Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Yahoo,
Sid The Kid was the NHL’s most valuable player in the first half of the 2006-07 season. At least according to CP’s crack hockey writers.
But who could argue otherwise. Sidney Crosby has raised his game to another level in his sophomore season and was atop the scoring leaders as the NHL hit its official halfway mark Friday. The Pittsburgh centre carried 61 points (19-42) into Friday night’s game at Buffalo. He was on pace for 136 points - which would be the highest output since his Penguins Mario Lemieux had 161 in 1995-96.
all the award winners for the first half…
from Phil Coffey at NHL.com,
As a hockey fan, you have heard it all a thousand times.
“Hockey players aren’t like other professional athletes,” is the refrain, and you also hear phrases like “down to earth” and “salt of the earth” to describe the men who put on skates to make a living.
We in the hockey world have realized this since the first stick was put to puck, and now, others seem to be catching on.
from the CP via Sportsnet,
Canada won a third straight world junior hockey championship and its first in Europe in a decade with a 4-2 win over Russia in Friday’s final.
After taking the title in Vancouver last year and in Grand Forks, N.D., in 2005, the challenge for this Canadian squad was to win it outside North America. The country hadn’t done so since 1997 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Canada rode its excellent goaltending, defencemen and special teams to the final and the only question mark then was whether the team could produce enough goals at even-strength against the skilled and speedy Russians.
Jarome Iginla who was wearing a brace on his left knee and didn’t skate at practice has a sprained MCL and will be re-evaluated next week. Forward Chuck Kobasew was advised to stay at home. He suffered a head injury and is classified as day to day until further tests are done to determine the severity of the injury. Daymond Langkow is not skating either. He took a clearing attempt off the foot last night.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
This year? Where there was once an adrenalin rush associated with so much of what was going on, there is now a sense of blah in many precincts around the league. Where there were once trades, there is now just managerial paralysis. Where there was once great uncertainty, there is now monotonous predictability.
Indeed, just about everything that was supposed to happen this season did — which may say something about the skill of the people making the predictions and establishing the betting lines, but it also does little to create the “wow” factor needed to sustain the gains the NHL made last year.
from Stacey Del Fabbro of the Cambridge Times,
I have new hockey heroes now. Some are four feet tall and skate fairly well, some are more than six feet tall and can hardly skate at all and one is five foot and holds his own out there, struggling to understand the dynamics of the game.
All of them are found on the Cambridge Ice Hounds team. The reason they are my heroes has nothing to do with hockey and everything to do with their collective heart.
Sadly, heroes aren’t always chosen for athletic ability or love of the game but for the fancy cars they drive, what they wear, or the movie stars they date.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
For NHL uniform traditionalists, whose views tend to be pretty uniform, the unveiling of the Apocalypse will come in Dallas at the All-Star Game later this month. That’s when CCM/Reebok and the league will show off next season’s style of uniforms, which will be more formfitting, tucked in and, most potentially objectionable, all but rule out the most traditional horizontal striping and design schemes.
During CCM/Reebok representatives’ tour through the league and dressing rooms, teams have worn plain prototypes of the sweaters/jerseys at practices, and unadorned, they don’t look that much different.
from the Toronto Star,
“Somebody in the regular population is more concerned with keeping their weight down,” says Matt Nichol, the Leafs’ strength and conditioning co-ordinator. “I have a harder time with these guys trying to make sure they maintain their lean body mass during the season because they burn so many calories.
“If they’re losing lean body mass, it’s kind of like taking horsepower out of the car. As they lose lean body mass, they’re going to be a little slower, a little less powerful on the ice. They’re going to fatigue a little bit sooner.”
“If I’m working at Royal Bank and I don’t eat enough today or don’t have the right mix of foods in my diet, I’m going to be sluggish. I’m going to be lethargic, but maybe no one at work is going to notice,” says Nichol.
“But here, if you’re sluggish and lethargic, a red light is going to go on and people are going to boo and throw things at you.”
via Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
There are occasional reports out of Slovakia that Palffy is working out and interested in returning to the NHL, and that’s his prerogative. Just as it’s the prerogative of the Penguins—who are free of their contractual obligations to him, but still own his NHL rights—to compel another club to overpay for those rights if it’s interested in bringing him back to North America.
from the Calgary Sun,
Chants of “Iggy, Iggy” that punctuated the fight gave way to a sombre buzz in the building when fans started noticing their leader had gone straight to the dressing room after serving his five minutes.
With team doctors tending to Iginla throughout the third period, Flames officials reported late in the evening Iginla had suffered a lower-body injury and wouldn’t return. That’s all they’d say. While press-time speculation swirled around a possible wrist injury, coach Jim Playfair would only say the injury didn’t occur during the scrap. Replays showed a pre-fight hit along the boards by Allen, suggesting Iginla’s left knee twist awkwardly.
Either injury is potentially devastating for one of the league’s top snipers.
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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