Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Associated Press:
“We seem to spend so much time worrying about hooking and holding. We lose focus,’’ said Gretzky, the Phoenix Coyotes coach. “In my mind, I see much more charging. Hitting from behind is a little bit more blatant than it used to be. Late hits are getting blown up, obviously.
“I don’t think it’s a question (whether) anybody wants it or likes it. In some ways, we seem to be forgetting about it.’‘
from Robert Tchykowski of the Edmonton Sun:
There have always been a number of NHL players - larger than many would suspect - who’d really like to wear a visor, but don’t, because they’re afraid of the peer pressure.
The age-old dilemma - eyes or pride - is something they no longer deal with in the AHL, where the first year of mandatory visors is being greeted with mixed reviews.
“Some of the older guys who haven’t worn one for years were a little bitter about it,” said Kyle Brodziak, who spent most of this season in Wilkes-Barre.
“But a lot of guys were also relieved because the decision was taken out of their hands. Everyone has to wear (one).”
from the CP via Metro News,
“Every year at the start the experts make predictions, but I don’t think people in the game can even make those predictions,” Babcock said Friday from Vancouver. “They said the same thing about us last year at the start.”
And the Red Wings won the Presidents’ Trophy.
Even without the retired Steve Yzerman and the departed Brendan Shanahan, Detroit is doing it again. The Wings are the class of the NHL with 99 points in 71 games and are in position to finish first overall for the third straight time.
That says something to Babcock.
the AP has a Q & A with Ed Snider, via the Akron Beacon Journal, AP:
What has kept the Flyers from winning another Stanley Cup?
Snider: “So many things have happened to us that have kept us from winning Cups it drives me crazy. In 1980, it was taken away from us, not only because of an offsides call, but also because (Denis) Potvin put a puck in the net with a high stick. We win that sixth game on the island, we come back to Philadelphia, we definitely win the seventh game and the Cup….
continued... also includes some 76ers talk…
via the Tennessean,
Predators center Peter Forsberg says he’s healthy and ready to return to the lineup for Saturday’s game against Dallas.
“I’m ready to go – finally,” Forsberg said. “It’s been frustrating sitting on the bench this long, but now it’s all healed up and that’s all I care about.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With owner Charles Wang at the controls, anything is possible — perhaps both Smyth and Blake will receive the sort of long-term commitment that the Islanders have become infamous for. But if they miss the playoffs or exit meekly in the opening round and all three players flee in the summer, the Islanders will effectively be back at square one — with Alexei Yashin’s monstrous contract acting as a millstone and most of their skill deploying an exit strategy.
It’s why there is always a danger in taking a short-term snapshot — this year’s unexpectedly effective season — to assess the long-range impact of the Islanders’ moves and subsequent progress. Just as there was a rush to bury them last summer, there is now a stampede to praise them as a result of their unexpected rise.
read on... plus numerous NHL bits…
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
He thought his comeback might start this weekend but Todd Bertuzzi will have to wait until his new team returns from the West Coast….
“I don’t have any (expectations),” he said. “I’m just going out to work my tail off. I’m very fortunate to come into an organization like that and where they are in the standings.”
Bertuzzi agreed it’s a novel concept to be fresh heading into the grinder that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Peter (Forsberg did it) two years ago and just played playoffs and was the leading scorer, so obviously he was fresh and healthy,” said Bertuzzi, noting Forsberg’s 27 points after missing all of the 2001-02 regular season. “I’m hoping the same thing. I’m only four months out of my surgery and usually it’s five or six months, but I’m not going to pass up and opportunity like this.
Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg, who was felled by a stick swung at his head by the Islanders’ Chris Simon, said today that he told Nassau County prosecutors that he wouldn’t press charges against Simon for the incident at the Coliseum a week ago.
Hollweg, who briefly lost his hearing and received a gash on the jaw in the attack, said that he and two team attorneys met for about 30 minutes with two attorneys from the District Attorney’s office on Thursday at the Rangers training center in Westchester.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, the 18-year-old Penguins rookie gives his take on the Chris Simon suspension, tells us which of the four Staal brothers is the best NHL player and explains what it’s like riding shotgun with Sid the Kid….
Q: Who deserves the Calder, you, Malkin or Paul Stastny out in Colorado?
A: I think Malkin. He has done everything he can, everything possible to win it. I think he is definitely the man.
Q: Why not Jordan Staal?
A: [Laughs] I don’t know. I would love to win that thing, but I don’t have the numbers he has. Of course, we have been put in different roles, but I think the way Malkin has been playing, taking the pressure off Sid, he has been huge.
from the CP via NHL.com,
Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow was activated from the injured reserve list on Tuesday after missing 33 games with severed tendons in his right wrist.
Morrow was stepped on during a game in Chicago on Dec. 26 and had surgery immediately afterwards. He’ll join the Stars on their road trip in Nashville and is expected to play against the Predators on Saturday night.
In 28 games for Dallas this season, Morrow had 20 points (10-10) and 29 penalty minutes.
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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