse said. “Everyone expects more when you were born there.

“It’s really hard for a Quebec-born player to play there, because they’re looking for a French star—and sometimes, that’s not quite your role. You can bring something, but they always want more. A franchise like this, with great fans who are just here to see hockey and love hockey, that’s great for me.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guillaume+latendresse

Cam Ward Feels Close To Being Game Ready

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Javier Serna of the News & Observer,

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward faced practice shots from his teammates Thursday for the first time since the freak injury that sidelined him on Nov. 7.

Before even seeing a puck, Ward spent the two previous days working solely with Canes assistant coach Tom Barrasso.

“Yesterday was the first time I saw a puck [in drills with Barrasso],” he said. “Today we made progress, and I feel pretty good out there.”...

Ward said he’s close to being game ready.

“There’s not too many movements in my game where I’m limited because of motion because of my knee,” he said. “There’s still a little bit of slight pain, but that should be going away in no time.”

more on the Canes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward

That’s Un-Red Wing Like?  Since When?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’ve read the recaps from all our favorite Diggers, but nothing really jumped out at me.  No turn of a phrase from captain Khan(!) or Chris the FNG really did it for me, or wrapped up last night’s symphony of suck in a way befitting such a display of after-hours jailsex.

So, left to my own devices, here’s what I came up with….and Paul, you might want to just move on.  Nothing good can possibly follow a jailsex reference on the main page.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Teemu Selanne Out With Broken Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog, Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne suffered a broken in his left hand as a result of getting hit with a shot by Dallas Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins in the second period and the goal-scoring forward could be out for a while.

Selanne left the ice following his third shift in the period and took X-rays, which revealed a fracture near the second knuckle. He will fly home tonight and see a hand specialist in the morning, where he will be re-evaluated and a determination will be made if surgery is needed.

Selanne said he considered not making the trip to Dallas because of the stomach flu that he’s had the past two days since Tuesday’s game against the Kings. The winger joined the team this morning and assisted on Saku Koivu’s goal just 1:28 into the game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

This Team Is Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,

The Blackhawks have done everything right and have done it so quickly that this moment called for Dramamine. Do they have any idea of how good they are? Do they have any idea of how good they have it?

They say they do.

“I still feel like a young kid living a dream playing in the NHL,” said Toews, who at 21 has good reason to feel like a young kid. “To be blessed to be in this city, I can’t think of any better place I could have been drafted to when I was 18 years old. I never could have predicted the things that have happened in this city since then.”

He’s referring, in part, to the team’s surprising trip to the Western Conference finals last season, but he might as well have been referring to something even more surprising: how ridiculously good this team is 26 games into this season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lecavalier Frustrated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

“The frustration level is very high,” Lecavalier said Thursday. “It’s all about confidence. I see the puck coming, and I tense up.”

It is one thing that Lecavalier is on pace for 16 goals, his fewest since he had 13 in 1998-99 as a rookie. That he spoke so freely about a lack of confidence is extraordinary.

This is a former 50-goal scorer who from 2006-08 racked up 200 points and was considered one of the best in the world.

“Squeezing the stick,” he said. “Around the net, when you don’t have a lot of goals, your vision is not the same. I feel great everywhere on the ice but around the net. It doesn’t shut down, but for some reason, your vision gets smaller.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Jonathan Ericsson Listed As Day-to-Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said the club believes defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (left knee) is fine and will be able to play Saturday in New Jersey.

“We think he’s OK, we’ll know (Friday),’’ Holland said. “They did some testing and the initial report is that it’s nothing significant.’‘

He said Ericsson will accompany the team on its flight to New York tonight for the annual Fathers Trip. After facing the Devils, the Wings play at the New York Rangers on Sunday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+ericsson

Toss The Cotton Out The Window

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Washington Capitals Equipment Manager Brock Myles talks undergarments.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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