Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Duthie of the Ottawa Citizen,
So here’s my “Whoa! Didn’t see that coming!” list. The top 10 surprises of the season, presented in Lettermanish reverse order for dramatic effect. You’ll have to add your own drum roll….
No. 5: Owen Nolan
C’mon, admit it. You thought he retired three years ago. After missing two full seasons, then spending another in Phoenix (formerly hockey’s version of the Witness Protection Program), Nolan has re-emerged as a force in Calgary. He scores (15 goals), he hits, he fights and he’s a major reason no one wants to face the Flames in the playoffs.
read on for nene more…
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“For eight hours, we had to crawl under barbed wire while they’re throwing grenades and smoke bombs,” said Nichol, eyes lighting up following a 2-1 overtime win.
“We had to pull a Humvee a mile-and-a-half, we shot M16s and handguns, we flew in Black Hawk helicopters ... It was all about building teamwork and it was probably one of the hardest days of my life.”
“We were running through the woods and swamps and through holes and these night stalkers—who fly in at night and they never leave a man behind—are trying to grab one of our guys and they couldn’t,” said the 33-year-old Edmonton-born grinder.
“They said it was the first time in 25 years they couldn’t (capture) one of our guys. They were all pissed off. We had to stick together.”
from Fire & Ice,
Parise’s fight came 3:47 into the third period against Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle. Parise actually inadvertantly started the altercation by kicking Boyle’s left skate out from under him in the right corner.
“If I did, I didn’t try,” Parise said. “I wasn’t trying to slew foot him or anything. I was just going for the puck. We got back in front of the net and he tried to slew foot me and he got me in the face, so it just escalated from there.”
Parise said he had not been in a fight since midget. “First and probably last for a while,” he said. “I don’t see it happening again anytime soon. It was all kind of a blur when it happened…It was fun. Something you’ve got to do.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While Alfredsson thought he was just going to miss a couple of days as a result of the cross-check from Ducks defenceman Francois Beauchemin, the Senators’ leading scorer just isn’t ready to return to the lineup.
“It’s doubtful (he’ll play tonight) as it feels now. It’s been going slower than I thought it would, which is very frustrating,” Alfredsson said yesterday. “I still have trouble moving freely. I experience pain when I try to move too quick or do stuff. It’s getting better, but not at the rate or speed I would like.”
Alfredsson plans to meet with Senators Dr. Don Chow either tomorrow or Monday in Ottawa.
“I thought it was spasms and it would be gone in a couple of days, but that hasn’t been the case,” said Alfredsson.
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
You could make video review apply to offside goals, pucks hitting the netting, goals scored with too many men on the ice—the list is endless. But at what point do we take the human element out of the game and turn everything over to the video police for further review? Hopefully never.
Never mind the time involved reviewing every goal for every potential flaw or mistake on the ice, think of the impact on the game. There are enough stoppages and interruptions to the flow of the game. Do we need more?
In the end, the game itself is played by players who make mistakes.
read on and more NHL topics…
from Jay Mariotti of the Sun-Times,
There was Bobby Hull, back from the darkness. There was Stan Mikita, back from the cold. And there were the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks, back where they belong in the bosom of Chicago sports on a memorable evening when an illustrious past was attached to a hopeful future.
‘‘I spent so many years proudly wearing the Indian head sweater,’’ said Mikita, who arrived with Hull for the center-ice ceremony in a custom ‘57 Chevy. ‘‘But tonight, I’m even more proud to be welcomed back and to be part of the great moments that lie ahead for this franchise.’‘
from Habs Inside/Out,
RDS is reporting on its website that Mikhail Grabovski, upset at being a healthy scratch againet the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night, intentionally missed the team flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles.
from the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
...They might not hang on to a playoff position.
“It’s the reality, there’s no question,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who will miss his third straight game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. Alfredsson is still bothered by muscle spasms in his lower back, the result of being cross-checked by Anaheim defenceman François Beauchemin on Monday.
“I think we will make the playoffs, but obviously it has been going on for quite a while where we haven’t played as consistently well as we can as a team.
“It’s a possibility [we could miss the playoffs], but I don’t think it’s something we’re thinking about.”
from the CP via Yahoo,
Aaron Miller missed practice to go to the hospital for shoulder X-rays after taking a hit along the boards from Jordin Tootoo late in Vancouver’s 6-2 victory over Nashville on Thursday.
Mattias Ohlund rode the bike a bit but he’s got bone chips in his left knee and is out indefinitely. The Canucks hope the swelling goes down in a few days, otherwise it could be season-ending surgery.
Kevin Bieksa, seven games back from a four-month, 46-game layoff to recover from a severely lacerated calf muscle, was also getting X-rayed. He hurt his wrist Thursday trading punches with Nashville’s Greg de Vries.
Then there’s Sami Salo. He was excused from Friday’s practice because of the flu.
Oh, and defensive forward Ryan Kesler was also being X-rayed Friday after blocking a shot Thursday night with his foot.
For those of you scoring at home, Salo is expected to play Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. Kesler and Bieksa will be game-day decisions. Ohlund and Miller are out.
more on the Canucks…
With today marking the three-month anniversary of Predators Holding’s purchase of the team, NashvillePredators.com grabbed some time with David Freeman, the team’s new Chairman, to discuss his first three months on the job, the state of the team, and the plans for next season….
NP.com: Have you starting planning the budget for next season?
DF: Sure. Yes. Strategically it’s probably not good for us to talk about that publicly for competitive reasons. Our budget will be significantly higher than it was this year. In fact, I’m quite certain we will spend more on payroll next year than at any time in the history of the club. We’re that committed to building this team right back up.
read on at NashvillePredators.com…
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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