Friday, October 31, 2008

Leafs and Habs after Kovalchuk?


According to a few sources, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs are targeting Atlanta Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk who is reportedly on the market.

Preliminary discussions were held at the GMs meeting last week.

I'll dig more into this to give you more details about the players that could be involved.

Kovalchuk has 6 points in 10 games for the lowly Thrashers this season.

Sources being: RDS and the Express Sports Daily

For What It's Worth

It is what it is and you can take what you want out of it. According to several sources (TSN/Sportsnet/Team1040 Vancouver) Mats Sundin was in attendance last evening in Los Angeles as the Canucks took to the ice against the Kings.

Rumors are abound that Mats has been training in Los Angeles for about a week now and a decision on his playing future may come soon.

I did not see the game for myself but a 4-0 victory is always impressive and it could not have happened on a more timely occassion.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

News and Notes

Canadian Press: ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues signed goaltender Chris Holt on Thursday.Holt played in two games with the Peoria Rivermen this season, posting a 2-0-0 record, a .915 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers have recalled forward Shawn Matthias form their AHL affiliate, Rochester Americans.

NHL.COM: Thrashers rookie Zach Bogosian is out indefinitely with a broken leg. It will NOT require surgery.

Stamkos Gets First NHL GOAL!

1st Overall Pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos has scored his first ever NHL goal tonight. Just about 9 minutes and 30 seconds into the first period of the Lightnings game against the Buffalo Sabres. It was a tip-in on a slapper from superstar Vinny Lecavalier. Offical Assists went to Lecavalier and St-Louis. Poolers hoping Stamkos starts to heat up im sure!

Stamkos has since added a 2nd 15 minutes into the 2nd period!

Predators acquire two players

The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Hugh Jessiman from the New York Rangers and defenceman Tim Ramholt from the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Predators sent forward Josh Gratton to the Flyers on Thursday. The Rangers get future considerations for Jessiman.

Jessiman and Ramholt will be assigned to Milwaukee of the AHL.

Pavel Valentenko bolts Bulldogs

Habs prospect, Pavel Valentenko bolts Bulldogs, signs for three years with Moscow Dynamo.

The Canadiens are looking into the report and will comment on it in due course.

The 21 year-old defenseman was granted an indefinite leave to attend familay matters back in Russia.

More to come.

Alfredsson, Senators, agree to extension

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Senators will announce today that Daniel Alfredsson has agreed to a new long-term contract extension.

Alfredsson is making $5.465 million this season and is expected to sign a four-year contract worth around $20 million.

The native of Goteborg, Sweden was in the final full-year of his contract, and had three option years beyond this season.

Alfredsson loves Ottawa and wants to end his career in Canada's capital city.

Bogosian out indefinitely

Defenseman Zach Bogosian suffered a fractured fibula during the first period of Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia and will be sidelined indefinitely.

The injury does not require surgery, so that's good news.

Nathan Oystrick will take Bogosian's spot in the lineup.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday Night: Two Huge Games

Thursday night's NHL schedule includes two games that feature four of the NHL's best teams, yet neither of them are on national television. Once again, great job, Gary Bettman. Nonetheless, if you have NHL Center Ice or live in the markets for these games, do not miss them, as they both should be great.


Montreal (6-1-1) at Minnesota (6-1-1), 8 PM - These teams have identical records, but have come to this point facing very different expectations. Montreal was expected to be a Stanley Cup contender, and so far the Habs look like one. They have been scoring as much as expected, while playing great defense. Carey Price is doing a very good job in net, seemingly fully recovered from his meltdown in last year's second round against the Flyers. Les Habitants are right where they want to be, and should be for most of this season.

Meanwhile, Minnesota was expected to have a down year after losing Pavol Demitra and having to deal with the Marian Gaborik situation. The Gaborik mess still looms large, but the Wild have worked around it, winning even without him in the lineup. A major reason for this is the significant offensive contributions of Mikko Koivu (12 assists) and Antti Miettinen (6 goals), as well as outstanding goaltending from Niklas Backstrom. It's tough to say if the Wild can keep this pace up; a big win against a team like the Habs will show us how good they really are.


Detroit (7-1-2) at San Jose (8-2-0) - This is a battle of two teams who could very well meet again in the Western Conference Finals in May. Detroit is as good as we all expected them to be, going 7-0-2 since that fluky opening night loss to the Maple Leafs. The Red Wings are led by free agent acquisition Marian Hossa, who leads the team in scoring. Of course, the usual suspects like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Brian Rafalski, and Nicklas Lidstrom are playing well. Chris Osgood is winning, but not even doing that well yet. Just imagine how good the Wings could be if he rounds back into last season's All-Star form.

Going over to the Sharks now, this will be head coach Todd McLellan's first game against the team he used to be an assistant for. McLellan has the Sharks winning almost any kind of game, be it a tight defensive battle or a score-fest. San Jose is 8-2-0, yet a lot of their top forwards are not producing as much as expected; their leading scorers with 9 points each are defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Dan Boyle. The reason for that is very balanced scoring, as 11 players already have at least five points. Can they get it done against the mighty Red Wings? We shall see.


There are your big games for Thursday evening. If you live in one of these markets, be sure to watch; if not, well, Bettman can't be the commish forever. Enjoy!

Scotty's Predictions Take 3

After an awful 1st prediction attempt I tried my hand at it again and only got 1 wrong last night. So Here I go with tonights Predictions From Me, Scotty!

Toronto Vs New Jersey
Leafs are coming off a loss to the Lightning and will try to rebound against a Devils team flattened with injuries. With Martin Brodeur in nets it will be tough!

Prediction: Devils Win(Brodeur is KEY!)

Wild Vs Stars
This should be a close one. Turco vs Backstrom I believe and I think the main factor in this one will actually end up being a forward, Mikko Koivu makes the difference.

Prediction: Wild Win

Detroit Vs Anaheim
This one should be a thriller. A hot Red Wings team with a flying Marian Hossa vs a Hot Ducks team with a flying Ryan Getzlaf its really a toss-up.

Prediction: Ducks Win Thriller!

Player movements

-The New Islanders have sent D Jack Hillen to Bridgeport of the AHL as Andy Sutton is slated to come back from his injury on Thursday.

-The Columbus Blue Jackets have sent F Nikita Filatov to Syracuse of the AHL as they activated F Jared Boll from the injury reserve. They also called up G Dan Lacosta to replace Pascal Leclaire who's been put on the IR with a ankle sprain.

-The Phoneix Coyotes sent F Enver Lisin to San Antonio of the AHL to make room for D Ken Klee who was claimed off waivers from Anaheim.

Shanny to the highest bidder

From Larry Brooks:

Nearly four months after becoming a free agent, Shanahan is putting himself onto the open market.

“I’ve told Rick [Curran] that I can no longer wait and that it’s time to move on,” Shanahan, referring to his agent, told The Post this afternoon. “Until now, Rick has been under instructions to tell inquiring teams that my focus was on re-signing with the Rangers, and that I was not accepting any other offers.

“That has changed.”

I'm sure a few teams looking for a gritty veteran will inquire (Nashville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Florida).

