Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
A year after sporting five 50-goal scorers, the most in a decade, only one player is currently on pace to top the magical barrier.
Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning carried 48 goals into Tuesday night’s game against the New York Islanders and should have no problem cracking 50 for the first time in his career.
After that, the league needs a few players to get hot in the remaining three weeks of the season. Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne has the best shot sitting at 44 goals with nine games left. He’s on pace for 49.
Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley (42 goals before Tuesday night’s game), Atlanta Thrashers winger Marian Hossa (41 goals) and Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin (41 goals) have an outside shot but aren’t currently on pace for 50.
added 7:07pm, from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
What LeBrun doesn’t get into is a breakdown of how scoring has changed from last season to this one, something that shows unequivocally that the reason for the drop in scoring is fewer goals scored on special teams. While the number of power-play and shorthanded goals is on pace to fall significantly short of last season’s totals, even-strength scoring is actually on pace to marginally surpass the 2005-06 totals:
read on for a breakdown…
Mike Modano participated in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Your president was very upset that they didn’t acknowledge your record at Nashville. A couple of times Calgary didn’t acknowledge one of Wayne Gretzky’s records because of the rivalry, does it bother you as much as it bothered Jim Lites. And I wanted to ask you about Jordan Tootoo, is that something just the way the NHL has gone, and did you think you might get suspended because your stick came up and whacked him a little bit?
MIKE MODANO: Yeah, I think Jimmy was a little bit more worked up than I was on that thing. We’ve had guys who have come to Dallas and Minnesota and scored goals and hit milestones we didn’t recognize. I think the one that—Jimmie was upset because we recognized Mark Recchi when he scored 500 here in Dallas and we had a little thing on the JumboTron for him.
Every home team is different. I think it’s tough, you know, for a home team sometimes to kind of promote another player on another team. I think NHL fans are really diehard and they are loyal to their own team, so I think people there would have felt it as a slap in the face maybe or showing up their team or what.
As far as the Jordan Tootoo, he’s a player that you hate to play against but you love them when they are on your team. We have a guy, Steve Ott, who is a lot similar to Jordan Tootoo he’s a guy that wants to go out there, plays hard, plays the game on the edge. He’s an emotional guy, and he plays hard. You know, it doesn’t surprise me that he’s out there a lot when we’re out there just to try to disrupt our flow or get us possibly thinking about him more than possibly thinking about the game and the puck and making plays.
So, yeah, I mean, the whole incident was tough to see. Obviously the hit on me was clean but I think in the moment, he didn’t twist it around and I knew I had my stick coming at him and I didn’t want to—I just kind of held back a little bit on it. I didn’t want to—obviously I had him in a position where I went from behind and one hand on my stick, so I didn’t want to push that situation too far on myself.
from Hockey Canada via the SooToday,
An important variable to consider when selecting a summer hockey school is whether to select a residential hockey school or a daytime hockey school. Both options offer your player a spectrum of benefits, therefore it is up to the parent and player to determine which options works best for them. Residential hockey schools offer the player the experience of participating in a hockey program in a new environment, away from home, where the player is exposed to new friends, experiences, and opportunities. A daytime hockey school offers the same experiences, but allows the player to continue to fulfill their responsibilities and commitments at home.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
The rise of the Wild dovetails into superb performances from two men. Returning from a groin injury that cost him 34 games, Gaborik has been the consistent gamebuster everyone knows him to be. Teaming with Todd White and fellow Slovak Pavol Demitra, he’s excelled on the road, where he’s scored 18 of his 25 goals. Fans in St. Paul are likely wondering where the Wild would be if he hadn’t missed all that time, but, in the end, the extended stint on the sidelines might be beneficial. He’s fresh, frisky and on fire heading into the big dance, when it counts most.
“Having Gabby back in the lineup is huge, obviously,” Rolston said. “It gives teams more to think about in matchups. He makes our line better, and in turn, we make his line better. It took this team a while to learn how to win on the road. But we’ve gotten our act together.”
Wow, what a slow day. I could give you more Tootoo news, or how about some Gartner news or NHLPA talk?
No you say, well, we better start telling some jokes during this lull!
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
A key meeting set for Wednesday which many hoped would lead to a new IIHF/NHL player transfer agreement has been postponed.
Just why exactly seems up for debate. The IIHF sent out a letter to federations Tuesday advising them that the meeting, to be held at its Swiss headquarters, needed to be re-scheduled because the NHLPA, going through turbulent times, could not send a representative.
But the union issued a statement giving a different reason.
“The NHLPA was fully prepared to take part in the IIHF meetings but informed the NHL in advance of the meetings that we would not be consenting to a new transfer agreement until we had an opportunity to complete our analysis of potential agreement structures,” the statement said. “The NHL and the NHLPA agreed that it was appropriate to defer the meetings for a short period of time until the NHLPA analysis is complete.”
I take a mini-tour with the hockey bloggers, looking at the playoff races in my NHL.com blog today.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
“I think we’re a different team now than we were in past years,” Muckler said. “A lot of people like to talk about the different preparation this year, going through adversity at the start of the year, which we never had before. They were really bad times, no question. We didn’t seem to have any chemistry on our club.
“But it all came together when we ran into injuries. When (Jason) Spezza, (Antoine) Vermette, and (Mike) Fisher went down, people who weren’t getting a lot of ice time were getting a lot of ice time, and we found out we had more depth in the organization than we thought we had. And I think it proved to the coaches that they could go to these people and put them in crucial situations and see the same results.
from the Toronto Star,
The rink is tiny and the team’s win total minuscule, but the game – hockey – is big on the Isle of Wight, of all places.
Make that a most peculiar brand of hockey.
They love their Wightlink Raiders in Ryde, the main city on the island in the English Channel, despite their franchise in the 12-team English Premier League having won only three of 43 league games this season. Plus, they play in a 1,200-seat arena with one of the smallest ice surfaces in pro hockey, or anywhere for that matter.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres have made it all but official: They will have no playoff tickets left to sell to the general public this season.
A whopping 98.5 percent of season-ticket holders have put down a deposit for their playoff tickets, while 90 percent already have renewed for next year — more than six months before the start of next season.
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