Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Daily Routine

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post via Delaware Online,

Dowd’s routine does not end with his last forkful of rice.

When he gets to the arena—whether it’s the Bell Centre in Montreal or the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia—Dowd has to have his equipment positioned just right.

“I like my stall nice and neat,” Dowd said. “[Former Islanders great] Butch Goring once told me that if something works, don’t change it. Stick with it. Some guys say I’m a little bit of a neat freak. But I ain’t changing anything.”

According to Flyers equipment manager Derek Settlemyre, most players have some kind of pregame ritual that goes unchanged. Derian Hatcher gives fist punches to every player before he takes the ice. Jeff Carter always follows Mike Richards down the runway. Randy Jones always is the last player off the ice following warmups and before every intermission.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+dowd

Surprise Punch

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

After Philly’s R.J. Umberger scored to make it 4-2 and clinch the win, Timonen turned back toward the Canadiens and raised his arms, a smirk on his face.

Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos delivered a roundhouse left to Timonen’s chops.

“I was just upset we were losing,” Kostopoulos said.


“I didn’t say anything. I raised my hands and I got punched,” Timonen said.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it ... I guess we’ll see what happens (tomorrow).”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Foppa Saga

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

He entered the zone of diminished returns.

There is no turning back.

Forsberg has become more trouble than he is worth. His unreliability is demoralizing.

It raised eyebrows when he was in and out of the lineup down the stretch of the regular season after signing with Colorado on Feb. 25.

This raises doubts.

At this time of year, in the most relentlessly testing of professional sports’ postseasons, any skepticism — even subconscious — about a teammate’s resolve is a major problem.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

Wings Ride Mule Train

from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,

At what point does secondary scoring become primary?

That’s the question we asked ourselves as “second-liners” Johan Franzen (three goals) and Valtteri Filppula (one) helped propel the Detroit Red Wings to an easy 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon.

For Franzen, it was the second consecutive multi-goal contest, giving him the team and league lead with seven. And the talented Swede can score them in a variety of ways.

continued & some ref talk too…

added 8:22pm, from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs blog at CBC,

“He’s got a hot stick right now,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. “Everything he touches seems to be going in. I think we need to be a little tighter around the net and make it a little more challenging in that area.”

Yeah, just a little. The Avs were thoroughly embarrassed in this one, getting outshot 40-20. The team has lost six straight to Detroit this season, and four straight in the playoffs since 2002.

“We’ve got to regroup, and figure out how we’re going to get better,” said captain Joe Sakic, who has no points in the series.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Forget Bad Ice, How About A Better Puck

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

He (Dan Craig) reads the reports afterwards that blame the ice for blown chances, but Craig would like hockey traditionalists to consider something else….the pucks.

The focal point of the sport.

How many times have you heard a coach or player follow a loss with, “we just didn’t get the bounces.”

Equipment in hockey has changed over the years, sticks have evolved from wood to composite, so the NHL’s ice guru wants a full investigation into how to make a better puck.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Game Has Improved

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

The learning curve has passed, and you’ll notice the hockey is better and more high scoring this spring. Look at these comparisons between the 48 games played in Round 1 this spring, to the 47 games played in Round 1 back in the ‘04, the final playoff before the lockout:

• Shut outs: 14 in ‘04, eight in ‘08.

• Games in which one team scored four goals: 16 in ‘04, 26 in ‘08.

• Games in which one team scored five goals: six in ‘04, 13 in ‘08.

This spring it has become clear that NHL players have learned how to play the game now without a rodeo breaking out. Officials have found the balance between calling every, single little ticky-tack foul, and maintaining the standard.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Therrien Now Involved In War Of Words

from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes,

The news conference was winding down and Martin Straka’s critical third-period interference penalty on Sidney Crosby wasn’t rehashed.

So Penguins coach Michel Therrien today took it upon himself to unload and perhaps ignite a war of words.

“Where I’m kind of disappointed, that there’s this gamesmanship happening before this series about Sidney drawing peanlties,” Therrien began. “I’m kinda disappointed, this is a star player that plays into traffic, a powerful skater…. and we all know what (Rangers coach) Tom Renney is trying to do, he tried to do it before we started before the series, and I see his comment today.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michel+therrien

Give These Guys A Break

from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,

I would like everyone to give referees ... a break.

Why do I suddenly feel like the guy on the All-Bran Cereal Bars commercial, where everyone spits out their water or laughs hysterically when he says they taste good?

It’s true. After spending the past two weeks scrutinizing call after questionable call on our TSN panel (TV factoid: debating referee rulings is a can’t-miss way to kill five minutes), I’m starting to suffer from some warped form of Stockholm Syndrome. I’m feeling sorry for the men in stripes.

Has there been the odd horrendous, brain-cramp, WTF?!? call in these playoffs? Of course. But there have also been countless occasions where we’ve looked at a replay a dozen times in Super-Duper HD Slo-Mo, and still haven’t been able to tell if the right call was made.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The HNIC Towel

from the Hamilton Spectator,

Different societies have different status symbols. North America has cars, houses and jewellery. Many African countries have the cellphone. In some parts of Asia, it’s a rare white truffle.

In pro hockey? It’s the towel.

If you’ve been watching Hockey Night In Canada even a little bit, you’ve seen the one. The white one with the round HNIC logo that’s draped over a player’s shoulder while he’s doing an intermission interview.

Unbelievable as it may sound in a sports world where pocket change is counted in the thousands of dollars and most players make an average Canadian’s annual salary in a matter of minutes, in dressing room currency these swaths of woven cotton are absolute gold.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

McConnell- A Friend To The Fans

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

John H. McConnell died yesterday. He wasn’t quite 85 years old, and he had an incredible life. It began in a house that did not have electricity. It ended in a hospital where he donated a tower…..

He liked the players, and told them to play for one another. He liked the game, the toughness of it, the stress it put on team play. He thoroughly enjoyed sitting in his box, up there in the corner above sections 106 and 107, and seeing the arena fill up for a major-league sport right here, in Downtown Columbus. I have no doubt he was happy that the Jackets will play on, indefinitely, beyond him. That was the point.

When they showed his face on the Jumbotron, he’d wave and the crowd would cheer. That’s not a normal owner-fan relationship, but it’s not surprising in this case. McConnell’s intentions were always transparent and pure and it was impossible not to like the man, and admire him. The jamokes in section 216, row Z, had a bond with him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+h.+mcconnell

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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