Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet,
For the record, Sakic told reporters again this week in Denver that he wouldn’t be making that decision until this summer. It’s obviously the kind of decision that needs time and reflection.
I think the decision has never been tougher for him. Turning 39 on July 7, Sakic knows Father Time has his finger on the buzzer. Right now he just needs a timeout to make the hardest call in his career.
The Avalanche want him back, that’s a no-brainer. The only question is whether Sakic wants to come back.
I certainly hope so. He’s one of the classiest NHL players I have ever been around in my time around the game. It’s easy to show class when times are good, but what set Sakic apart is that he exhibited it all the time. I’m too young to have been around Jean Beliveau, but I think I have an idea what it’s like to be around a player that’s so well respected.
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
After playing nine of a possible 19 games during the regular season, Forsberg sat out for the third time in 10 playoff games Thursday night as the Avalanche was eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings.
Groin problems prevented Forsberg from being on the ice in the finale, but he said a chronically sore foot was the root of the problem.
“I’d like to continue to play, but it’s getting to a point where if it’s like this, I go out on the ice and I pull groins,” he said. “It’s tough to play like that and not play at your best.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
He was the greatest player I ever saw in person, in his prime. I never got to see Gretz or Bobby Orr in person play in their prime, but I did with Foppa, and he was the best I ever saw.
Shaking hands with him tonight, it definitely felt it was for the last time. For a second, I thought I might even choke up. Listen, I’m objective about things with the Avs, but after you’ve known and covered a guy most of the last 13 years, you’re human and to me he was just Peter, a guy I’ve spent a large portion of my life around in those years.
I guess Forsberg got his wish too, remember him saying he didn’t want to play in Detroit? Well, he didn’t!
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Although Sakic feels blessed to have spent 19 NHL seasons with a single organization and won loyal admiration from Quebec City to Denver, his decision to stay or go must ultimately be made alone, after input and heartfelt support from family and team.
Nevertheless, every cheering, banner-waving fan in the Avalanche’s home arena must realize we are guaranteed no more than one more chance to tell Sakic what Denver thinks about a man who has done this city and his sport so very proud.
Don’t go, Joe.
If that’s the way you feel, do not hesitate to tell him so.
Three teams face elimination from the 2008 NHL Playoffs with their next game.
All three of the San Jose Sharks, the Colorado Avalanche and the New York Rangers being down 3-0 in their series, which team seems most likely to win their next game and extend their playoff hopes?
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The personalities in this odd coupling could not be more different. Zetterberg, 27, has his own website, complete with his own merchandising line—henrikzetterberg.com is promoted on the Joe Louis Arena scoreboard during the second intermission—while Foote is old school enough to assume MySpace is the area between the face-off dot and the front of his own net. Zetterberg has a Google-able girlfriend, Emma Andersson, who is a pop singer/model/TV host/winner of the Swedish version of Survivor, while Foote has a wife, Jennifer, and two sons. Zetterberg has a GQ face, now adorned by a russet-tinted playoff beard, while Foote’s mogul course of a nose and lived-in features look like something out of a 19th-century daguerreotype.
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
The differing on-ice fortunes of these two franchises can of course be contributed to decisions of personnel. With captain Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and the recently returned Peter Forsberg (who these days is a Swede so ineffective the Av’s may as well have signed the chef from the Muppets), the club from Denver have grown old and unreliable. Like a German automobile, the Red Wings have become just the opposite. Players such as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are the present and the future of the franchise, not its past.
So decisive does this all appear to be that the Avalanche are beginning finally to resemble the freshman that 12 years ago they actually were. It’s almost as if this were a tale of two cities - expanding, affluent, attractive Denver against brutish, dangerous, shrinking Detroit.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
With the exception of Game 2 in Detroit, the Avs have competed, scrapped, persevered, been resilient and not embarrassed themselves. But the problem is, only in part because of their continuing injury problems, they’re just not anywhere near as good as the Red Wings.
That might be almost as galling to the Avalanche loyalists as the site of all those Red Wings jerseys in the Pepsi Center seats.
The latest unofficial count is that 324,000 former Michigan residents now live in Colorado; and sometimes it seems that 323,284 of them claim to have had been at every Red Wings game until they moved.
But that’s not the Red Wings’ fault.
Colorado has a tiered roster, finished out with grit.
The Wings have skill throughout, and that’s why they’re about to end the Avalanche season.
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The officiating in this Game 3 is god-awful, and two good teams like these deserve better.
Peter Forsberg’s goalie interference penalty in the second period was one of the worst calls I’ve seen in a long, long time. What’s the penalty, competing to try and get your stick on the puck and score a goal in front of the net?
Henrik Zetterberg was called for a phantom interference penalty in the second, and Cody McLeod was called for high-sticking in the first period when his stick never touched….anybody.
I also thought Samuelsson dove on that “high-stick” of Forsberg’s in the second, giving the Wings a four-minute PP.
note: added by Dater sometime overnight to his blog…
Update: OK, I guess Sammy lost a tooth on that play. I didn’t see that at first, and should have pointed that out. But I still don’t think Forsberg’s stick was very high. It was more of an accident to me than a high stick.
Cudos to Adrian doing the update he did in blogger fashion. Too many time bloggers decide to sneak in or delete a line or two, hoping they won’t be caught.
Noted by Rick Sadowski in the Rocky Mountain News:
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty is convinced Forsberg will play.
“I’m pretty sure, unless Forsberg’s leg’s going to fall off, he’ll probably be in there for Game 3,” McCarty said. “They’re a veteran team. They’re well-coached and they’ve got guys that have been in different situations like this before. It’s not like they’re a young team.”
from the National Post,
Prior to Game 3 in Colorado, the 36-year-old spoke to the Post about the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry, the lack of original nicknames in the NHL, and possibly replacing Mark Messier as the new spokesman for Lays potato chips.
National Post Is it different playing in Joe Louis Arena as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets than as a Colorado Avalanche?
Adam Foote Yeah. [The Jackets] just didn’t have the history that [the Avalanche] had. That’s probably why. It seemed that both teams approached it the same way. [The Detroit-Colorado rivalry] was fun, it was exciting, it was intense. It was as close as you’re going to get to things like that without getting in trouble by the law. There was some pretty nasty stuff going on. It was a very intense series.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com