Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
Who would’ve thought it? This team was given up for dead as recently as two weeks ago. But by going 5-0-1 down the stretch and getting a little help along the way, Nashville completed an unlikely run to the postseason.
“We’re not quitters,” said J.P. Dumont, who scored the tying goal late in the second period and assisted on Greg De Vries’ game-winner barely four minutes into the third period.
“All year, everybody has told us we’re not going to make it. They were saying, ‘See you next year.’ … We never stopped believing in ourselves.”
That is the cornerstone of this team — resilience. The Preds may be short on star power but they are long on heart.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Their “core” has been exposed as flaccid and wildly overpaid. Their management has been discredited and banished, with the team now left indefinitely in the hands of a man fired by the same team a decade ago.
For the next two to three years the Leafs will continue to make enormous profits, ownership will remain essentially absentee in its approach, a new management team will attempt to sort out the club’s chronic problems and there won’t be a Stanley Cup final appearance, let alone a Cup parade.
Sundin isn’t going to change any of that whether he returns or doesn’t. He’s still capable of being a difference maker. Just not to this 23rd-place Toronto hockey club.
from the Boston Globe,
(Chris) Higgins - who said watching the Oct. 27 hit by the Flyers’ Randy Jones that put the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron on the sideline for at least the rest of the regular season was “hard to take” - believes he knows the problem.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of respect,” he said. “You’re told to hit ‘em as hard as you can. Guys want to put guys out of the game with their hits. I mean, I still hit guys as hard as I can; you have to. I just do it. I think the way you hit people has to change. I think that, along with hopefully the information available to kids, they’ll respect head shots and those types of injuries. So it’s ingrained in them when they grow up to play in the NHL they’re not putting a forearm to the back of some guy’s head.”
from Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
A lot of people on the Avalanche don’t have a contract for next season — including the coach, Joel Quenneville. Avs general manager Francois Giguere said Thursday it is too soon to discuss the future of Quenneville or any of the other potential high-profile unrestricted free agents.
“When the season’s over, we’re going to sit down and really evaluate all our guys,” Giguere said. “We have coaches, we have players (unsigned), but I’m not in a position where I want to discuss those things.”
from the Wall Street Journal,
Face-offs, also known as “draws” or “drops,” open NHL games and restart play after pauses for goals, penalties and TV time-outs. A referee drops the puck between two opponents, and the one able to slide, kick, whack or shovel the puck to a teammate gets credit for winning the draw. NHL games count on average 50 to 60 face-offs, and the top face-off specialists win 55%-65% of the draws they take.
Aces at face-offs are essentially thieves. Some are like pickpockets, with sneaky hands that whisk the puck away before an opponent can react. Others are more like armed robbers who use size and strength to muscle the puck away. They’re secretive about their techniques and constantly seeking an edge, from analyzing film of opponents to studying how different referees drop the puck.
thanks to a KK member for providing the link this morning…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
But if the Senators make the playoffs, they’ll be lucky to have enough healthy bodies. Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who is believed to have a concussion, exited two minutes into the second with the club called an “upper body injury” and centre Mike Fisher left with a leg injury in the first period.
Senators assistant coach Greg Carvel told the club’s pay-per-view broadcast that both injuries were “serious” and that neither player would be in the lineup tonight against the Bruins.
Watch the hit on Alfredsson by Mark Bell…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL is close to reaching a contract extension with NBC that will keep hockey broadcasts on the network through the 2008-09 season, sources say.
“We are in conversations with the league about an extension,” NBC spokesman Brian Walker confirmed yesterday. “I can’t comment further than that.”
The likelihood of NBC picking up the NHL option has been the subject of speculation, because of spotty ratings and starting times of the Stanley Cup final.
via Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Scotty Bowman answers your questions on the regular season just ending and the playoffs about to begin. From right this instant until Monday morning, send in your question and the man who coached nine Stanley Cup-winners will answer the ones he finds most intriguing.
from Tracey Myers at Five for Fighting,
Sergei Zubov had a “procedure” done overseas to fix “lingering problems from a sports hernia,” according to coach Dave Tippett on Thursday morning. Zubov will fly back to Dallas tomorrow, and the Stars will re-evaluate after that. This procedure apparently, according to Tippett, “allows him to come back quicker.”
Now what constitutes “quicker”? Tippett said he’s unsure when Zubov will actually be back skating, practicing, playing, etc. So we’ll see what shakes out of that.
read on for more on the Stars…
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
One of the great aspects of covering hockey for so long is I’ve gotten to make so many trips to Canada. At first, I felt almost as awestruck as James Cook, John Cabot or Samuel de Champlain must have been in their explorations. By now, it’s old hat, yet still invigorating.
When it comes to hockey, for many reasons, the more Canadian teams involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the better. A Montreal-Calgary final would be a blast.
It’s energizing and contagious when the playoff chase involves Canadians, who have favorite-team emotional stakes in the proceedings, rather than more dispassionate fans of the sport and individual players, but not the teams themselves.
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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