Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK—Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Petr Sykora and Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 16.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
One of the basic principles of the North American court system is that an open court is a just court. A closed court, by extension, is a court in which the seeds of doubt about whether justice is served are always present. It is why many of the NHL’s [disciplinary] decisions are regularly (and quietly) questioned by team officials and ridiculed by the media.
Why not make the process like a regular court?
Surely there is room in the NHL’s process for a stronger voice from the victim of these acts? And most important, why not establish a process by which the media can cover these events as they would any court proceeding. Whether it’s in person or via conference call or another manner, the give and take between the accused, the victim and the league should be open and accessible to ensure that justice is done.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
It’s almost time to vote for the Hart Trophy and I’ve got to be honest, I am not even close to picking my winner.
I will say, though, I have narrowed it down to four candidates – goalies Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, left winger Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and right winger Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.
I firmly believe, had Sidney Crosby not missed so much action with that high ankle sprain, he would have repeated as the Hart winner. Oh well.
Update 5:50pm ET: John Glennon at The Tennessean wonders this about Ovechkin,
“His energy and his passion — if you could bottle that and stick it inside your players — you would have an unbelievable team.’’
It sounds like the description of an MVP, but there’s a catch. The Capitals are in a position similar to that of the Predators, two points out of the playoff picture with nine games remaining in the season.
Hence the question: Should Washington fall short of the postseason, should Ovechkin win the MVP? The last player to accomplish such a feat was a guy named Mario Lemieux, who did it while playing for Pittsburgh in 1986-87.
Anyone have a spare generator they can ship to Michigan ASAP? Paul’s lost power, so posting may be minimal for the next few hours.
Update 1:30pm ET: (from alanah) Paul is still unavailable due to power problems. He’ll be back as soon as he can.
from Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Bubble teams aren’t just for NCAA tournament Selection Sunday. Thanks to parity and three-point games, there’s no shortage of bubble teams in the NHL.
As teams enter the final 10 games of their season, we handicap who is likely to be in and who’ll be out when the dust settles.
WE LIKE THEIR CHANCES
New York Rangers: After a slow start, things are starting to click for a Rangers team that many thought was the best in the East following a big-spending summer.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
A growing trend in the NHL’s salary cap era is the fast-tracking of talented youngsters into prominent roles strictly for financial reasons.
That’s not really breaking news, but we’re sure noticing it with more regularity each season, especially when putting together our list of top 50 prospects for Future Watch 2008.
We were more than a little shocked to realize the top seven prospects from Future Watch 2007 made the quick jump to the NHL this season.
Over at the AVSForums, a thread headline reads... “Russian Rocket Fails To Put Dish Network Satellite In Proper Orbit.”
Only a hockey fan would reply… “When I saw this thread I thought of Pavel Bure.”
from Gary Peterson of the Contra Costa Times via Inside Bay Area,
We have seen over the past three weeks that Marleau still has jump in those 29-year-old legs, and that the Sharks are better off when he’s on top of his game. But there are bigger questions afoot that cannot be answered until the regular season ends, and the mission shifts from playoff positioning to legend making and legacy building.
Question No. 1: Speaking of interpretive data: Does Marleau rise to the level of competition, or does he shrink from it? In 2004, he scored seven goals as the Sharks defeated St. Louis and Colorado in the first two rounds of the playoffs. He was held to one goal and was a minus-5 in the conference final loss to Calgary.
In 2006, he scalded Nashville for seven goals as the Sharks won in five games. He scored two goals as they were eliminated by Edmonton.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Wayne Gretzky was the planned surprise guest at the party the Vancouver Giants are having for Gordie Howe to celebrate his 80th birthday today, but while he said he wouldn’t be able to come, he’ll surely find a way to send along his regards.
The Great One took some time here to tell a few of the tales of his interaction with the man Reggie Fleming used to call “Blinkey” as a way to try to get under his skin, always a dangerous proposition. And it all started with that famous picture of the two taken when he was just 10 years old; Wayne remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I remember I was getting out of school that day because I was meeting Gordie at the Holiday Inn at 2’ o’clock,” said Gretzky
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Somehow, the sixth-place Rangers are only four points ahead of the ninth-place Sabres, though they do hold a game in hand on Buffalo. Somehow, the Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives following last night’s 3-0, empty-net-abetted defeat here to the Lightning.
Somehow? Here’s how: The power play, even more pathetic last night than usual while going 0-for-3, is operating without purpose, confidence or competent play from the point, yet coach Tom Renney refuses to adjust his personnel….
Somehow? Here’s how: Despite diminishing returns from veterans Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan, Renney opted against a rest-and-replenishment night for either, even with three games in four nights coming up this week beginning with Tuesday’s Garden match against the Penguins that will be followed by games in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
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