Kukla's Korner Hockey
The New York Islanders’ playoff chances improved late Thursday night, as the team announced that goaltender Rick DiPietro has been cleared to play and will take part in a full practice on Friday.
DiPietro, recovering from two concussions, did not dress in Thursday’s 4-1 loss against the Buffalo Sabres and watched the game from a luxury box at HSBC Arena.
Wade Dubielewicz started Game 1 of the best-of-seven series and stopped 31 of 35 Buffalo shots.
DiPietro sustained two concussions 12 days apart last month. He skated on his own Tuesday, but hasn’t practiced with the team since a loss to the New York Rangers on March 25. He missed the final seven games of the regular season.
from the Star Tribune,
In the NHL, not only is practice open to reporters, it’s open to opposing coaches. On Thursday, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire and goaltending coach Bob Mason watched Anaheim’s entire practice from the stands. Even though Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said it didn’t bother him, he also told reporters of Lemaire’s presence—twice—without being asked as he began his news conference.
Round 1 of the playoffs isn’t even two games old, and already there’s a little gamesmanship going on.
from the AP via the Sporting News,
“If you win, you feel like you’re on top of the world. If you lose you feel like you’re never going to win another game,” said Mike Modano, whose Stars have now lost five straight overtime playoff games. “But you have to forget about that.”
With Game 2 starting at 6 p.m. in Vancouver on Friday night—less than 42 hours after Game 1 finally ended—there isn’t much time to dwell on the past. With players on both teams in need of intravenous fluids between overtime periods and after Wednesday’s marathon to stay hydrated, they’re happy to forget about it.
read on and Canucks have some injuries to deal with…
from the AP/TSN via TSN,
San Jose Sharks leading goal-scorer Jonathan Cheechoo underwent an MRI on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day with a knee sprain.
Cheechoo, who was not using crutches but was heavily wrapped, is listed as ‘‘extremely doubtful’’ for Game 2 but a final determination on that won’t be made until Friday.
added 7:00pm, from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,
San Jose coach Ron Wilson had no problems sharing his anger.
‘‘But the league apparently has addressed it, and we’ll just go forward. Cheechoo, I don’t know when he’ll play. Hopefully he’ll be able to come back this playoff. I don’t know right now,’’ Wilson said.
Asked if that meant Cheechoo wouldn’t return in this best-of-seven series or this postseason, Wilson said he did not know. Game 2 is Friday night in Nashville.
Predators coach Barry Trotz studied eight different angles of the collision near the Nashville blue line nine minutes into the second period. Hartnell was ejected and given a five-minute major for kneeing.
‘‘The more I look at it, the more I realize it’s probably not even a penalty. He went to hit him, Cheechoo tried to get out of the way. Unfortunately, they locked knees, and Cheechoo got the worst of it. In terms of the elbow in the face, which I think was claimed, he hit his mouth on the ice,’’ Trotz said.
NEW YORK (April 12, 2007) – NHL.com experienced record traffic on the last day of the National Hockey League’s regular season Sunday, April 8, 2007, due in part to the heated competition for a coveted spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the site’s offering of original content that includes exclusive stories, video interviews with players, and the highlight show NHL On the Fly: Final.
NHL.com experienced 1,724,406 user sessions and more than 15 million page impressions on Sunday, April 8, which marks a 51.4% increase in sessions and 40.4% increase in number of page impressions compared to traffic experienced on the last day of the 2005-06 NHL regular season (April 8, 2007).
Sunday’s traffic also surpassed numbers experienced on the 2007 Trade Deadline Day (Feb. 27, 2007), which is historically one of the busiest days of the year for NHL.com, with an increase of 10.7% of sessions and 11.5% of page impressions.
All audience figures courtesy of Nielsen//NetRatings SiteCensus.
Back by popular demand, we bring you the Second Annual Melrose Mullet Madness Gallery!
Just like the playoffs, the mullet is another tried and true tradition in hockey. It’s the only cut that we know that has its own motto: “business in the front, party in the back.” The only hairdo to earn a line in one of the best movies of all time, “Cool Hand Luke.” You remember, don’t you? When Dragline yelled out “mulletheads!”
read on for mullet talk and pics…
from the NHL Fanhouse,
But there’s one area where the CBC is going backward, not forward, and that’s with its online product.
Last night, the CBC debuted Hockey Night Online, an online only pre-game and post-game program. Unfortunately, as my friend Paul Kukla discovered, the Web cast only works for folks who have Canadian IP addresses.
added 2:37pm, I just made a quick call to the CBC, and they are restricted from showing the streaming material in the US. That answers that but maybe we can get that worked out for next year?
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
They will be at the center of every game, usually the hero and often the goat, talked about more than any other player. Commentators will make excuses for them, searching for errors made by other players, and fans will curse or praise them depending on whether their team wins or loses, not on the actual quality of performance.
They are the goaltenders.
When these playoffs are over and a champion has been declared, one will leave an indelible story for the history book, an imprint on the collective memory of the sport as the one, the masked man, who best fought off the fear and insecurity and pressure to lift his team to the top of the mountain.
Mats Sundin has turned down an invitation to play for Sweden at the world hockey championship in Russia.
“It’s sad, but I can understand his decision,” coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson said Thursday.
The 36-year-old Sundin, whose Toronto Maple Leafs missed the NHL playoffs, was one of the key players on Sweden’s team last year when it won the Olympic gold medal.
Alexander Steen of the Leafs is the only NHL player who has accepted an invitation to play for Sweden so far, but several others are expected to join the squad.
from Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals,
Another season has come to an end long before we would have liked, but we remain committed to improvement and patience in our plans to rebuild our franchise. The final standings show that we amassed the same number of points in 2006-07 as the prior season. And while that is true, this year’s team was better in many areas, and we demonstrated continued growth and improvement.
The power-play and the penalty-killing units both showed slight gains. We scored more goals and gave up fewer. We realize that more improvement is needed, and we will be directing our attention in that area during the summer. In the next several months we will be focused on doing what is necessary to achieve even greater strides for the 2007-08 season.
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