Mair Fined, Downie In The News Again

Hey guys here are a couple stories with videos.

Adam Mair was fined $2500 for this incident between him and Jarkko Ruutu of the Ottawa Senators...



Steve Downie in the news again with his accusation of Tim Conboy(property of the Hurricanes) Biting him!

No More 3:30 PM Talkcasts

I would just like to inform everyone that I have canceled the last two 3:30 PM Talkcasts for this week. I felt that there was no point in doing them due to the paltry attendance that I've seen so far, as well as the fact that the focus of them seems to be my jackass friends and family. I want to assure everyone that these people will not be a part of the Talkcast when it resumes next week, probably starting between 6 and 7 PM. I'm sorry if you cannot make this time, but I think it will attract more listeners and make Hockeybums look better overall. I ask that everyone give me one more chance to make this right, and if I do not do so, then I will step down as the host. Thank you for your patience, and I hope to finally have a real, serious, hockey only Talkcast with lots of listeners next week. Hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Whole Spezza To Calgary Rumor

Someone dropped me a comment today asking about the latest rumor from our pal Eklund at Hockeybuzz. Ive heard nothing at all about this and dont see how or why it makes any sense at all. Eklund has obviously heard something and if hes right, Good Job Buddy. If I hear anything at all on this(I DONT THINK I WILL) ill let you know.

The Talkcast Problems

Hey Guys,

I understand their have been some major issues with the talkcast. We are restarting from scratch the talkcasts next week with a new time and what not. We would like you to post improvements and commentaries on our comments section of this blog to tell us what you want!

Scotty

My Predictions For Tonights Games

Hey guys here are my predictions for tonight(Not to be used on Pro-Line, Mise Au Jeu or any other thing like that:

Predators Vs Capitals
Caps are missing their superstar but I still think they get it done.

Prediction: Caps Win

Flyers vs Thrashers
Philly's on a little streak here and I see them keeping it up against a lowly Thrashers team.

Prediction: Flyers win

Lightning Vs Leafs
Also known as for now Schenn vs Stamkos, I see Stamkos winning in the battle of young stars as I think Melrose will give him his deserved ice time. Schenn will keep up his great work in my opinion this will be a close one I think.

Prediction: Lightning Win

Hurricanes Vs Canadiens
Canes just aren't healthy, the Canadiens have got their whole team healthy as of now, look for the Habs to break the Cam Ward Curse.

Prediction: Habs Win


Avalanche Vs Flames
I think this could be a real thriller, I see the flames grinding it out for the win. It will be all about goaltending tonight.

Prediction: Flames Win

Bruins Vs Canucks
Lets just say Luongo Vs Thomas ill take Luongo...PERIOD!

Prediction: Canucks Win


Penguins Vs Sharks
This should be a good one, Sharks have been struggling despite a win Saturday. I see the Sharks and Evgeni Nabokov bouncing back for a big win.

Prediction: Sharks Win

UPDATE ON KHABBY TO OTTAWA!

Heres the latest ive gotten:

To Chicago:
Martin Gerber
1st Round Pick

To Ottawa:
Brent Seabrook
Nikolai Khabibulin

It does sound like it might not work but Ottawa wants to make a deal ASAP as they believe that they still have a chance at the cup regardless where they are in the season.

Keep you posted,
-Scotty

Joel Lundqvist out 4-6 weeks

Forward Joel Lundqvist will miss 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury according to Dave Tippett.

Sergei Zubov is slated to make his return on Saturday, the first day he is eligible to come off the LTIR. Steve Ott will be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Glen Murray's career over?


According to Andy Strickland, former Bruins forward Glen Murray will undergo ankle surgery on Novemeber 11th which will prevent him from playing hockey this season and could end his career.

The Bruins bought out Murray's contract this summer in order the shed salary. Murray played 63 games last season, notching 17 goals and 30 points.

Murray, who turns 36 on November 1st, also played for the Kings and the Penguins during his 16-year career.

Thrashers attendance sinks... again

Announced attendance for the first four home games averaged 13,943, down 1,342 per game from the first four games of last season. The Thrashers have announced two crowds of fewer than 12,000 people, the lowest attendance in more than four years. And the announced attendance, the number of tickets distributed, has been thousands higher than the number of people in the seats.

League-wide, season ticket sales are up 4 percent and single-game sales are up 13 percent, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters last week.

Atlanta is a large football and baseball market, and has never been a good hockey market (see Atlanta Flames now in Calgary). If there is a team that has to be moved in the next few years, Atlanta is the front-runner, in front of Nashville, Columbus and Phoenix.

Source: Mike Knobler

Panthers sign D Jassen Cullimore

Florida has signed Jassen Cullimore to a one-year deal to help their battered defensive corps (Bryan McCabe, Bryan Allen, and Cory Murphy are all out with indefinite injuries). Cullimore played for the Panthers last season and was invited to training camp on a try-out basis.

Around the Devils

The Devils placed center Bobby Holik (fractured right pinky) and right wing Brian Rolston (high right ankle sprain) on injured reserve today retroactive to the dates of their respective injuries. Rolston was injured on Oct. 16 in Atlanta and Holik was injured on Oct. 18 in Washington.

Jamie Langenbrunner is still not practising with the team and will likely miss Wednesday's contest against Toronto. He suffered a deep bruise in Friday's game against the Flyers.

Pierre-Luc LĂ©tourneau-Leblond is out with a cracked orbital bone. He is day-to-day.

Finally, right wing Barry Tallackson has been placed on LTIR and assigned to Lowell (AHL) on a conditioning assignment. Tallackson is recovering from Sept. 26 surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat.

The Devils also recalled rookie forwards Matt Halischuk and Nicklas Bergfors this morning on an emergency basis to replace the injured players. Both are expected to practice today and will likely play tomorrow.

Coyotes claim Ken Klee off waivers

The Phoenix Coyotes have claimed defenseman Ken Klee from Anaheim on re-entry waivers. That means Anaheim will have to pay half of what Klee has remaining on his $1.250 million salary.

The Coyotes were looking to add some depth and experience on defence.

Brendan Witt out 3-4 weeks


Brendan Witt will be lost to the Islanders for the next three-to-four weeks with a knee injury.

Witt was involved in a knee-on-knee collision Saturday and hobbled with a knee brace Monday. Officially, the Islanders are calling it a lower-body injury, using the NHL's new injury policy, or lack thereof, to its fullest extent.

The Islanders are getting quite thin on defense with this injury.
The top 6 for yesterday's game was Streit, Campoli, Hillen, Gervais, Pock and Brett Skinner...

With Rick Dipietro out, the season will be long in Long Island.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sutter 'feeling much better'

From Chip Alexander: The Canes' Brandon Sutter, knocked unconscious Saturday in the New York Islanders game, returned to Raleigh by train on Monday.

Sutter, who suffered a concussion, was released from a Long Island hospital on Sunday and spent Sunday night with his father, Brent, the coach of the New Jersey Devils.

