Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stu Cown of the Montreal Gazette,
If there is a nicer gentleman in the world of sports than Jacques Demers I have yet to meet him.
In fact, it would be hard to find a nicer man anywhere. So it was fantastic to see Demers’s smiling face again Wednesday night as he was inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame. It was also difficult to see him in a wheelchair and unable to speak, paralyzed on his right side. But it could have been much worse after the last Canadiens coach to win a Stanley Cup suffered a stroke in April.
Demers, 72, loved to golf as a member of the Whitlock club in Hudson and has always loved to talk, as anyone who knows him will tell you. He can no longer do those two things, but his wife Debbie says he does have some feeling in his right leg and doctors think he will eventually be able to walk with a cane. He’s also working on his speech.
But as anyone who has a family member who has suffered a stroke knows, the future is always uncertain.
“It’s a slow, long process and time will tell,” Debbie said over the phone from their West Island home Thursday morning.
Team Canada can hoist the World Cup tonight with a win over Team Europe. It Team Europe wins, the final game will be on Saturday night.
Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on ESPN2, CBC and TVAS.
Will Connor McDavid be named the next captain of the Oilers? What is Hockey Canada's back-up plan if NHLers don't go to the Olympics? Will Joe Thornton sign another three-year deal? The TSN Hockey Insiders cover these topics and more.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
But Laine has never, ever, experienced anything like a cutthroat NHL training camp before.
And the first few days of his first one with the Winnipeg Jets have opened his eyes and screamed into his ears: he's not in Finland, or even the pro league in Switzerland, anymore.
“We don't normally have nothing like the training camp,” Laine said, Wednesday. “Everybody comes to the practice and we don't have to kind of race (for) the spots on the team. We just come there and practise and then play. And we don't have that many guys there. We just have the team and we're just practising with them.
“Here you have those guys that want to take your spot and want to be ahead of you in the roster. Back home there's no such thing.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The World Cup of Hockey trophy, whatever the heck they call that monstrosity of an award that goes to the winner of the event, will be in the Air Canada Centre Thursday night as Canada tries to lock down its third consecutive best-on-best championship when it faces Team Europe.
There's no question that the air has gone out of this tournament somewhat in recent days -- especially after Team Europe upended heavily favored Sweden in the semifinals, giving Canada what most believed would be an easy path to a tournament title in the best-of-three finals.
Of course, Team Europe had other plans and played a near-perfect game in the opening title of the finals on Tuesday night before ultimately falling 3-1. Europe head coach Ralph Krueger and his players were defiant in the wake of the loss, insisting that they took no moral victories from essentially playing Canada to a standstill before losing because of a couple of defensive breakdowns.
via Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal,
The outcome can immediately be forgotten — Vancouver and Edmonton remain tied with 0 points — with the major concern being the health or otherwise of Patrick Maroon. The burly left winger, one of the better Oilers in this sloppy affair, left the game with a leg injury midway through the third period after an awkward hit by Vancouver’s James Sheppard. Maroon’s status was unknown after the game, but it didn’t look good at all.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Here are some players that may be undervalued coming into the season, yet might be able to deliver a difference-making performance:
Nazem Kadri – Toronto’s 25-year-old pivot could get written off as a big scorer after he posted 45 points last season and is now facing competition for ice time from Toronto’s top prospects. However, Kadri’s underlying numbers last season were excellent. He averaged 3.42 shots per game, which ranked ninth among forwards, shot a career-low 6.5 per cent and had an on-ice shooting percentage of 5.7 per cent. With more skill in the Leafs lineup, an uptick in those percentages could result in something of a bounce-back season.
Rick Nash – The 32-year-old Rangers winger is one season removed from a 42-goal campaign, but that one season saw him struggle to 15 goals in 60 games while shooting a career-low 8.2 per cent, with his 3.05 shots on goal per game his lowest since 2006-2007. Sure, he’s over 30 and should be slowing down, but his decline doesn’t have to be quite so steep. If Nash stays relatively healthy, and his shooting percentage returns to a more typical 12 per cent, then a 30-goal campaign isn’t out of the question.
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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