Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kurt Streeter of the LA Times,
It startles the senses and sears the eardrums; the percussive sting of a lightning-fast hockey puck slamming against the barrier separating NHL fans from NHL chaos.
Like a Colt .45, fired at close range.
Sitting in a seat behind goal during a recent spate of Kings’ games, I’d clearly see a forward’s windup. There’d be time to ready myself in case he missed his target, in case that puck sped past the goalie and headed straight at me. Other times, all I saw was churning legs, swirling motion, and, out of nowhere: CRAAACKK!
Each time the puck hit the clear barrier, a divot formed. Each time, the crowd tensed and a woman screamed.
It’s jolting enough in the stands, so what’s it like for the goalie?
via Mike Mouat of the Detroit Examiner,
On this date in Red Wings and NHL history…
1950: Ted Lindsay set a record for most assists in a season with 55.
1961: Goaltender Terry Sawchuk blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 as the Wings won game three of the semi-finals.
Uh Mike, I think you missed one!
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
Is there any fear that with the economy in the shape it is and newspapers struggling that this might be a situation for sports fans of other teams moving forward? There are always fan blogs, but they typically can’t travel with the teams either. Do you just watch the game on television and chat on message boards when you can? Do you give up being a fan?
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
It is a word teams are loathe to use, because it implies the current situation is broken. But Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke used the “R” word when discussing his thoughts on his last-place hockey team.
“I think we have some rebuilding to do,” Kroenke said. “We’ve been good for so long, I don’t think we’ve been able to do that. But every now and then you’ve got to take a deep breath and rebuild. It may be time.”...
No matter who is in charge, radically overhauling the roster for next season won’t be easy. The Avs have nearly $44 million devoted to 13 players for 2009-10, and the NHL’s current salary cap of $56.7 million isn’t expected to change much. That means the Avs could have only around $13 million with which to sign 10 players to fill out the roster. And included in players not signed for next season are captain Joe Sakic and a goalie.
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Deleware County Times,
“You have to keep yourself honest in the summertime because you’re competing with guys who have the gift of time,” Knuble said. “I know it’s not going to go on forever, but that’s what you use for motivation – trying to make up for lost time.”
Knuble has been doing a darn good job of that. Since turning 30, he has played a second career.
Prior to hitting his 30s, Knuble struggled to score, compiling just 50 goals in his first seven seasons. Given a last chance in Boston, he turned his career around with one 30-goal season, and since has scored 164 goals in six seasons, four with the Flyers.
“I was lucky to still be in the league at age 30,” Knuble said. “Boston gave me a chance, but there were people in that organization that wanted to let me go. There are plenty of guys that are good players that never get the right chance. If things don’t come together for you quick, you kind of fade away and I was right on the cusp of that.
“Then I scored those 30 goals and suddenly my career went in a different direction.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
This season was supposed to be all about losing, and maybe, for the future development of the Leafs that would have been best. The worse the team performed, the better draft position come June. But Wilson, like all coaches, worries only about today. How do you make your team better? From the beginning, he didn’t want to talk about wins and losses.
But in a rare humble moment, he stopped to consider just how far this team has come and confessed: “I admit, I’m pretty proud of our record.”
That Ron Wilson is easy to like. When he’s more human. When he’s relaxed. When he’s not picking fights that aren’t necessary. No one in hockey could have done what he has done with this Leafs team this season.
And on the nights when the chip on his shoulder is gone, and his inherent detest of the media is not so apparent, you can see what the players see in him, how they want to fight for him.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues coaches and players have had a tough time explaining how a team predicted to finish last in the NHL — even before all the injuries — can be within striking distance of a playoff spot.
But with nine games to play in the regular season, and their playoff status seemingly riding on every period, one Blue with a Stanley Cup in his past took aim at the question Wednesday.
“I think it’s because we’ve got a big group of guys who are underdogs,” said Dan Hinote, who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. “All of the sudden, there’s a bunch of injuries ... we’ve got call-ups, we’ve got guys that haven’t been in the NHL before ... we’ve got guys that were waived ... guys that were traded. It was kind of like a big group of guys that weren’t supposed to do well.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times (Thursday edition),
Vinny Lecavalier needs a jolt, a kick in the pants, something to shake up his game.
It sure has gone stale for the Lightning captain, who leads the team with 29 goals but has just four in his past 18 games, in which he’s minus-9, and two in his past eight, in which he’s minus-8.
That is why Lecavalier agreed tonight’s game with the Canadiens at the Bell Centre couldn’t come at a better time.
“I love to play there,” the Montreal native said. “Sometimes you need one game to get you back. Maybe going into a building where I love to play will help.”
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Not going to get into the whole thing about what happened tonight, anyone who watched or looked at the scoresheet can figure that out. This was a devastating loss for the Panthers, although the wings in the locker room smelled so good a few guys seemed to get over it real quick.
And I’ve never seen the scratched players escape a postgame locker room as fast as tonight’s trio of guys did. And I sure don’t blame them.
Speaking of blame, coach Pete DeBoer had plenty for goalie Tomas Vokoun, even though a couple of those goals were flukey. But the one that tied it sure wasn’t.
continued and watch the game highlights below…
added 3/26/09 at 8:21am, Watch the Horton hit on Afinogenov below too…
Top 10 “Goalies Gone Wild”.
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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