"Brandon will be fine," Brent Sutter said today in an interview. "He's still suffering from whip-lash symptoms and is sore, but he was feeling much better and was in a good state of mind, and his improvement is significant."

Hawks call Cam Barker up

The BlackHawks finally have called up youngster Cam Barker. He is dressed for tonight's game. To make room, they sent down defensemen Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Ken Klee on re-entry waivers

The Anaheim Ducks have placed veteran Ken Klee on re-entry waivers. Klee is slated to make $1.25M in 2008-09. Therefore, if a team picks him, they would only be responsible for their pro-rated share of $625K.

Injuries......

Carolina Hurricanes d-man Joni Pitkanen will miss 3-4 weeks with an injury.

The Columbus Blue Jackets placed goaltender Pascal Leclaire on the IR with a sprained ankle.

Brandon Sutter will be out....well we dont know yet but I assume at least a month or so.

Sens Looking At Ohlund, Sbisa To Stay With Flyers

Sportsnet reporting that the Ottawa Senators are very interested in requiring a puck-moving defenceman the top man on their list is Vancouver Canucks d-man Mattias Ohlund. Reports have the Sens and Nucks holding brief discussions but it seems teams are not looking to make moves quite yet.

Tim Pinaccio is reporting that young d-man Luca Sbisa will remain with the Philadelphia Flyers and will not be sent down to juniors.

Ovechkin Returns Home

Alexander Ovechkin has gone back to Russia.....NOT TO PLAY! Hes gone back to be with his ailing grandfather. HE will miss the Washington Capitals Tuesday night game against the Nashville Predators.

Scotty's Take: I look for this to be a turning point in his season. I think hes hardly had anytime to be with family during the summer due to a whole bunch of media and stuff like that I look for him to get it together and most likely dedicate the rest of his season to his Grandfather.

Schenn Sticks With The Leafs

TSN reports that Luke Schenn has been told by the Toronto Maple Leafs that he will be sticking with the big club for the remainder of the year.

MORE TO COME ON SITE LATER, BUT JOIN DEWEY RIGHT NOW ON THE TALKCAST TO DISCUSS THE SITUATION

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

This will likely be the last week of 3:30 PM Talkcasts, as the fan poll seems to indicate that you guys want me to switch to a later time. I will be doing 3:30 Talkcasts Monday through Thursday this week, but not Friday, as I will be out of town. Come on in today to discuss everything going on in the hockey world, especially the wild Saturday that had all 30 teams in action.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jackets Assign Russell To Crunch, Trivia Time

The Columbus Blue Jackets have sent young defensive stud Kris Russell down to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. He was only supposed to be an experiment for the beginning of the year so no surprise here.

This Trivia Question is due to the fact Rick Dipietro has gotten hurt again.

Trivia Question: What was the last season Rick Dipietro was not get hurt, What Team and what Year.(Any League)

You win...bragging rights?

Franzen Out 3-4 Weeks

The Detroit Red Wings will be without Johan Franzen for 3 to 4 weeks, he's out with a knee sprain after colliding knee on knee with a player from the Chicago Blackhawks last night.

Khabby To Ottawa?....again

Newest rumor i've received is that Khabibulin could be shipped to the Senators sooner rather than later. Ill keep you posted on this one when I get more info. My guess is it works seeing as the sens goaltending has been struggling of late, I mean Gerber but their is no way Auld takes them through the season as a starter.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Barker to Flyers?

Newest rumor has Cam Barker going to the Philadelphia Flyers. In return the Blackhawks are asking for Andreas Nodl and a pick. Montreal Canadiens are also said to be interested but Barker is playing in the AHL and im not sur ehes worthy of a 4th d-man spot.

Set-Up Your Tivos and Centre Ice Packages ITS GONNA BE A LOOOOONG NIGHT!<---ITS NOT A BAD THING!

TODAY OCTOBER 24th,2008 ALL 30 NHL TEAMS ARE IN ACTION. Set-up Your Tivos its going to be a long night,15 games and 30 teams ready to lace em up! Heres the run down of tonights schedule and some predictions(TIP:Dont trust Scottys picks in Proline,Mise-Au-Jeu or any other hockey betting system,game):

Devils vs Flyers
This is a rematch of last nights game between these 2 teams. Look for Brodeur to have a bounce back game after allowing well lets say more than the usual amount that he lets in.

Thrashers vs Bruins
I look for the Thrashers to take this one but for fantasy I suggest you activate Phil Kessel onto your roster.

Ottawa vs Toronto

THE BATTLE OF ONTARIO, it will be a hard hitting affair, dont forget the Senators are coming off a loss to the Ducks look for them to carry their 3rd period momentum into this one.

Ducks vs Canadiens
Matchup to watch the habs line of Tanguay-Koivu-Latendresse going up against a solid defensive team in the Anaheim Ducks. Halak will look to show his worth tonight as hes between the pipes.

Hurricanes Vs Islanders

Simple prediction here Isles fight hard to stay in this one and end up squeaking out with a victory.

Penguins vs Rangers
A rematch of last years 2nd round playoff series. No doubt without the likes of Avery in this one it wont be as heated but watch for a fight or 2. Rangers come away with the win.

Sharks Vs Lightning
Sharks devastated after a loss to the Florida Panthers last night, San Jose takes their aggression out on this new look Lightning team and absolutely destroys them.

Kings Vs Predators
Los Angeles got a win last night vs a surprising St.Louis team. Thing To Watch: I wanna see if the Kings can keep their amazing 100% on the PK going. I say Kings come away with the W.

Jackets vs Wild
This will be a good one. Voracek keeps up his good season, but Mikko Koivu and the Wild come away with the victory.

Capitals vs Stars
Ovechkin gets his year going and explodes for a big night, Stars wont hold up the fort, Ovie and the Capitals come away with this one.

Red Wings vs Blackhawks

Not outdoors just yet but im thinking the Hawks are hoping theyd be outdoors so they can get away from the hot red wings team.

Panthers vs Blues
Panthers are on a high after a win over the Sharks, they'll keep trucking and win a tightly knit affair.

Sabres vs Avalanche
Vanek scores a couple but the Avs score a few and take this one.

Oilers vs Canucks
This one is a rivalry. It will be hard hitting and probably one of the most exciting games of tonight. Sam Gagner and the kids skate away with this one.

Calgary vs Phoenix

Jarome Iginla and Tood Bertuzzi team up to kick the yotes back to the desert where they belong.

Check back tomorrow for some recaps!

Scotty

EXPOSURES PLAN(S)

Hey All,

Scotty here again. Hockeybums is falling a little under the radar and now that the new NHL season has begun we want to be up near the top of hockey websites. I have a couple ideas for exposure that would have to include ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL FANS! 1st thing is we are bringing back the Hockeybums Flyer's idea, so im getting flyer's made and whoever would like to help email me and ill send you a copy of it and you can print them full page and post them up in Bars,Arenas or even hand them out at live hockey games whether it be NHL,OHL,QMJHL,Junior leagues whatever. The 2nd idea is just posting links to every hockey site out there whether it be a forum or a blog or a real website just post it and source us for latest news and what not.

