Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Hitchcock has never missed the Stanley Cup playoffs when he has spent the entire season behind the bench.
“I take a lot of pride in that,” he said.
“There’s nobody talking about our team who is picking us in the top 12 of the conference,” Hitchcock said. “There’s nobody. What they’re missing is that this is a very competitive group of players. I can see it. I know it’s there. But you can’t measure it until we start the competition.”
“I start every season assuming we’re going to make the playoffs,” Hitchcock said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. But we’ve come a long, long way in a pretty short amount of time.
“That’s all I’m going to say.”
fromm Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Make no mistake. After supporting Bettman and the Board on issues contrary to their own self-interests such as the hard salary cap, revenue sharing, and cancellation of the 2004-05 season, the Rangers are no longer amenable to ceding control of their business to Sixth Avenue, and neither are a growing number of the big-market teams who carry the league on their backs.
These clubs may support Bettman’s lowest-common-denominator approach to competition on the ice, but they most certainly do not support Sixth Avenue’s concept of parity when applied to individual bottom lines. Slap Shots has obtained a copy of a letter Garden CEO Jim Dolan sent by fax to the 29 other NHL owners Friday night. While affirming respect for the league Governors, Dolan leaves no doubt he not only is engaging the NHL in a philosophical battle, but is challenging the league’s competence in generating revenues and growing the game.
From David Pollack at the Mercury News,
But before anyone gets too excited about how San Jose’s 5-0-2 record should translate into regular-season success, consider: The Sharks went 7-0-0 in the 2005 preseason only to stumble badly once the games counted. So badly that during a 10-game losing streak in November, General Manager Doug Wilson broke up his core group of players in the trade that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose.
OK, maybe that wasn’t so terrible after all.
Still, it’s not about wins and losses in the exhibition season.
From George Solomon at the Washington Post,
Kolzig might not be Cal Ripken—he missed 13 games last season with a knee injury—but his numbers are impressive. Nine seasons as the Caps’ regular goaltender, 702 games in goal overall. A regular season winning percentage of slightly better than .500, and just as important, two major NHL awards for community service.
“It’s rare an athlete plays his entire career with one team, but Washington gave me my opportunity and stuck with me when I was coming up and not what they call a top-end prospect,” Kolzig said. “Playing with one team my whole career, that’s something I’d like to hang my hat on.”
From Mike Heika at the Dallas Morning News,
Armstrong said he still wants the Stars team that will open the season on Wednesday at Colorado to be creative offensively. He still wants the coaching staff to squeeze out every goal. He still wants players to reach their goal-scoring potential. But they won’t do that at the expense of a strong team commitment to defense.
“I just am not going to apologize for being one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Armstrong said. “I am not going to apologize for having one of the best regular-season records in the league. We will always strive to improve in every department, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a strong identity.”
From Mike Zeisberger at the Toronto Sun,
Sitting neatly on a bookshelf in the library of Steve Yzerman’s suburban home are a number of his favourite shiny shinny keepsakes from on and off the ice.
Sprinkled between some of his daughters’ soccer trophies are several sparkling baubles that would make the eyes of any rabid hockey fan bulge.
Three Stanley Cup trophies. A 2002 Olympic gold medal. Another gold medal, this one from the 2007 World Championship in Moscow. Of course, there always is room for more. Yzerman will make room if need be.
Especially if the prize is Olympic gold from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
From Stephen Harris at the Boston Herald,
Is this team ready for the start of the regular season Friday in Dallas? Well, it sure hasn’t looked that way, with training camp injuries to key defenseman Zdeno Chara and physical leader Shawn Thornton partially hampering the search for a team identity.
But the beauty of the whole training camp/regular season thing is that with a win in Dallas, whatever has happened before is forgotten. Ready or not, the B’s will try to get everything pulled together in time.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
Martin has solidified his standing as the leader of the franchise after being handed the keys last summer when Mike Keenan was fired.
Serving as coach and general manager, Martin has complete say over every aspect of Florida’s hockey operations.
Some might say Martin doesn’t deserve such power, but it’s hard to argue with what he has done so far with the Panthers.
From the CP via TSN,
It wasn’t the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 pre-season victory over the Edmonton Oilers that will be remembered, but rather a scary third period hit.
And perhaps the coaches reaction to it.
The game itself was overshadowed by a wince-inducing incident five minutes into the third as Canuck Rick Rypien slammed Oiler defenceman Mathieu Roy into the boards behind the Edmonton net. Roy was briefly knocked unconscious and taken away on a stretcher, but does have movement in his extremities. Rypien was assessed a five minute major for charging.
From David Staples at the Edmonton Journal,
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe and head coach Craig MacTavish, now in their eighth season running the team, say that when the volume rises in the ever-increasing media coverage of the Oilers, they tune out.
“If we’re in a six-game losing streak, I don’t need to listen to the call-in shows to know what’s going on with the hockey team,” Lowe says.
If Edmonton Oilers hockey is a fishbowl, it’s never had more fighting fish in it, with far more sports coverage than ever on radio, TV and in print, not to mention the blogosphere, where every wannabe Oilers general manager can have his or her say.
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.
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