Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Around the Rinks

Another Shot?

Peter Forsberg’s on again, off again relationship with the NHL appears to be “on again.”

Well, not quite. But sort of.

The 37-year-old, who hasn’t played in the NHL since April of 2008 because of a recurring foot injury (among other things), is back in his old stomping grounds to see if he’s still got it. ESPN reports Forsberg will start skating with the Colorado Avalanche today in an effort to gauge where he’s at as far as conditioning and to see if his foot holds up at that level.

It’s just the latest comeback attempt for the Swede, who won two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche before darting off to Philadelphia for two seasons. He was traded to Nashville in 2007 and wrapped up his NHL career in Colorado the next season. He didn’t play much in 2008-09 back in Sweden with Modo, his first pro club, but got into 23 games the following year and represented his country at the Vancouver Olympics.

Forsberg has always been a very unique player – a mix of grit (bordering on dirty) and skill (bordering on greatness) not often seen from a European. In 706 career NHL games he scored 249 goals and put up 885 points, with another 171 playoff points in 151 games.

Before we get too carried away, it’s worth noting that Forsberg hasn’t signed a contract or anything with the Avs. It does make you wonder though, doesn’t it?

Every player wants to go out on his own terms and Foppa hasn’t been able to do that.

If he shows he can still skate with the big boys, should the Avalanche bring him back and give him a shot? They’ve got more than enough room salary cap wise and they just lost Tomas Fleischmann for the rest of the season. Maybe they could pry Alex Tanguay away from the Flames and reunite the AMP line, one of the deadliest in team history!

Quick on the Draw

Some crazy moments on Friday night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY.

The hometown Sabres fell 5-2 to the visiting Islanders but I don’t blame you if you missed Nathan Gerbe’s two snipes. One second it was 4-0 for the Isles, the next it was 4-2!

Gerbe, the NHL’s smallest player at 5’5, beat Isles goalie Kevin Poulin with a backhander at the 16:38 mark of the third period to make it a 4-1 game. On the ensuing face off, he pressured an Isles defenseman and suddenly found himself all alone down the left side of the ice with the puck and snapped a shot over Poulin’s shoulder at 16:43.

That’s two goals in just five seconds, a Sabres franchise record and the lone highlight for the team on the night.

The NHL record was set by Nels Stewart of the Montreal Maroons in 1931 and equaled by Deron Quint of the Winnipeg Jets in 1995 – they both scored twice in four seconds.

What does Gerbe think of his accomplishment? “It’s embarrassing,” he said after the game. Okay, well the rest of us think it’s pretty awesome…

Seven seconds after his second goal though, Gerbe took a slashing penalty. So, he was a +2 with two goals on two shots with two penalty minutes all in a span of 12 seconds. Nice!

Old Time Hockey

The Ottawa Senators haven’t had much (or anything) to cheer about lately, currently riding a five game losing streak with just one win in their last twelve games…but they made the highlight reels on Thursday night!

Granted, it wasn’t for anything positive.

A 6-2 Senators loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia featured ten fighting majors inside the final seven minutes of play and a total of 126 penalty minutes, 116 of which came in the final 6:48. Philly’s Jeff Carter fought Jesse Winchester, exactly four minutes later it was Ottawa’s Nick Foligno and Claude Giroux, and then as soon as the puck dropped three other fights broke out.

Here is Jarkko Ruutu and Scott Hartnell, Chris Neil and Jody Shelley and Matt Carkner fighting Sean O’Donnell (which wasn’t much of a tilt):

At least this pointless series of fights was good for something, as the Sens came out one night later and put the boots to the Montreal Canadiens in front of the hometown fans at Scotiabank Place…

Just kidding, they lost 7-1 and are now 1-8-3 since star forward Jason Spezza went down with a shoulder injury on Boxing Day!

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