Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Morrison of the CBC,
Quite likely, Tootoo will receive a suspension of at least a few games and the league makes headlines again for all the wrong reasons, which again raises the question of whether harder, black-and-white penalties need to be in place for any kinds of blows to the head. Of course, had Tootoo and Robidas been actually fighting, he would have been applauded for the knockout.
And what about sticking up for star players getting hit, is that line between answering a clean or dirty check becoming a little blurred?
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Why didn’t Bob Gainey go out and get a goaltender at the trade deadline?
Of course, there would be lots of other grist for the mill as well, Alexei Kovalev’s unfortunate Russian interview and Sergei Samsonov’s exile and the Craig Rivet trade, a move that may have unsettled the team’s delicate chemistry.
But in the National Hockey League, it has always been true that great netminding can turn mediocre teams into something more than the sum of their parts (see the New York Islanders minus Rick DiPietro). That was certainly the case at the Bell Centre on Saturday.
from the Star-Tribune,
“He is definitely jumping now,” White said after Wild practice Sunday afternoon. “But then, it takes a while to get the legs back.”
Rolston has been one of the team’s most consistent players since putting on a Wild uniform before the 2005-06 season. Last season he played in all 82 games for the third time in four NHL seasons, setting career highs in goals (34), points (79) and plus-minus (plus-14).
He was on pace to duplicate those numbers when, in early February, Rolston got a case of the flu that hit him harder than any 6-4, 250-pound defenseman could.
He could barely walk, much less skate. For nearly a week he was essentially bed-ridden while he recovered.
from the NCAA,
INDIANAPOLIS—The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has selected the 16 teams that will be participating in the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.
Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, included the University of Notre Dame, Clarkson University and the University of New Hampshire.
read on for the brackets…
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Bertuzzi’s addition can hardly be overestimated, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Henrik Zetterberg’s recovery from an inflamed disk. The Wings hope he will be able to resume playing before the regular season ends April 7.
In Zetterberg’s absence, Bertuzzi will reinforce the lineup. Whether he ends up playing with fellow big man Robert Lang, or with Pavel Datsyuk while Zetterberg is out, Bertuzzi will add size and bite. He is dangerous with the puck and ferocious without it; Chris Chelios, who has a colorful history of one-on-one battles him, tells a vivid story of one particularly run-in.
read on... and Pierre Lebrun of the CP mentioned last night Zetterberg has circled MArch 30th as his return date…
I think Alanah of Canucks & Beyond may have hurried off to the bar after her live blogging of the Wings?Canucks game last night.
By George James Malik:
When Wayne Gretzky speaks, the hockey world listens. Gretzky’s impassioned plea to the NHL’s referees (and front office), demanding more accountability for the vicious and violent hits that have become commonplace in the 2006-2007 season, was completely justified. Whether you believe that Craig Janssen, Chris Neil, and Ryan Hollweg were “finishing their checks” or wantonly attempting to injure their opponents, the resulting body count can’t be denied. In the case of Chris Simon, an uncalled boarding penalty resulted in the ugliest incident in NHL history since Todd Bertuzzi’s attack on Steve Moore.
Referees seem to refuse to call more than one set of penalties in our post-lockout NHL, and it’s bafflingly frustrating to see players regularly line up their opponents, cruise in, and pop their hard-plastic-covered shoulders up as they intentionally direct their momentum and body mass upward instead of outward, making contact with chins, temples, and the Reebok logo on the backs of NHL jerseys instead of chests, arms, or team crests. Allowing “battles” for the puck has devolved into a tacit approval of anything that isn’t interference.
The latter half of Gretzky’s statements, however, have been pounced upon by he NHL’s commentators:
from the Dallas Morning News,
This wasn’t the way Mike Modano drew it up.
Modano scored two goals, Nos. 502 and 503 of his career, to break Joe Mullen’s record and become the greatest American-born goal-scorer in NHL history Saturday night….
On the other, the crowd of 17,113 took out its frustration for Tootoo getting penalized, booing Modano at the end of the third period and rumbling the “Modano’s a baby” chant on several occasions.
added 10:15am, Check out the tribute video (will open wmp video) the Dallas Stars produced for Modano…
from the Toronto Sun,
Colin Campbell is most often referred to as the National Hockey League’s chief disciplinarian. His official title is the NHL’s executive vice-president and director of hockey operations. The Tillsonburg, Ont., native is a former player and coach. He’s been front and centre when dealing with issues of rule changes, rule enforcement and discipline. This week, he chatted with Sun Media columnist Morris Dalla Costa….
Q: Will there come a time when any check to the head will result in a penalty?
We’ll discuss it. But I’ve talked to leagues where any check to the head is a penalty and . . . if this rule is out there, you’re getting players coming into our league who have played all the way up, knowing they are not going to get hit with a shoulder to the head, they come to the NHL and won’t be prepared for it. I remember when I played, I got nailed by Willi Plett. I remember I was out on the ice. I remember thinking,: “The coach is going to think; ‘How can I expose myself that way?’ ” My dad is going to give me crap for exposing myself. We’re to the point where we’ve gotten rid of a lot of things that have caused injuries. Now we’re looking at head checking. We’ll beat it up and discuss it with everyone involved.
from Maine Today,
When Portland Pirates goalkeeper Gerald Coleman was going to junior high school in Evanston, Ill., his gym teacher flunked him because he wanted to play hockey instead of basketball.
“At the time, I was like 6-3, and he gave me a bad grade in gym class because I didn’t want to try out for the basketball team,” Coleman recalled. “I wanted to play hockey. He said to me: ‘Why do you want to play that white man’s game?’ “
That kind of attitude motivated Coleman, who is black, to work even harder at hockey.
“It kind of woke me up,” he said. “People said you can’t do it, and it kind of pushed me to want to play it more and more.”
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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