Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Phaneuf is a punk, by the way. And some day he’s going to get his, and it’s not going to be pretty for him. He’s going to hit one backside of a player too many, and somebody is going to rip that shield off his face and hand him his teeth….
This is a 22-year-old guy, at the top of his physical powers and who really has a lot of talent. But he doesn’t play an honorable game.
He hits you when your back is turned. Then, when you get mad about it and try to hit him back, he backs away and hides behind his shield, mouthing off. He’s got a lot of Bill Laimbeer in him.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Lack of continuity has been the problem. Much of it has been their fault. Some of it hasn’t. Injuries, for example, remain a crippling presence, literally and figuratively.
“It seems like when we get on a roll, something happens. We get an injury or lose a guy, and it’s back to square one, trying to find chemistry,” said Brunette, the team’s second-leading scorer. “For me, the biggest thing has just been chemistry. Through injuries, through different things, we can’t seem to all get together on the same page when we’re out there.”
Those “different things” for why chemistry hasn’t been better, critics say, lie at the feet of coach Joel Quenneville. A growing chorus of fault-finders, on radio waves, chat rooms and the like, say Quenneville changes his lineup too often.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
And for at least one afternoon — when Forsberg had two assists in a home victory over Dallas on March 8 — it seemed that any doubts about the wisdom of the signing were about to be dispelled.
Since then, though, it has been a mess and a four-ring circus that, especially when considered in the context of a bizarre run of injuries to other high-profile players on the roster, has contributed to the Avalanche’s inconsistency and inability to not only jump to the top of the mediocre Northwest Division but stay there.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: While the official explanation — the sport’s “plague,” a groin problem — almost certainly can pass legalistic muster, the bigger problems that have bedeviled Forsberg since his return to the lineup remains the same old problems.
His foot and ankle.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
With the end of the regular season only two and a half weeks away, Colorado’s possibilities still run the gamut.
The Avs could:
a) Win the Northwest Division and claim the No. 3 Western Conference playoff seed. Because they will have finished strong and captured international attention with Peter Forsberg’s signing, they likely would become a fashionable darkhorse playoff pick.
b) Miss the playoffs altogether if they struggle and Nashville or Edmonton roars down the stretch.
c) End up somewhere in between, as the No. 6, 7, or 8 seed and going against a division winner in the first round.
from All Things Avs,
...He fires up the opposing team, and crowd, too much by trying to be Steve McQueen on the ice and going after anyone who hits him. What happens is, Player X from the other team lays a big hit on him. Foppa gets mad and either tries to run said player, or lifts his hands in frustration to the ref over a non-call. Then the home crowd gets into it, mocking Foppa for whining and the home team gets into it because they know they’re getting Foppa off his game mentally, so they keep hitting him.
So, by then, Foppa is rattled, the home crowd makes it a sport to mock him and goes nuts when the next home team player lays the next hit on him. Forsberg would be much better off just letting it go, playing a skill game and avoiding all the rough stuff.
more on the Avs…
From the Denver Post,
Even if the Avs win the division and are the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed, they will open their first playoff series on the road.
The NCAA’s Frozen Four is at the Pepsi Center on April 10 and 12, and the logistical reality is that the NCAA would have claim on the building from April 9 — the opening day of the NHL playoffs — through April 12.
The NHL has assured Avalanche officials that the team will retain the home-ice advantage in the first round as the No. 3 seed, with four of the seven games played in Denver, if all are necessary. The league hasn’t said how that would work, but it likely would be under a 2-3-1-1 schedule, with the third through fifth and seventh games ticketed for the Pepsi Center.
*maybe it would be easier for everybody if they just skipped the playoffs? (kidding, kidding…)
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
His favourite website is hockeyfights.com. The site lists all the fights over an NHL year, describes them, and lets fans vote on who won or lost.
“We all look at it, even if guys say they don’t,” said Laperriere, who’s had 15 fights this year.
“I’m 34, that’s pretty good. More than I expected.”
He played Thursday with a sore finger on his left hand, so he wasn’t in a mood to drop the mitts, but he’s willing, if he’s able.
“Hockeyfights is a great study. There’s no better tool than that. You know if a guy throws right or left. You better know that before you get a shiner.”
from the CP via TSN,
Ryan Smyth and Peter Forsberg were both kept out of the Colorado Avalanche’s lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Smyth skated effortlessly earlier in the day and showed no signs of the concussion and shoulder injury that forced him to miss five games. Forsberg, out with a strained groin, didn’t take the ice at all in the Avalanche’s morning skate.
from the Denver Post,
When the Avs return to practice Thursday morning, they probably will be joined by their pricey left winger, Ryan Smyth.
Smyth, the team said Tuesday, is likely to return after making a speedy recovery from the scary hit he took March 1 in a game against Los Angeles. He suffered a concussion and slightly separated shoulder after being hit by Kings defenseman Jack Johnson into the turnbuckle near the Avs’ bench.
read on for more on the Avs…
added 2:46pm, from the Dallas Morning News,
Steve Ott was defiant in his defense of his hit on Colorado’s Jordan Leopold, which resulted in a three-game suspension today.
“I finished my hit. My one foot did leave the ice, but that’s because my other foot was planted. My right foot never left the ice,” Ott said. “I hit him shoulder to shoulder.”
from the Dallas Morning News,
Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott will receive a three-game suspension for his hit Sunday on Colorado defenseman Jordan Leopold, Stars co-GM Les Jackson confirmed Tuesday night.
Ott had a phone conference with NHL director of operations Colin Campbell on Tuesday, and Campbell is expected to announce the suspension today.
Watch the incident…
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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