Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Rocky Mountain News,
Though not entirely unexpected, this is an ominous sign.
Three games into his Colorado comeback, Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg sat out Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Stars because of a groin injury.
added 8:32pm, Also, Adam Foote is missing his 2nd game due to a sore hip.
from Dan Wood at Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that whichever team emerges from the Western Conference playoffs will be a heavy favorite in the Stanley Cup Finals. The guess here is that the Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are all better than any team from the East, and the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche might be, as well.
The trickiest part, of course, will be navigating through the treacherous first three rounds of the playoffs. And while there is no doubt the West is the stronger, deeper conference, that doesn’t guarantee anything. By the time the Stanley Cup Finals roll around, injuries and other factors could serve to level the competition.
a litte more plus see how the Ducks have dominated teams in the East…
from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
According to Bruins coach Claude Julien, Chara also might have to sit out Tuesday night’s game in Ottawa against the Senators.
“He’ll be out a short time,” said Julien, who did not identify the
nature of Chara’s injury. “It’s minor. He’s out [today] and possibly in Ottawa, too.”
Chara appeared to hurt a shoulder in the second period of Saturday’s Garden matinee against the Capitals but returned to play effectively in the third period.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
You think its painful for the Maple Leafs to be playing their best hockey of the season with no chance to make the playoffs?
Try the Caps predicament. One lost weekend turned great promise into what is likely to be another spring on the outside looking in.
Now, it appears there won’t be a group of three or four teams in each conference fighting to get into the playoffs right up until the final day of the season.
In the east, only ninth place Buffalo has a realistic chance to still get in. Out west, going into play yesterday only ninth place Nashville still had serious hopes of making it to the dance.
A little late, but Empty Netters has invaded Washington D.C. and is live blogging from the game…
from the Vancouver Province,
Weight’s take, a common one, is that trash-talking is down—except for one saucy segment.
“I’m sure it’s a cyclical phase,” says Weight. “But there’s definitely a crop of guys that have come in in the last five years . . . and they want to disrupt you from the first drop of the puck. Not just physically—by hitting you late or throwing their stick around—but they’re going to go by your bench and talk. They’re going to talk after whistles. They’re going to try to be as disruptive as they can verbally. Whatever.
“It’s almost like when your kids are being disruptive, you can tune them out.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Just as it’s your right not to like fighting, especially in hockey, it’s my right to embrace it, even get worked up over it, especially when it’s a really good hockey fight, packed with emotion, suspense, and purpose. All these years later, I still get a hoot out of the memory of John Wensink gallantly bowing in front of the North Stars bench, inviting any and all to pair up in a bare-knuckled waltz.
Is that hockey? Frankly, no. But in those days it was part of it, and boy, do I miss that part, and those days.
If you don’t like it, then I say, with all due respect and careful consideration: Watch . . . something . . . else.
read on for more on this and other NHL topics…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
A well-placed source has told The Post that Sather rejected a San Jose trade deadline offer of Bernier, the 22-year-old, 6-foot-2, 225-pound, emerging power winger, for Avery. Thus denied, the Sharks then sent Bernier and a first-round draft choice to the Sabres in exchange for prospective unrestricted free-agent defenseman Brian Campbell. The Penguins, who themselves had been trying to get Bernier, then made their deal for Marian Hossa.
In other words, it was Sather’s decision not to move Avery for Bernier - made with significant input from others within the organization, we’re told - that created the domino effect in which Hossa and Campbell, the two prime impending free agents on the market, went to Pittsburgh and San Jose, respectively.
read on for more on the Rangers…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Yeah, it’s been a trying year here in Sabreland and a few other hockey outposts, but overall the spread of talent has been terrific for the league. Only a few teams are polishing their golf clubs with a month remaining, which makes the NHL standings a daily must-read for hockey lovers from Florida to Vancouver….
Ultimately, the NHL has found a way to create more interest, which is what the league needed most when emerging from the lockout. For all the gripes fans had over the years, playoff hockey wasn’t one of them. And for a good dozen teams out there, the playoffs started a month ago.
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Is it too soon to expect Brule or Brassard to blossom next season? Who takes Foote’s place on defense? Would one strong playmaking center next to Rick Nash be enough to jump-start the offense, or will it take more?
Howson and Hitchcock are smart guys and they know this team probably wasn’t good enough to do what they asked of it. Because of contracts that were inherited, they were mostly forced to play with the roster they were stuck with. Now Howson will have both the money and the latitude to give Hitchcock a gun in place of a pocket knife.
As hard as it to see it in the gloom of a goal-deprived season, the sun might soon be shining.
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