Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
If being scratched for one of the few times in his long career was a message sent to Doug Weight, it was momentarily lost on the veteran center.
“I don’t need a message,” Weight said, when asked about being in street clothes Sunday for the Ducks’ shootout win. “I’ve played 1,100 games. The message was I have to be at the rink at 7 o’clock [to work].”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I told the referee what order I wanted to shoot and I put my finger up and told him to give me a second, because I wanted to check with Shanny [Brendan Shanahan] to see if he could go first after he’d been on at the end of [OT],” said Renney, whose team has gone first at essentially every home game.
“I looked up, the referee was gone, he came back and he said, ‘You’re going to shoot second.’
“I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to shoot second. He said, ‘You told me that.’ I said, ‘No, I said to give me a second.’ He decided I couldn’t change my mind, or he couldn’t change his, which was unfortunate. No shots had been taken. I was very, very clear.”
from the National Post,
But there is one big difference between this year’s team and those of previous glory years: the success has come without a single French-Canadian star. This year the team counts just six Quebecers on its 24-man roster, and the leading scorer among them, Guillaume Latendresse, has managed only 27 points. Once nicknamed the Flying Frenchmen and revered in the province as emblematic of Quebecers’ talent, the team’s DNA is now practically indistinguishable from any other in the National Hockey League.
“Teams are becoming less representative of their community and more brand names,” observed University of Ottawa sociologist Jean Harvey, director of the Research Centre for Sport in Canadian Society.
from the NHL Blog at the NY Post,
Should the Capitals make it into the post-season, I think they automatically become a favorite to win the East and Bruce Boudreau must be a favorite for Coach of the Year. The management has assembled a spectacular cast around their Russian star and Boudreau has so obviously righted a team Glen Hanlon left in shambles.
Coach Sutter was not a happy man after the Devils loss last night.. from Fire & Ice, .
“We didn’t do anything tonight. We were terrible. That’s what happens when you don’t prepare to play a game that’s meaningful and every game at this level is meaningful. It shows the difference in preparation right there tonight. They were prepared to play and you have a team that’s not focused to play. You go through things with them and talk to them to you blue and red in the face.
“Tonight was a lack of professionalism on our hockey team’s part. If anybody wants to tell you different, they’re liars. That’s about all. Thanks guys.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The Canes gave away a house, a car and the jerseys off their backs. They may have given away the division title as well with a 4-3 loss to the Panthers on Friday—Florida’s first win at the RBC Center since December 2002, in arguably the only game of the 16 since that really mattered.
“Everybody’s sick about it,” Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s not a good feeling. I don’t know what to tell you. There’s not a good feeling about it, nothing positive to take from tonight.
“We needed to win a game to be in charge, win our division, have home ice in the playoffs, and we lost that. It’s gut-wrenching.”
With the loss tonight by Carolina, the Eastern Conference playoff teams are set in stone except for the Caps and the Canes.
Pittsburgh, Montreal, Washington (with a point in their next game), New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Boston are in.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Both clubs will now have a longer than expected off-season to address the problem areas that led to their decline in 2007-08.
For the Sabres, last year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners and a two-time Eastern Conference finalist, the fall from grace was significant.
The loss of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury last summer to unrestricted free agency hurt the Sabres, leaving a gaping hole of veteran leadership and skill that they were unable to fill….
As for the Canucks, the lack of offensive production that got them bounced in the second round of late year’s playoffs cost them a playoff berth this season. Yes, injuries did take their toll on the Canucks but despite that, for most of this season they held onto a playoff berth before collapsing down the stretch.
from the CP via Yahoo,
‘But Alfredsson took some of the heat off the Toronto Maple Leafs forward Friday by blaming himself for winding up on the receiving end of a blind-side hit from Bell that will force the him to miss the Senators’ final regular-season game and at least the start of the playoffs should they qualify.
“I think it’s more myself (at fault),” said Alfredsson, who’s out with an unspecified upper-body injury and a knee injury, although he denied he suffered a concussion. “Usually I’m aware of what’s going on around me and I had no idea he was coming.”
from the CP via TSN,
Making or missing the playoffs can be big for NHL clubs, both in cash and in reputation when it comes to signing unrestricted free agents in the summer. After all, how many free agents say they want to play for teams with little chance of winning?
Among Canadian teams this season, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are already out while Montreal and Calgary are in and Ottawa is on the cusp of clinching.
The Oilers went all the way to the Stanley Cup final only two seasons ago, losing to Carolina. LaForge said that was probably worth $20 million in ticket, gear and other sales in the first year alone.
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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