Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The home team gained three of the possible four points over the weekend, but if you are like me, there was little joy in the process….
To me, it showed again that the Flyers still think they are a better team than they are. They play the Penguins, they try to outscore them, they play the Rangers, they try to outscore them, they play just about anyone, and they treat the first period like an extension of the morning skate.
“We found our legs in the second period and we were fine from there,” Danny Briere said in one newspaper report after the Flyers rallied from a two-goal hole against the last-place Islanders the other night, and I screamed - I mean screamed - “What planet are you skating on?”
from All Things Avs,
I’m officially throwing in the towel when it comes to trying to make sense of anything to do with Peter Forsberg. Really, I give up.
I will never, ever, write anything other than Forsberg is “questionable” to play a game. His latest absence is just another train wreck of head-scratching misinformation/mysteriousness.
I should have known better than to swallow the Avs’ company line - again - yesterday, when I wrote what they said, that he was “likely” to play today in Minnesota. Forsberg did not play today, with yet another alleged “groin” injury.
from John Dellapina at the Blueshirts Blog,
...That said, what I don’t get is how the hard-working and utterly honest men who referee NHL games can repeatedly be duped by the same maneuver - you know, that fling back of the head in mock horror in reaction to an opponent’s stick that didn’t come close to striking it. Like, say, the tap to the hip that Scott Gomez gave Crosby, drawing that head flop and a high-sticking penalty in today’s third period.
But even more mystifying is how Jaromir Jagr could have begun his career in Pittsburgh, developed into a superstar here and never learned the diving and face-clutching and horrified equipment shedding that has been part and parcel of Pens hockey ever since Mario Lemieux decided to shame the league into enforcing its obstruction penalties by embarrassing all officials who didn’t do so.
from Risto Pakarinen at Hockey.com,
So, every April morning, the fans and national teams coaches alike, wake up and check the NHL scores and start playing fantasy hockey. “Florida out? That means that Olli Jokinen and Ville Peltonen are avaibable.”
Finns follow their players, Swedes are hoping for a Vancouver jackpot, and both Finns and Swedes are wondering whether Mats Sundin will suit up in the blue and yellow sweater once again.
from the Ducks Blog a the OC Register,
The magnitude of Sunday night’s game between the Ducks and Dallas Stars at Honda Center cannot be overstated.
By winning, the Ducks would move to the brink of clinching fourth place in the NHL’s Western Conference and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. A regulation loss to Dallas, meanwhile, would leave the Ducks no longer in control of their own destiny in pursuit of the all-important fourth spot and home ice.
With a regulation victory, the Ducks would have 98 points and need just one point in their final two games to secure fourth place because the maximum number of points the Stars and Calgary Flames could reach would be 98.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Management’s job is to find players with the skill to shoot the puck into the net, and the coach’s job is to meld the people he’s given into a functioning team. It’s nice if the goal scorers happen to rush around, crunch people and fight as well—so much the better.
Everyone is after players who can do all these things. But players who don’t do all these things still often have value whether they fit a certain coach’s ideal mould or not, and they need to be treated with just as much respect as the guy who’s running around doing his thing.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Yes, the Oil leads the league with 12 double-digit goal scorers, despite icing 16 players under age 26.
But simply put, the Flames are the envy of the NHL in terms of building blocks for the future.
Defying conventional wisdom that suggested the salary cap era would prohibit clubs from collecting superstars as used to be the case with the old New York Rangers or Detroit Red Wings, Darryl Sutter has four of the league’s very best locked up for the next six years.
With the game’s best leader (Jarome Iginla), most complete and feared defenceman (Dion Phaneuf), a Vezina-winning goalie (Miikka Kiprusoff) and one of the top stay-at-home defenders (Robyn Regehr) all inked to lengthy extensions this year, the Flames are essentially guaranteed to avoid the type of sorry season the Oilers had last year.
from the Albany Times Union,
If this were college football, you’d know Kevin Porter’s name, time of birth and favorite song.
You’d know that Porter scores as often as Sidney Crosby and leads like a young Steve Yzerman.
You’d know all this because you’d have read all about Porter in Sports Illustrated, seen and heard all about him on “SportsCenter” and talked all about him ad nauseam….
If this were college football, you might’ve seen the offensive hero strike the Heisman pose, as former Michigan receiver Desmond Howard famously did during his Heisman-winning season.
But this is college hockey.
from the Denver Post,
Denver Post columnist Woody Paige, Avs beat writer Adrian Dater and Post news staff writer Kevin Simpson — a former sports reporter and longtime Avs fan — sat down recently for a roundtable session….
How far does the Avalanche advance in the playoffs?
Dater: The Avs do not win the Cup, I’m sorry to say. I don’t think they even make it out of the first round. They’ve yet to develop the kind of consistency and chemistry they’re going to need. But, I will give one caveat: If they can somehow keep Forsberg healthy, I think they’ve got a shot. But I think they lose in seven games in the first round.
Paige: If they can get to sixth or seventh place, they can be a scary team. I don’t think teams are going to want to play them. This is a team that is better than a lot of teams ahead of them, if Forsberg and Sakic stay healthy.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Speculation abounds, for example, that Darcy Tucker is first on the buy-out list for this summer.
But what if the new GM wants to keep Tucker, or believes that given time, he could trade the veteran and get something for him?
The only sensible approach would be to put every important decision on hold, and to get a permanent somebody in by mid-June.
But that’s not the Leaf plan.
So while Peddie was ostensibly doing damage control, all it really did was make it abundantly clear that the dazed and confused Leafs are pursuing the future with continued maximum dysfunction as their guide.
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.
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