Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
If you get the idea that Nicklas Lidstrom is a thinking-man's defenseman, a cerebral leader for the Red Wings, you are bang-on. He plays more minutes than any other player in the NHL and, at 35 (he'll be 36 on April 28), he hasn't shown an inkling of slowing down. I'll never forget the post-Cup tribute that coach Scotty Bowman paid to Lidstrom after the Red Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes in a five-game Finals victory. "You look at what Nicklas Lidstrom did all the way through the playoffs and he was just about a perfect player," Bowman saidread on
"When Alexander reached the podium, he stood beside me and I felt his heartbeat against my shoulder, it was pumping fast." What a way to describe your first meeting with your future. Let me explain, I had set up an interview with Washington Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis in Detroit for this Friday, but his schedule was quite full for his upcoming visit. Last night Mr. Leonsis was kind enough to call me and conduct a phone interview. We discussed the outlook for the Capitals and Ted mentioned he has learned a lot from the past. The Caps are stressing team orientated play and want to be known as a team hard to play against. Even though he hated losing players from the past like Lang and Bondra, current players like Chris Clarke, Brian Willsie and Matt Pettinger are filling in nicely. Mr. Leonsis is very happy with coach Glenn Hanlon, who has handled the team very well. He is stressing a team orientated game, is bringing the players around slowly and is a great teacher. Now on to Ovechkin; I asked Ted who he hopes Alex turns out to be like, maybe a Messier type and his response is Alex tells everyone "I am me". Speaking about AO, he says he is an athletically gifted athlete. Before he was drafted by the Caps, the Capitals Russian scout told him Alex has a fifth gear and as the game goes on, he goes into sixth gear and takes advantage of other players slowing down during the game. His production this year has proved that point and Ted also stressed Ovechkin is a team player, fits in well in the locker room and along with Kolzig, is a great player to look up to. Ted stated there is no "easy fix" to change the Capitals into a winning franchise. He realizes the Southeast division is getting stronger with players like Staal, Luongo, Jokinen, Lecavalier and Kovalchuk and must get his team stronger to compete with them. He has told fans and the press alike he is not afraid to spend money to win, but he will no longer try to "buy" a winning team. It all begins with team chemistry and the Caps are concentrating on getting team players that will fit into the system they are trying to create. I brought up the NHL on OLN and Ted replied since Comcast is behind OLN, he has faith in them. He believes Comcast is powerfull enough to do anything they set their mind to. He did mention ESPN did not want hockey and they were disrespectful to the NHL and the move to OLN was in the best interest of the league. The topic switched to new media and the NHL. Ted supplied some very informative information, over 185 million homes in North America are now wired into the web. He claims the NHL fan is the most web savvy, and it is up to the NHL to establish a footprint for all of the information the fans want. He feels newspapers are a dying breed, and bloggers and the web have become very important in getting the NHL news out to the public. Do a search on recent NHL news, and you will see bloggers and websites show up prominently and will continue to do so. He mentioned he reads the blogs on a regular basis, pointing out Off Wing Opinion and Jaspers' Rink as a two of his favorites. The recent Tony Kornheiser column was brought up and Ted mentioned he does that type of article on a yearly basis. He has no problem with what was said because Kornheiser is a columnist and has the right to express his views, but if it was from a writer, he would make sure to point out some of the facts to him. I thoroughly enjoyed my fifteen minutes with Mr. Leonsis and strongly encourage others associated with the NHL to open up to my fellow bloggers. We care about the game, promote it whenever possible and do this for the love of hockey. Our voices are heard and respected and Mr. Leonsis' lead should be followed. This post will remain sticky for the day. To read current updates, just scroll down the page.
Until about a week ago, the Eastern Conference playoff race was nearly as exciting as that in the West, with the final three playoff berths up for grabs amongst six teams. But since then, the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and the defending Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have all made considerable progress in solidifying their holds on the final three berths, thanks to a combination of key victories on their parts and the struggles of the clubs chasing them.continued
from the Philly Burbs,
“We're getting scoring from other people now,” Hitchcock said. “It's making (the Forsberg line) more effective because you can't just focus on those three guys anymore. When you've got three skilled players who know how to work, they're very effective.” It's one thing for Carter and Umberger and the rest of the Flyers' forwards to stat-pad against the Islanders or an Ottawa team beset with injuries. It's another to expect them to give opponents pause in the playoffs, when every player must pay a high price just to put himself in position to score, let alone to put the puck in the net.more
AGREEMENT Between National Hockey League and National Hockey League Officials’ Association 2006 - 2010 If you are interested in reading (in .doc or rich text format) the recent agreement between the NHL and the NHL Officials. This one is complete, as opposed to the CBA between the NHL & the NHLPA which is floating around the web.
from the Buffalo News,
The labels on Darcy Tucker have long ranged from "aggressive" to "pest" to "dirty." The Buffalo Sabres are heavily tilted toward the latter, with a touch of "yellow" thrown in. The Toronto Maple Leafs forward escaped punishment from the NHL for Monday's hit on Jochen Hecht, but the Sabres weren't going to let his reputation off the hook. The verbal darts they threw Tuesday were bull's-eyes, hitting exactly where intended.continued
For U.S. fans, if you are lucky enough to get CBC, set the DVRs... from the Hockey News,
If you are old enough to remember watching the Summit Series in 1972, or at the very least, understand the significance of the first meeting between NHLers and the world's best international team from the Soviet Union, then the CBC's Canada Russia '72 is a must-see. Canada Russia '72 is an insider's peak into the series that left an undeniable stamp on the game. Canada won the series, but was outscored and handed a lesson in skill and preparation that changed the way Canadians train for and play the game.read on from the Detroit Free Press,
Phil Esposito's us-against-the-world moment comes as Team Canada players gather around Wayne Cashman's hospital bed. "I don't know, boys, we're in a foreign land here, thousands of miles from home, losing the biggest hockey series in the history of the world, and just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, we've been deserted," says Esposito. "So I say here's to us and screw the rest of them. Screw the Swedes and the Russians, and screw the people back home who hate us. Screw the media and the government. And screw the referees, Cash, especially screw the referees. Did I leave anyone out?"read on
from the Boston Herald,
Perhaps the one good thing about having such a nightmare of a season is that the Bruins may get a shot at the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The B’s are currently holding the sixth pick, thanks to having the NHL’s sixth-worst record. And if the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were two points behind the B’s going into last night, catch the Bruins, then the B’s get a shot at the No. 1 pick in the lottery format. That pick, wherever it may be, could fetch a decent veteran in a trade. But B’s interim GM Jeff Gorton said last night he wouldn’t be inclined to move the draft choicecontinued
The Atlanta/Florida and Islanders/Leafs game will not be on Center Ice due to a MLB game. Also, the Sharks/Avs game which starts at 9:00pm EDT, will be joined in progress after the Canes/Capitals game which starts at 7:00pm.
from the NY Times,
Jaromir Jagr all but guaranteed that the Rangers would make the playoffs on the first day of training camp in September. He might have been the only one who actually believed it. The Rangers finally ended seven seasons of futility last night when they clinched a playoff berth by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, in a shootout at Madison Square Garden. "It doesn't matter who believes you," Jagr said before the game. "Even if somebody picks you first, you still have to prove it. They don't give you the Stanley Cup just because somebody picks you to win it." He added: "There probably was no reason to believe that we could make it. But we, as players, it's all a matter of how many guys on your team believe you can do it. It's always been that way. It doesn't matter what the media thinks."more (reg. req.)
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com