PLEASE SEND ALL OTHER IDEAS YOU MAY HAVE TO hockeybums@yahoo.ca

Scotty

Leafs Send Tlusty To The Marlies

The Toronto Maple Leafs have sent young gun Jiri Tlusty down to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. Tlusty failed to record a point in 7 games with the Maple Leafs this season.

THE HOCKEYBUMS TALKCAST

Hey Everyone,

Scotty here, now our talkcast have not been the greatest and we understand. We are looking to change the time in which the talkcast will take place. Were thinking 6:30 or 7:00pm as our primetime spot what do you think of that? well we will have a poll on the right hand side of our page so VOTE! Also we are looking to make this site and our talkcast MUCH BIGGER so hopefully you can help us advertising by placing links to our website and talkcast on other forums/websites and telling people about our site.
ANY OTHER IDEAS FEEL FREE TO LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENT SECTION OR EMAIL THEM TO ME AT hockeybums@yahoo.ca

Scotty

VINCE M: The Mooseheads are located out of Halifax of the QMJHL.

Kings Win !! Kings Win !!

OK so its not that big of a deal but the Kings are still perfect on the penalty kill. So far this season the PK is 27 for 27. This was one of the weakest areas for the Kings the past 3 season but obviously the hard work during the off season has paid off.

Kings 4 Blues 0

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Flyers Finally Win!

In a very tough, grind-it-out style game, the Philadelphia Flyers finally became the last NHL team to win a game in 2008-09, in what was likely the most impossible scenario you could imagine. The Flyers beat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 at the Prudential Center, their first win in New Jersey since 2004. Mike Richards led Philadelphia on offense, assisting on four of their six goals. Five different players scored for the orange and black, led by Scott Hartnell's second and third goals of the season. Philadelphia withstood a barrage of shots in the third period, as Martin Biron stopped all 14 the Devils put on him in the final stanza.

It looked like the Flyers would be doomed for another loss early on. Travis Zajac scored just 47 seconds into the first period to give the Devils a very early 1-0 lead. After going back and forth a couple of times, New Jersey scored what appeared to be another backbreaking goal late in the first, as Zach Parise knocked home a rebound with just 19 seconds to go in Period One. Despite giving up two ill-timed goals and trailing 3-2 after 20 minutes, Philadelphia did not fold. In fact, their effort over the final two periods showed a great amount of resolve.

The Philadelphia comeback started with 8:03 left in the second period, as Simon Gagne continued his hot start with a game-tying power play goal, his fifth of the season. Five minutes later, Scott Hartnell scored his first of two goals to give the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish. They led 4-3 after two periods, outshooting the Devils 21-12 after previously being outshot by seven shots a game. In the third period, Philadelphia padded its lead on a Joffrey Lupul deflection goal and an empty netter by Hartnell to end up on top, 6-3. The Flyers finally won the shots on goal battle, putting 28 pucks on Martin Brodeur while allowing 26.

As I mentioned earlier, this was a tough game, which means there were some physical battles. Two fights occurred in the second period, with Devils rookie Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond taking on Riley Cote and recently acquired Flyer Andrew Alberts battling David Clarkson. There were a couple of scrums involving multiple players as well, which was not a surprise in this crucial battle of Atlantic Division rivals. This game made it clear that these teams certainly do not like each other, and hopefully set the tone for a great season series the rest of the way.

Let me summarize what happened: Philadelphia won in New Jersey, against the 5-1 Devils, where they had not won in over four years, without star center Daniel Briere, even after falling behind less than a minute into the game. Believe me, I am a die-hard Flyers fan and I certainly did not expect them to win this one, but the Flyers have a knack for winning at times when it seems they have no chance. Last year, they ended a ten game losing streak in Buffalo, another city where they rarely win, after falling behind 3-0 in the first period, doing so via the shootout, an area where they struggle mightily. Also, who expected them to vanquish the top-seeded Montreal Canadiens in five games in last season's playoffs? Honestly, I did not.

Of course, the Flyers still have a long way to go to get to where they want to be, and some of their season-long problems continued tonight. Once again, they failed to score first, something they have done only twice this year. Also, the Devils destroyed them in the faceoff circle, as New Jersey won 41 draws compared to just 25 for Philadelphia. Still, a win like this could be just the kind of thing the Flyers need to turn their season around. Can they keep it going tomorrow afternoon, when they'll be facing this same Devils team at home? We shall see.

Briere Out Up To A Month

TSN reporting the Philadelphia Flyers will be without Daniel Briere for up to a month, Briere suffered a torn abdominal muscle wednesday in a high scoring loss to the San Jose Sharks.

First Blog Back, Hurricanes, The Season So Far.


Hello everybody, Sorry I haven't posted anything in... oh.... months, I've had some issues to deal with of late but I'm very glad to be back.

First, on the Cane's Jersey Contest, I unfortunately am going to have to start this almost from scratch, however, if you sent in an entry, don't send it again as I still have your previous entries.... More info on new dates coming within the next week.

So, on to the Hurricanes, who have posted themselves a 3-2-1 record to kick off the season. A respectable record, having only played two home games thus far, but the team has seemed to regress as the season goes on, as opposed to getting better.

Obviously I can't recap every game for you here, so I will give you some +/- ratings for players on the season....

+
Brandon Sutter: While the rookie was pencilled in at 4th line center before the season started, one could expect that there would be some growing pains. Surprisingly, the young Sutter has provided some offense and has continued to improve game after game.

Niclas Wallin: Wallin is finally fully healthy and it shows... 5 points in 5 games. Need I say more?

Dennis Seidenberg: Seidenberg has continued to be a solid force, and is quickly earning a permanent place in the line-up

-
Joe Corvo: Look up "Non-Existant" in the dictionary, he's there.

Patrick Eaves: Eaves has had about as much impact om the season as the arena announcer. Poor efforts will not be tolerated for long on this team.

Injuries: We are six games in, and only have one natural right-winger on the team.... and that's Eaves. Williams, Walker, and now Ruutu are all out, and it shows. Expect a trade soon.

So that's it for now folks, just want to say thanks, it's good to be back at hockeybums.

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Down in NY

Hey guys, I'll be away for a couple of days as I'm heading to New York to see some sports! I'll be at the Devils - Flyers game on Friday and at the Chiefs - Jets game on Sunday. Brodeur and Favre! It can't be better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Wild boys are back; Mailk in

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Marek Zidlicky are BOTH playing tonight for the Wild after sitting out the past few games with injuries.

Marek Malik was officially signed by the Tampa Lightning today. Malik has been practicing with the club for over a week in order to get into game shape. GM Brian Lawton indicated on Wednesday that Malik should be ready for Saturday's tilt with visiting San Jose Sharks.

Ducks Sign Hedican

The Anaheim Ducks have reportedly signed d-man Bret Hedican to a contract. The 16 year veteran will likely fill the void left by Sean O'Donnell.

Demitra out 3-4 weeks

From TSN:

Vancouver Canucks’ centre Pavol Demitra will be sidelined 3-4 weeks after an MRI discovered fractured cartilage in his ribs.

