Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
Costas said that while he hasn’t covered hockey recently, his job on the broadcast will be similar to the role he performs at the Kentucky Derby and golf tournaments.
“Other guys have more expertise in these sports than I do, not that I don’t enjoy them,” Costas said. “It’s my job to provide overview and set the scene. That’s how I’ll approach it here. I’m not going to analyze the game. I’ll present the concept. It really is an event.”
An event that has clearly captured the imagination of Costas.
“It’s unique,” Costas said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited.”
The other three broadcasters and NBC Sports producer Sam Flood were in agreement that they’re really excited about the game, which could set a North American record for attendance at a hockey game.
Fan590 radio in Toronto reporting Chris Simon gets 30 game suspension.
added 11:38am, from the NHL…
New York Islanders forward Chris Simon has been suspended for 30 games, without pay, for deliberately kicking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu at 14:06 of the third period of NHL Game #472 on December 15, 2007. Simon will be eligible to return to NHL play in two months (February 21, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay).
“Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice incident,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon’s action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
from Morris Dallas Costa of the London Free Press,
There has been growing discussion—and growing unease—in recent weeks about this lack of scoring. There’s no need to wear out one’s jowls discussing why it’s happening.
The reason is as plain as the hooking, holding, interference and obstruction that’s taking place on the ice.
Yes, ugly hockey is working its way back into the system.
What was almost eliminated with the establishment of new rules and new levels of enforcement after the lockout, is slowly reappearing.
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
Right now, the Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack team in the Eastern Conference, and maybe that’s all they are destined to be.
Still, constantly riding the roller coaster is never a strong position from which to operate.
“That’s a good question,” coach John Stevens said of the take-and-give nature of his team. “We’ve talked about building an identity all year. We started the year with a 6-1 start and since then, we’ve been a .500 or sub-.500 hockey team.
“It’s tough to make ground in this league the way it is and as tight as it is. Coming into today, all we did was give ourselves a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Now it’s up to us what we do from here.”
from the Calgary Herald,
The man entrusted with keeping Nash on the path to greatness is notorious taskmaster Ken Hitchcock. The veteran skipper draws a parallel between his prodigy and Flames star Jarome Iginla.
“The thing that Jarome figured out pretty early in his career,” said Hitchcock, “is that his personality, his play and his determination had an impact on everybody. His fight (with Ole-Kristian Tollefsen) turned around the (Dec. 1 Blue Jackets-Flames) game in Calgary. When he gets after people and gets nasty and determined, I think it influences everyone on the bench.
“Rick has shown that. Where Rick is still on the learning curve is when someone goes after him like a (Chris) Pronger or a (Zdeno) Chara, he’s got to learn to play through, which is very difficult to do…”
from the Calgary Sun,
As the Calgary Flames celebrated their victory to close out one of the most successful road trips in history, a symbol of their achievement hung from a pair of hangers hooked to the drop ceiling in their dressing room.
A large wooden broom.
It was a clean sweep.
The 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets punctuated a record-tying journey—only the 1971-72 Boston Bruins and 1982-83 Philadelphia Flyers had swept six-game road trips previously—and another strong performance by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff made sure it ended just as it began.
from the D.C. Sports Bog,
Since that dark day, Washington is 7-4-2. They might not be the ‘84 Oilers just yet, but at least the franchise is now located somewhat north of hell. Boudreau, it stands to reason, must have deployed some sort of motivational wizardry, some magic set of words, some sloganeering that snapped this team out of its funk. Where does he get his inspiration?
“Movies, quite frankly,” he told me.
Yup, the Caps’ new boss is a movie fanatic who prefers action and adventure flicks, from crime tales to mobster dramas to historical capers. When he watches movies now, he keeps track of the motivational bits for possible use in the locker room.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Just when you think he has gone under the waves for good, weighted by the fat contracts he doled out for defencemen, his free-agent forays or tangled in the twine of three controversial goaltender moves, his team gets hot or his boss tosses him a life preserver.
Such fluctuations make it hard to judge Ferguson’s impact, other than the Leafs have had two close calls with making the playoffs. Is this season already a write-off as one broadsheet columnist boldly claimed, or is this modest December indicative of a better second half?
from the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks have a 1-6 record and just three power-play goals in 30 chances this month….
“We get in there for some reason and, myself included, we all make the first pass way too complicated,” said veteran center Robert Lang, who has three power-play goals this season. “We have to go back to basics. Get guys in front of the net and put pucks on the net and good things happen. If you look for too major of a change it never really works. Just get the pucks on net and get the ugly goals.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
“I had little conflicts with Bryan Murray all last year,” Schaefer said before last night’s game against his former team. “Once John got fired and (Murray) became the GM, I pretty much knew I was going to be moved.
“At the end of year meeting, (Murray) told me he expected me to come back (this season) and have a good year. Two days later, he called me in Vancouver and told me I had been traded to Boston. I just chuckled and said thanks.
“I think it’s a business and any time you tell someone one thing and something better comes along, you do it. There’s no hard feelings against (Murray).
“At the same time, I’m probably not going to go and bake cupcakes with him at Christmas, either.”
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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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