Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Hometown Hockey,
On October 25, Kris Versteeg scored a goal. It wasn’t a game winner or a highlight reel play or a career milestone… just another NHL goal like dozens scored that night throughout the league. But to Rochelle and Sara Knapp of Missoula, Montana, it wasn’t just another goal: it was the fulfilment of a promise Kris made to them only hours earlier in memory of Rochelle’s late mother, who died of cancer.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Hawks have lost three of four games, all to teams outside of the playoff picture, to fall to fourth place in the Central. They have two games in hand on the Wild (and on first-place Nashville, which is eight points ahead), but those two games come back-to-back against the Jets (who’ve won three of four against the Hawks this season) and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings.
Oddly enough, that might be the best thing for the Hawks, who have long had a penchant for playing to the level of their competition.
“I feel we’ve taken some teams lightly as of late, and they’ve taken it to us,” Andrew Shaw said. “Tonight’s a big game. We need the two points, they need the two points. When you’re playing a great team, everyone always steps up even more.”
“When the motivation is right in front of our faces, I think we’ve always been good at stepping up and being prepared for those types of games,” he said, adding that the urgency hasn’t been high enough lately. “We played some teams that have nothing to lose, and aren’t sitting in playoff positions, and they’ve been the ones playing the more desperate style of hockey. Tonight, there’s no excuse.”
Chicago plays tonight in Winnipeg.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen was in the midst of his first press gathering in Philadelphia since the Philadelphia Flyers traded him Feb. 27.
After eight years as a member of the Flyers, Timonen was asked how the crowd would react for his return to Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.
Timonen, the stoic 40-year-old Finn, took several beats to gather himself as the memories of the past washed over him.
"I only have good memories here," he finally said. "I'm sure it's going to be good. All the things that happened here. ... I'm happy to be here."
"That guy is such a great human being off the ice, on the ice," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "It's a really good example for me. I was 21, 22 when I got here. He showed me the way, how to be a better person and how to be a better hockey player. That guy's a pro every single way. ... I'm very happy for him that he's got a chance to battle for a Stanley Cup because he really deserves it."
added 8:21am, Below, a short clip zoomed in on the incident, which also makes the players look about four feet tall...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
There wasn’t one particular “welcome back” moment for Kimmo Timonen — a time when a forward blew by him, or when his legs couldn’t keep up with his thought process, or when his timing failed him at an inopportune moment.
There were lots of them.
“All four games I’ve played so far,” Timonen said with a laugh. “You get that feeling: ‘Oh, my God. I’ve got a long ways to go.’ ”
Timonen wasn’t expecting this to be easy. He turns 40 on Wednesday, so he knows how this works by now. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to step on the ice for the first time in 10 months after dealing with potentially life-threatening blood clots in his calf and both lungs and immediately be his old self — a four-time All-Star, a minutes-eater, a top-tier power-play point man, a penalty-killer.
But he didn’t think it was going to be this difficult, either. Four games into his Blackhawks career, Timonen has seen his ice time drop every game, from 17:29 on March 2 to a mere 9:21 on Friday night in Arizona.
“It’s been hard,” he said. “The game’s fast, and everything happens fast, and everybody’s fighting for the playoffs. It’s not like Game 30, when everybody’s kind of sluggish. It’s all-out now for everybody. So it’s been hard. It’s going to take time. When I came here, I gave myself 19 games to get in the shape I want to be in when we get to the playoffs. We’ve still got 15 games to go.”
Here is the video explanation...
Will these types of hits ever stop?
Check out this dirtiness, as Blackhawks forward Joakim Nordstrom hits Coyotes’ best defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson from behind.
via Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
After the game, Tippett said Ekman-Larsson was day-to-day with a "not-too-serious" upper-body injury and he is hopeful Ekman-Larsson is ready to play Saturday.
from John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
"I've kind of moved on from it now, but at the same time it was definitely a tough couple of days after you hear the news of the injury and the extent of how long you'll be out," Kane said. "Especially when you're in the groove of playing games and looking forward to finishing the season strong and get into the playoffs, it definitely hurts. I'll try to do the best I can to get as ready as I can for playoffs and be ready to go when I come back."
As for the play itself, Kane called it "kind of flukey."
"I remember during the play I thought our defenseman was going to come down and pinch, so I kind of let up a little bit and tried to skate fast to the puck," Kane said. "And as I was skating, (he) kind of cross-checked me in the back there and I lost my balance. As I was losing my balance, it looked like I was trying to either make a play or chip it back to the point, so I couldn't really protect myself going into the boards."
Watch the injury below if you missed it or just want to see it again...
from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
Chicago Blackhawks fan Alexis Bovard walked away from her first NHL game with one heck of a story…and probably a headache as well.
Early in the first period of the Blackhawks-Oilers game Friday night, Benoit Pouliot hit Niklas Hjalmarsson hard into the boards in the Chicago end – so hard in fact that a pane of glass was dislodged and it fell into the crowd, landing on Bovard.
“If I even remember correctly, I was watching the game and you know the big hits come to the glass and the next thing I know the glass is on my head and blood is everywhere and people are all around me and I make it up the stairs and hear all these applause, which was nice to hear,” Bovard told Sportsnet’s Gene Principe during the game.
Watch the incident below...
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
This spring is Kimmo Timonen’s final shot at a Stanley Cup ring.
The 39-year-old defenceman told reporters in Chicago Thursday that he will be retiring at the end of the 2014-15 season but wants to remain involved in hockey as a coach.
Timonen, who only made his season debut Monday, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks from the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2016.
Ironically, it was the Blackhawks who snuffed out the blueliner’s best shot at lifting the Cup back in 2010, when Chicago defeated Philly in a six-game Stanley Cup final.
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.
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