Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Sun:
Every time he steps on to the ice at Denver’s Pepsi Center, the kid from St. Mike’s knows all too well he is guarding the same crease once occupied by the legendary Patrick Roy.
In fact, Peter Budaj is reminded of it whenever he peers skyward at the rafters.
“Whether it be a game or a practice, I find myself looking up at Patrick’s banner all the time,” Budaj said from Denver. “It’s an honour to be following in his tradition, so I don’t care if I’m in his shadow. I’m actually grateful to be in the shadow of the greatest goalie in hockey history.”
from the National Post via the Ottawa Citizen,
...prior to last night’s results, only nine points separate the sixth-place Pittsburgh Penguins from the 14th-place Boston Bruins. And why only four points divide the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and new York Islanders.
With about 30 games remaining in the regular season—and the trade deadline less than four weeks away—here is a breakdown of the six main teams that are battling for the final two playoff spots:
from the Leader-Post,
Contrary to what some may believe, hockey is no laughing matter south of the border.
Not to Melrose, anyway.
“The Americans are great people and they love hockey,” he continued. “I just talk to them like I talk to my buddies back in Kelvington. Hockey fans are hockey fans, wherever they are. Some may know a little bit more than others but others make up for it with excitement. Hockey is certainly not as big in the United States as it is in Canada and it’s something we’re continuing to work on but the American hockey fan is a passionate hockey fan, no doubt about it.”
more on Melrose…
from the Buffalo News,
The goal was clearly stated back in the summer of 2003. The Buffalo Sabres wanted to acquire a top-six forward, someone who’d fit on one of the top two lines. So they traded for Chris Drury.
They got more than they were asking for. Drury is no longer just a top-six forward on his own team. It could be argued he’s grown into one of the top six forwards in the Eastern Conference, if not the whole NHL.
Drury is getting better at every facet of the game. His offensive talent has long been recognized. He scored 20 or more goals in his first five seasons. He set a career high last year with 30.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The message seemed to be: Bring it on.
“The main thing is, we stick together,” Penguins center and NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby said yesterday. “As long as we keep that pack mentality, where everyone sticks up for each other, and we make sure that if they’re messing with one guy, they’re messing with the rest of the team, too, that makes us a tough team to play against.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Shanahan shouldn’t be blaming the referees. Instead, it lies with the blizzard of new rules in this new My NHL 2. Calls made on some nights aren’t called on others, and the biggest reason for it is that refereeing is difficult enough without having all of their calls assessed and often second-guessed on television monitors by a gang of hanging judges in Toronto.
Referees enter every game wearing cuffs - at least in their own minds - and it’s been that way ever since the two-referee system was introduced. Their jobs depend on it. At the very least, their calls dictate how far they’re allowed to work in the playoffs - if at all.
from the Edmonton Sun,
They’re in trouble and they know it. And they have to know now, if they didn’t before, that this team isn’t nearly as good as the ones that rallied from the grave before.
So deep are the mental wounds, so dire is the predicament, the coaching staff cancelled practice and shut the dressing room doors for the final team meeting of the year. I say final because if anything that happens between now and April dictates the need for another one, the season will already been lost.
If it’s not already.
“Just to clear the air and refocus,” captain Jason Smith said of the gathering, in which players and coaches all had their say. “It’s a crucial time right now.”
Some parts of North America are in a deep freeze. Tempature in Detroit right now is 6 degrees!!!
Stay warm, stay inside and watch hockey all day long.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Whether it’s Crosby or Koivu or New York Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr, the manner in which the game’s top players are treated is sure to become a focal point as the furious race for playoff positions intensifies.
Ranger teammate Brendan Shanahan believes Jagr isn’t getting his fair share of calls these days and said so. Loudly.
That’s one approach.
Carbonneau, meanwhile, admired Souray’s defence of Koivu even though, through the combination of power-play goals and the defenceman’s absence, it cost the Habs the game.
That’s another approach.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Anson Carter could barely find a job in the weeks leading up to training camp this year, but he’ll generate a lot of interest at the deadline. Surround him with talent and he could be a valuable rent-a-player.
“I guess when you’re on a one-year deal this kind of situation comes up, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it,” said Carter, adding Columbus has really grown on him. “When you’re in a place where you’re happy you think about those rumours a little more. It’s only human nature. If people involved in rumours say they don’t think about it, they’re lying.
continued... plus more NHL bits, including what to the Blues do…
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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