Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tenneessean,
Speaking hours before Saturday’s contest, Trotz said he’ll continue to give both goalies – Vokoun and Chris Mason – playing time in the immediate future before making a postseason choice.
“We want to keep them both going and at one point, probably here in the next five or six games, I’ll probably decide in my mind who I’ll start in the playoffs,” said Trotz, whose team has six games left in the regular season. “Hopefully someone gets really hot and takes that position. But right now, I don’t think I can go wrong (with either goalie).”
from the Detroit Free Press,
Will Schneider continue to smile on Detroit? Maybe, maybe not.
He is eligible for free agency this summer, and so far talks that began during training camp haven’t progressed. Schneider has touched base with general manager Ken Holland on the matter and wants to remain with the Wings.
In addition to Schneider, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, Kyle Calder, Danny Markov, Kirk Maltby, Chris Chelios and Dominik Hasek are some of the players whose contracts expire in July. Schneider makes $3.3 million this season and given his offensive prowess, especially on the power play, he’s guaranteed to draw competitive offers from other teams. The Wings can’t bring everyone back, so Schneider could end up finishing his career elsewhere. He is determined to play at least until 2010 in order to have a shot at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
Is any athlete on the planet worth $7.5 million a year? Probably not. But, at the very least, you’d expect someone earning that kind of green to be an impact player who makes your team significantly better than it would be without him.
In the final analysis, that can’t be said about the Bruins with Chara.
The trouble with standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 275 pounds is that you become an even bigger target when things go wrong. And when your salary matches your imposing physical stature, the expectations can be even greater.
Chara hasn’t lived up to them.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The place is jam-packed and jumpin’ (they don’t use g at the end of many words here) and from the atmosphere inside you’d never know the club is fighting for its life.
Step outside, however, and you’d never know that Nashville even has a hockey team. You almost never see a Predators hat, or sweater, or licence plate cover. There’s no hockey buzz whatsoever. In a sports bar across the street from where the Predators are late in the third period against rival Dallas, long after the Vanderbilt game is over, every TV in the joint is still tuned to the hoops tournament.
That’s Nashville hockey in a nutshell: a loyal, vocal fan base—unfortunately, it usually fits under one roof.
“When we came here this was a market that had never seen hockey before in their lives,” said David Poile, the GM in Nashville since the Preds opened for business in 1998. “Over a nine-year period, the progress has been good, but, having said that, it needs to be better.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
So as not to raise PA ire over staffing levels (read: potential job loss), the coach would be mandated to dress 18 skaters and two goalies, as has been the case for decades. However, prior to the opening faceoff, the coach would have to designate his lineup of nine forwards and five backliners, effectively rendering the other four players on his bench as reserves.
Here’s the hitch: As in baseball, once the coach opts to bring in a reserve, he would have to pull one of his forwards or defensemen for the remainder of the game.
more (this snippet is found on page 2)
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It has taken almost two years for the players to figure it out and to regain their edge after sitting out one year then returning to a league where the game’s “flashpoints” had all but been eliminated, as Gary Bettman boasted last year in the middle of a hard-salary-cap-campaign victory tour.
But now that the players and teams have figured it out; now that the games are better than they’ve been in years; now that the passion is back; and now that hockey is hockey again, we are confronted with hand-wringers across the continent doing what they do best: wringing their hands.
They’re well-meaning, of course. How do we know? Because at some point or another they urge us to, “Think of the children!”
from the CP via Metro News,
Hockey commentator Don Cherry dismissed Colin Campbell’s assertion that the NHL needs to look into fighting.
“This is a violent sport, a tough sport,” Cherry said on television Saturday. “We gotta play the game, people are paying money, it’s entertainment.”
Cherry was responding to comments made by Campbell in an interview with The Canadian Press Thursday.
update 8:49pm, You can watch this week’s Coaches Corner here.
hanks to KK member SteveNJ…
Two important Eastern matchups will air this Sunday on NBC.
12:00 Noon EDT
The NHL On NBC Countdown to Faceoff
Host: Bill Clement
Analysts: Ray Ferraro and Brett Hull
12:30 PM EDT
The NHL On NBC
Game of the Week
Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
AVAILABLE IN HD
Also Airing on NHL Center Ice
Play By Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire
Will air in the following U.S. NHL markets, and in a total of 89.8% of the United States: Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Carolina, Atlanta, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida, Detroit, Nashville, Columbus, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, Phoenix, Minnesota, Colorado.
from the New York Times,
Still, the feeling persists, and not only among fans, that finishing first over all is an energy-sapping waste of effort. Perhaps more disturbingly, it persists among the players.
“I don’t care if we win the Presidents’ Trophy, or we finish first by 20 points,” Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun said last weekend. “I’m here to play for the Cup. No one’s going to remember who won the Presidents’ Trophy.”
Or, as Randy McKay, a Devils defenseman, put it in 2000, “Who cares?”
Even the coaches of the teams now vying for the Presidents’ Trophy seem lukewarm about the honor.
from the Canon City Daily Record,
Hated arch-rival Detroit could also land in that top spot and wouldn’t that be sweet — an Avs sweep to finish Detroit off in the first round….
The Avs have eight games left in the regular season— with six against division rivals.
It may take Colorado until the last game of the regular season (against Calgary), but they will make it into the playoffs and keep the streak alive of having never missed the playoffs since moving to Denver.
more on the Avs…
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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