Demitra, who signed with the Canucks as a free agent this summer, is expected to see a specialist to deal with the injury.

Kyle Wellwood is expected to take Demitra’s place in the lineup. Wellwood score his first goal of the season earlier this week.

Hockey Bums Power Rankings

Each week I'll update the rankings. I'll put the top 5 teams and the worst 5 teams.

Let's start with the top 5 teams:

1. Buffalo Sabres (5-0-1) 22 GF 10 GA. The Sabres have yet to lose in regulation this season and they beat a hot Habs team on opening night. Vanek is the league leader with 7 goals.
2. Montreal Canadiens (5-0-1) 23 GF 11 GA. After losing in a shootout agains the Sabres, they are unbeaten in 5 contests. Price and Halak have been phenomenal.
3. San Jose Sharks (6-1-0) 25 GF 18 GA. They already have 10 players with at least 4 points. Patrick Marleau has already notched 8 points.
4. Minnesota Wild (4-0-0) 15 GF 7 GA. Lemaire's system is working well again this year, and this is without Marian Gaborik who only played 2 games.
5. New Jersey Devils (5-1-0) 15 GF 9 GA. Brodeur has been stellar this season (1.31 GAA and .942 Save %). Parise has 7 points in 6 games.
.
..
...
26. New York Islanders (2-3-0) 11 GF 16 GA. Trent Hunter, with 4 goals, almost scored 40% of the Islanders' goals... no wonder why they want to try-out Glen Murray.
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (1-2-3) 11 GF 21 GA. The Leafs have been very inconsistent this season. Wilson should pull his goalie in OT to avoid going in the shootout as they are 0-3.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-2-3) 11 GF 15 GA. Smith and Kolzig receive around 35 shots per game. Stamkos has yet to record a point...
29. Anaheim Ducks (2-5-0) 16 GF 22 GA. Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne are a combined 2 g 3 a -13 in 20 games. George Parros has 2 goals and is +4 ???
30. Philadelphia Flyers (0-3-3) 20 GF 29 GA. Their goaltending has been atrocious this season, as they have allowed 3 goals or more in every game.

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

As The Groin Pulls -- The Marian Gaborik Drama

In Minnesota, things continue to play out in the media in nasty fashion. Reporters and bloggers and fans are all venting their frustration and ire as the stalemate between the Minnesota Wild and Marian Gaborik continues. To be fair, there's more than enough blame to go around, but no matter how much spin agent Ron Salcer tries to put on the situation, most people tend to not buy into the prospect that Gaborik is not getting a fair shake.

Yesterday, Salcer spoke to the media and announced that none of the offers being bandied about ($8 million for 8 years, $7 million for 7 years, $10 million for 10 years) have truly been offered by the Wild to his client. He also says that Gaborik is being treated unfairly by the media and the bloggers and the fans because Gaborik has shown his loyalty to Minnesota.

Let's stop right there, shall we?

I think it would be a pretty fair assessment that any reader would conclude that Salcer is, of course, going to be pointing fingers at the Wild and trying to label them as the bad guy. That's his job, to fight like a wolverine, rightly or wrongly, for his client. If he can whip up a storm of perceived ills being visited upon Marian and can sway folks to his side then he wins...for his client and his own pocketbook.

So what of this contention of Gaborik's "loyalty?" Does one truly show themselves to be loyal by simply playing under the contract for which they are already signed? I call that holding to your obligation as a player under contract to the team, not loyalty. Would this be the same "loyalty" Gaborik showed in 2003 when he refused to report to camp and missed the first month of the season as he tried to strong-arm the Wild into a lucrative deal, only to sign for essentially what he had been offered months before? Is that the loyalty we're supposed to be impressed by? I would counter that loyalty is better expressed by many of the guys in Detroit, who literally gave back pay to the team so that more players of higher quality could be brought in, recognizing that they were just one small cog in a machine that needs many working pieces to win a Cup. That's loyalty

What everyone needs to do is look at the plain and simple facts:

Gaborik is going to pull down $7.5 million this season, the last of his contract. That ranks him 14th in the NHL, making the same bucks as Zdeno Chara of Boston and Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta.

No one really believes that Gaborik will seek to stagnate his payroll and settle for the exact same cash, so you have to believe he's looking for $8.5-$10 per season, which puts him alongside Dany Heatley ($10 million), Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin ($9 million), and Miikka Kiprusoff ($8.5 million).

To be honest, no matter what Gaborik thinks of himself or what a pocket of still die-hard believers in him may think, Gaborik does not belong with that crowd. Frankly, he hasn't earned it. Unlike Gaborik, each of those guys has some hardware to their names and excepting Ovechkin, they've all made it to the Finals, and done so while acting as leaders.

Gaborik, by contrast, has hardly been a leader. He was given his first shot at commanding the ship in last year's playoff run. At no time did Gaborik seem to captain the team and he virtually disappeared in their 6 game implosion. Unlike those others, Gaborik is also not a game changer to the level they are. Gaborik does not dominate games like Crosby or Ovechkin, and his efforts tend to pale by comparison.

Injuries have plagued his career in Minnesota as well, rendering him highly paid and unavailable. In the past three seasons he has missed close to 60 games, including a whopping 34 in 2006-2007. And, as one would find slightly humorous were it not so predictable, Gaborik is already missing games this season with a "lower body injury" suffered while playing hackey-sack with teammates.

Come next summer the Wild will have 7 other UFAs and 4 RFAs to deal with, the biggest being goaltenders Niklas Backstrom (UFA) and Josh Harding (RFA). They are already up against the cap now so they are going to have to make some room to fit in a larger Gaborik deal or they need to cut their losses now and try to find a willing buyer for his services this year.

Rumors continue to swirl that some talks have taken place with teams like Los Angeles and Montreal, with Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers, and Buffalo Sabres also interested. You would think that any team would be interested but one has to also balance the fact that anyone making a deal:

a) knows they're getting damaged goods and
b) they're not going to swing a sweet deal unless Gaborik will agree to a longer contract in whatever new city tries to land him.

Some team somewhere will pay him an extraordinary sum. Of that I have no doubt. I do not, however, think that team should be the Wild. Yes, there is some sentimentality to the Gaborik mystique. He was the team's first draft pick and he has been the statistical leader in many categories.

Even so, he is not the heart of this franchise. Mikko Koivu, in a short period of time, has stepped up to the plate where Marian has floundered. He may not put up the numbers Gaborik does but he is more of a rounded player on which a team can build. Even Brent Burns has improved and grown into more of a presence.

Should the Wild see fit to part ways with Gaborik the team will not suffer so greatly and, in fact, may actually find their play elevated by relieving itself of the burden of stardom.

Beer price in the NHL

Here is the Beer Cost Index for 2008-09 for the NHL: Team Name, the beer price provided to TMR followed by the size of the beer, and then the cost per ounce. Who's thirsty? Suprisingly the Predators have the most expensive beer...

