Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sean Gentille of The Sporting News,
Hockey will be back in a few weeks, and that's pretty rad. Right now, we get "hockey."
Preseason games mean something to the guys who are playing in them, and the people who work at the arena, and the media that covers day-to-day events of the teams that are involved, and some of the people in the stands. For me — whose job consists in no small part of stuff like this — they mean nothing. I must create my own meaning. Life is what you make of it!
5:55 — On my way to Consol Energy Center for Penguins-Red Wings. However I felt on the ice at Staples Center in June, this is the opposite. I love hockey and I love my job. Just not in late September.
6:15 — Some scalpers a block down Fifth Avenue are yapping because they can't get $30 for their tickets. People will totally pay $20, though. Totally.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"When you do it every day for a couple of weeks we'll see how it feels," Alfredsson said. "Make sure it holds up and it's not just feeling good for a little bit and then you're in and out all year long. That's not what anybody wants.
"Every day it's been progressing good. As we push more and more it's going to be more telling."
Alfredsson will decide before the team leaves for training camp in Traverse City on Sept. 17 (on ice starting the 19th).
"If Alfie tells me he can't play hockey, my decision has been made," general manager Ken Holland said. "If Alfie tells me he feels great, and he wants to play hockey then we have to sit down and talk.
"He wants to play. He wants to be fair to the Detroit Red Wings. And he wants to put himself through an everyday test that starts this week."
Earlier in the season, Gordie Howe was the recipient of a high stick from Stan Mikita...
from Tom DeLisle at DetroitAthletic.com,
... Howe and Mikita finally pulled apart as they slowly made their way to the Wings blue line, badly trailing the play — which was now zooming around the Chicago net. All eyes were on the puck flying around at the other end … including Howe’s, and Mikita’s, the fans’, and — Gordie noted –the referee’s. Number Nine, who had waited patiently for months, seized his opportunity. Slowly putting one glove under his opposite arm, and carefully withdrawing his hand … he cocked his bulging fist, pulling it back about six inches … then proceeded to land a lightning bolt –a quick but exceedingly powerful punch to the prominent and scrawny Adam’s Apple of Mr. Mikita, who was skating at his side.
Down went Stanley.
When play was finally whistled dead in the Chicago end, all eyes returned back up ice to behold the Blackhawk’s young #21 trying — of all strange things — to crawl on his hands and knees towards the Chicago bench. He was having a bad time getting there. In fact, he was barely progressing at all. Crawling? There’s no crawling in hockey. Further in the distance, the nonchalant #9 of the Red Wings was casually heading to the Red Wings bench when he too looked back, and saw poor Stanley in his predicament. Howe joined officials and Mikita’s teammates, skating over to investigate his collapse.
Mikita seemed in shock. Trying to rise, and falling again … he was unable to tell his teammates what had happened to him. He had been skating easily along, and the lights just went out. His legs were wobbly, and his voice didn’t work. The players slowly slid him, bent over, towards the Chicago bench. Ever the good Samaritan, old Gord offered what little consolation he could muster.
“Hey Stan,” Howe said to the bedazzled Blackhawk, who peered back at him with mismatched eyes … “did you get the number of that truck that hit you?”
My own problems with Yzerman started as a result of him mistreating my teammates. He was abusive to linesmen, and it made my protective instincts kick in and tell him off in no uncertain terms. The spark was lit after he belittled and verbally abused longtime linesman Mark Pare on an icing call in Detroit. It went way beyond simply yelling about a blown call. He treated Mark and other officials like they didn't even belong on the same ice as he did.
My next run-in with Yzerman came as a result of a disallowed goal in Minnesota. The dialogue won't be repeated on a family-friendly blog but suffice to say he wasn't a big fan of my style nor I of his. He made it personal and then escalated it when he elected to gripe to the media about me.
Retired NHL referee Paul Stewart. Read more from Stewart at the Huffington Post.
Let's take a look at one of the legends of our game, goaltender Glenn Hall who played 502 consecutive games in goal.
I can't imagine this record will ever be broken.
from Stan Fischler at The Hockey News,
The 1950 semifinal between Toronto and Detroit ranks among the most intense post-season series in NHL history. This was due to Gordie Howe’s near death after an alleged butt-end. “L’Affaire Howe” ignited one of the longest-running hates in the game: Detroit GM Jack Adams vs. Toronto captain Ted ‘Teeder’ Kennedy. The primary witness was Toronto defenseman Gus Mortson who was there when the blood feud started and there again eight years later when Adams bitterly reaffirmed it to Mortson who had by then become a Red Wing.
Adams’ hatred for the Maple Leafs was already deep rooted and understandable by the time the 1950 playoffs began. After all, Toronto had won the previous three Cups, including a sweep of Detroit in the 1949 final. But now it was a year after that debacle and, led by Howe, the Wings were stronger than ever. “We can do it this year,” Adams boasted prior to the opening game. “We’ve got the team this year.”
And so they did, primarily because Howe had blossomed into a star, patrolling right wing on Detroit’s Production Line with captain Sid Abel at center and Ted Lindsay on the left side. But when the Leafs went up 4-0 in the opener at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium few expected what Toronto author Jack Batten described as “one of the most infamous and controversial events” in NHL history.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Since when did Mike Babcock become the next Scotty Bowman?
There seems to be sentiment out there that Babcock, the Detroit Red Wings coach, would solve all that ails the Penguins. That belief is so strong among many in the Penguins fan base that they virtually are willing to write off next season to wait for Babcock, who has a year left on his contract and said he won’t leave Detroit until after the youngest of his three children graduates from high school next spring. That’s crazy for a couple of reasons. One, Babcock might not leave Detroit at all. And two, he’s not another Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cups as a coach and four more as an administrator. No one is, of course....
By some measurables, Bylsma has been a more successful NHL coach than Babcock. Bylsma’s regular-season winning percentage is .670, Babcock’s with Detroit, .654. Bylsma’s playoff winning percentage is .551, Babcock’s with Detroit, .557. Since 2009, when Bylsma’s Penguins beat Babcock’s Red Wings to win the Cup in seven games, the “underachieving” Penguins have gone 4-5 in postseason series, the Red Wings, 3-5. The Red Wings won the Cup in 2008 under Babcock, beating Michel Therrien’s Penguins in six games.
Many will say not to blame Babcock for the Red Wings coming up short the past five seasons, that the team didn’t have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. But a strong argument can be made that Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom (for the first three of the five seasons) provided a pretty solid foundation in Detroit. If the Penguins underachieved, didn’t the Red Wings?
One of the more compelling reasons being pushed for the Penguins trying to get Babcock at all costs is that he would make Crosby happy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org