Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
You read correctly: the boyish Bobby Orr turns 60 today, but the brilliant defenceman of yesteryear will not be in attendance at the TD Banknorth Garden. Instead, Orr will remain at his winter home in Jupiter, Fla., and quietly celebrate his milestone birthday with his wife, Peggy, and his family and friends.
“He probably doesn’t want to acknowledge it,” Harry Sinden, Orr’s first coach with the Bruins and later his general manager, said jokingly.
Even though Orr hasn’t lived in Canada for more than 40 years, since he first suited up for the Bruins in 1966, he remains as visible as any hockey player in this country, including Wayne Gretzky, because of his commercials for General Motors and MasterCard and work for Chevrolet’s Safe & Fun Hockey program to help young players develop positive values while learning the game’s fundamentals.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
While the Senators’ winning percentage with McCreary as one of the two referees (eight out of potential 14 points; .571) is just a little lower than their winning percentage overall (87 out of a potential 146 points; .596), the ammunition for McCreary conspiracy theorists is Senators opponents have been given almost twice as many power plays in those seven games as the Senators.
According to the NHL game sheets, the Senators have had 23 power-play opportunities in games in which McCreary has worked; their opponents have had 42. That’s an average of 3.29 power plays vs. six short-handed situations in those seven games.
From John Buccigross at ESPN,
The Penguins have to at least consider and discuss trading Evgeni Malkin this summer if he is looking for an Alexander Ovechkin-type contract ($9-10 million per season. Term doesn’t matter. You always will be able to trade a great player if he is healthy), and the team concludes that paying a combined $17 million for two players on their roster will greatly affect their Stanley Cup plans.
NHL teams will have to look at things as NFL teams do. You won’t be able to fall in love with players, and you can’t talk about being a contender for 10 seasons. You have to look through smaller windows. Otherwise, you could have a very good season, then be mediocre for the next five. You have to keep looking forward, keep building.
more... odds and ends on Bucci’s mind
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.
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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