Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Musick of the Northwest Herald,
• Long slumps don’t happen: Every time the Hawks have slumped, they have recovered. Coach Joel Quenneville’s team has built a 44-18-6 record by avoiding long losing streaks. The worst skid was three losses from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, and the Hawks responded then by winning the next four games and six of the next seven.
• Hawks have been through this before: Remember last year? The Hawks suffered a five-game winless streak from March 13 to March 20, and they limped to a 4-7-2 record from March 5 to March 31. Questions swirled about their toughness and their goaltending, but they came alive in the playoffs to reach the Western Conference Finals.
more including reasons to worry…
via the Washington Capitals PR department,
Statement from Alex Ovechkin
“I am very sorry that Brian was injured and I hope he is able to return to his team soon. NHL hockey is a physical game. We all play hard every time we are on the ice and have battles each shift in every game we play so we can do our jobs and win. As players we must accept responsibility for our actions and I am no different but I did not intend to injure Brian and that is why I was disappointed with the NHL’s decision yesterday. Every time I have the honor to play for my team, I will continue to do what I have done since I was taught to play. I will play hard, play with passion and play with respect for my teammates, opponents and fans. I look forward to returning to my team and doing everything I can to be the best player I can be.”
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The Blackhawks will attend Tuesday’s taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as a team after they practice in Anaheim.
A meet and greet with Leno is scheduled following the show for the players and other members of the Hawks’ traveling party.
As of Monday there were no plans to have a member of the Hawks as a guest with Leno, such as Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews.
“We’re working on that,” a Hawks spokesman said.
continue for more hockey talk…
I am not going to put up a yes or no poll but rather ask you to comment and tell me if Alexander Ovechkin should/should not be suspended for his boarding call on Brian Campbell yesterday.
This from a Darren Dreger tweet this morning,
NHL is defining “boarding” now and in light of the severity of B.Campbell’s injury, Ovechkin may face suspension.
Also, Tarik El-Bashir tweeted earlier this morning,
I’m hearing the Caps have/are going to ask the NHL to rescind the major penalty assessed to Alex Ovechkin yesterday for his hit/shove.
If you want to review the hit, you can watch it here.
added 11:16am, via Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
I don’t think Alex should have received a game misconduct for that play. I don’t think he should miss our next game either. Matt Cooke didn’t get suspended or a penalty called on his hit last week, but Alex Ovechkin the league’s MVP did on that play? I don’t get it. But it is what it is. We will move on, play hard and we won’t “explain or complain”.
added 11:20am, Damien Cox tweets,
NHL had no plans to suspend Ovechkin on Sunday. If they’ve changed their minds now, Caps should appeal.
added 11:26am, from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Since Alexander Ovechkin’s previous boarding major (Patrick Kaleta) happened more than 41 games ago, there is no automatic suspension. (Crazy coincidence: Chicago was game number 42.) But, he admitted post-game that he pushed Brian Campbell - and pushing guys from behind into the boards doesn’t go over well, especially now that Campbell may be out for the rest of the regular season.
read more hockey topics from Elliottte…
added 11:30am, Bob McKenzie tweets,
I will be surprised if Ovechkin is not suspended for a couple of games. Campbell’s injury is the big factor now.
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
As Jonathan Toews embraced the elephant in the dressing room following the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime loss Sunday to the Capitals, only two other teammates were within earshot of their captain.
What a shame. Every Hawk who has been coasting since the Olympic break needed to hear what Toews had to say. If the game was any indication though, they would have stopped listening two-thirds of the way through his statement.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame,” Toews said after Nicklas Backstrom’s unassisted goal with 1 minute 50 seconds left in overtime slipped past Antti Niemi. “We have to take responsibility for it and somehow be better for the experience. … We’ve got the most skill in the league and there’s no reason when we’re up 3-0 not to finish the job.”...
Good leaders face adversity the way Toews did. But Chicago has reached the stage in the Blackhawks’ growth where actions must weigh heavier than words.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun at the London Free Press,
...At the same time, don’t expect a suspension to be handed out in this matter, according to a league source.
While Ovechkin deservedly was slapped with a boarding major and game misconduct for his brain cramp, league officials know it did not contain the same type of intent or viciousness as the incident one week earlier in which the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke blindsided Boston’s Marc Savard, leaving the Bruins forward likely out for the season with a concussion.
By not suspending Cooke for a far more malicious act, how could the NHL justify any supplemental discipline for Ovechkin in this matter?
via Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago,
Campbell left the game and has been declared out for the Hawks’ upcoming three-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Anaheim. Coach Joel Quenneville couldn’t say for sure that the injury would not affect him the rest of the season.
“We’ll see. We’ll get a better assessment as we go along here,” Quenneville said. “Soupy [Campbell] is going to be out for a bit here…It was a tough hit. A dangerous hit.”
Pushed Brian Campbell into the boards and is gone from the game.
Campbell was slow in getting up, may be winded or a shoulder issue and did skate off and went to the locker room.
added 1:26pm, video of the hit…
added 1:35pm, NBC crew says Campbell will not return.
“I don’t question too much about what people think. I believe in myself. I know I can do great things for the team.”
-Chicago goaltender Cristobal Huet. More on Huet from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Whether all the angst is a reflection of the goaltending or the shrillness of sports discussion in this city is a question for another day. I will say that if I see one more despondent Hawks fan jump into the Chicago River after a loss, I’ll probably pick up a phone and report it, just to save his life out of spite.
I’ll also say that faith is a dwindling natural resource these days.
You might as well buckle up and get behind the goalies. Huet or Niemi (or both) is going to be your playoff goaltender. After tonight’s game against the Kings, the Hawks have 16 games until the postseason begins. There’s enough time to calm the sea. Niemi gets the start against L.A.
Hockey people like to say that hot goalies can win playoff series almost singlehandedly. Who’s to say Huet or Niemi won’t get hot?
And who’s to say that whomever the Hawks had acquired before the trade deadline wouldn’t have turned lukewarm in the postseason?
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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