Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russo’s Rants,
First of all, I can’t believe you’re letting that Denver Post column get to you.
When an article is so absurd and based on such little facts, to me, it’s almost comical, so calm down. Obviously the writer doesn’t know hockey. Obviously the writer doesn’t watch playoff hockey. Obviously the writer hasn’t watched the Calgary-San Jose series. Obviously the writer has never heard of the Broad Street Bullies. Obviously the writer doesn’t know the Wild’s makeup. Obviously the writer doesn’t know the Wild has actually been unbelievably tame this series and should get more physical. And obviously the writer has never talked to or met Jacques Lemaire in his life.
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
The Russians aren’t used to hearing good news coming out of Washington, D.C.
Back in the days of the Iron Curtain, the two countries were the world’s two polar opposites, each skeptical about the intentions of the other.
But that’s ancient history. After all, back then there were only a handful of European players in the NHL, and no Russians at all.
Today, the League is flooded with European-born players and Russians are among the biggest stars in the NHL. That shift is reflected in today’s Moscow.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
There was talk about who might start in goal for Calgary (San Jose Sharks’ coach Ron Wilson cast his vote for Mike Vernon). There was talk about Evgeni Nabokov’s post-game observation Sunday — that some of the Sharks’ “boys” are going to have to become “men” (Wilson again: “Maybe he meant the singing group.”)
Mostly though, the focus on the visiting Sharks was on which version of the team would show up for tonight’s fourth game of their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Flames. The one that finished with the best record in the NHL over the final third of the season? Or the one that spectacularly flamed out in each of the past two playoffs.
from the blog of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Yesterday reports surfaced out of Sweden that Brunnstrom had decided to accept an offer from the Vancouver Canucks, but that decision may be altered in the aftermath of Vancouver firing its general manager, Dave Nonis, last night.
Brunnstrom had whittled his list of choices to Detroit and Vancouver from a list of five or six NHL teams that had made offers.
“We’ve heard he’s reconsidering,” general manager Ken Holland said this morning.
from George Dohrmann at Sports Illustrated,
The cultivation of Nathan Gerbe as a hockey prodigy included some stock elements. There was the frozen pond, of course, on his family’s wooded property in Oxford, Mich. There were the two older brothers who taught him how to skate and pushed him until he became the most competitive and resourceful young player anyone had ever met. And there was the demanding father whose training methods seemed excessive—the early morning runs at the high school track, for example—but were vindicated as the greatness emerged in the youngest of his six children.
It is not an original narrative, save for this detail: Gerbe, a junior forward for Boston College, stopped growing when he was around 14. Judging by his physique, the 5’ 5”, 165-pound Gerbe has no business playing Division I hockey, let alone dominating it as he did last week at the Frozen Four in Denver.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News
, In fact, here’s what you have to do for the rest of this series - don’t start watching the games until the third period.
It’s quite bizarre, really, because so far in the first round, the Avs and Wild have done everything they can to put you to sleep early in the evening, then keep you on the edge of your seat as the night goes on and Monday night’s game was no exception.
For two periods in this series, the Wild generally spends most of its time skating backwards through the neutral zone, not bothering to forecheck even on the power play and pretty much choking the life out of the game
from Elliotte Friedman at his CBC blog From the Pressbox,
Immediate reaction to Vancouver’s firing of Dave Nonis: The battle is on for Brian Burke.
Burke clearly has bigger concerns right now. His Ducks are an endangered species, down 2-0 to a Dallas team that didn’t exactly resemble a serious contender down the stretch. However, the Stars look superior in every way to Anaheim, a popular pick to represent the West – again – in the Stanley Cup Final.
The timing of Canuck owner Francesco Aquilini’s announcement is very strange. It’s rare – extremely rare – for anyone to fire a general manager by statement, in the evening, while playoff games are going on.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Let the mugging begin.
It’s the only way the Minnesota Wild can win.
To advance in the NHL playoffs, the Avalanche must embrace the darkness. When playing this goon-it- up Wild bunch, hockey is a no-holds- barred battle of attrition, not skill.
The only good thing that can be said about Minnesota’s 3-2 overtime victory against Colorado was the game lasted so deep into the night that it ended past the bedtime of most kids who could be frightened by the way the Wild mauls all the beauty from the sport.
from the National Post,
“If we kept the foot on the gas and kept pushing the pace, it may be a different story,” San Jose centre Patrick Marleau said. “We sat back and they came at us.”
read on for more on the Sharks and Flames. Plus, attention Mike Babcock: study those words carefully!
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
I have to double-check with Red Fisher, the Living Legend of Sports Journalism, but it seems to me that through most of the team’s glorious history, the Canadiens sweaters one saw at a Canadiens game were worn by Canadiens. The only ones wearing red in the stands were Forum ushers. Between shifts, Maurice Richard and the other immortals gazed out at a sea of black, blue and grey topcoats.
Dressing for hockey meant furs for the ladies, fedoras on the gents. If the referees made a bad call, Toe Blake would protest and toe rubbers would rain down on the ice.
I don’t know what a mink stole cost in 1955, but a Reebok Edge authentic Canadiens jersey will run you $300 in 2008 - $380 if you want it customized with a name and a number. And of the 21,273 who pack the Bell Centre for every Canadiens home game, at least 10,637 are wearing red or white bleu-blanc-rouge - not counting six on the ice and 14 on the bench.
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