Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Erik Brady of USA TODAY,
The Cold War, overarching theme of the second half of the 20th century, is long gone.
Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin is living, skating, body-checking proof.
Who could have guessed when he was born in the midst of its chill that a son of Moscow would emerge one day as the most popular athlete in that other capital city?
“Amazing, isn’t it?” says Ted Leonsis, the capitalist who owns the Capitals. “Alex is a global citizen.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
On a pre-playoff conference call on Monday, Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations informed coaches and general managers of what the league views as potential postseason hot spots.
The threat of any confrontation in the pre-game warmup is of particular concern to the league. To the point, Campbell warned the 16 teams, if an altercation mars the series, the offending team could lose a roster spot on the night the incident takes place, meaning the disciplined team would be forced to play the game with 17 skaters and two goalies.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Parity never has been more apparent in the National Hockey League than it is this Spring.
Check out the match-ups and you’ll see why.
Here are my calls as the first-round opens on Wednesday night:
(3) VANCOUVER VS. LOS ANGELES (6): Nice. Very nice. If the Kings simply get over the un-real fact that they are in the playoffs, I expect them to surprise the Canucks. Sedin Twins or not, the Canucks can be beaten because Roberto Luongo is the most overrated goalie in the league. I like a team with Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson on the blue line. MY CALL: Kings in seven
read on for the rest of the Round 1 predictions…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Boston Bruins didn’t win the draft lottery Tuesday night, but they may still get the player they wanted when all is said and done June 25 in Los Angeles.
That’s if, and I stress if, the Edmonton Oilers draft by need.
Tyler Seguin is a center. Taylor Hall is a winger.
The Oilers, who won the No. 1 overall pick, need a lot of things, but nothing more so than a bona-fide stud down the middle, one that could play between first-line wingers Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner. Enter Seguin.
The Bruins, who have the No. 2 selection, are set at center with Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, but are seriously lacking when it comes to big-time offensive talent on the wing. Enter Hall.
Unless, of course, the Oilers’ scouting staff and GM Steve Tambellini ultimately concludes Hall is simply the better player and can’t pass him up. That could very well happen.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit players hope their fans—there probably are more in Phoenix than any other city outside of Michigan—will add some color to the proceedings.
“Anytime there’s fans on the road cheering for you it’s a big boost for your team,’’ defenseman Niklas Kronwall said Tuesday, after practice at the Alltel Ice Den. “The crowd here in Phoenix have been great for us. Hopefully they can show up in the playoffs as well.’’
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
The decision whether to take Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft will be made by the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers, the last-place team in the regular-season, won the top pick in the draft at the 2010 LG NHL Draft Lottery. It’s the fourth consecutive year that the last-place team in the regular season retained the top pick in the draft lottery.
Seguin, a center with the OHL’s Plymouth Oilers, and Hall, a left wing with the Windsor Spitfires, are ranked No. 1 and 2 by Central Scouting.
continued including the results of the complete lottery…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Unlike some Russian players who consider a gold medal at the Olympics or the world championships the biggest prize in hockey, Devils left winger Ilya Kovalchuk’s dream is to win the Cup.
Eight years into his NHL career, with teams on two continents ready to offer mind-boggling amounts of money when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, Kovalchuk has been in the playoffs just once. He hasn’t won a single game.
But his chance is now. The Devils begin their quest for a fourth Stanley Cup Wednesday night at the Prudential Center against the Philadelphia Flyers and no one enters this postseason more enthusiastically than their big sniper.
“It is a big deal,” Kovalchuk admits. “The Olympic games are a tremendous event. When you play for your country, it’s different. It’s important. But I think the Stanley Cup is the toughest to win. So you can’t compare them.
“It’s an honor to win both, but for the Stanley Cup you have to go through 82 games and then another two months of probably the hardest hockey you’ll ever play. That’s why the greatest players show up.”
You want Stanley Cup Playoffs odds, you got them. Make sure to read below if you really want a breakdown.
Thanks to bodog for passing these along.
Odds to win the 2009/2010 Stanley Cup
Washington Capitals 7/2
Chicago Blackhawks 9/2
San Jose Sharks 11/2
Pittsburgh Penguins 6/1
Vancouver Canucks 15/2
Detroit Red Wings 8/1
New Jersey Devils 12/1
Buffalo Sabres 20/1
Phoenix Coyotes 22/1
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,
Not only was he hobbled by a badly sprained ankle but Getzlaf revealed that he was playing on a partially torn ligament between the tibia and fibula in his leg. It could be one reason why the center was limited to 66 games this season.
Getzlaf said that he suffered the injury on Feb. 8 when he got tangled up with the Kings’ Dustin Brown, which caused him to miss two games. After helping lead Canada to the Olympic gold medal, the center hurt it again on March 14 against San Jose and then was done for good when Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin fell on the ankle March 24.
“That was the initial injury,” said Getzlaf, who didn’t play the final nine games of the season. ”And then it kind of got better and things were moving the right way throughout the Olympics. And even the few games I returned to [afterward]. Obviously I aggravated it the one night here and then I aggravated it big time in Vancouver.”
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Pat Quinn isn’t going to beg Sheldon Souray to stay in Edmonton….
“It’s been no secret here. He’s made it clear for a long time (that he wants a trade),” said Quinn, who spoke with the discontented defenceman on Monday.
“I’m one of those guys that if you don’t want to play here, don’t screw around, get the hell out.”
“We have a hard enough time trying to build team framework. I always believed you should be able to look around that room and look into a teammate’s eyes and say ‘I’m giving it my best and I want you to do the same. That’s how a team builds trust.
“If you have one guy sitting over there who doesn’t bloody well want to be here, how do you build trust, how do you have a team? You don’t.
“Sheldon knows how I feel about that sort of thing.”
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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