Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Denver Post,
With the thunderous force of a hammer striking an anvil, the puck rang off the post of his goal, and Peter Budaj did not flinch.
What makes or breaks a goalie in the NHL can be found in the eyes. The best ones never blink.
Colorado will not win the Stanley Cup this year.
But, maybe, just maybe, the Avs have found a goalie who can take them to a championship.
It is safe to hang a No. 31 replica jersey in your closet.
Budaj is going to hang around. At age 24, he has grown up. One of the toughest jobs in Denver sports would make a lesser man crack.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
WARNING: The following information may offend or upset naive hockey parents in this province.
The NCAA scholarship road is drying up for Ontario hockey players. The opportunities that once existed are becoming fewer.
An investigation of the top 10 teams in U.S. college hockey this season shows only 59 Canadian players on those rosters, and only 11 of those from the Greater Toronto Area.
Eleven Toronto players on 10 teams? Sixteen on the top 15? That’s sixteen over four years of college.
Mike Chen just emailed me with the news his blog has been hacked.
He should be up and running in a few days.
He has his opinion on who did it, but I will let him comment on that if he wishes…
added 2:52pm, Mike is getting back on his feet…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“Next week is not out of the question,” said Shanahan, whose team will follow weekend games against the Thrashers and at home the next night against the Bruins, with matches at the Garden Monday against the Penguins and Wednesday against the Flyers.
“[Within] 10 days is definitely my goal. From the time I first got on the ice [Monday], the thought the best case scenario would be under two weeks. When I first was hurt, I was thinking I’d be back for the playoffs. Then, I was aiming for the last week of the season. Now, I’m hoping it’s a little sooner.
from the Pioneer Press:
It’s a strange life being an enforcer, and more complicated than it used to be. Once simply a matter of intimidating opponents through brute force, the role has become more nuanced in the new, end-to-end era of NHL hockey.
And Derek Boogaard is getting very good at it.
The Wild’s 6-foot-7, 255-pound tough guy straddles two worlds, working on his skating and stick skills so he can play an effective shift without getting into a scrap, but also scouting opponents for potential trouble.
And that’s where his brother Ryan comes in.
from Kevin McGran of the Globe and Mail:
As if it isn’t enough they are paid millions of dollars to play a game, have fans screaming their names and stay in the best hotels in the best parts of the best cities, NHLers have another perk in their life: the afternoon power nap.
It’s a hockey tradition, probably as old as the game itself.
“It’s not a matter of `Will I?’ It’s a matter of `How long?’” says Maple Leafs centre Travis Green. “It’s just something we do.
“I guarantee we all look forward to it. It’s great. Even when I get home in the summer I tell my wife I’ve got to shut it down in the afternoon. We’re like robots.”
Steve Brisendine, AP, via Belleville News Democrat,
Kansas City, jilted by one NHL team, is dusting itself off and moving on.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ decision to stay put leaves the Sprint Center, scheduled to open in October as the centerpiece of Kansas City’s downtown revitalization, still without the anchor tenant promised to the voters who approved it.
But despite their disappointment, local sports officials said that even being considered as the new home for one of the NHL’s best teams can only help them land another one - or, possibly, an NBA franchise instead.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Forsberg was acquired at such a high price to help push the Predators over the edge in the postseason. But the less he plays in the regular season, the greater the angst over whether he can deliver the goods once the stakes go up April 11. And of all the teams headed to the postseason, the Predators may face the highest stakes.
In some ways, the futures of Forsberg, the elite player, and Nashville, the emerging elite team, are tracking the same path—the future enticing, yet unknown.
Babcock would like to see Bertuzzi get in nine games, but it’s more likely going to be four or five and then it’ll be playoff time. He was not in Nashville on Tuesday and will not accompany the team on its two-game swing through Western Canada this weekend.
“He doesn’t have to be ‘the’ guy, just be one of the guys,” Babcock said of the big forward.
more on Peter & Todd…
via the New York Islanders,
After being re-evaluated today in Montreal by medical personnel and the Islanders training staff, goaltender Rick DiPietro will be a “game-time decision” for Thursday night’s match against the Senators in Ottawa.
DiPietro is experiencing neck stiffness from a collision with Montreal’s Steve Begin late in the first period of the Islanders’ 5-3 loss on Tuesday night in Montreal.
from On the Islanders Beat,
When I arrived a few minutes into practice, I found DiPietro watching from behind the glass at the end of the tunnel to the locker room. When asked how he was feeling, DiPietro shook his head and said, “I’ve felt better.” It was obvious he still was feeling the effects of a blow that left him groggy on the ice for several minutes.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist participated in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. I wanted to ask you, in the beginning of the season and now you seem like a different player, a turnaround in your game. I wonder, is anything different for you personally
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, coming back from the summer, I mean a lot of expectations and you try to play well at the start. I think as a team we didn’t play as solid as we do right now. With me, I was a little up and down. I played well, but I made too many mistakes at the start. After the first month, I think I improved my game. It’s been going okay. After Christmas, I think I stepped up a little bit more. It’s just about cutting down your mistakes, I think. The game has been there, I think, but mistakes here and there. But lately it has started to feel much better.
Q. You made it look so easy getting into the playoffs last year. But this year seems like a battle for you guys. What do you think about being in such a tight race this time around?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: I mean, it’s a learning experience, for sure, and it’s a lot of fun, too. Every game means a lot. It feels like you’re already in the playoffs, actually; every game is huge and it’s intense. When you look back at the record here from maybe from the All-Star break, we haven’t won as many games as we wanted to, but we definitely played a better game and a more disciplined game than we did before Christmas, just some tough breaks here and there, but I still think we’ve been playing okay.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org