Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit Free Press,
Trotz listed Holmstrom first and the Islanders’ Ryan Smyth second when asked about the players who are unafraid to stand in front, screen the goalie and get deflections.“It’s like bunting a baseball,” Trotz said. “You’ve got superstar players that can hit 70 home runs a year but they can’t bunt the ball. It is an art.
“A guy like Homer will take away the goalie’s eyes. It takes some courage, ‘cause pucks are getting redirected—they’re coming at you at all angles, at a pretty high speed.”
Trotz said there are only a handful of guys who are really good like Holmstrom.
via the News & Observer,
Anson Carter has been around the NHL long enough that he can’t remember the last time he was a healthy scratch. He’s also been around long enough to understand why he sat out for the third straight game Tuesday night….
“I’ve been in the game 11 years,” Carter said. “In a situation like this when the team’s healthy, especially after winning the Stanley Cup the year before, you’re going to look to those guys. It’s up to me to stay sharp in practice until I get my shot again. ...
“I look at it as a positive. It was a difficult transition coming in here not really knowing the guys. This gives me a chance to get to know every one, get to know the practices and watch a few games to get a sense of what we’re trying to do on the ice.”
from Elizabeth Merrill at ESPN,
They chugged Labatt Blue and shared man hugs at Happy Hour just down from 66 Mario Lemieux Place on Tuesday night because the planets aligned and the politicians agreed and hockey was staying in Pittsburgh.
Lemieux was nowhere to be found.
He slipped out of a press conference a mile across town, shielded in a herd of dark power suits, away from the handshakes and backslaps. The job was done, Lemieux saved hockey in Pittsburgh a third time, and the quiet Canadian who has somehow become the face of a blue-collar American city was tired.
“In the deal business, there’s a term that people sometimes call ‘deal fatigue,’” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “I think the process was wearing on him.”
via Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
There are some players who probably care less about what’s going on their union than some fans do. With Ted Saskin on paid vacation, who’s running the union? “Maybe the lady who runs the gift room,” Leafs forward Mike Peca told reporters in Toronto. “That’s the person the guys go see the most, anyway, to get the free stuff.”
from the OC Register,
The same league that gives us the Stanley Cup, the most revered and celebrated championship prize in all of sports, also offers the Presidents’ Trophy.
“That’s not our objective,” Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. “Our sole objective for the season, there was one goal - win the Stanley Cup. That’s it. No ifs, ands or buts. There is no other goal than that.”
Evidence to support Pronger’s stance can be found in the NHL’s Official Guide and Record Book. This season’s edition features 35 pages of history, information and minutia on the Stanley Cup. About an eighth of a page is devoted to the Presidents’ Trophy, merely listing the winners and runners-up.
On another night, Armstrong’s elbow probably would have drawn a lot more attention. When the Islanders’ Chris Simon took his two-handed stick swing at the Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg on Thursday, however, everything else paled by comparison.
It did not change that Lukowich was so jarred by the hit that he spent the night at a Pittsburgh hospital with concussion symptoms. Remarkably, Lukowich played in Buffalo on Saturday night.
Armstrong not only escaped supplementary discipline from the league, but didn’t even receive a penalty. What concerns Lukowich, however, is the lack of respect players have shown for each other when it comes to dangerous hits that can cause head injuries.
from Don Campbell of the Vancouver Sun:
A few days before the NHL trade deadline, Oshawa Generals coach Brad Selwood fielded a call from a Sportsnet producer who wanted to know if John Tavares was available to appear on the network’s Feb. 27 trade-day show.
Selwood, a career hockey man, wondered what a 16-year-old hockey player, still 21/2 years from being eligible for the NHL draft, could possibly add to the telecast. It turned out Sportsnet wanted Tavares not for his knowledge and insight, but rather to shoot pucks into a washing machine, just as Sidney Crosby did a couple of years ago on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
On his prodigy’s behalf, Selwood said, “No.”
On another occasion, a MuchMusic producer asked if Tavares could appear at 4 p.m. that day, live in studio, with the veejays. MuchMusic offered to send a limousine out to pick up Tavares from school and to deliver him right back to Oshawa afterwards.
No dice. The Generals had practice, so Tavares’ veejay career remained on hold.
via the AP at Fox Sports,
Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars became the 39th player in NHL history and the second born in the United States to reach 500 goals Tuesday night.
He scored with 10:24 left in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 36-year-old native of Livonia, Mich., beat Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki with a quick shot from in front of the net for his 15th goal of the season. That pulled Modano within two of Joe Mullen for the career lead among U.S.-born players.
pic via the AP
from the Iceman Bloggeth,
I’ll admit that Johnny-come-lately fans can be kind of annoying, especially when they turn something you cherish into just another ‘the thing to do.’ But at the same time, if we’ve been craving success and craving a hockey-supportive city, then this is part of the package. This is what we wanted. If you wanted to keep the Thrashers limited to the hockey-wise fan, then you should have been satisfied with crowds of 12,000. If you want that extra 4,000-5,000, then you’ve got to welcome the newbies.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Smyth is well aware that his former team has lost eight straight games, the last seven coming after he was traded to the Islanders at the Feb. 27 deadline, and he feels for the friends he left behind in Edmonton.
“You hope the best for the guys,” Smyth said Tuesday before his Islanders took on the Montreal Canadiens. “There’s no question they’re fighting the injury bug and playing with a lot of young guys and they’re learning about the process of playing in the NHL.
“I just hope for the guys’ sake that they can turn things around there.”
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.
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