Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Tribune,
After starring for the Canadian junior team in its gold medal performance last winter and now the World Championship’s experience, Toews appears to be the kind of “big game” player the Hawks need.
Now the Hawks just need to play some big games.
Savard said Wednesday he wouldn’t hesitate to put Toews on the first line as Martin Havlat’s center.
“If we don’t do anything else [in free agency or via trade] and from what I saw in the World Championships, I don’t see any reason why he can’t play with Havlat,” Savard said. “He has to play with good players and he will.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
If the Senators finish off the Sabres and then win the Stanley Cup, Alfredsson would certainly be considered of the favorites, if not the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Incidentally, Yzerman won that trophy in 1998 when he captured his second Cup.
The prevailing wisdom is that Alfredsson is playing the best hockey of his career. But here a few of the other candidates still in the hunt for the Smythe:
For those who wondered whether a buyout of center Alexei Yashin might be a condition that had to be met if the Islanders hope to sign free agent Ryan Smyth, apparently it’s not. Negotiations have yet to begin in earnest with Smyth, but general manager Garth Snow Thursday expressed strong support for Yashin, describing him as “a vital part of the organization.”
A2Y provides his readers with a Weekly Dose of Cheli every Thursday.
At about the 4 minute mark of the interview, Chelios mentions the NHLPA and the NHL will address head shots and look for some changes for next season.
Glad to hear that, hopefully this will become a non-issue next year.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
Veteran Anaheim Ducks defenceman Sean O’Donnell remembers a time when if one team got a big lead in an NHL game, they eased off the hitting and just tried to get through the night without anyone getting hurt.
Not any more. “What I’m amazed at is a team can be up 6-0 and some of the players on the team that is up are still running guys and doing late hits,” O’Donnell said shaking his head prior to the Ducks facing the Detroit Red Wings Thursday in Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference final.
“It’s gotten bad in the last couple of years. . . . Head shots seem to be more common and late hits.”
added 5:36pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
McLennan said: “Holmstrom has unbelievable moves. They’re not in your face. It’s guarding. It’s like – and here McLennan put his palm an inch from my face, completely blocking my view and said, in a children’s mocking, sing-song voice – ‘not touching you, not touching you.’”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
If the National Hockey League is serious about cutting down on head-hunting — and you can make a good case that it isn’t — then a one-game suspension for Anaheim’s Chris Pronger is simply not enough.
Pronger attempted to perform an on-ice lobotomy on Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom by slamming his head into the glass with a cross-check to the neck. Is it mere coincidence that Holmstrom just happens to be the key to power-play success for the Red Wings, and that by the time the infraction occurred, the game was out of reach?
Pre-game Q & A with Babcock and Carlyle…
Q. Do you try to do anything to exploit the fact that Pronger is not there or could you just play your game?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: You always know who’s on the ice, who you’re playing against. We’ll do the same as always. What I found in this playoffs, if you go through our group, you know, we’re missing lots of people. I’d say we’re missing two of the top three on our team.
To me, they’re going to use that as a rallying thing. We’re going to use it as it doesn’t make any difference, we got to keep playing, playing hard, playing intelligent, keep our composure, get after them.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
It is almost sacrilege to suggest, but it is nonetheless patently clear that this Detroit Red Wings team is far better team now that icons and legends Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan are gone.
This is not to diminish in any way the contributions both these players made to the Red Wings. Both are Hall of Fame material—Yzerman a first-ballot Hall of Famer to be sure. Both were crucial elements of three Stanley Cup teams between 1997 and 2002. Yzerman was the playoff MVP in 1998.
Each was, in their own way, a significant part of the team’s identity through the 1990s, a time when the Red Wings were the toast of the Motor City and the envy of other NHL franchises.
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.
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