Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Friday marks the start of full conference play, the first chance to judge if the new National Hockey League has retained any of its old flavour, pitting the wide-open West against the super-sized East. Kicking it off are clashes between division leaders, the Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings, and the Carolina Hurricanes against second-place Dallas Stars. Among the most-excited observers in the coming weeks will be pro scouts such as Maple Leafs' Craig Button. "I think the East has been in transition for a couple of years, but we've had nothing to use as a measuring stick until now," Button said. "It will be good to see how Ottawa looks against Vancouver or what Tampa Bay does against Nashville. Then you have the individual matchups; Robyn Regehr against Dany Heatley, or Bryan McCabe on Jarome Iginla."read on
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from Eric Weinrich, special to to Maine Today,
You often hear about how tough athletes are and the heroic tales of injured players performing in big games and leading their teams to victory. These are the stories of legend. But some folks would ask, "Why would a player risk his career, or put the team's future in jeopardy?" As a kid, it is just human nature because you want to play so badly, and a small bump or bruise doesn't hinder a performance or a playground game. As you get older, the injuries always seem to get worse and more troublesome. As a pro, it is your life and you must take care of injuries like a farmer takes care of his machines. If they are not working correctly, you don't get the most out of them.continued
from the Phildadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers are light years away from the team that, at the end of August, was considered odds-on favorite to win it all. If forced to predict how long they'd last in the playoffs right now, I might say two rounds, at best. The Flyers of today are a leaderless group, riddled by injury, and depleted to the point that in some games, like Saturday's loss to the Islanders, five of their top forwards played last season in the AHL, juniors or both.more
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If sports fans across the continent are asking, "Did you see that?" in response to the theatrical, 15-round Shootout at the OK Corral on Saturday that ended with Marek Malik's dazzling between-the-legs move that flummoxed not only Olaf Kolzig but everyone else in the joint, you can bet the executives at the TV networks can't be too far behind. Which means — and you can take this to the bank right along with the owners' share of the players' escrow fund — that it is only a matter of time before, a) NBC and whoever has the NHL's cable rights in a couple of years insist that the shootout become part of the Stanley Cup playoffs; and, b) the league acquiesces in exchange for reasonable rights fees. Honestly, it's the next logical step in the progression, isn't it?read on (reg. req.)
Reading and listening to a daily diet of trade speculation about star goaltender Roberto Luongo has become almost entertaining for the sharp-witted veteran executive. That being said, he is finally responding to the rumours, that arguably his greatest asset is on the block. "I have never had any discussion with regard to trading Roberto," Keenan told Sportsnet.more
from the CP via Canada.com,
Many Canadians go to their local outdoor hockey rink to skate and live the dream of scoring that winning Stanley Cup goal. But this quintessential slice of Canadian life in wintertime is slowly melting away because of global warming, says a collection of young environmentalists.read on
PJ Swenson at Sharkspage has a post entitled "Real World Czech Republic, Stanley Cup edition". A must read for any hockey fan. To wet your whistle a bit...
I think the real significance of this story hit me after one all-nighter in the Czech town of Pisek. As dawn approached, I found Lightning player Stan Neckar lying on his back on the cobblestone sidewalk near a 14th-century bridge, the oldest in the Czech Republic. Two baguettes served as pillows beneath his head; he was hugging the Cup to his chest.
Despite the team's recent struggles on the ice, the Columbus Blue Jackets deny the mood in the dressing room is growing sour. Sources tell Sportsnet veteran defenceman Luke Richardson gave up his captaincy Saturday after being a healthy scratch in the team's 5-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Friday night. However, Columbus president and general manager, Doug Maclean refutes any claim this is a result of a tattered dressing room.read on
via the CP,
Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Konowalchuk needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right wrist and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday. Konowalchuk suffered the injury in a game against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 21. "Further examination along with an MRI confirmed that Steve has torn ligaments in his right wrist and that surgery is necessary," Avalanche head trainer Matt Sokolowski said in a statement. "We anticipate the recovery time to be between six and seven months."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org