Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
I’ve gone on record a few times on Hockeycentral saying I don’t think the Canadiens have enough experience to go deep into the playoffs. And yet, I’ve got this unshakable feeling about this team ... like something special is going on here.
First of all, the Eastern Conference is wide open. There is no San Jose or Anaheim or Detroit in the East. Just a bunch of good teams. There isn’t a team in the East where if Montreal beat them in the playoffs you would call it an actual upset.
Then you’ve got this rookie goaltender Carey Price, who seems to fight off a yawn at the most critical moment of a game. He’s that calm.
NBC and TSN analyst Pierre McGuire will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Moscow News,
Loko clinched its first final in five years thanks in part to the performance of acquisition Alexei Yashin, who signed a one-year deal last season, and whose arrival was greeted with great excitement by the Russian hockey world.
Here was one of Russia’s top players, a star originally from Yekaterin-burg who went to the NHL, and whose career was by no means washed up, agreeing to come back to his homeland. This even though he left behind probably more money, and disadvantaged his parents, who now live in Canada, and his girlfriend, former supermodel Carol Alt, in New York.
It signaled that the league, just as it was preparing to revamp itself into a serious challenger for hockey global supremacy, was legit. And it seems that Yashin enjoyed a bit of a lift in Russia in his slumping career
from College Hockey News,
Justin Abdelkader, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 Frozen Four for Michigan State, has decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility, signing an amateur tryout agreement with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
Abdelkader, a second-round pick of the Red Wings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (42nd overall), could play this evening when Detroit plays Columbus.
“It’s an amazing feeling to realize my dream of being a Red Wing, and I would like to thank the Detroit organization,” Abdelkader said in a statement.
added 11:47am, via Mlive,
The move was made because the team is short on forwards, as Kirk Maltby suffered a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s game.
Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said the team is close to signing Abdelkader to a three-year entry level contract. A deal must be done by Saturday for Abdelkader to be eligible for the playoffs.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
The history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is filled with the stories of players having the postseason equivalent of a career year—a springtime in which everything went right.
Here are 12 players whose performances in a single spring are still memorable.
First Team: Goaltender
Richard Brodeur, Vancouver, 1982—Brodeur was a late-round draft pick by the New York Islanders in 1972 who opted to stay home and play for the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association.
Today at my Hockey.com blog, Scotty Bowman- Consultant, is the topic.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
And now with the Panthers guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season, Jokinen knows that when he does make it, if ever, he will have waited longer than anyone in NHL history.
Panthers assistant coach Guy Charron, who played for four franchises during his 12 NHL seasons (1969-1981), is No. 1 all-time in most NHL games played (734) without a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau….
“It’s definitely not a record you want to hold,” Jokinen said. “The last few years at the deadline, I had a chance to go somewhere if I had opened my mouth and said, ‘I want to move.’ But nothing has changed. I want to win here.”
from the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks are off Thursday night and will be rooting for the Blues. Even if the Predators fall to the Blues, the Hawks still need to win their remaining two games—Friday night at home against Nashville and Sunday in Detroit—and have Vancouver lose one of its final two games to reach their first postseason since 2002.
“Hopefully St. Louis can give us a win [Thursday night] and that game Friday night would mean something,” Kane said. “It would be unbelievable to play in a game like that with playoffs on the line and our playoff hopes remain in [our] hands.”
read on for more on the Chicago win over Detroit…
from the Tennessean,
Wins tonight and Friday mean the Predators, to the surprise of many, would advance to the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Nashville can also advance without two wins but would have to rely on outside help.
“It’s a great story,’’ said ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose, who picked the Predators to finish 11th in the Western Conference this season. “It’s a tribute to the organization that they were able to overcome the losses of those players. They certainly could have folded. They had excuses. They could have said, ‘We don’t have a chance,’ and ‘Poor, poor us.’
“But they continued to battle and continued to battle. Now their playoff destiny is in their own hands.’‘
“I think he’s going to win the Vezina,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said after Nabokov picked up his franchise-record 46th victory Tuesday night. “I think they’d be crazy not to give it to him.”
“They” refers to the league’s 30 general managers who will cast their ballots before the playoffs begin. And this year it should be a classic one-on-one battle between Nabokov and Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils.
Not that there aren’t other goalies, such as Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, with impressive statistics next to their name. But none match the workload that both Nabokov and Brodeur have taken on, or the wins they’ve racked up.
Wilson gives Nabokov the edge based on those wins, 46 for Nabokov and 42 for Brodeur, plus the Sharks loftier position in the standings.
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 email@example.com