Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
With the season ticking down, here is Rinkside’s handicapping of the races for the NHL’s five major awards.
Sure, Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin is the favourite. But the real story is the influx of talent on a league-wide scale.
Colorado’s Paul Stastny yesterday set a rookie record by recording a point in his 18th consecutive game, while fellow freshmen Anze Kopitar (Kings), Jordan Staal (Penguins), Kevin Bieksa (Canucks), Wojtek Wolski (Avalanche), Dustin Penner (Ducks) and Johan Holmqvist (Lightning) also serve as bright lights for the future of the game.
from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
That said, the final two spots in the east are still up for grabs, and it looks like its going to be a humdinger of a fight for those berths given that no fewer than seven teams are still in contention.
That’s called a bottleneck. Five teams are going to be pretty sour come the evening of April 8th.
Might even cost a few people their jobs.
So here’s how this “race” shapes up, with it seeming very likely it could all come down to the final weekend of the season April 7-8:
read on for the breakdown of teams in the East involved in the playoff race…
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Quality teams, Canadian teams, Original Six teams, all are in danger of missing the National Hockey League playoffs.
With the 16-team tournament underway a month today, it’s certain that a number of clubs that finish over .500 will be watching the first round from the couch.
The Maple Leafs still are stinging from a 90-point season that didn’t qualify them last spring and they could be in for similar heartbreak.
from the Edmonton Sun,
The San Jose Sharks’ dressing room might become a good site for a Tim Hortons commercial.
Signs were strategically placed throughout the dressing room area this weekend stating: “I have found a source for Tim Hortons coffee - $85 per case, plus shipping.”
Equipment manager Mike Aldrich is behind the signs.
“We will probably have half the team order some,” said Aldrich.
from On the Islanders Beat,
It turns out Campbell was paying close attention to the game and saw the whole sequence play out. “Brendan Witt’s got a lot to say lately,” Campbell said. “He had a lot to say about our reviewed goal the other night. We take reviews very seriously in Toronto, and we take our jobs very seriously. If Brendan Witt wants to say something, he knows my number. He can call me….”
more...interesting stuff that has not received much attention…
added 4:00pm, Witt calls Campbell, leaves a message…
from the Tennessean,
Quiet and unassuming, Predators captain Kimmo Timonen isn’t the kind of leader who expends his breath with a surplus of words….
He is what Predators Coach Barry Trotz refers to as a poor man’s Nick Lidstrom; he’s a gifted NHL defenseman but he doesn’t receive superstar attention — perhaps, in part, by his own design.
“He doesn’t get a lot of fan fair, you don’t hear him in the press a lot talking about different things. He just says, ‘I will show you on the ice,’” Trotz said.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Bravo to NHL justice officials on the Simon suspension….
But here’s the larger problem.
How does the Neil incident connect to the Janssen suspension, and how in the world do those two events relate to a suspension to Simon that could be worth 43 games but didn’t result in a significant injury?
If there’s a common denominator to all of this, it is an elusive one.
From Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Embattled NHL Players’ Association executive director Ted Saskin has been suspended with pay, after a unanimous vote by the union’s team player representatives.
A majority of the NHLPA’s 30 team player reps late last night participated in an emergency conference call with union staff to discuss allegations first reported by the Star that Saskin inappropriately accessed the private email accounts of players who have opposed his hiring.
Saskin did not participate in the nearly two-hour conference call.
from Robert Picarello at Fox Sports,
This is where Gary Roberts is going to be worth his weight in gold and black to Crosby and the Penguins this April in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The gritty Roberts, who has scored 20 or more goals 12 times in his career, was brought over from the Florida Panthers to play on the No. 1 line with Crosby, hoping the aging superstar could open up some room for the 19-year old and his linemate, Mark Recchi.
“I can’t believe I’m playing with those slugs,” joked Roberts, who had 29 points with the Panthers this season.
from the News & Observer,
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward will be out indefinitely after suffering a deep laceration above his left knee in today’s 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers….
“It actually didn’t feel like that much, feel that serious, then I took a look at my knee and you could see something was wrong,” Ward said. “The Rangers came in the zone a couple more times, and I froze the puck. Once I looked, you could see the muscle.”
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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