Kukla's Korner Hockey
Keep your head up Kaspars.if Niklas Kronwall is on the ice.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
John Tortorella’s image has taken a beating in the Stanley Cup playoffs and if he had any ambition to coach the U.S. Olympic team in 2014, well, he can probably forget about it now.
Tortorella’s very short, snarky, combative press conferences have made for fine television moments — if that kind of thing makes you laugh — but it hardly sets him up to represent his country as a leader in an event where major media responsibilities are just part of the daily interaction of the job.
Tortorella, in fact, might have been the favourite for the job after being an assistant to Ron Wilson in 2010 and considering what he’s done with the New York Rangers — but that certainly has taken a step backwards in the playoffs.
Even though Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma and Philadelphia’s Peter Laviolette were eliminated with Tortorella still alive with the Rangers, they now loom as favourites for the position. The betting here is that Bylsma gets the job because the United States Olympic Committee and USA Hockey would want no part of Tortorella’s act.
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from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Sometimes you just need a little fix.
Not much, really, just a few minutes of puck possession, some unrestrained creativity, even a few familiar names in the air helps.
So thank you, world championship, for offering a welcome alternative every couple of days.
Let us not kid ourselves – Canada vs. France in an empty arena in Helsinki is certainly not Canada heading into overtime against a tough American team, nor is it a Game 7 with everything on the line – but at least it is not dump-and-chase, chip the pucks off the glass (or, just as often, over the glass), block the shots and crash the net endlessly.
It is hockey played differently, and for this reason alone it is refreshing, regardless of the final score.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has come to the defence of Ryan Getzlaf, the new Canadian captain.
Getzlaf was big news in Finland Monday morning as a result of an alleged incident in a Helsinki night club called ‘Circus’.
“I saw Getzy late Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning). I left for the airport between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. from the hotel where we (Team USA) stayed, the same hotel as Team Canada, the Hotel Sokos Presidentii,” said Burke in an e-mail defending his former Anaheim Duck player.
“Getzy was not intoxicated and was not with a woman. We had a brief and pleasant conversation and then I headed to the airport.
No proof Burke rode off on a white horse to the airport.
via the CP at CBC,
French forward Sacha Treille has been suspended five games at the IHHF World Hockey Championship for a vicious head shot on Roman Starchenko of Kazakhstan.
The six-foot-five French forward — who will likely miss the rest of the tournament — caught his smaller opponent with an elbow to the head in the neutral zone midway through a game between the countries on Sunday.
Starchenko was knocked out cold and a stretcher was brought on the ice, although the Kazak was helped off by teammates.
Treille earned a game misconduct and was given a match penalty, which came with an automatic one-game suspension.
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
Are you having fun so far? Everyone here seems pretty excited to see you.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s great to be back home and play for Team Sweden. Hopefully we can get a nicer ending here than we did in Detroit.
Throughout the year with Detroit, you get to play for one of the best coaches in the business in Mike Babcock. What are the differences between his approach and that of Pär Mårts?
I think we’re playing a bit more aggressively [with Sweden]. We don’t hold back anything – we can just go. That might be the biggest difference. In Detroit, maybe we’re thinking a little bit more defence than we do here. We’re allowed to do mistakes and still keep on playing.
Malkin and Datsyuk will be key players for Team Russia.
NEW YORK (April 25, 2012) — The NBC Sports Network will televise 13 games of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championship, May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden, including all Team USA games, a Semifinal matchup and the Gold Medal game. Team USA opens play on Friday, May 4, with a preliminary-round game against France.
All Team USA games will air live on NBC Sports Network, with the exception of its preliminary-round game on May 5, which will be aired later that night on delay. NBC Sports Network will televise at least one Semifinal game and the Gold Medal game (same-day delay), regardless of whether or not Team USA is playing in the contest.
USA Hockey announced today the first 17 players that will compete for the 2012 U.S. Men’s National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship, May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
The group includes one goaltender, five defensemen and 11 forwards.
Highlighting the roster are six players with U.S. Olympic or U.S. Men’s National Team credentials. Forwards Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Denver) and Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Anaheim Ducks) and defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Columbus Blue Jackets/Univ. of Michigan) each collected silver medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
All week long, in newspapers and on websites, talk radio and television, the issue popped up like an annual rite of spring. It was a variation of the old Woe Is Canada theme – and why it likely that Canada’s Stanley Cup drought could easily extend for yet another season since only one or two of the NHL franchises based in the Great White North are about to qualify for the playoffs. That’d be the Vancouver Canucks, who are in, and the Ottawa Senators, who are close…
The starting point is always the same flawed premise too – that this coast-to-coast failure provides an opportunity for some national soul-searching, as if there really was a common thread linking Canada’s seven NHL franchises.
Why is it is even an issue? To me, Canada is the team that competes internationally in Olympics, world championships, world junior championships etc. – whatever entry we field in international ice hockey competitions around the world. That’s Canada and that’s a completely separate discussion from why Canadian teams haven’t won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens did it back in 1993.
continued plus other NHL topics…
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