Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Adam Schwartz at NHL.com,
Usually the genesis of the colorful nicknames is as entertaining and creative as the name itself. Some players get their nicknames as young kids and lug them throughout their career. Other times, the names have been given during their NHL career. Occasionally, a player’s nickname will come from something that has nothing whatsoever to do with hockey. The origin of others remains somewhat of a mystery to this day.
Here are 10 of the better nicknames currently being used in the NHL:
more… *from “Pickles” to “Mad Dog” and more.
At the top, there are four teams sitting within three points of first place - the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. And picking a team to take that coveted top seed - let alone even emerge out of the conference - is like throwing darts while blindfolded.
“You could pick the New Jersey Devils, but then think, ‘No, they got shut out 4-0 by Montreal last week,’” explains TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. “You then say Montreal is the best team, but then think, ‘They got blanked 3-0 by the Senators last week. How about Ottawa? They’re back, and they’re going to be good. No, they got beat by Carolina. What about Carolina?...”
Spector scans the NHL, looking at speculations out of Columbus, Atlanta and Edmonton.
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
This June will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Detroit Red Wings winning their second straight Stanley Cup championship. During the ensuing decade, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots repeated as champions in their respective sports.
Detroit remains the last NHL team to do so.
The Devils came close in 2001, the closest of any team since those Red Wings, but like many former Cup winners, their reign at the top of the hockey world came crashing down in defeat. That’s exactly what the Anaheim Ducks now are hoping to avoid.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
One of the basic principles of the North American court system is that an open court is a just court. A closed court, by extension, is a court in which the seeds of doubt about whether justice is served are always present. It is why many of the NHL’s [disciplinary] decisions are regularly (and quietly) questioned by team officials and ridiculed by the media.
Why not make the process like a regular court?
Surely there is room in the NHL’s process for a stronger voice from the victim of these acts? And most important, why not establish a process by which the media can cover these events as they would any court proceeding. Whether it’s in person or via conference call or another manner, the give and take between the accused, the victim and the league should be open and accessible to ensure that justice is done.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
It’s almost time to vote for the Hart Trophy and I’ve got to be honest, I am not even close to picking my winner.
I will say, though, I have narrowed it down to four candidates – goalies Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, left winger Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and right winger Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.
I firmly believe, had Sidney Crosby not missed so much action with that high ankle sprain, he would have repeated as the Hart winner. Oh well.
Update 5:50pm ET: John Glennon at The Tennessean wonders this about Ovechkin,
“His energy and his passion — if you could bottle that and stick it inside your players — you would have an unbelievable team.’’
It sounds like the description of an MVP, but there’s a catch. The Capitals are in a position similar to that of the Predators, two points out of the playoff picture with nine games remaining in the season.
Hence the question: Should Washington fall short of the postseason, should Ovechkin win the MVP? The last player to accomplish such a feat was a guy named Mario Lemieux, who did it while playing for Pittsburgh in 1986-87.
There are those who believe the NHL should enlarge nets, shrink goalie equipment and implement more four-on-four hockey to increase scoring.
Former National Hockey League forward Scott Mellanby fuelled the debate during Saturday’s Hotstove segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
Mellanby suggested the league break from tradition and have teams defend the end of the ice opposite their bench in the first and third periods.
Entering play Saturday, 2,058 goals had been scored this season in the second period, compared to 1,683 in the first period and 1,844 goals (excluding 185 empty-net markers) in the third frame.
From Scott Cruickshank at the Calgary Herald,
“I still feel that I can play in the NHL, that I can help a team,” says Gauthier, a six-foot-three, 224-pounder. “This is not the end. I’ll be back. I just want to play in the NHL. It’s tough to be told that you’re an NHL defenceman, but you can’t play in the NHL.” Out of training camp, the Philadelphia Flyers, flush with high-priced personnel (including his Drummondville junior teammate Daniel Briere), needed cap relief. So they shoved Gauthier and his salary—$2.1 million US—across the parking lot, to the Spectrum, headquarters of the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Which marooned Gauthier in the minors for the first time in a decade.
more… *a detailed look at Denis Gauthier’s ‘greatest hits’
From Jeff Z. Klein at Slap Shot (NYT),
Why does the NHL persist with its broken standings system, whose guaranteed-point scheme encourages teams to play for regulation ties and has triggered an epidemic of third-period sleepwalks? Well, for one thing, it keeps the standings close and the playoff races tight. … Or does it?
Starting today we present the standings as they appear under the NHL’s current system (designated as N below) and as they would appear under the European system (E, or 3 for a regulation win, 2 for an OT or shootout win, 1 for an OT/SO loss, and 0 for a regulation loss) and under the Slovak Extraliga system (S, or 3 for a regulation win, 2 for an OT/SO win, 0 for any kind of loss).
From Mark Spector at the National Post,
Dumb like a fox, McGeough is deep into overtime now, with only about a month left in an 20-year National Hockey League career. The result, one might say, is like a flying tub of popcorn aimed at him from the stands: He left it all on the ice.
“He’s kind of a like the villain in All Star Wrestling. The kind of guy the fans love to hate,” said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish, who was once fined $10,000 for describing McGeough’s work as “spastic” and “retarded.”
McGeough, 50, burned an indelible image into the memories of hockey fans: For much of his career he was the helmetless, portly zebra coming out from behind the net, waving his arms in a frantic negation of a goal. One foot is on the ice, the other - for some unknown reason - raised in the air in front of him.
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