Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Matt Gilroy, the highly regarded Boston University senior defenseman who will become an uncapped free agent the moment his Terriers either win the NCAA title or are eliminated from the tournament, likely will become an early indicator on whether the uncertain NHL economy will depress the summer market.
Two dozen NHL squads informally recruited Gilroy, a 24-year-old out of North Bellmore, last summer when it appeared he would leave school following his junior year. But he returned to lead Hockey East defensemen in scoring while earning a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award.
Rangers coach John Tortorella seems a bit frustrated after the Rangers lost to the Penguins today. Torts also discusses the five minute interference call on Colton Orr in the 3rd period.
Watch the interference call on Orr below…
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
These are heady days in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets look like a team that is bound for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth for the first time.
According to coach Ken Hitchcock, the race to the postseason has been a boon to the team’s fans.
“We have been in playoff fever for a month now, and fans have come out now in droves. I mean, the building is packed. We are into the standing-room situation,” Hitchcock said. “The buzz in the city is unbelievable. It feels very much like any good Midwest city, whether it’s Canadian or American, about sports here right now. It’s the topic of conversation everywhere you go—coffee shops, sporting goods places, restaurants. It’s everything. It’s engulfing and it’s great to see from where we were at the start of the year to where we are now.”
more on Columbus and many more NHL topics too…
From Herb Zurkowsky at The Montreal Gazette:
When Lindy Ruff was named the 15th head coach in Buffalo Sabres’ history in July 1997, Alain Vigneault was coaching the Canadiens.
Today, 11 seasons later, Ruff remains behind the Sabres’ bench. But during that time, the Canadiens have been coached by Michel Therrien, Claude Julien, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau and Gainey again. And there’ll likely be someone new next season.
“I keep saying I’ve been lucky,” Ruff, 49, said prior to Saturday night’s game against Montreal at the Bell Centre. “We’ve had a couple of changes in ownership, and I’ve been lucky enough to make it through the transition.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
It wasn’t all that long ago Mike Keenan’s name was being thrown around as a coach-of-the-year finalist.
Over the last few days, the debate has taken on a decidedly different flavour as many are starting to wonder if he should be shown the door.
Blanked in successive road games and losers of seven of their last 10, the Flames are doing exactly what Darryl Sutter suggested doomed them last spring: Limping into the playoffs….
Apparently unsure whether the key to success is striving to somehow regain their defensive edge of years past or attempt to run-and-gun with all comers, the Flames appear somewhat directionless.
Despite their talent and depth, they have no identity no set lines, and soon, they likely won’t have a division lead and accompanying home-ice advantage thanks to the surging Vancouver Canucks.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
This week’s Backchecking will take a team-by-team look at records with different players in and out of the lineup.
There are a number of contributing factors that may affect a team’s record during a specific time frame, whether it’s a favourable schedule, whether multiple players were injured or if players have been added to the roster, so record alone is not going to measure a player’s impact on his team but, given how imprecise the measurement of hockey statistics, it’s just another piece of information to take into account.
RW Teemu Selanne
6-9-2 (.382 points percentage) while Selanne was injured; 31-22-4 (.579) since.
LW Bobby Ryan
9-7-2 (.528) before getting called-up; 28-24-4 (.536) after.
from Aaron Portzline and Theodore Decker of the Columbus Dispatch,
As a loud, passionate crowd celebrated one of the Blue Jackets’ most emphatic victories in franchise history Thursday night, some scary moments played out behind the scenes in Nationwide Arena.
Two threats to shoot the Blue Jackets’ rookie goaltender, Steve Mason, and another threat to bomb the arena led to an arrest on the Northwest Side before the game ended.
Peter Stenzel, 52, was charged with inducing panic and menacing, both misdemeanors, after police traced the phone calls to his apartment at 6115 O’Sweeney Lane….
His sister, Wendy Tanaka of Worthington, said that Stenzel is an avid hockey fan, but “to threaten someone like that, that’s not him. Not even if he had a million dollars on the game.”
Stenzel, who is single and has no children, makes a living working on computers. He was born in Toronto and maintains dual citizenship in Canada and the United States, Tanaka said.
“I don’t know how people can take such things so seriously,” Tanaka said. “Sign of the times.”
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
For Alex Ovechkin and four of his Washington Capitals buddies, this was not a typical day at the office. Instead of skates and sticks, Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Staffan Kronwall and Karl Alzner wanted a thrill away from the hockey rink. They found it — on a Go-Kart track.
“It was so much fun,” said Green, one of the organizers of the off-day excursion to Allsports Grand Prix in Dulles last month. “They were FAST — like racing ones. It was sick. It was like real racing — we weren’t just putzing around out there.”
What was interesting wasn’t five professional hockey players hanging out and driving Go-Karts at 35 mph, but rather the composition of the group: two Swedes, two Canadians and one of the most famous Russians in the sporting world.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 in Vancouver yesterday and discussed the media in Vancouver.
...coach Scott Gordon tells you how it was done.
Plus, a great save by Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald sure helped too. Watch below…
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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