Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Vancouver Sun,
In a feat unsurpassed by any athlete in any sport, Gordie Howe finished in the top five in scoring for 20 straight seasons.
Howe was offered the job as the first head coach of the New York Islanders in 1972. He declined.
read on for 30 facts about Gordie…
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
As a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, I have the privilege of voting on several of the key individual awards in the NHL but I’m thankful one that our group does not decide is the Jack Adams Award.
That chore belongs to the broadcasters and I say “chore” because I don’t know how the heck they will narrow it down to three candidates without passing over some excellent choices.
From Michael Farber at SI,
You can always talk about the officiating or never talk about the officiating. [Generally,] On the Fly prefers to do the latter. But with the bleating amped up this season, at least to our ears, maybe it is time for the NHL to reconsider how it forms its officiating duos.
If consistency is as much of a problem as players contend, the solution should be obvious: next season, with the influx of new referees having adjusted to the league three full years after the lockout, director of officiating Stephen Walkom should form pairs, based on style and personality, and keep them together for the duration of the schedule.
more… including additional thoughts on the Ovech-kam as well
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
[Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr.] said that because of a couple of requests from the teams involved, the Canadiens arranged to take and wear their red jerseys—in this era, considered part of the NHL’s home uniform—at all four stops on the trip.
Why? Because the red jerseys more colorfully highlight the tradition of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
That’s the most glaring example of why the NHL should go back to having visiting teams wear their “dark” uniforms at every stop. This is another instance when the post-expansion era had it right: White at home, dark on the road was the system from the early 1970s to 2003, and the league should go back to it.
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