Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via the Hockey News,
The gap between Denis and Holmqvist hasn’t widened much since. Both have had hot and cold runs this season in Tampa and Tortorella has made it clear that he hasn’t decided who will be the starter in the playoffs.
Denis currently seems to hold the upper hand. He’s posted consecutive wins over Edmonton and Calgary and expects to get the start on Tuesday night in Toronto.
But he knows he’s only as good as his next game.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• In the view of some analysts, Mario Lemieux is getting off easy with his demand that his Penguins get a new arena or go bye-bye. “If his club could sell out The Igloo every night of the season – and it could with Crosby and Malkin – he could make enough dough to say,” one observer of the NHL fiscal scene opines. “Sure Mario would make more with a new building and all those luxury boxes but he’s just being greedy. The Penguins could survive right where they are now – if Lemieux was really interested in keeping them in Pitt.”
• Commenting on the NHLPA upheaval, Bill Wirtz tells us that the Union would benefit from studying the good side of Alan Eagleson’s Association leadership: “Alan Eagleson put it in the union constitution that the players must be issued annual financial statements certified by PriceWaterhouse….
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
Given up for dead as the All-Star Game approached, Florida has dramatically turned things around over the past six weeks, going 12-5-3 to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. After a near-sellout crowd saw them beat Southeast Division co-leader and rival Atlanta on Saturday for the first time in seven tries, the Panthers find themselves just five points shy of the eighth and final postseason seed with 13 games remaining.
“I’m sure a lot of people have written us off, but in here, we’ve never thought we’re out of it,” said forward Nathan Horton. “Obviously, it took us longer than we wanted to get things going, but we feel good about things and now we’re making our push.”
Alex Ovetjkin finds a unique interview with Donald Brashear,
DUBINA : Is it true that Joey Kocur had a punch of horrendous blow force? Have you ever fought him?
A. Yes, once I had a scrap with Joey. I tried to stand for him, but he was punching and punching me. Kocur was hitting me in the helmet like a power hammer and in the end the helmet split! I remember the next day I had a terrible pain, my gums on the left side of my head were hurting even though he was hitting me on the right side of my face. I couldn’t chew anything. I wonder what it would be if I did not have a helmet? Too scary.
NEW YORK (March 12, 2007) – NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises (ICE), the digital arm of the National Hockey League (NHL), today announced NHL Network’s signature show NHL On The Fly: Final—now airing in Canada—will be made available for the first time in the United States online at NHL.com. The hockey highlight show will be offered for free through the Stanley Cup Final.
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
Whoever takes the job must be someone who enjoys the respect of everyone in the union, and who understands the players’ priorities. Ideally, it will be someone who can build some bridges and get the players back on the same page.
That guy might be Bobby Orr.
Would Orr want that kind of aggravation? He hasn’t said. And he’s certainly not the sort of man who’d campaign for a job while someone else was still warming the chair. But his candidacy would boast a lot of favorable factors.
NEW YORK (March 12, 2007)—New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Chicago Blackhawks left wing Jeff Hamilton and San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 11.
Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League’s top performances over the past week.
FIRST STAR—HENRIK LUNDQVIST, G, NEW YORK RANGERS
Lundqvist posted a 3-0-1 record in four games with a 1.43 goals-against average and .948 save percentage as the Rangers (34-27-8, 76 points) moved into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Lundqvist posted consecutive victories over the New York Islanders, making 29 saves in a 2-1 home shootout victory March 5 and 30 stops in a 2-1 win at Long Island March 8. He made 20 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss at Pittsburgh March 10 and finished the week by stopping 30 of 31 shots and both shootout attempts in a 2-1 decision over Carolina March 11. Lundqvist is 8-2-4 in his past 14 games, recording a 1.65 GAA and a .935 save percentage in that span.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
I’ve been to Nashville many times over the years and always enjoy my time in the city. Now, this isn’t a travelogue piece, but my schedule brought me there over the weekend and I decided to spend my time as a diehard hockey fan. I took in two Predators games, multiple youth hockey games, and even went to the team’s Friday optional skate at their local practice rink.
NEW YORK (March 12, 2007)—The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced that NHL Center Ice, the League’s out-of-market subscription package, will now be available to fans in the U.S. and Canada on NHL.com. NHL Center Ice Online provides fans the opportunity to watch up to 40 games per week through a broadband connection on their personal computer or laptop.
NHL Center Ice Online features comprehensive game coverage through the regular-season finale on April 8, plus select games from the Stanley Cup Quarterfinal and Semifinal Rounds (all games subject to local blackout). Current NHL Center Ice television subscribers can purchase NHL Center Ice Online for half price with proof of television package purchase.
from USA TODAY,
Teemu Selanne’s second tour with the Anaheim Ducks has revitalized the Finnish Flash’s career. He just passed last season’s 40-goal mark and is on pace to have his best scoring season since 1998-99.
Many projected before the season that the Pacific Division would be one of the toughest in the league. Talk about how difficult it has been night in and night out.
Selanne: It’s hard. That’s what makes things interesting. You don’t know what’s going to happen on any given night. There are so many good teams and that’s making it exciting. You have to make sure you show up. It’s a must-win (situation) for everybody.
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