Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the AP via SI,
Okposo graciously greeted Sillinger on Monday as he pulled off his Islanders jersey for the first time after practice. Two years after he was chosen by New York with the No. 7 pick in the draft, Okposo is set to make his NHL debut Tuesday night when the host Islanders face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“You’re going to be 20 in April, right?’’ Sillinger asked. “Yup, I’m 19,’’ the reply quickly came.
“I’m 37,’’ the veteran of 17 NHL seasons said with a laugh. “I could be your dad. I’ve got a kid who’s 15.’‘
And with that, Sillinger - recovering from recent hip surgery that ended his season - walked away. In a season that has quickly unraveled for the Islanders, Okposo is providing something for the franchise to look forward to.
From Tom Reed at Puck-rakers,
You just knew the Jackets’ good health wouldn’t last. Goaltender Pascal Leclaire will miss at least the next two games with a possible concussion, coach Ken Hitchcock said. He was struck in the mask with a puck during pre-game warm-ups on Sunday.
Freddy Norrena will make his second straight start against Calgary on Tuesday night in Nationwide in what promises to be a testy game. [...]
Jackets’ winger David Vyborny is out for 7-to-10 days with a knee sprain. There was fear Sunday night that Vyborny’s season and possibly his Blue Jackets career might have been over.
And from TSN: “The Blue Jackets called up goaltender Dan LaCosta from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL on an emergency basis.”
From the CP via TSN,
Alex Kovalev said making a hockey DVD for charity was prompted by his own heart troubles as a child in Russia.
The Montreal Canadiens star forward released a two-DVD set on Monday called “Alex Kovalev - My Hockey Tips And Training Methods.”
All proceeds will go toward helping kids around the world with cardiac problems.
Alex Kovalev could shatter some long-standing Canadiens records this season if he continues to put up points on the power play. With 16 goals and 26 assists with the man advantage, Kovalev is within four goals of Yvan Cournoyer’s record of 20 set in 1966-67. Kovalev is also eight points shy of Mats Naslund’s points record set in 1985-86 when he had 19 goals and 31 assists on the power play.
From Rick Couchman at Hockey.com,
Someone is going to die, someday, but luckily for Tom Pohl, he came out on the fortunate end of things.
There was a close-call in Minnesota last night, but it looks like the hockey fraternity dodged a bullet this time, and considering the events, it could have been tragic.
Let’s face it, some collisions are so significant that you can’t help but wonder how people survive. Especially when it involves someone’s skull smashing into the boards.
continued… *Pohl is in intensive care at the Mayo Clinic, but doing well so far
From Sam Weinman at Rangers Report,
When Brendan Shanahan walked off the ice and saw a large group of media around his locker today, he correctly guessed that the conversation around the team had changed.
“Let me guess: today you’re not going to ask when a good time is to start resting everybody,” he said.
From Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
Break out the sun screen and beach chairs. The Florida Panthers are in hot pursuit of a playoff spot.
With a franchise-record seven-game win streak, the Panthers are biting at the heels of the eighth-place Philadelphia Flyers. And with two games coming up against the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, they’re even flirting with what was unthinkable two weeks ago: a South-least Division title.
“There’s a good energy going around,” Panthers defenseman Steve Montador said. “There’s a little bit of a buzz.”
Update 4:28pm ET: Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail wonders if this is the Year of the Panther.
Update 5:33pm ET: Apparently Florida is the story of the day. Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca also checks in with some thoughts.
Spector scans the NHL, looking at speculations out of Columbus, Atlanta and Edmonton.
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
This June will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Detroit Red Wings winning their second straight Stanley Cup championship. During the ensuing decade, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots repeated as champions in their respective sports.
Detroit remains the last NHL team to do so.
The Devils came close in 2001, the closest of any team since those Red Wings, but like many former Cup winners, their reign at the top of the hockey world came crashing down in defeat. That’s exactly what the Anaheim Ducks now are hoping to avoid.
From the Denver Post,
Even if the Avs win the division and are the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed, they will open their first playoff series on the road.
The NCAA’s Frozen Four is at the Pepsi Center on April 10 and 12, and the logistical reality is that the NCAA would have claim on the building from April 9 — the opening day of the NHL playoffs — through April 12.
The NHL has assured Avalanche officials that the team will retain the home-ice advantage in the first round as the No. 3 seed, with four of the seven games played in Denver, if all are necessary. The league hasn’t said how that would work, but it likely would be under a 2-3-1-1 schedule, with the third through fifth and seventh games ticketed for the Pepsi Center.
*maybe it would be easier for everybody if they just skipped the playoffs? (kidding, kidding…)
From The Hockey News,
Below is the list of the 29 candidates for this season’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.
ANAHEIM DUCKS: Todd Marchant, ATLANTA THRASHERS: Johan Hedberg, BOSTON BRUINS: Glen Metropolit, BUFFALO SABRES: Paul Gaustad, CALGARY FLAMES: Owen Nolan
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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