Kukla's Korner Hockey
I think the Blueland Blog has had enough of the “soft” talk…
from the Boston Globe,
For all the millions it cost him to push that franchise “EASY” reset button, club owner Jeremy Jacobs, who has grown accustomed to failed seasons since the early ‘90s, sounded reasonably composed when contacted earlier this week. Disappointed, and somewhat lost for answers, but composed.
“I had high hopes for the season,” said Jacobs, speaking by phone from Delaware North’s headquarters in Buffalo. “It turned out to be a lot less than I thought it was going to be. I thought we had put together a real team, to put us back in contention. But that hasn’t materialized. It seems to me that the skill is there, and the talent is there, but it didn’t jell this year.”
from Wallace Matthews at Newsday,
Hiding injuries from opponents is one thing. Denying injuries to yourself, or minimizing their severity, is something else. Something foolish and potentially destructive, to the player and to the team.
Clearly, DiPietro suffered a significant concussion against the Canadiens, and a couple of days off weren’t quite enough to clear it up. Then he suffered another one against the Rangers. By the team’s acknowledgment, he “hasn’t been right” ever since.
Nobody involved with the Islanders wants to say the words “post-concussion syndrome,” because to do so would be to acknowledge that what is afflicting DiPietro is potentially career-threatening.
We understand that the NHL is the most stoic of our sports leagues, a modern-day Sparta in which players think nothing of losing teeth, leaking blood, getting sewn up and going back out to play, preferably without missing a shift. This is admirable, if a bit anachronistic in an era in which baseball players are routinely hospitalized for a case of the sniffles.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
So yesterday, as the Blue Jackets went through off-ice workouts, Hitchcock was asked whether his boys have reached the point of struttin?.
“To me, you?re strutting when, instead of bowing your head when the opponent is tough, you?re looking him right in the eye,” Hitchcock said. “Whether you?re good enough at the end of the day, you play like you?re in it right up to the end.
“I don?t know that the strut is there just yet, because it?s a consistently high level of play over a long span. It gets to a point where it?s self-sustaining, where it?s just part of who you are as a team.
“We?re not there. But we?re getting really close to it.”
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
The NHL’s injury disclosure police are out in full force. While mindful of players’ safety, the league is reminding teams to follow the guidelines of a policy introduced last week that encourages clubs report proximity of injuries.
On Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators reported Patrick Eaves suffered a “lower body” injury after getting hit with the puck.
According to policy, “lower body” is no longer acceptable.
Based on the video evidence that clearly shows where the puck made contact…in this case, an exception is understandable.
from the Tennessean,
“They forecheck really well; they finish their checks well; and their forwards also chase you hard back to their zone,’’ Hamhuis said. “They just do a good job protecting the middle. That has to do with their speed and smarts.’‘
In a strange twist from yesteryear, the Wings’ tough defensive tactics also had the Predators complaining that they weren’t getting enough calls from the officials.
“There was an awful lot of clutching and grabbing going on out there,’’ Predators center David Legwand said. “It looked like the old NHL out there. But in the playoffs, that’s what we’re going to have to work through.’‘
from the Ottawa Sun,
If Dany Heatley doesn’t get 50 goals for the second straight season, it won’t be because of defencemen like Andrei Markov or goaltenders like Martin Brodeur.
Blame The Pussycat Dolls.
The Senators winger won’t decide until this morning if his sore ankle is good enough to allow him to play tonight against the hot Canadiens at Scotiabank Place.
Heatley, who has 46 goals with five games left, caught his toe in some bad ice Tuesday night against the Bruins and twisted his ankle.
The Senators said the ice was soft and in poor condition after the Christina Aguilera/The Pussycat Dolls concert the night before.
When asked if Aguilera is to blame, Heatley replied: “Maybe just The Pussycat Dolls. They were melting the ice, apparently, and it made for bad ice for the game.”
via the LA Times,
The Ducks announced they would raise their ticket prices on individual and season seats for the 2007-08 season, marking the first such increase in three years.
Season tickets will increase by an average of 7.9%, and individual tickets will jump by an average of 1.1%. All tickets will continue to have a Honda Center facility fee, beginning at $1.50 for the most inexpensive ticket.
Several seating sections were also reclassified under additional varying prices. Tickets for some seats in the lower bowl were reduced by 15.8% from this season.
“Our primary objective in evaluation our pricing structure was to keep tickets affordable,” said Tim Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Anaheim Arena Management.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League is widely perceived to be a sport going nowhere in the United States.
Hockey? Hardly worthy of a place at the table with football, baseball and basketball.
But audience results from last Sunday afternoon suggest otherwise.
The NHL telecast on NBC (Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers-New York Islanders regionally) drew a larger national audience than ABC’s National Basketball Association telecast (Phoenix Suns-Sacramento Kings).
Now if some national media types in the US would pick up on this…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
As it does with players, the spotlight shines brightest on coaches come the NHL playoffs.
For those behind the bench, putting their stamp on playoff success can come about through various means and methods.
Here’s a look at a group who are ready for all the postseason can throw their way. But before I get into my list, a couple of keys on what helps mold a top-caliber NHL coach.
There’s the need for a strong personality—one that never cracks, one that never rattles under pressure.
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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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