Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont,
Life in the Regent Park section of Cabbage Town was without certainty or luxury, especially for Metropolit, who grew up with only pennies in his pocket and little more than the hockey stick and ball he carried in his hands.
“He took that stick and ball with him everywhere,” his mother recalled. “He’d be on the couch, and there were times I’d be, ‘OK, Glen, enough . . . put that stuff down!’ “
Today a key component of the Bruins’ offense, the 33-year-old Metropolit has carved a pro hockey career out of less than ice shavings. He grew up poor, never knew his biological father, spent portions of his early childhood with relatives and in foster homes, and only began to inch up the hockey ladder in his late teens when a neighborhood pal suggested he try out for the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Junior B squad. He made it, on the last cut, and has spent the last 15 or so years skating one stride ahead of the next cut.
Habs Inside/Out pointed to this video today, which was first posted last year on YouTube. A nice little demonstration of what stickhandling and accuracy looks like when Alex Kovalev shows off his skills.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
If you weren’t aware of the circumstances and simply watched a game at random, you’d be excused for assuming that you were seeing a playoff game. That’s the type of hockey we get these days, game in and game out.
The pace is relentless and the hitting is solid. The effort, which used to be sporadic some years ago, is there night after night.
There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is the salary structure, and its implications.
When the average salary in a league is inching closer and closer to $2 million, no one is terribly eager to be dropped from the roster.
Getting to Atlanta early for the ASG?
If so, you may want to have a glass of wine on Thursday with Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Pat Lafontaine, Rob Ray, Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz, Clark Gillies, Mike Richter, and Rod Gilbert.
Blueland Blog has all the details…
George Richards of On Frozen Pond speaks with Olli Jokinen,
“What are you going to say? The team hasn’t been playing well. My name is popping up again. I don’t think if we were in first place, my name would be out there in trade rumors. I’m pretty much used to it. It doesn’t really bother me. My agent called me and asked if I had heard it.
I haven’t been traded in 7 years. I never will be OK with it. I like this place. This is home. It’s not one of those things where you want to move. I don’t believe the grass is any greener on the other side. as a player you are always going to win. To me it’s the easy way out looking elsewhere for other teams or going somewhere and trying to win happiness or win championships. I want to win here and hopefully we make some moves here.”
from Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet,
As many as 20 NHL teams have shown serious interest in the 22-year-old Swedish forward this season. He’s an unrestricted free agent in terms of his NHL rights because he went undrafted. He’s a late bloomer and has really come on in the past 12 months. He has 30 points in 36 games with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League this season.
“He’s oozing skill, a great playmaker with lots of upside,” one NHL executive told Sportsnet.ca. “He won’t take the NHL by storm right away, but he’ll grow into a quality first- or second-line forward.”
Brunnstrom recently gave his agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, a short list of five teams to begin negotiating with.
from STATS Blog,
With the young kids putting up the points, no team won more games or picked up more points than the Ducks during their month-long surge.
Team Leaders in Points, Dec. 18-Jan. 18
Team. . . . . . .W-L-OTL. . . Points
Ana. . . . . . . . .12-2-1. . . . . . .25
Pit. . . . . . . . . 10-3-1. . . . . . .21
Det. . . . . . . . .10-4-1. . . . . . .21
Atl. . . . . . . . . .9-6-2. . . . . . .20
The Red Wings come calling Wednesday on a 20-4-2 run dating to Nov. 27. It’s a big test—against a key conference rival—to see if the Ducks have ditched the Stanley Cup hangover and are nearly ready for playoff hockey.
more on the Ducks…
from On the Forecheck,
With apologies to one of the truly great pieces of American rhetoric… please place tongue firmly in cheek before reading….
I have a dream that one day this community will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “The Coolest Game on Earth.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, Calgary Flames fans and the fans of the former Atlanta Flames will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Nevada, a state sweltering with the heat of gambling, sweltering with the heat of explosive growth (just sweltering in the heat, period…), will be transformed into an oasis of NHL expansion.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
News: Big jump to first place comforting and vexing (Denver Post)
Views: Yes, that was the Colorado Avalanche in first place in the Northwest Division this morning.
That the Avs have been able to even hang in the Western Conference race with long-term injuries to Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny qualifies as one of the feel-good stories of the season so far.
And go directly to the head of the class and collect a gold star if you predicted they would do it with Jose Theodore in goal.
It’s probably a stretch to suggest Theodore is actually worth his $5.3 million cap hit – after all he’s got a ton of making up to do – but there is little doubt Theodore is playing his best hockey in years.
many more News & Views…
from the Detroit News,
Henrik Zetterberg’s back problems are flaring up again.
Zetterberg missed practice Monday and his status for the next two games against Los Angeles and Anaheim—as well as this weekend’s All-Star Game—is not known.
Zetterberg said a hit in the third period of Saturday’s game at San Jose triggered this latest setback.
“It’s stiff and sore today, it’s a challenge,” Zetterberg said. “I felt the same way yesterday and decided to stay off today. After the game (Saturday) it got a little worse.
“I’d say it’s pretty questionable for tomorrow.”
continued and thanks to a KK member for the pointer. Also, if you were in the KK chat room yesterday, well, let’s say, I called it.
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