Kukla's Korner Hockey
Another great month and thanks to all who continue to visit on a very regular basis.
Previous history tells me we will see a drop in the numbers in the coming months. As teams drop out of the playoffs, fans do lose a little bit of interest.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The real issue on the table but seemingly never discussed is as simple as this: why do players flock to Nashville to play for the Preds but treat Edmonton as hockey’s version of a gulag?
The simple answer: Nashville wins. They do it regularly since they emerged from their expansion pains, they do it in a style that players love to play. Bur there’s more to it than that. They do it in the environs of a small but enthusiastic fan base in a city with a mild climate, countless entertainment options, relatively easy travel, a friendly family environment, surprisingly low-cost housing, no state income tax and, and this is no small consideration, a forward thinking management that believes in stability and a long-term view. Throw in the cream of country-western music talent, much of it tapped to sing the national anthem every night and still more of it playing the bars, clubs, honky-tonks and even the Nashville Arena on non-game nights and well…
more... plus other NHL bits…
Even though the trade and UFA talk is low-keyed this time of year, the talk still exists.
Spector breaks it all down today…
It is very unusual for any Wings news to filter in on a Sunday morning, but these are desperate times.
The Wings are talking to Larry Murphy. Not just talking but trying to get him to say yes to a comeback. The Wings plan is to have Murphy become a power play specialist and only a power play specialist.
With the latest injury to Kronwall, the Wings feel they need some help on the blueline and to save some dman minutes for 5-on-5 and PK situations, they believe Murphy could run the right point on the power play.
Hmmm, a Hall of Famer on the point! Will it work, who the heck knows.
Of course, he would have to clear waivers, at least I think he would.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Thanks to the schedule format, the NHL has become two leagues.
That has been my feeling all along the past two seasons, but it truly sunk in last week when the Avalanche issued a booklet extolling the virtues of Paul Stastny as a candidate for the Calder Trophy, the league’s rookie-of-the-year award.
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin is the favorite, and if this offends anyone, so be it: I’m planning to put him No. 1 on my ballot and Stastny at No. 2 when the voting is conducted in the next week.
But I’m uneasy, and not out of homerism.
It’s because they might as well be playing in different leagues, and it makes head-to- head comparisons difficult and even a bit unfair.
from the Boston Globe,
“I talked to Peter and there’s nothing to worry about,” Lewis said. “We have to get better as a group. We have to get better as a team. We have a road ahead of us that we know the direction we’re going.
“Now it’s up to us, the coaches, to get better for next year. We have to have a better start. Obviously, we didn’t have a strong start, fell behind, and we haven’t been consistent.”
Lewis, who has steered the Bruins to a 35-37-2-4 record, has three years remaining on his contract.
“He’ll be back,” confirmed Chiarelli.
more on the Bruins…
from the Toronto Sun,
Several witnesses said that when the game ended Domi confronted his son’s coach, Lucas Miller, and launched a tirade filled with profanities in front of young players and fans.
Toronto Police were called to the rink to deal with the situation.
Although no charges were laid, witnesses compared Domi to “a caged animal” and said the former Maple Leaf was upset by the amount of ice time the coach had given Max, who captains the Marlboros.
However, other parents claimed the incident was blown out of proportion.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Sometime over the next week to 10 days, scribes, pundits and self-styled experts from all over the hockey world will analyze the NHL’s opening playoff round the way a good CPA analyzes the tax act.
They will dissect tendencies. They will crunch numbers. They will consider individual matchups and all manner of statistical minutiae.
No detail, in short, will be ignored. All will be weighed and measured and then and only then will a final judgment be passed in the form of a “prediction.”
from the CP via the Winnipeg Free Press,
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) — The owner of the Ottawa Senators is delivering gifts including $50,000 worth of hockey equipment to Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Eugene Melnyk is visiting the NATO base in Kandahar.
Melnyk stepped off of a C130 Hercules transport aircraft wearing body armour and carrying an army helmet.
The troops — for whom ball hockey is a major pastime — are getting new goalie equipment, hockey sticks, inline skates, balls and NHL and Team Canada jerseys.
The billionaire businessman is also delivering 2,500 Tim Hortons gift certificates.
from the Times-Tribune,
Sure, the money is much better in the NHL and there’s always that bit about fulfilling one’s lifelong dream of playing in the best league in the world, but the move also required the atmospheric change of going from a winning team to a losing environment and a sold-out building to a half-empty one.
Those days are officially over.
The parent Penguins are now the next big thing in the NHL, a club with plenty of offensive flash and some of the best young talent in the world. Not only have they clinched a postseason berth, they’re heading into the last week of the regular season with a chance to win a division title.
And perhaps more than any other player, Erik Christensen is riding the wave.
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