Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
So, Panthers head coach and general manager Jacques Martin says, he is still a buyer when it comes to the NHL’s trade deadline on Feb. 26, not a seller. That means star centre Ollie Jokinen, subject to almost as much trade speculation as Leafs’ captain Mats Sundin, is staying put for now.
“I think the bottom line for us is we are three points out of first in our division with one game in hand on both Carolina and Atlanta,” Martin said a few hours before the Leafs and Panthers played on Tuesday night. “We’re in a good position. We control our own fate, we just have to go out and do our jobs.”...
“If we keep winning and climbing up the standings, being in playoff position, those kinds of rumours will die,” Jokinen said. “We’ll be buyers, not sellers.
From Terry Frei in the Denver Post, some quotes from Gary Bettman’s press conference in Denver yesterday:
On his impressions of the season so far: “The competitive balance is incredible. The races are exciting. The notion that every game counts and matters and is likely to have an implication in terms of who does and doesn’t make the playoffs and the seeding, I think is great for the fans.”
More on the schedule: “Our best attended games are our divisional games. Our next best-attended games as a general rule are our conference games. And while the numbers aren’t dramatically different, the least of the three are the interconference games.”
more comments from Bettman (bottom half of the post)
A few topics discussed at my NHL.com blog today.
I also ask who is the NHL MVP at this point of the season. You can respond at either location and make sure to include why you think your suggestion is deserving of the MVP award.
Calgary-based Dr. Arun Lakra has created a system to consider the questions: Who is scoring the clutch goals? And who is padding their stats with soft points?
We have created The Clutch Factor, a method by which the value of goals and assists may be objectively calculated and standardized.
By assessing the “Clutch Elements” which are at play on every goal, ranging from goal differential to manpower situation to opposition strength, and by analyzing every goal scored in the NHL 2007-08 season through the recent All-Star break, we have figured out who is, in fact, scoring clutch goals. And who is padding their stats with soft points.
more on who’s “clutch” this year in the NHL.
from the Toronto Star,
Just as he had no choice but to accept his suspension, he would also have no choice but to accept his fate if he were traded. Antropov may be among the most vulnerable of Leaf stalwarts.
Teams looking to load up for a run at the playoffs will consider he earns a reasonable $1.95 million (U.S.) a year, he’s signed for next season, he’s having a career year, and, perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He says he wants to stay.
“Of course,” says Antropov. “But it’s not up to me. Ask Cliff Fletcher.”
more and other Leafs mentioned too…
from the Detroit News,
In the middle of presidential campaign season, coach Mike Babcock did some lobbying of his own Monday in the Red Wings locker room.
The candidate Babcock was backing was Nicklas Lidstrom.
Well, you can add another can’t-miss player for the mix, but the here’s the kicker - all 30 NHL teams missed out on him a while ago. His name is Fabian Brunnstrom, and he’s one of the most coveted young players not playing in the National Hockey League.
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
Elite hockey players are heavy sweaters in general, Spriet said, because of three factors: a high-intensity workout, considerable protective equipment and warm arenas (between 14 and 17.7 during games).
Spriet, who since 2005 has been the advisory board chairman with Canada’s Gatorade Sports Science Institute, also said hockey players have a culture that makes them more likely to use water instead of sports drinks to hydrate on the bench during practices and games.
The study’s conclusion states “elite ice hockey players have very high sweat rates and despite numerous opportunities to drink, replace only 60 per cent of the sweat losses.”
from On Frozen Blog,
I’m no engineer, but advancements in insulating materials are such that here in the home of NASA, is it delusional to imagine that some day soon some hockey lover in Greenbelt might devise a covering for arena ice that would preserve its integrity no matter the time of year, no matter the duration of hoops overtime?
I wonder. And it is in this vein I would have all of us who are concerned about this issue direct our thoughts. Capitals’ management wants a quality surface, of that I’m convinced. But at present, it can’t happen with consistency.
That needs to be addressed, somehow. It’s the right thing to do, for players and fans. And if that isn’t reason enough, I have one hundred and twenty four million others.
from the Detroit Free Press,
“We want to find people that fit into our program, at a price that makes sense for the player and the club,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re hoping Dan wants to stay here. We’re willing to pay, but if we can’t get something done, we’ll look at options.”
from the New York Daily News,
Tom Renney understands that absorbing some physical punishment is part of being a top player. But Renney has just about had it with the unpenalized bashing he believes Jaromir Jagr receives most games….
“He’s the best player on our team and he is never going to dive,” Renney said of Jagr, who on Sunday took an on-ice pounding from Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek and the usual over-the-air hammering from NBC analyst Mike Milbury. “He’s always going to play the game straight up to the best of his ability. Whereas those that oppose him - that stop him - in my mind, play outside the rules of the game at times.
“And for whatever reasons, it seems to go unnoticed because he doesn’t fall down; he doesn’t embellish; he’s strong; he uses his size well; he’s a puck-possession guy. And yet, protect the integrity of the game and allow the player to play.
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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