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Big tilt tonight in the Motor City

Blog: KK Hockey By The Upper Canadien

This is a big one for the Habs. They shutout Vancouver. They beat San Jose. They beat Philadelphia. They’ve taken the Bruins. They dominated Phoenix.

Can they defeat the Red Wings?

I’ll admit it, the Wings are THE team to beat. Each and every year. Sure, the Penguins are good, Philadelphia is good, San Jose is often great until April, but the Wings are the pinnacle. They are in a class of their own.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev, pk+subban, pk+subban

How Can Murray Fix the Senators?

Blog: KK Hockey By Patrick Hoffman

from Mike Brophy at Sportsnet.ca:

Last season the eighth place Montreal Canadiens, finished with 88 points. For the Senators to hit that mark, they’d have to go 31-21 in their final 62 games. Of course that doesn’t factor in points they could achieve in games that go to overtime, but you get the idea.

The Senators will need to do an immediate about-face if they are to make the playoffs this season.

So what’s wrong with this team?

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+murray, ottawa+senators

Duncan Keith Fondly Remembers the “Cold War” Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Patrick Hoffman

from Brian Hedger at NHL.com:

His first game for Michigan State University came against arch-rival Michigan in a game dubbed “The Cold War,” played in front of 75,000 people at Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium. It was also an unseasonably cold night with temperatures in the low 30s, but Keith was feeling cold sweats before the game regardless.

“It was kind of a crazy way to start your college career,” said Keith, who scored his first collegiate goal that night. “It was exciting, but I was just a young guy going in there. You better believe I was nervous.”

That game, which finished in a 3-3 tie, set the stage for all the outdoor games played since—both in the NHL and college. In fact, the Spartans and Wolverines will play a rematch Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the sold-out, 110,000-seat Michigan Stadium. This game is being called “The Big Chill at the Big House,” and it brings back fond memories of the “Cold War” for Keith, who will root for the Spartans on Saturday as he prepares to play the San Jose Sharks on the road that night.

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, duncan+keith, michigan+state, michigan+university

Lightning’s St. Louis Keeps Plugging Along

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

I have my own plans for a special feature on the beginnings of Martin St. Louis’ NHL career later in the year but today, The Globe and Mail‘s Eric Duhatschek marvels at the longevity and sustained production that is only a small part of his story:

It is difficult to quantify exactly what is the most unique part of Martin St. Louis’s ongoing and thoroughly heartening success story.

The Tampa Bay Lightning winger, who played his 800th NHL game this past week against the team that originally brought him to the league, the Calgary Flames, is currently fourth overall in the NHL scoring race.

St. Louis is 35, but doesn’t look old. He is 5 foot 9, 177 pounds, but doesn’t play small. Ten years ago, he was the last NHL player paid in Canadian dollars, or before his contract was bought out by the Flames in the aftermath of the 2000 expansion draft. St. Louis lingered on the unemployment line all summer, or until the Tampa Bay Lightning took a flyer on him in late August, signing him for $250,000, which was about as low as you could go in those days without breaching the CBA’s minimum salary floor.

read on…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report: Sabres, Tourism Group At Odds Over WJHC Fan Services

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

From WGRZ-TV:

BUFFALO, N.Y.—The World Junior’s Hockey Tournament will bring thousands of fans to Western New York from all over the world but it seems the local tourist organization will not be offering services to fans, as they have in the past.

The Buffalo Niagara Conventions and Visitors Bureau was at the forefront of the NCAA Tournament held in March here in Western New York, offering informative maps of local hot spots, Twitter updates about transportation delays and volunteers on each corner downtown to point fans where they needed to go. 2 On Your Side is told that because the World Junior’s is an event bid on by the Buffalo Sabres, the CVB will not have an active role in the 11 day hockey tournament.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: 2010+world+junior+ice+hockey+championships, buffalo+niagara+conventions+and+visitors+bureau, buffalo+sabres, wgrz

If Brian Burke Decided To Replace Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Globe and Mail hockey writers with their opinions…

ERIC DUHATSCHEK

I would wait until the end of the season and see who shakes loose at that point.

The problem with making a mid-season coaching change is your options are limited. Few teams are going to surrender the next Guy Boucher or Scott Arniel if they are already coaching in their system and either a) being groomed for the top job; or b) doing good work in terms of developing their prospects down on the farm.

Accordingly, you’re left with choosing from among the legitimate NHL coaches, on the unemployment lines, still seeking work - Pat Quinn, as mentioned above, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock, Mike Keenan, Andy Murray. All have had success at different times in their careers. None, save MacTavish perhaps, would be a good fit in Toronto.

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalev Has Been Picked On His Whole Career

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Alexei Kovalev says he’s been made the scapegoat and that’s why he’s on the fourth line.

Frustrated with coach Cory Clouston, the Senators winger told reporters Friday he doesn’t know why he’s being made the scapegoat for the club’s struggles.

“It looks like it right now,” said Kovalev. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not the only one not playing well and he decides to pick me. It’s been happening my whole career. I accept that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Craig Laughlin Enjoys Shinny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Capitals color analyst with the call…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+laughlin

A New Worst Player This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is hard to remain the worst regular in the NHL for any period of time.  If you look too bad, you stop getting a regular shift.  If you play better, you stop being the worst.  The most recent player I selected as the worst in the league was Kyle Clifford of the Los Angeles Kings.  He is a 19 year old rookie who is using the first year of an entry level deal and struggling in the NHL.  There have been some good signs lately.  He scored his first NHL goal last night and is up to two points in 22 games played.  It’s not a good start in the league, but it appears he is making progress and is no longer the worst regular in the league.

To find a new selection, I do not have to go very far.  He is another Los Angeles Kings who regularly dresses and gets very limited ice time.  He is Kevin Westgarth.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Could You Imagine Montreal/Detroit In The Big House?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Michigan plays Michigan State Saturday afternoon in front of a record 109,901 in Ann Arbor in The Big Chill at The Big House. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would have enjoyed having tonight’s game in that outdoor venue.

“It’s fantastic. To me this should be a weekend combination with the NHL,’’ Babcock said. “I say this every year, the state of Michigan could do all the work for the NHL and they could just have a game here every year.

“To me it’s a slam dunk, the facilities are already set up. We could have played this game out there. It would have been a good deal.’’

Red Wings forward and MSU alum Drew Miller agreed.

“I don’t see why we wouldn’t play there,’’ Miller said. “It’s huge. It sets us up for being the the record book for some time. It’s great for Michigan and college hockey.’’

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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