Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of St. Louis Today,
The Blues are working hard to the end. They are busting their tails night after night. They are establishing team pride and integrity during the final weeks of the season.
So it is only fair that they expect the NHL officials to maintain their integrity while working their games -– and to not hand victories to the other side, as they did Tuesday night.
This team has been on the wrong side of poor calls and inexplicable non-calls in recent games, culminating with the fiasco against Ottawa at the Scottrade Center.
NHL referees Mick “Mister” McGeough and Dennis LaRue refused to acknowledge one obvious goal, then waved off a second obvious goal. The first goal would have given the Blues a 3-2 lead and the second would have tied the game 3-3.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Janssen knew the drill, so he dropped his gloves and turned to face Belak. He was about to pay the price for knocking Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle out of the lineup on March 2 with a late, blindside hit that left Kaberle with a concussion and the Leafs without their best defenceman.
The 19,518 fans at the Air Canada Centre rose as one to revel in the show. This was the moment the mouth breathers were waiting for. It was redneck heaven, as good as macaroni and cheese and a cold Lakeport with the rasslers on the tube. It’s a wonder even the sushi eaters in the platinum seats did not break into a chant of “Git ‘er done.”
from Lynn Zinser at the New York Times,
“That first week, some people were saying I was done for the season, some saying maybe I was done for my career,” Shanahan said. “One week stretched into two and two weeks stretched into three. I started to wonder who was right. And then suddenly it went away.”...
Like football, hockey has a culture of athletes playing hurt, but the National Hockey League has tried to take a more cautious approach on concussions since the mid-1990s, when several star players sustained serious injuries. League officials say the N.H.L. has been studying concussions — hoping to publish its results next year in a medical journal — and assembles its team physicians at least once a year to discuss the latest findings….
“I happen to think the N.H.L. has shown some leadership in some regards, establishing a study group and committing time and energy to the issue,” said Dr. Karen Johnston, a concussion specialist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who has treated some of hockey’s most famous concussion patients, including Mike Richter and Eric Lindros. “Just by looking into an issue, you keep the attention focused on it.”
The Wings radio flagship station decided to talk some hockey before the game tonight. They would have been better off listening to their program director, who has told them to keep the hockey talk to a minimum because no one cares about it.
First, the host asks the listening audience, “Can the Wings Compete?”. Uh no, Mr. radio host, they win tonight, they are back on top of the NHL standings.
Then he decides to talk about Bertuzzi and mentioned he was schedule to return this Thursday, but won’t play until Saturday or next Monday (reports are Bert will play on Thursday night if his morning skate goes well).
He then stated he would try to get more information on the Wing injury status at the Joe tomorrow, if they practice.
If they practice?. Hey, they are playing in Calgary tonight, won’t arrive home until 3-4am, Babcock may whip them into to shape at times, but believe me, tomorrow will not be one of those days.
On air guys at the Wings radio flagship station, listen to your PD, you are embarrassing yourselves.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
A year after sporting five 50-goal scorers, the most in a decade, only one player is currently on pace to top the magical barrier.
Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning carried 48 goals into Tuesday night’s game against the New York Islanders and should have no problem cracking 50 for the first time in his career.
After that, the league needs a few players to get hot in the remaining three weeks of the season. Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne has the best shot sitting at 44 goals with nine games left. He’s on pace for 49.
Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley (42 goals before Tuesday night’s game), Atlanta Thrashers winger Marian Hossa (41 goals) and Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin (41 goals) have an outside shot but aren’t currently on pace for 50.
added 7:07pm, from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,
What LeBrun doesn’t get into is a breakdown of how scoring has changed from last season to this one, something that shows unequivocally that the reason for the drop in scoring is fewer goals scored on special teams. While the number of power-play and shorthanded goals is on pace to fall significantly short of last season’s totals, even-strength scoring is actually on pace to marginally surpass the 2005-06 totals:
read on for a breakdown…
Mike Modano participated in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Your president was very upset that they didn’t acknowledge your record at Nashville. A couple of times Calgary didn’t acknowledge one of Wayne Gretzky’s records because of the rivalry, does it bother you as much as it bothered Jim Lites. And I wanted to ask you about Jordan Tootoo, is that something just the way the NHL has gone, and did you think you might get suspended because your stick came up and whacked him a little bit?
