Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With owner Charles Wang at the controls, anything is possible — perhaps both Smyth and Blake will receive the sort of long-term commitment that the Islanders have become infamous for. But if they miss the playoffs or exit meekly in the opening round and all three players flee in the summer, the Islanders will effectively be back at square one — with Alexei Yashin’s monstrous contract acting as a millstone and most of their skill deploying an exit strategy.
It’s why there is always a danger in taking a short-term snapshot — this year’s unexpectedly effective season — to assess the long-range impact of the Islanders’ moves and subsequent progress. Just as there was a rush to bury them last summer, there is now a stampede to praise them as a result of their unexpected rise.
read on... plus numerous NHL bits…
from Gary Thorne at USA TODAY,
One of the obvious results of the shootout in the game is that at this point of the season, teams in the running are looking for that one point first and then hoping to get the bonus in overtime or in the shootout.
There is a danger in that mentality for the game.
Third periods should be all-out attempts to win close games, not attempts not to lose. The pressure is there for teams that need points to shut down the offense in tied third periods, especially if they have the personnel to win the shootout.
from Darren Eliot at NHL.com,
With good reason, we’ve talked an awful lot about the fine young goaltenders around the league this season. But we can’t overlook the veteran backups chipping in admirably. The trio of Jocelyn Thibault, Chris Osgood and Mike Dunham came to the forefront this week. All three were once starters in this League, routinely playing over 60 games a season. Now they start sporadically, either out of emergency or to give the No. 1 guy a momentary break.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
It’s time for another friendly game of Fact or Fiction. In this edition, we’ll focus on some interesting league matters. Do we have all the answers? Well, it’s a fact we don’t, but that won’t stop us from taking a stab at these intriguing questions.
The NHL will eventually expand to Las Vegas
Fact. Within the next five years, the league will expand to two new cities, and you can bet Las Vegas will be one of them. Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer, a big-time hockey fan, is part of a group that wants to land a team in Vegas.
read on for more fact or fiction…
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Peterburg Times,
Perhaps players do not fear retaliation because the instigator rule harshly penalizes those who want an eye for an eye. But DiMaio, in his 18th season, also senses a shift in manner, especially among young players.
“Maybe it’s what they’re told in the minors or college,” he said. “You used to really respect the guys ahead of you. Now it seems easier to just say, ‘I’m the guy. I don’t have to earn it.’ “
“It all boils down to respect,” Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt said. “You want to get a hit and make a guy feel it. But at the same time, you should go about it in the right way.”
from TSN’s Darren Dreger:
Chris Simon may be facing more than just discipline from the NHL for his slash on New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg.
Sources tell TSN that both Hollweg and Rangers head athletic trainer Jim Ramsay have been interviewed by the Nassau County District Attorney’s office in the quest to determine whether to pursue legal action against Simon.
A spokesman for the D.A’s office says, ‘‘no decision’’ has been reached yet as the review hasn’t been completed.
‘‘We’re hopeful we’ll have a decision by Monday.’‘
from Tom Murray at the Hockey News,
Call it kryptonite for butterfly goalies: short side and high, often on the glove side.
It’s a spot stand-up-style keepers once eliminated by simply moving out to the edge of the crease, playing the angle and forcing the shooter to go stick side or pass. If a shooter went short and a puck somehow managed to squeeze through on that side, it was deemed to be a “bad” goal. Not necessarily so in today’s game.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Of the 10 players, five are French Canadians, two are Europeans and none are Americans, although two are former NCAA stars, one at the University of Maine and the other at Wisconsin.
One player was never drafted, but already has one MVP award to his name; another once passed through NHL waivers with no takers. Four are with the same team that originally drafted them, but only two were judged to be the best player available in their draft year. Two were traded for each other, while another was involved in last summer’s biggest blockbuster trade.
They are the NHL’s most valuable players this season, but who is the most valuable?
from the OC Register,
The same league that gives us the Stanley Cup, the most revered and celebrated championship prize in all of sports, also offers the Presidents’ Trophy.
“That’s not our objective,” Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. “Our sole objective for the season, there was one goal - win the Stanley Cup. That’s it. No ifs, ands or buts. There is no other goal than that.”
Evidence to support Pronger’s stance can be found in the NHL’s Official Guide and Record Book. This season’s edition features 35 pages of history, information and minutia on the Stanley Cup. About an eighth of a page is devoted to the Presidents’ Trophy, merely listing the winners and runners-up.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There will be a new format for determining the order of selection for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Sources tell TSN that NHL teams have voted 23-6 (with one abstention) in favor of introducing a ranking system that places a greater emphasis on playoff performance than regular season results.
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