Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at The Maven,
• If Ryan Smyth bolts from the Islanders at season’s end - and there’s no guarantee that he will - the ex-Oiler won’t return to Edmonton. If Smyth goes west, Calgary will be his destination. However, we’d rather see him back on the Island.
• No expansion is being planned by the NHL - at least not at this moment - but Las Vegas keeps coming up in conversations with hockey people. One apocryphal tale has Sin City so desperate for a big-league hockey team that big-time casinos would combine to ensure sellouts for every single game.
• With all the fuss about Ted Saskin, one fact that most have overlooked is that the union’s leader is innocent until proved otherwise although frequent sinbin-sinner, Chris Chelios would have the world think otherwise.
It looks like good news for Caps fans at Japer’s Rink…
it looks as if Caps’ uber-prospect Nick Backstrom is ready to begin his NHL career next fall.
Tyler at NHL Digest asks for your help…
I have just been informed that one of my photos has been named a finalist for the Oilers Fan Photo competition.
I am asking for people to help me out by voting for my photo at the Oilers website.
get more details at this thread in the KK Forums…
Bethany wants to know…
I’m just curious…I want some reasons here…it’s pretty common for everyone to hate the Leafs…aside from the Leafs fans. Anyway throw some reasons my way!
from the National Post,
“It’s not that fast,” Iginla said yesterday, when confronted with the most over-used defence of those who dish out dangerous hits.
“It’s not that fast. Guys know what they’re doing on 90-plus per cent of the hits.”
On almost every one of those hits, the player throwing the check recognizes that an opponent is in a dangerous spot. Many will take their foot off the gas.
“Not everybody does. I’ll be honest,” Iginla said. “Some guys, if you’re leaned over, your head’s sticking out there, a lot of guys will pass that hit up. There are some guys though, who will take that [hit].”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Not only will the Penguins players have their names over their stalls, but the coaches’ room will have a label on it with a Penguins logo, as will the training room and the video room.
Heinze also hangs signs bearing the slogans that are prominent around Mellon Arena; sayings such as “Attention to detail,” “Pride,” “Respect,” “Commitment,” and “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
“When we go on the road, I try to make their experience as comfortable as possible,” Heinze said. “I want them to walk in and see the Penguins logos everywhere. It really does dress up all the visiting locker rooms and I like it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.”
from the Calgary Sun,
Call this one a gift from one of the greats.
The Calgary Flames can thank Dominik Hasek’s tribute to Keanu Reeves last night for helping the hosts out of a tailspin that threatened their playoff chances….
While Hasek tried to defend his juvenile actions after the game by suggesting he was walloped by someone’s elbow as two players fought for goalmouth position, a furious coach Mike Babcock would have none of it.
“It wasn’t interference at all—our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” spat Babcock, who said he’s warned Hasek of such well-known hijinks in the past.
via the Tennessean,
The Predators have certainly seen their share of controversy over the past few days, with forward Jordin Tootoo getting suspended and Dallas president Jim Lites firing a broadside of criticism at the organization.
That’s okay with Trotz, who figures a team has to have achieved a certain status if it’s begun to irritate opponents.
“When you’re not a threat to anybody, people let you be,’’ Trotz said. “Now when you’re a threat to people, that’s where you start getting the rivalries. It’s good to be hated. You’ve got to be doing something right.’‘
Yashin lost track of Vincent Lecavalier just before the NHL’s leading goal scorer netted his 49th of the season to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead at 1:50 of the second period. Yashin had only 12 shifts and 9:22 of ice time. “Whether it’s our captain or not, you have to perform,” Nolan said. “At this time of the year, there’s no excuses.
“He’s been back now for [six] games. Losing a guy on the second goal, that’s inexcusable at this time of year. You can lose certain people, but we have to play with a certain urgency, with some grit, and whoever doesn’t won’t get too much ice time.”
from the OC Register,
The Ducks are in the red, despite sponsorships and suite and club seating at the highest levels since the team’s inaugural season in 1993-94, a 44 percent increase in season-ticket sales since July 2005 (from 7,000 to 12,500) and a rise in average attendance from 15,026 at this point last season to 16,323 now.
“With all of that said, with all the arena revenue and all the revenue from the team, even if we go deep into the playoffs, we’ll lose several million dollars,” Ryan said.
While the club declined to reveal specific figures, the sense is that the losses will be less than last season and markedly less than in the final years of Disney’s ownership. The challenging bottom line is a surprise to no one involved.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org