Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Arizona Republic,
Wayne Gretzky wants Rick Tocchet to fill Barry Smith’s place on his coaching staff.
“That would be my choice, and I know the players would like it,” Gretzky said Tuesday after meeting with his players at Jobing.com Arena for the last time this season.
Gretzky did not elaborate, presumably because he is not really supposed to speak publicly about Tocchet, who still is on an unpaid leave of absence waiting to learn if the state of New Jersey is going to proceed with its investigation into an illegal gambling ring allegedly involving Tocchet.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
As the playoffs get under way Wednesday night, here are the 10 story lines to watch over the coming weeks:
Chocolate or peanut butter?
It’s one of the great debates, right up there with “Less filling versus tastes great” or “Betty versus Veronica.” Offense versus defense. The old adage suggests you cannot win in the playoffs without great defense, and yet the Carolina Hurricanes proved a season ago that “great” is a relative term.
This season, the issue might be brought into closer focus with the fortunes of the New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks.
Think your hometown teams are a bunch of losers? Hey, Chicago, we’ve all been there. Some of us, though, have been there longer than most.
Which brings us to the first-ever ranking of the Losingest Sports Cities in North America. That’s all-time, for all four of the Big Four sports. Yes, that’s right. We looked at every city in the U.S. and Canada that has an NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB team today—then went back in history to account for every franchise that stayed for the long haul, just passed through or died a sad death.
from the Star-Tribune,
Spend any time with Gaborik, 25, and Demitra, 32, and it’s easy to see why they’re one of the NHL’s most electrifying dynamic duos, why sometimes they seem to read each other’s mind.
“Because we only use one brain—mine,” Demitra said, straight-faced.
Gaborik, laughing hysterically, shot back, “Yeah, we use the bald one.”
Seemingly attached at the hip—“On the road we spend 24 hours a day together,” Demitra says—the Slovak sidekicks live to cut each other up.
from the New Hamburg Independent,
I met my first real live NHL hockey player here. Already retired, legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender Bill Durnan, was taking part in an old timers game. Behind his net and through the wire mesh screen, I displayed his 1955-56 Parkhurst hockey card. Card #63, Habs Hall of Famer - Bill Durnan. He loved seeing it and throughout the breaks in the game, he often skated back and forth from his net to chat with me. He wasn’t a former Maple Leaf but…he once played in the NHL!
There were many important pee-wee, bantam and midget championship and tournament games that I participated in. Some were forgotten long ago, others will never be forgotten.
None of us, or some of our opposition, will ever forget our famous (infamous?) pre-game ritual with our pee-wee coach, Clare “Pop” Wiebe.
from the Tampa Tribune,
As disappointing as the regular season was for Lightning G Marc Denis, the news that he would be replaced as Johan Holmqvist’s backup by rookie Karri Ramo for Tampa Bay’s first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the New Jersey Devils had to sting even more.
“Yep,” said Denis, who was succinct Tuesday in his responses to every question.
Did he just not want to get into it publicly?
“Pretty much, yeah,” he said.
Had Coach John Tortorella and he discussed the decision?
“We had a talk,” Denis said.
from the San Jose Sharks,
San Jose – It is with great sadness that the San Jose Sharks organization must announced the passing of goaltending coach Warren Strelow, following a series of illnesses.
Strelow, 73, passed away peacefully early this morning in Worcester, Mass., surrounded by his family.
The Strelow family plans to hold a memorial to celebrate Warren’s life following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.
“As we mourn the passing of our friend Warren Strelow, we celebrate the substantial contributions he made towards the success of the San Jose Sharks over the past 10 seasons,” said Sharks President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Jamison. “Our deepest condolences, along with our thoughts and prayers, reside with his family. He will be greatly missed.”
By posting this, maybe it will open some eyes. This is a DirecTV issue, not an NHL issue. Maybe we can persuade DirecTV a bit…
from a KK reader,
Could you do anything to help persuade DirecTV to put Versus HD games on their channel 95 special events channel instead of meaningless April MLB regular season games.
DirecTV has no HD hockey scheduled for the next two days at least and it is quite frustrating to know that Versus is producing games in HD and that viewers can’t watch them.
I have heard the NHL say many times that HD is the future of televised hockey, but it’s not so good when even people with HDTV sets can’t watch it.
More information can be found at this AVS Forum thread...
from George Johnson at ESPN writing about the Wings/Flames series…
Among those who believe Hasek may be vulnerable is left winger Kristian Huselius, a revelation this season after piling up 34 goals and 77 points. After all, The Dominator, for all his brilliance, has a reputation for being, uh, somewhat erratic.
“He didn’t face a lot of shots this season,” Huselius said. “We’ve got to change that. We’ve got to get in his face, throw a lot of traffic in front, screen him. He won’t like it. We want to upset him. Make him work. Wear him down.
“He’s a great goalie. He’s won a Stanley Cup. But he’s old.” Huselius smiled. “And maybe when, as you get older, it’s easier to get p—-ed off.”
For the fans of teams not involved in the playoffs, have you adopted a team you would like to see win the Cup?
If so tell me why.
Also, for the fans of teams involved in the playoffs, what team will you choose if your “homer” is eliminated?
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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