Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
As Jonathan Toews embraced the elephant in the dressing room following the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime loss Sunday to the Capitals, only two other teammates were within earshot of their captain.
What a shame. Every Hawk who has been coasting since the Olympic break needed to hear what Toews had to say. If the game was any indication though, they would have stopped listening two-thirds of the way through his statement.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame,” Toews said after Nicklas Backstrom’s unassisted goal with 1 minute 50 seconds left in overtime slipped past Antti Niemi. “We have to take responsibility for it and somehow be better for the experience. … We’ve got the most skill in the league and there’s no reason when we’re up 3-0 not to finish the job.”...
Good leaders face adversity the way Toews did. But Chicago has reached the stage in the Blackhawks’ growth where actions must weigh heavier than words.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
A career season, and making good on a giant middle finger.
For Mikael Samuelsson, life doesn’t get better than this.
The Vancouver Canucks forward is skating with countrymen Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the NHL team’s top line and showing Sweden’s hockey establishment what it was missing at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Samuelsson was perhaps the most glaring Olympic snub – in his home city, no less – yet has responded with 20 of his career-high 30 goals since being bypassed for the likes of Mattias Weinhandl and Fredrik Modin when Sweden’s team was selected in late December.
It will also be interesting to see how many playoff tickets will be sold at Jobing.com Arena, and at what price. Also, if the Coyotes win the Cup, and the league still owns the team, will Bill (Daly) and Gary (Bettman) get Stanley Cup rings, and their names on the Cup? Just curious.
-John Shannon of Sportsnet. More hockey talk from John.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun at the London Free Press,
...At the same time, don’t expect a suspension to be handed out in this matter, according to a league source.
While Ovechkin deservedly was slapped with a boarding major and game misconduct for his brain cramp, league officials know it did not contain the same type of intent or viciousness as the incident one week earlier in which the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke blindsided Boston’s Marc Savard, leaving the Bruins forward likely out for the season with a concussion.
By not suspending Cooke for a far more malicious act, how could the NHL justify any supplemental discipline for Ovechkin in this matter?
Oh boy as Panger says… Two heavyweights go at it.
FYI, Crosby has returned to the game.
from Lindsay Applebaum of Capitals Insider,
“I didn’t hit him hard,” Ovechkin said of Campbell, who did not return to the game. “He fell bad. But you can see, every shift this happens—little pushes, little battles.”...
Unsurprisingly, Coach Bruce Boudreau had similar thoughts. “I didn’t think it was a bad, bad check worth a five and a game [misconduct],” he said. “A two at the most, but I don’t make the calls.”
more including video of both Ovechkin and Boudreau…
via Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago,
Campbell left the game and has been declared out for the Hawks’ upcoming three-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Anaheim. Coach Joel Quenneville couldn’t say for sure that the injury would not affect him the rest of the season.
“We’ll see. We’ll get a better assessment as we go along here,” Quenneville said. “Soupy [Campbell] is going to be out for a bit here…It was a tough hit. A dangerous hit.”
Pushed Brian Campbell into the boards and is gone from the game.
Campbell was slow in getting up, may be winded or a shoulder issue and did skate off and went to the locker room.
added 1:26pm, video of the hit…
added 1:35pm, NBC crew says Campbell will not return.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• The Red Wings are getting older, but they have five players on their farm club they certainly feel can be NHLers — defenceman Jakub Kindl, Slovenian winger Jan Mursak, Slovak centre Tomas Tatar, goalie Thomas McCollum and Justin Abdelkader, who would be there now except for salary cap issues. They are very high on two Swedish drafts — Joakim-Andersson and little Gustav Nyquist, who leads the NCAA in scoring at U of Maine. Nyquist, a fourth-round draft in 2008, could win the Hobey Baker Award as U.S. College’s best player. He’s incredibly skilled, but weighs only 170 pounds. Another Red Wings prospect, defenceman Brendan Smith (U of Wisconsin) could make the final 10 in voting.
• Denis Grebeshkov, who had one of his testicles shattered by a shot last week in Nashville, isn’t the first ex-Oiler to go through that pain. In the first game of the 2008 Capitals-Flyers playoff series, Philadelphia forward Patrick Thoresen slid to block a shot and wore ice bags for days. He didn’t need surgery, however.
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.
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