Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jay Mariotti of the Sun-Times,
There was Bobby Hull, back from the darkness. There was Stan Mikita, back from the cold. And there were the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks, back where they belong in the bosom of Chicago sports on a memorable evening when an illustrious past was attached to a hopeful future.
‘‘I spent so many years proudly wearing the Indian head sweater,’’ said Mikita, who arrived with Hull for the center-ice ceremony in a custom ‘57 Chevy. ‘‘But tonight, I’m even more proud to be welcomed back and to be part of the great moments that lie ahead for this franchise.’‘
fro Van Oler via ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
Spend enough time at the United Center watching the Blackhawks and you’ll inevitably hear someone comment that this season’s game-night excitement and buzz reminds them of the days when “the Blackhawks owned this town, I tell ya! You couldn’t get a ticket unless it was left to you in somebody’s will!”
With Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull returning the UC tonight, it’s useful to look back at their time with the Blackhawks to see if there’s evidence that the team was, in fact, the best in town.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
“Tomorrow night is going to be phenomenal,” Hawks GM Dale Tallon told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “The fans are excited again and they should be — these kids play an entertaining game. It’s fun to watch them.”
Some 22,000 fans are expected to cram into the cavernous United Center as the young-and-gun Hawks take on the mighty San Jose Sharks — winners of seven straight.
“Tomorrow night we’re sold out and supposedly we’re going to have the biggest crowd in a long time,” said Hawks head coach Denis Savard. “It’s a great feeling. The credit goes to the players, they’re the ones who changed this around here.”
from the OC Register,
Pronger wore a football-style faceguard — necessitated by the injury suffered Feb. 24 when the follow-through of a shot by Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks struck him in the face during a 6-3 Ducks triumph — and became a focal point early in the rematch.
“One of their players, to start the whole thing, somebody punched Chris Pronger in the head, with a facemask on,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “That escalated other things that took place.”
from the Daily-Herald,
So, earlier this week, Savard pulled out the markers, pulled out the big sheets of paper and went to work—a la “A Beautiful Mind,” devouring every last detail.
“I wrote everything,” he said. “I put all the six teams—Vancouver, Nashville, Colorado, St. Louis, Columbus and us. There’s two spots open. Not that we can’t get the sixth (spot) if Minnesota falls apart or somebody else does.
“Realistically, though, there’s two spots open for those six teams. You look at everybody’s schedule … Colorado has to play Vancouver four times, Nashville’s on a six-game road trip, St. Louis has to go on a nine-game road trip … our schedule favors us.
“We have to win our games, no question, but we hope that Colorado or Vancouver—that one of them—sweeps those games and, if we win our games, we’ve got a shot.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray is never afraid to think outside the box.
That’s why one of the best stories post-trade deadline is how he tried to package both his goaltenders, Martin Gerber and Ray Emery, put them in the box, and try a 2-for-2 deal.
from the Daily Herald,
Whether he’s out a week, two weeks or the rest of the season, chalk it up as yet another lost season for injury-prone Blackhawks forward Martin Havlat.
Havlat injured his left shoulder again on his first shift of the second period in Wednesday’s home victory over Phoenix and underwent an MRI on Thursday afternoon. The results won’t be announced until today.
Hopes aren’t high, though, considering it’s the same shoulder Havlat hurt in an opening-night scrum in Minnesota, causing him to miss the next 22 games, and also the same one he had surgery on in Ottawa.
“I don’t think he’ll be back in the next week or two weeks,” Hawks coach Denis Savard said. “It’s pretty much the same type of injury he got in Minnesota.”
This guy just can’t stay healthy, hopefully next year will be different.
According to Sportsnet television, the Chicago Blackhawks have traded Tuomu Ruutu to Carolina for Andrew Ladd.
Update 12:22pm ET: From TSN now confirms with the same information,
Update12:32pm ET: From the Chicago Blackhawks,
“Andrew Ladd is a very good young forward who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina as a 20-year old,” said General manager Dale Tallon. “We acquired a very good young player in Andrew Ladd and in doing so had to give up good young player in Tuomo Ruutu.”
from the Daily Herald,
“We’re not buyers or sellers—we’re building,” Tallon said Saturday before the Hawks went out and beat the Kings 6-5 in overtime.
The Hawks have three veterans scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in Martin Lapointe, Yanic Perreault and Andrei Zyuzin, and they all are available.
“We’ll get some things done,” said Tallon, who has assistant GM Rick Dudley and director of pro scouting Marc Bergevin with him here on the trip. “We know what we want to do.”
Lapointe is believed to be coveted by two teams (Ottawa and Detroit) needing more of a physical presence.
From Len Ziehm at the Chicago Sun-Times,
With every game now, it seems the Blackhawks’ goal of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs isn’t a pipe dream anymore.
On Sunday, the Hawks responded to a raucous sellout crowd of 21,715 with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center. The Hawks aren’t in playoff position yet, but they’re closing in after winning three consecutive games in regulation time and going 4-0-1 in their last five.
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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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