Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
The extra work has paid huge dividends for Huselius and the Flames. Heading into tonight’s crucial game in San Jose, the left winger has obliterated his previous NHL career highs with 33 goals and 43 assists in 78 games.
Toss in the fact he’s been flagged with only 26 penalty minutes and it’s understandable why the Flames believe they have a legitimate Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The team will soon be handing out packages to the media stating his case.
“I’ve heard people talking about it but I don’t know what to say,” said the mild-mannered Huselius. “It’s an honour to be mentioned in that category.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
“We treated our fans to some of the best hockey they’ve seen in well over a decade last year, and this year we’ve rebounded with probably the worst hockey they’ve had in over a decade. We just have to find a little balance.”
The search begins right now and, judging from what he’s seen over the last 18 games, Lowe will need a bigger shopping basket than he originally anticipated. Management said they’d learn a lot about their players during this stretch, and they have. But much of it isn’t very good.
“We have, in our minds, a clearer picture of how we see our team coming together next season, what holes we need to fill, besides the obvious ones.”
from the LA Times,
Selanne was called for using an illegal stick, which nullified the four-on-three advantage. The Ducks couldn’t score in overtime and San Jose put in both of its tries in the shootout to get a 3-2 victory at Honda Center….
Selanne said he was surprised by Wilson’s maneuver. He acknowledged the illegality but also blamed the poor ice surface.
“It might be a little wide. But there’s a reason why it’s wide. That’s because the NHL makes great ice and you need a stick this wide to receive a pass in this league,” Selanne said sarcastically.
As he said that, Selanne held his hands a foot apart. Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle sought to shift the blame away from his star winger.
more (reg. req.)
from the Toronto Star,
Islanders fans love Wade Dubielewicz, mostly because they can chant his nickname – “Du-bie, Du-bie” – whenever he makes a save.
They’ll love him even more if the Goalie Who Came Out of Nowhere can pull off the next to impossible and rally the New York Islanders into the playoffs….
He’s listed generously at 5-foot-10 – maybe with skates on – and he’s more a reaction-type goalie. Think Mike Palmateer. Or maybe Yoda.
On his mask, he’s painted Islanders history – Bobby Nystrom celebrating and Denis Potvin hoisting the Cup – as well as the Star Wars character.
“I don’t really look like a goalie, and Yoda doesn’t really look like a Jedi warrior,” he said.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
This Penguins fun is a different kind of fun than the “old” Stanley Cup-winning Penguins used to have which was more like the fun you’d see at 11 o’clock at, say, McNabb Arena on a Monday night.
The old birds would skate around in practice without helmets or shoulder pads and coach Eddie Johnston would blow his whistle a couple of times. Tom Barrasso would scowl at somebody and 20 minutes later somebody would undo Mario Lemieux’ skates for him.
These new Penguins are having fun, too, but it’s the fun that comes when some kids realize they have a chance to do something special for the first time. Fun for them; fun for those of us who watch.
from the Toronto Sun,
If it is true that the most dangerous animal is one that is wounded and cornered then the Maple Leafs should be a fearsome sight to behold the next couple days.
They’ve got the Islanders and Montreasl right where they want them. The rest of the NHL just doesn’t know it yet.
This team has more nicks, scratches and blemishes than a frat-house beer fridge. Parts keep falling off, the door is hanging by one hinge but somehow it keeps getting the job done.
According to the two women, the Rangers should be penalized for slashing, spitting and verbal abuse during television timeouts in the first period of Tuesday night’s game at Nassau Coliseum, won by the Islanders, 3-2, in a shootout.
During commercial breaks, teams of three Ice Girls clean loose ice known as “snow” in the goal and the blue-painted goaltender’s crease in front of the goal line. But Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist declined to move and used his stick to whack the squeegee Kelli Higgins was using to push the snow into a pile during the first TV timeout, knocking the butt end of the squeegee stick into her stomach.
“I said ‘Excuse me’ maybe two or three times,” Higgins said Wednesday. “He didn’t move and didn’t say anything, so I gave up and went around him….”
note: updated the link at 8:19am Thursday for a little more information…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Well, if the Leafs are to win their last two games and squeeze into the National Hockey League playoffs, they had better find it quickly.
It is killer instinct, something the Leafs have not shown a lot of lately, be it starting quickly to put a weaker opponent down by the end of the first period, or closing the deal in the third when they have a stronger one on the ropes.
Maurice, the Leafs’ head coach, argues that too much is made of this. Only the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators or Buffalo Sabres have enough talent to say they have a killer instinct.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, Luc compares Sid the Kid to Super Mario and The Great One, discusses a shootout experience he will never forget, hands out advice on Barry Melrose’s mullet and picks his Stanley Cup winner.
Q: Who was the best coach you ever had?
A: Scotty Bowman, and probably Barry Melrose.
Q: Wow. Melrose is going to love to hear that.
A: He was great. He was the best communicator I ever had and he was a real player’s coach.
Q: Now, why didn’t you and the rest of the guys pin Barry down and cut off that mullet?
A: We should have, but you guys at ESPN should do it now [laughs]. In those days, in the early 1990s, it wasn’t bad. But now, the mullet is totally over with.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Former NHL coach Pat Burns says that while Sidney Crosby may one day be the best player in hockey, that honour currently belongs to Vincent Lecavalier.
“He’s the best hockey player in the National Hockey League by far,” Burns said Wednesday while promoting a prostate cancer fundraiser.
“I saw a game in Tampa when he played against Crosby and he just put on a show. You could see Crosby thinking ‘I’m going to be good like that one day.’ He’s big, strong, he can skate, he can score and I’d say he’s probably the best hockey player in the league.
“And him and Marty St. Louis are probably the best duo in the NHL.”
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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