Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
He tore himself apart and rebuilt from scratch. He began working out almost fanatically. He lost weight and added muscle. He tracked down and found old game tapes of how he had played in his prime with the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins and he studied the tapes, took notes and then set out to put what he had learned into practice.
If one of his sporting idols, Woods, could take apart his swing and rebuild it, then Kovalev would do the same in hockey.
Not only would he adjust the way he played and fix the shape he was in, he would recast his attitude. Sullen and angry the season before — partially blaming himself for the disastrous addition of another Russian, Sergei Samsonov, to the Montreal lineup — he came into this season determined to serve as a mentor to the younger Russians in the organization
from the Boston Globe,
Chara looked the same. He used his reach to fish loose pucks out of trouble spots and leaned on opponents with his big frame. He was even booed by the large Montreal contingent in attendance.
For the most part, his return went as planned. Until Alex Kovalev hopped over the boards.
The Montreal dynamo ruined Chara’s return - and the Bruins’ night - with two goals and an assist, all against the tandem of Chara and Wideman.
Watch the spin move Kovalev put on Chara…
From Dave Stubbs in The Gazette, it seems that Carey Price has some sharp new goalie gear…
And if you think he’s excited, wait until the minor-, garage-league and semi-pro goalies of the world get wind of it.
On goalie-populated Internet forums and bulletin boards, where all things netminding are rumoured, discussed and debated, Price’s new gear isn’t likely to cause a ripple of interest, but a tsunami.
The graphic scheme is expected to be available at retail stores sometime this summer, at roughly $1,700 for the pads and $500 and $325, respectively, for the trapper and blocker.
The interest among goalies in what’s worn by the top pros, says Achenbach, “is goofy, crazy ... Star Wars hype times 10.”
From the CP via TSN,
Alex Kovalev said making a hockey DVD for charity was prompted by his own heart troubles as a child in Russia.
The Montreal Canadiens star forward released a two-DVD set on Monday called “Alex Kovalev - My Hockey Tips And Training Methods.”
All proceeds will go toward helping kids around the world with cardiac problems.
Alex Kovalev could shatter some long-standing Canadiens records this season if he continues to put up points on the power play. With 16 goals and 26 assists with the man advantage, Kovalev is within four goals of Yvan Cournoyer’s record of 20 set in 1966-67. Kovalev is also eight points shy of Mats Naslund’s points record set in 1985-86 when he had 19 goals and 31 assists on the power play.
Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman and Hockey Hall of Famer Kenny Reardon has passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86.
Reardon played seven seasons with the Canadiens between 1940 and 1950, scoring 122 points in 341 games.
He played his first two seasons with Montreal before enlisting with the Canadian Army in 1942 for the Second World War. He returned to Canada in 1945 and rejoined the Canadiens.
Playing with greats like Maurice Richard, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Emile Bouchard, Reardon helped the Canadiens win two Stanley Cups. He was also selected to the NHL’s First All-Star Team twice and the Second All-Star Team three times in his career.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau thinks Christopher Higgins suffers from an identity crisis.
“Chris has to understand what kind of player he is,” Carbonneau said after the Canadiens practised yesterday at the Bell Centre. “He’s an up-and-down skater who has to go straight to the net. We want him to be the player we drafted. He has 21 goals and, if you look at them, 15 or 16 of them were scored from five feet away from the net.”
Higgins, who is his worst critic, has struggled at times this season and Carbonneau feels it’s because the left-winger is trying to do too much.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Focus. Focus. Focus!
Focus on defence, focus on position, focus on your opponent. Whatever it is — and we are not suggesting for a moment Ritalin is involved — it’s working. After months of fishtailing all over the track, Murray’s Ottawa Senators have their groove back.
To watch the 3-0 pummelling of the Montreal Canadiens last night was to puzzle as to how the one team, Montreal, could enter the 72nd game of the NHL season in first place in the Northeast Division and Ottawa, a once-first-place team that had recently gone into freefall, could appear to be battling to save its season.
But then panic, as Murray pointed out after the game, “seems to be a tendency” where the Senators and their fans are concerned.
from the CP via NHL.com,
It wasn’t so long ago that battling for first place was routine for the Montreal Canadiens.
But sitting near the top of the NHL’s Eastern Conference, as they are heading into the home stretch of the regular season, is an unfamiliar view for the current edition of the 24-time Stanley Cup championship club, which has had to fight tooth and nail just to try to secure a playoff spot every season since its last Cup victory in ‘93.
“Yeah, it’s different, but we’re still battling upwards,” winger Christopher Higgins said Tuesday as the Canadiens prepared to face the New Jersey Devils. “We’re in a race for first with three other teams and we still have that goal in mind if getting first place.
From Pat Hickey at The Gazette,
“It’s not a glamorous thing,” Komisarek said of his style. “It’s blocking shots, hitting guys, but it’s something I enjoy doing. Like I said, it’s not glamorous, but it’s effective and it’s something my team needs me to do.
“It’s using this body for trying to get in the way, breaking up plays, blocking shots. Making guys on the other team pay the price and taking away the will (from opponents) to play and compete.”
There’s a price for all this. While Komisarek has proved durable and hasn’t missed a game this season, he has collected more than his share of bumps, bruises and stitches. But “they sure hurt less when you win,” he said.
more… on Komisarek’s season and his family background
from Habs Inside/Out,
RDS is reporting on its website that Mikhail Grabovski, upset at being a healthy scratch againet the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night, intentionally missed the team flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles.
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