Nashville Predators
$6.75 (12)
$0.56 per ounce
Philadelphia Flyers
$5.75 (12)
$0.48
Boston Bruins
$7.00 (16)
$0.44
New Jersey Devils
$7.00 (16)
$0.44
Anaheim Ducks
$6.75 (16)
$0.42
Edmonton Oilers
$6.75 (16)
$0.42
Calgary Flames
$4.97 (12)
$0.41
Chicago Blackhawks
$6.25 (16)
$0.39
Colorado Avalanche
$6.25 (16)
$0.39
San Jose Sharks
$6.25 (16)
$0.39
Los Angeles Kings
$7.75 (20)
$0.39
Dallas Stars
$6.00 (16)
$0.38
Detroit Red Wings
$6.00 (16)
$0.38
Montreal Canadiens
$6.10 (16)
$0.38
Vancouver Canucks
$6.10 (16)
$0.38
Phoenix Coyotes
$6.00 (16)
$0.38
St. Louis Blues
$5.25 (14)
$0.38
Tampa Bay Lightning
$4.50 (12)
$0.38
Toronto Maple Leafs
$5.88 (16)
$0.37
New York Islanders
$7.25 (20)
$0.36
Florida Panthers
$7.00 (20)
$0.35
Ottawa Senators
$4.69 (14)
$0.34
Minnesota Wild
$6.50 (20)
$0.33
Buffalo Sabres
$5.00 (16)
$0.31
Carolina Hurricanes
$5.00 (16)
$0.31
New York Rangers
$7.50 (24)
$0.31
Columbus Blue Jackets
$6.00 (20)
$0.30
Atlanta Thrashers
$5.75 (20)
$0.29
Washington Capitals
$4.50 (16)
$0.28
Pittsburgh Penguins
$5.25 (21)
$0.25

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The A's To Your Q's:Session 2

Here we are back for another installment keep the questions coming so we can do these more frequently! send them to hockeybums@yahoo.ca:

I have a question about the Leafs

Will they acquire anyone in the coming days or are they staying put?

The Source said on his website that Cliff Fletcher has denied all of the internet rumors and that he is not speaking with the GM of the Coyotes is this true or will we see a trade?

Thanks,
Damian

Hey Damian.

For now from what ive heard the Leafs are staying put. So far all ive heard with Coyotes are the talks are only preliminary nothing substantial being discussed as of right now.

Scotty

Hey:

I am assuming you took out the option to write in anonymously off because people abuse it by chirping rather than actually commenting and debating on the different topics etc. on your site. That being said I used the anonymous option to comment on your site because I am not registered with blogger and was having trouble setting up an account.

Do you have any suggestions?

Besides that I love the site and check it multiple times a day. Keep up the good work.

Windsor, Ontario
Nicolas Williamson

Hey Nic,

First yes thats why we took it off but since then we have put it in with comments moderated. That is why you may not see your comment pop up right away after you post it like you used to.

Scotty


Scotty,

Are the Bruins going to do anything (as in trades). Possibly trading Manny and bringing up Tukka, bringing in a top 4 D-man. I have heard Gaborik's name and the Bruins mentioned, how about Boumester?

Boston Bruins, Winnipeg, MB
vince m

Hey Vince,

The Bruins have talked quietly with the Wild about Gaborik but like the Leafs nothing substantial. The Bouwmeester rumors have been very quiet. The Bruins have showed interest but have not even spoken with the Panthers since they re-signed J-Bo. Watch for the Bouwmeester situation to heat up come Deadline day or just before.

Scotty


That it for now SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO ME! hockeybums@yahoo.ca

SHANNY LEANING TOWARDS RETIREMENT

With no team as of yet, Brendan Shanahan is reportedly leaning towards retirement.

Calder watch

Have you seen Steven Stamkos? Versteeg is the real surprise of this year's batch!

RK Player Team Pos GP G A PTS +/- PIM
1 Kris Versteeg CHI R 6 1 5 6 3 0
2 Fabian Brunnstrom DAL L 4 4 1 5 -1 0
3 Derick Brassard CBJ C 5 2 2 4 0 2
4 James Neal DAL L 6 2 2 4 1 8
5 Kyle Turris PHX C 5 1 3 4 -3 0
6 Jakub Voracek CBJ R 5 2 1 3 0 6
7 Oscar Moller LAK C 5 1 2 3 1 0
8 Ryan Jones NSH R 4 1 2 3 2 0
9 Patrik Berglund STL C 4 1 2 3 3 0
10 Brandon Crombeen DAL R 6 0 3 3 2 14

Wild Prospect Bolts For Home.

21-year-old Petr Kalus has abandoned his post with Houston of the AHL and decided to make his way back to Europe. Kalus has played in two games for the Aeros this season, posting up zero points.

Kalus came to the Wild last summer in the deal that sent Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins.

This is now the second AHL player to bolt from the Aeros in just two seasons. Last year forward Roman Voloshenko departed to jump start his career in Russia...a move which has not yet paid off.

Wild GM Doug Risebrough told local media that Kalus "just wanted to go home." No doubt the kid was frustrated at being leap-frogged for NHL duty by James Sheppard last season and by Benoit Pouliot and Colton Gillies this season but this is hardly the way to prove your worth.

Even with his departure, the Wild still own his rights through the end of June 2010.

Talkcast NOW!

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Special guest Sean Campbell of The Team 990 in Montreal

Mark Parrish gets 25-day try-out with Isles


From My Point Blank:

Parrish’s 25-game contract is with Bridgeport of the AHL, so the Islanders do not owe him anything, nor have they made him any promises about an NHL job.

Prior to this season, the popular ex-Isle was bought out of his long-term deal with his home-state Minnesota Wild. According to a source, he considered offers in Europe before deciding to re-boot his NHL career with some time in the AHL.

Hat Tip to "Kevin"

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Special guest Sean Campbell of The Team 990 in Montreal

Rivet out 2 weeks


Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced that defenseman Craig Rivet had arthroscopic surgery on his knee today. His recovery is expected to be a minimum of two weeks.

Rivet, the Sabres' captain, has 3 assists in 6 games for the Sabres this season. He also has 29 penalty minutes (all in the same game).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Talkcast Issues

I got word from Scotty that a lot of people have complained to him about the Hockeybums Talkcast. Too many people are calling in and cursing on air or otherwise messing around, totally demeaning the show. I realized that this is partially my fault, as a lot of the listeners who are doing this are my friends and relatives. I'll take the first step by only inviting my friends who will talk hockey and keep it clean. Seeing that, I want to assure everyone that the Talkcast is going to be cleaned up starting tomorrow, with the following rules in place:

-No cursing on air. Swearing on air will result in immediate muting.

-Keep it to hockey. I know I tend to deviate from the main topic sometimes, but for the most part I'd like to stick to the NHL and hockey in general.

-No scrolling in the chat. Any scrolling will result in immediate blocking of chat priviledges.

I am imposing these measures because I want Hockeybums and myself to be taken seriously. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and I look forward to an improved, cleaner Talkcast starting tomorrow at 3:30 PM. Hope to see you all there.

-Dewey

Nucks Recall Krog,Wellwood

The Vancouver Canucks have recalled 2 centers from AHL affiliate the Manitoba Mooseheads. Former leaf Kyle Wellwood who was sent down days ago has been recalled. He has yet to record a point with the Nucks after 1 game with the team then they sent him down. Jason Krog just missed out on making the team. He led the AHL in points last year with 112.