MIKE MODANO: Yeah, I think Jimmy was a little bit more worked up than I was on that thing. We’ve had guys who have come to Dallas and Minnesota and scored goals and hit milestones we didn’t recognize. I think the one that—Jimmie was upset because we recognized Mark Recchi when he scored 500 here in Dallas and we had a little thing on the JumboTron for him.
Every home team is different. I think it’s tough, you know, for a home team sometimes to kind of promote another player on another team. I think NHL fans are really diehard and they are loyal to their own team, so I think people there would have felt it as a slap in the face maybe or showing up their team or what.
As far as the Jordan Tootoo, he’s a player that you hate to play against but you love them when they are on your team. We have a guy, Steve Ott, who is a lot similar to Jordan Tootoo he’s a guy that wants to go out there, plays hard, plays the game on the edge. He’s an emotional guy, and he plays hard. You know, it doesn’t surprise me that he’s out there a lot when we’re out there just to try to disrupt our flow or get us possibly thinking about him more than possibly thinking about the game and the puck and making plays.
So, yeah, I mean, the whole incident was tough to see. Obviously the hit on me was clean but I think in the moment, he didn’t twist it around and I knew I had my stick coming at him and I didn’t want to—I just kind of held back a little bit on it. I didn’t want to—obviously I had him in a position where I went from behind and one hand on my stick, so I didn’t want to push that situation too far on myself.
from Hockey Canada via the SooToday,
An important variable to consider when selecting a summer hockey school is whether to select a residential hockey school or a daytime hockey school. Both options offer your player a spectrum of benefits, therefore it is up to the parent and player to determine which options works best for them. Residential hockey schools offer the player the experience of participating in a hockey program in a new environment, away from home, where the player is exposed to new friends, experiences, and opportunities. A daytime hockey school offers the same experiences, but allows the player to continue to fulfill their responsibilities and commitments at home.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
The rise of the Wild dovetails into superb performances from two men. Returning from a groin injury that cost him 34 games, Gaborik has been the consistent gamebuster everyone knows him to be. Teaming with Todd White and fellow Slovak Pavol Demitra, he’s excelled on the road, where he’s scored 18 of his 25 goals. Fans in St. Paul are likely wondering where the Wild would be if he hadn’t missed all that time, but, in the end, the extended stint on the sidelines might be beneficial. He’s fresh, frisky and on fire heading into the big dance, when it counts most.
“Having Gabby back in the lineup is huge, obviously,” Rolston said. “It gives teams more to think about in matchups. He makes our line better, and in turn, we make his line better. It took this team a while to learn how to win on the road. But we’ve gotten our act together.”
Wow, what a slow day. I could give you more Tootoo news, or how about some Gartner news or NHLPA talk?
No you say, well, we better start telling some jokes during this lull!
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
A key meeting set for Wednesday which many hoped would lead to a new IIHF/NHL player transfer agreement has been postponed.
Just why exactly seems up for debate. The IIHF sent out a letter to federations Tuesday advising them that the meeting, to be held at its Swiss headquarters, needed to be re-scheduled because the NHLPA, going through turbulent times, could not send a representative.
But the union issued a statement giving a different reason.
“The NHLPA was fully prepared to take part in the IIHF meetings but informed the NHL in advance of the meetings that we would not be consenting to a new transfer agreement until we had an opportunity to complete our analysis of potential agreement structures,” the statement said. “The NHL and the NHLPA agreed that it was appropriate to defer the meetings for a short period of time until the NHLPA analysis is complete.”
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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