Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
The icemaker is worried. The trainers are worried. The equipment managers are worried.
This business of playing hockey outdoors in the cold piles worry on top of worry for the people behind the scenes, whose job it is to make Tuesday’s Buffalo-Pittsburgh game at Ralph Wilson Stadium seem seamlessly magical.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Chris Stewart, the Penguins’ head trainer.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Brian Campbell hasn’t issued a deadline for a contract extension with the Buffalo Sabres, at least not yet. His desire is to stay with the organization that drafted and developed him, a wish he has practically screamed from the mountaintops. Let’s face it, he has an ideal situation in Buffalo.
Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier insisted Thursday that he wants to keep Campbell, but the defenseman wasn’t about to play games with these guys. He can simply finish the final 47 games of his contract, shop his services in the open market and make a pile of dough elsewhere.
Speeding up the conversion in Buffalo from football field to ice rink!
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Dan Craig also once created a rink on top of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Needless to say, he has this rink-building thing down to—pardon the pun—a science. And you don’t need to remind him how much his ice matters to the event.
“You’re going to have 70,000 people there, and seven million watching on the tube,” Craig said. “You know CBC and NBC have corporate partners they have to keep pleased. I’m very conscious of that.”
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
The comments have been nearly nonstop on whether Daniel Briere should have been booed mercilessly when he returned to Buffalo on Friday. And the words are passionate on both sides of the argument. One site even had to shut down the message board topic because the chatter turned into fans with opposing views typing vulgarities at each other.
For even more words on the matter, here we go: The booing of Briere was absolutely wrong, especially at the start of the game.
He helped make the Sabres matter again. When he arrived, games consisted of about 9,000 fans and a few writers.
read on and just a little reminder, Sergei Fedorov still gets booed in Detroit so it will probably continue in Buffalo too.
In our “Friday Faceoff,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Is this season’s outdoor game a good or bad thing?
Damien: Actually, it’s endeavour. Not that you were born here in Canada or anything. The outdoor event? Oh sure, great idea. Well, great old idea. Or just old idea. Look, if people want to sit in a Buffalo snowdrift and “watch” an NHL game from 300 feet away, God bless ‘em. But don’t tell me this game should count in the standings. It makes a mockery of the game. You’ll have guys out there in toques playing on crappy ice hoping to get the wind for the third period.
from the Buffalo News,
Rather than revisit the gory details of his departure, Briere elected to emphasize the glory days from his three-plus seasons in Buffalo.
“I’m not here, and it’s not my goal, to go blast the organization for the way they handled things,” Briere said after a workout in the Flyers’ practice facility. “They have a right to walk away from players just like we have a right to decide where we want to go. What I remember from Buffalo is a good time. I have some good memories. That’s all I’m hoping the fans can remember.”
fromm Terry Frei at ESPN,
When NBC broadcasts the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day from Ralph Wilson Stadium, the network and the league will be hoping to draw in both the sport’s fans and others intrigued by the outdoor setting—those who, a day earlier, would have had a 50-50 shot of identifying whether Sidney Crosby plays for Buffalo or Pittsburgh.
Whether they have tired of college football and decided to turn their backs on Michigan-Florida in the Capital One Bowl, or have any other reason, perhaps they’ll be fascinated and willing to give the game (and the sport) a shot.
From Mike Harrington at The Buffalo News,
“At times I wasn’t playing well and the other two guys were playing good,” Vanek said after practice Monday in the Amherst Pepsi Center. “Then maybe I had a few better games. Right now, we’re just finally playing all three on the same page, playing well at the same time and that makes a difference.”
Roy, in fact, is tied with Calgary’s Daymond Langkow for the best December plus-minus in the league at plus-10 and Vanek isn’t far behind at plus-7. Roy has 11 points in eight games this month, just three off the league lead.
“As a line, we’re getting to know each other and where we’ve got to be,” Roy said. “Team-wise, we’ve clamped down on things, we’re collapsing in the defensive zone, guys are blocking shots and Ryan [goaltender Ryan Miller] is making some great saves.”
Watch the NBC promo for the Winter Classic on January 1, 2008.
added 1:03pm, NBC Sports today announced that Bob Costas will host NBC’s broadcast coverage of the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Costas has a history broadcasting hockey, serving as the play-by-play commentator for the Syracuse Blazers of the old Eastern Hockey League in 1973-74 and also occasionally filling in for the late, great Dan Kelly on KMOX’s St. Louis Blues radiocasts in the last 70s and early 80s.
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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