Ducks-Leafs tonight


Leafs TV interactive is streaming the game tonight, puck drops at 7 ET.

Talkcast in 10 Minutes

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Kings, Ducks a Rivalry?

What makes this a rivalry? Don’t get me wrong, I love the vibe in the Staples Center when the Ducks are Kings are facing off but what really makes this a rivalry? Is it just because they are a 45 minute drive away from each other? Maybe two fans bases should not be so close. But why so much hatred between the fans? Well….


Trades. There have been no major trades between the Kings and Ducks. Only 2 minor trades have happened. One coming just a few weeks ago when the Ducks sent veteran defenseman Sean O’Donnel to the Kings for a conditional 3rd round pick. The other came last season when the Kings sent Backup Goalie JS Aubin to the Ducks.


Playoffs. They have never met each other in the Playoffs.


Since the Ducks came into the league in 1993-94 the Kings lead the overall record between the two teams with a record of 37-32-11-5. That includes last weeks 6-3 Kings win over Anaheim.


These should be the most important things when deciding if a rivalry exists but the fans are using other reasons since these facts do not constitute a rivalry. Ducks, Kings fans bicker about what arena is better? where is it better to live? The City of Los Angeles or the suburbs of Orange County? Which uniform looks better? Who are the bandwagoners?


If you have never experienced a Kings, Ducks game, let me assure you the rivalry is deep and the two sides just plain hate each other. For good reasons? Not really. But it makes the games as exciting as hockey can get.

Waiver wire madness

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the team claimed forward David Koci on waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning has claimed forward Matt Pettinger off of re-entry waivers from the Canucks. They also put Jason Ward on waivers. Look for the Canucks to call Michel Ouellet up now.

Also, Vancouver’s Kyle Wellwood, Darren McCarty of Detroit and Sharks forward Lukas Kaspar all cleared the transaction wire, New York Rangers forward Patrick Rissmiller and Anaheim Ducks defenceman Ken Klee have been placed on waivers.

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

In With The New?


In light of Poni's recent demotion and decent into Wilson's dog house, I thought i would compare him to the man he was replace with on the top line on Saturday night, youngster John Mitchell...





Aves 4 Kings 3

Tough loss for the kings tonight but a few good things happened. Rookies Drew Doughty and Oscar Moller got their first career NHL goals. Backup goalie Erik Ersberg got to see some action for the first time this season. He played the 3rd period and stopped all 2 shots he faced.

But most importantly the Kings remain perfect on the penalty kill this season. In 5 games the Kings PK is 23 for 23. Go Defense !!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Box Above The Ice


Tomorrow the Buds take on the Anaheim Ducks at 7 ET.

Both teams have struggled to start the season, one was expected to, the other....not so much.

The ducks are a strong team beaming with young stars Getzlaf and Perry, both future superstars. And of course they boast probably the best d-core in the league,with the best pairing I've ever seen.

On the other side, the Leafs are the polar opposite.

One of the weakest teams in the league, the Leafs have played the way everyone expected, except that one guy who said they'd make the playoffs.

That aside, there have been a few bright spots so far.

The trio of Hagman-GrabO-Tlusty/Kuulie has been the best line on the leafs. They have one point between the three but they creat somthing every time they're on the ice. Also, the Buds have 4 more games until they must make a decision about Schenn and each and every game he convinces me more and more that he belongs on the team. Him and Frogren have become the shutdown duo and have been the best on the blueline.

With all that said, the big story of the game will be the resurrection of the Burke-to-Toronto rumours.

The current GM of the Ducks has turned down a contract extension to stay in Anaheim and many say he is going to take over Clif's post at the end of the season or perhaps before that. If the (don't call me mighty) Ducks keep under-performing like this maby we could see Burkie up in the box at the ACC more often.

The Leafs official website is streaming the game free, ill post the link tomorrow.

Side Note: The new season of Kenny Vs. Spenny started tonight, anyone get to catch it?

Downie, Ross sent to minors

The Philadelphia Flyers reassigned forwards Steve Downie and Jared Ross to the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL on Monday.

The 21-year-old Downie went scoreless in four games for the Flyers this season. Ross, 26, went scoreless in two games.

Hurricanes send Boychuk back to juniors

After 2 games with the Hurricanes, they have decided to return their 2008 first round pick Zach Boychuk to his junior team. Since he played in less than nine NHL games, his entry-level contract hasn’t kicked in yet. He will return to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.

Scott Walker, Tuomo Ruutu and Justin Williams are all still out of the lineup with injuries, and Boychuk’s departure leaves room from a call-up. The Canes will likely call-up forward/defenseman Tim Conboy.

What's Wrong With the Flyers?


Philadelphia, a team with very high expectations, has gotten off to a miserable start so far in 2008-09. The Flyers have yet to win a game, as they are currently 0-3-2. What is keeping them out of the win column? Consider the following:
  • Philly's 4.31 GAA is 28th in the NHL, ahead of only Calgary and Dallas, who also are struggling in the standings.

  • The orange and black are getting outshot by seven shots on goal per game, an alarming margin for a team that is supposed to be a Cup contender.

  • The club with the second ranked power play last season has slipped to 25th, having scored only three PPG in their first five games.

  • Only the Phoenix Coyotes win a lower percentage of their faceoffs. Philly is abysmal at faceoffs, winning just 43.6% of their draws.

  • Rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa is playing like a rookie, having contributed no points while being -4 so far.
You can see that most of the problems are on defense. Sure, Biron and Niittymaki have not played well (Biron especially), but a major reason is bad defense. It certainly does not help that two of the projected top six defenders, Randy Jones and Ryan Parent, are out for at least the first two months of the season. Nonetheless, I have two words for Flyers fans:

DON'T PANIC!

Let us remember that there are 77 games remaining, and there is plenty of time to turn it around. We should focus on the positives, such as Simon Gagne being back and scoring goals just like he did before his concussion problems. I still think the Flyers can win the Atlantic Division, but they need to start winning games soon if they want to achieve that goal. Here's to a quick turnaround, which hopefully will start Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center.

Holik to miss 3-4 weeks

New Jersey Devils center Bobby Holik will be sidelined three to four weeks with a broken pinkie finger. He was injured Saturday night in Washington and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow.

The Devils recalled left wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond from Lowell of the AHL to take Holik’s roster spot. Letourneau-Leblond had a very impressing camp with the Devilsa and he likes to drop the gloves. He will be in the line-up against the Stars on Wednesday. Look for him to fight Krys Barch if the latter is dressed.

Brian Rolston is also out with a sprained ankle for 2-4 weeks. Petr Vrana took his spot in the line-up Saturday and scored his first NHL goal.

Around the Habs

Habs have called up Kyle Chipchura from Hamilton for tonight's game against the Panthers.

Andrei Kostitsyn will not dress as he's still recovering from Sauer's hit.

Chris Higgins will also miss tonight's game as his groin is still bothering him.

