Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
With just 30 wins this season, the LA Kings have been playing meaningless hockey since before the onset of winter. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing meaningless hockey for about 41 years and people still care about them. Of course, Kings fans care about their team too, and it would be wrong to suggest that they don’t. A total of 16,784 people travelled to the Staples Center on Tuesday night to watch a late-season game which for the home side held no promise at all.
But it’s in the wider community that this team is in trouble. If a franchise survives on the oxygen of publicity, then this is an organisation gasping for air. It would be wrong to say that Los Angeles hates a loser, simply because it takes effort to hate. If you are a loser, LA will just ignore you to death.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators are the 12 lowest payroll teams, and the Penguins and Sharks are the only teams in that group in a playoff position.
“The fact is that money has always talked, and it carries the preponderance of play,” said Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
According to a well-placed team source, Bruins [team stats] leading scorer Marc Savard suffered a broken bone in his back when he was cross-checked Saturday in Montreal by the Canadiens’ Steve Begin.
The cracked bone is called a transverse process, one that protrudes from a vertabra and serves as an attachment point for muscles and ligaments. An Internet search for information regarding the problem suggested the injury might not be all that severe.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens take a well-deserved day off, here are 10 reasons why they are the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference:
1. Alex Kovalev: He’s the Habs’ most valuable player, and coach Guy Carbonneau believes he deserves consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Not only has Kovalev rebounded from a disappointing 2006-07 season, but he has made the other players around him better through his actions on - and off - the ice.
via the Vancover Sun,
“I wish I had the answer for you, but I don’t,” Luongo said when asked to explain the Canucks’ disappearing act after the first period. “I just try to do my job out there and make saves. Obviously, I needed to make one extra save tonight to give our team a point.”
The Flames won it when they scored two power-play goals—one of them a 5-on-3—41 seconds apart midway through the third.
“We took three straight penalties and they scored,” he said. “Not much you can do about it. For me, I have to put it behind me and get ready for tomorrow night. It’s obviously a big game for us.”
from Peter Maher at the Calgary Sun,
Needless to say, an ice-level site wouldn’t get high marks from this PBP guy, but a willingness to try it with an open mind isn’t out of the question. For a colour commentator, a spot between the team benches is great.
When TSN play-by-play guys Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert are asked to take up such a location, you have to marvel at how they handle it.
Hockey PBP announcers need to have an overview of the game and see numbers of the players for identification. That’s not always as easy to detect at ice level.
For colour men, like TSN’s Pierre McGuire and Glenn Healy, the insights they provide from that location are priceless.
from the Calgary Flames,
The Calgary Flames Hockey Club announced Tuesday Dion Phaneuf has been named the recipient of the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award. The Scurfield Award is presented each year to the Flames player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service.
In his third professional season, defenceman Dion Phaneuf has not only established himself as an elite player but has also proven he is a proud Albertan who truly understands how important it is to use his profile to enhance the work of local charities and make a positive impact on his community.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
The movie is still in the development stages, with the younger Cherry’s script being massaged by award-winning writer Paul Quarrington. Once CBC gives it the green light, shooting is expected to start this summer with next spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs the target launch date.
Tim Cherry says the movie has been a long time in the works.
“I’ve been bugging Dad for years to do this,” he says. “I don’t know why he caved this time.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
This isn’t meant to hang this loss solely on Miller. The Sabres needed a GPS to find the net until Derek Roy, the only player performing to the numbers in his contract, scored a couple goals to give the Sabres the 2-1 lead. Buffalo allowed a short-handed goal. Once again, the Sabres fell apart at home.
It’s all true, but when was the last time Miller won a game by himself?
He’s ranked 21st in goals-against average and 25th in save percentage this season. He made his 29th consecutive start Tuesday night.
The Blue Jackets had lots to say about Nashville winger Jordin Tootoo, who took a run at defenseman Rostislav Klesla and had two fights in the third period, one with Jan Hejda and another with Jason Chimera….
Hitchcock had lots to say about Tootoo after the game. He even took a swipe at his good friend Barry Trotz, coach of the Predators. Here’s what he said: “That’s embarrassing. (Tootoo) is too good a player to do that stuff. I find it really embarrassing, but the (Predators) must allow it, so what the heck. I just don’t like the clown shows.”
Trotz, when asked about Tootoo taking a shift with 45 seconds left, said: “It wasn’t to send a message or anything. It was just to get him some ice time.” Apparently, this was delivered with a straight face.
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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