Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Roger Phillips at NHL.com,
Three days before Christmas, the Vancouver Canucks were stumbling along, mired in a three-game losing streak, unable to score many goals, one game below .500, and seemingly going nowhere.
Three months later, however, the Canucks look like they really might be going places—like deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, maybe to the Final, and possibly all the way to their first championship. There would be a certain symmetry to it, too, if the Canucks reach the Final. That would mean each of the Western Canadian teams would have represented the Western Conference in the last three championship series.
Continued… including a look at other goings-on in the Western Conference
Just wanted to let Kukla’s Korner readers know that I roped Paul Kukla into appearing as a special guest on The Crazy Canucks podcast this week. Paul shares his thoughts on the Canucks, the Wings, the upcoming playoffs, Vancouver bra-throwing and various other important matters.
Check it out. It’s not every day I get to put my boss on the hot seat and ask him the really tough questions. Important things like, “If you could have any NHL hockey player do your grocery shopping for you, which player would it be?” (Yeah, I really did ask him that. And admit it—you NEED to know the answer!)
You can listen online at the website, or download.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Despite steering some of hockey’s greatest players to almost 1,500 wins and a record nine Stanley Cups, Scotty Bowman says the most incredible athletic accomplishment he ever witnessed had nothing to do with the sport that made him famous.
Instead, the 73-year-old coaching legend cites a five-hour stroll around Pebble Beach with Tiger Woods as the backdrop for the most phenomenal sporting endeavour he’s ever been privy to.
from the Star-Ledger,
If it were at all possible, the Devils would probably pack up and say goodbye to Continental Airlines Arena even before they completed their final season in the building.
Although no one was specifically blaming the bad ice last night for groin injuries suffered by key forwards Patrik Elias and John Madden, there were enough complaints to suggest their poor home-ice conditions have done more to hurt the Devils than the rest of the NHL.
Call it an ironic, yet sweet coincidence!
Two big-time hockey fans, almost at opposite ends of the country, living in small towns, and running daily hockey blogs with all the passion of the sport, both entrenched in a battle for supremacy in the Kraft Hockeyville competition.
Both bloggers feels their towns worthy of the title.
from the Denver Post,
With the thunderous force of a hammer striking an anvil, the puck rang off the post of his goal, and Peter Budaj did not flinch.
What makes or breaks a goalie in the NHL can be found in the eyes. The best ones never blink.
Colorado will not win the Stanley Cup this year.
But, maybe, just maybe, the Avs have found a goalie who can take them to a championship.
It is safe to hang a No. 31 replica jersey in your closet.
Budaj is going to hang around. At age 24, he has grown up. One of the toughest jobs in Denver sports would make a lesser man crack.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
WARNING: The following information may offend or upset naive hockey parents in this province.
The NCAA scholarship road is drying up for Ontario hockey players. The opportunities that once existed are becoming fewer.
An investigation of the top 10 teams in U.S. college hockey this season shows only 59 Canadian players on those rosters, and only 11 of those from the Greater Toronto Area.
Eleven Toronto players on 10 teams? Sixteen on the top 15? That’s sixteen over four years of college.
Mike Chen just emailed me with the news his blog has been hacked.
He should be up and running in a few days.
He has his opinion on who did it, but I will let him comment on that if he wishes…
added 2:52pm, Mike is getting back on his feet…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“Next week is not out of the question,” said Shanahan, whose team will follow weekend games against the Thrashers and at home the next night against the Bruins, with matches at the Garden Monday against the Penguins and Wednesday against the Flyers.
“[Within] 10 days is definitely my goal. From the time I first got on the ice [Monday], the thought the best case scenario would be under two weeks. When I first was hurt, I was thinking I’d be back for the playoffs. Then, I was aiming for the last week of the season. Now, I’m hoping it’s a little sooner.
from the Pioneer Press:
It’s a strange life being an enforcer, and more complicated than it used to be. Once simply a matter of intimidating opponents through brute force, the role has become more nuanced in the new, end-to-end era of NHL hockey.
And Derek Boogaard is getting very good at it.
The Wild’s 6-foot-7, 255-pound tough guy straddles two worlds, working on his skating and stick skills so he can play an effective shift without getting into a scrap, but also scouting opponents for potential trouble.
And that’s where his brother Ryan comes in.
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