Same problem with George Laraque who's having problems with his groin.

Steve Begin and Francis Bouillon will be back in the line-up. Patrice Brisebois is the likely lone health scratch. Jaroslav Halak will be in goal.

Waiver wire

- The Sharks have put forward Lukas Kaspar on waivers.

- The Red Wings have put forward Darren McCarthy on waivers.

- The Canucks have put forwards Kyle Wellwood and Matt Pettinger on re-entry waivers. The injury-bug has already hit the Canucks.
Rick Rypien was sent home with a viral infection.
Pavol Demitra suffered a torso injury vs the Hawks yesterday and is day-to-day.
Darcy Hordichuk is out 7-10 days with a knee sprain. He suffered the injury in yesterday's game.
Sami Salo also left the contest after only 2 shifts due to a groin injury. He is also day-to-day.

Salo and Demitra are fringe players and the Canucks will have to live with the various ailments that will affect both players throughout the season.

Lifeless Leafs

After a great effort in Detroit, the Leafs have had problems putting good performances going 1-2-2 after 5 games. The offense is in a deep coma, scoring only 9 goals (4 against St.Louis) since the beginning of the season. The defense has been on a roller coaster, offering inconsistent performances and allowing 18 goals.

Vesa Toska was stellar against the Wings and the Rangers, but was not very sharp against the Blues and the Habs.

On defense, Luke Schenn is a pleasant surprise, logging around 20 minutes a game and playing like a 10-year veteran. Will the Leafs send him back to junior after 9 games or will they keep him? They will have a boatload of d-men when Finger comes back from injury; Ian White has yet to appear in a game and is practising as as forward

Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina have been far from extraordinay and will have to raise their play for the Leafs to improve.

Up front, Jason Blake, Nikolai Kulemin and Nick Antropov have been the best and more consistent players. On the opposite, Ponikarovsky, Stajan and Grabosvki have been almost invisible, Stajan even being a healthy scratch vs St. Louis. Niklas Hagman will never score 27 goals with the Maple Leafs...

However, Ron Wilson will need secondary scoring from these players if he wants his team to at least compete every night. I doubt any player will hit the 50-point mark this season as this is a young and inexperimented team.

The Tavares-Hedman race is on, and the Leafs are the favourite to win it!
The other candidates are the Panthers, the Islanders and the Trashers.

Talkcast at 3:30 PM

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/27965

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Unexpected


The Blues have suffered key injuries to rookie Patrik Berglund (shoulder) , enforcer DJ King (shoulder), backup goaltender Chris Mason (appendix), and promising forward Lee Stempniak (knee), but continue to win. The Blues have seen their powerplay become the best in the NHL- scoring at an incredible pace. Keith Tkachuk now has 6 goals in 5 games while Paul Kariya has 9 points on the season. The best player on the team, however, maybe TJ Oshie. He may not have gaudy offensive numbers, but he looks like a veteran center with every moment he is on the ice. His high-motor has brought a spark to this team and its players. If the Blues can continue at this pace they may be a dark horse. Let us not for get the Blues have a tendency to start strong and finish weak. But for now, St. Louis is finally buzzing about Blues hockey once again.

Frantisek Kaberle out 2-4 weeks


Hurricanes' defenseman Frank Kaberle will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a broken foot. He was injured blocking a shot in the 2nd period of Friday's loss to the Kings. Anton Babchuk took his place in the lineup for tonight's game. Tuomo Ruutu is also missing his 2nd consecutive game with a groin injury.

Carolina has been plagued by injuries since the begininning of the season. GM Jim Rutherford will have to wait before trying to trade Kaberle who was on the trade market since training camp.

WHL and NCAA Update

I think this special has to be moved to every Sunday, considering I have just above 0 minutes to write this on Saturdays. Anyways, here's your update for the week:

WHL:
- The Spokane Chiefs are back on top, as of 4:12 Central Time today. They have 19 points through 12 games.
- The Vancouver Giants have the two league-leading scorers so far; Evander Kane has 9 goals and 22 points in 10 games, and Casey Pierro-Zabotel has 3 goals and 20 points, also in 10 games. Brandon Kozun of the Calgary Hitmen leads the league in goals, with 10.
- Spokane goaltender Dustin Tokarski, last year's playoff MVP, is currently the best goalie in the league, with 7 wins and only 1 loss.

NCAA:
- http://www.uscho.com/standings/index.php/type,d1.html for the standings.
- Player stats for 08-09 aren't up yet, but I'll post those as soon as I can.


Sorry for the shortness of today's post. I'll try and just post stories as I see them so I don't forget.

Flavorless Coyotes

The Montreal Canadiens are off to a good start this season, and they were off to a good start yesterday. Alex Tanguay and Saku Koivu scored 1st period goals to lead the Habs to an easy 4-1 over a flavorless Phoenix team. The Koivu-Tanguay-Latendresse line was the best on the ice scoring 3 goals and controlling the play in the offensive zone all night long.

Guillaume Latendresse is the most improved Habs player, as he is much faster and confident with the puck than last year. He's taking good decisions with and without the puck. Using his big frame, he created many scoring chances for his linemates, which finished a combined +9 on the evening.

Andrei Markov is another player that raised his play a notch over last year. He's making good passes and his on-ice vision is remarkable. Markov now has 8 assists and a +7 rating over 5 games.

However, the big event of the game was the borderline head shot by Kurt Sauer on Andrei Kostitsyn in the 2nd period. “I don’t know if it was dirty, but they’re trying to erase blows to the head, and it was definitely a blow to the head,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said.
The Canadiens will have forward Andrei Kostitsyn undergo some tests through the next couple of days for an update on his condition. Obviously, there was no call on the hit and the referees were brutal last night. No word on whether there will be a suspension or not.

The crowd immediately chanted Laraque, Laraque! looking for somewhat of a payback for Sauer's hit on #46. When Laraque got close to Sauer, who's 6'4'', 220 lb, the latter ran away like a quitter who did not want to account for his dirty hit.

But, later in the 2nd period, Sauer, accepted the invitation to dance from Tom Kostopoulos, (6'0'', 200 lbs) who was a no match for Kurt Sauer. Finally, Laraque found a dance partner in Todd Fedoruk who ran in Carey Price earlier in that period.

Wayne Gretzky proved once again he should have sticked to playing hockey, not coaching. Down 2-0 he asked his team to hit and play dirty in order to get back in the game, which led to the Kostitsyn incident. He also came back with Ilya Bryzgalov in goal after he had surrended 6 goals in 6-3 loss the night before in Ottawa. Bryzgalov has allowed 14 goals in the last 3 games.

Shane Doan, who is Price’s cousin, ruined the Montreal goalie’s shutout bid when he scored 10 minutes into the third. He was also the best player on the ice for the Coyotes. Youngsters Mikkel Boedker, Kyle Turris, Kevin Porter, Viktor Tikhonov and Peter Mueller seemed to be intimidated by the energetic crowd at Bell Centre as they were invisible.

The Coyotes will have to start winning on the road or they will miss the playoffs once again, and Gretzky's head could finally roll.

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