Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via TSN,
It has been three weeks since the NHL trade deadline and so far, the winners look to be the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes.
Nothing is certain until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June, but those are the clubs that look to have filled holes with just the right people ahead of the March 4 deadline.
“Calgary did a good job and the Rangers got (Nik) Antropov and (Derek) Morris and they’re playing really well, but we’ll see what they do in the playoffs,” Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk said this week. “It’s still the regular season, and the best team in the playoffs will win.”
from Jamie Baker of the Seagate Broadcasters Blog,
Below are my thoughts on the teams in the Western Conference as we prepare for the final 10 game stretch of the season.
The machine keeps rolling along. They found a way to come back and win in Edmonton last night scoring 3 goals in the last 10 minutes. Babcock says he isn’t focused on what position the Wings are in come playoff time because you still have to win 4 games to win a series. Ya right! The Wings have 6 home games and 2 road games left. San Jose has 4 home games and 6 road games. The race for 1st in the West (and likely the NHL) will probably come down to the last weekend.
Calgary and Vancouver
This could be a race to the finish to see who wins the Northwest. Both teams have 4 home games and 6 road games left. Van is 3 points behind and needs to win the division outright because Calgary has the first tiebreaker….
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
So much for the theory that Ducks players have tuned out Randy Carlyle. Or stopped listening to him. Or quit on him, hoping he would go away.
You don’t win four must-win games in a row to get back in the playoff race, as the Ducks have, if the coach is the problem.
And there are leaders in the room such Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, Jean-Sebastien Gigure and Chris Pronger who would not tolerate such an attitudinal mutiny.
Even so, there are self-avowed Ducks loyalists who still believe Carlyle, the winningest coach in franchise history, should be shown the door after this season regardless of where the Ducks finish.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Does the NHLPA think players will begin taking pay cuts en masse because an above-average second-line player is suggesting the concept? And what exactly does the PA have to fear? Shouldn’t part of its mandate be to make sure all aspects of the player’s well-being are addressed, not just the money issue?
As much as the NHLPA doesn’t like it, the hometown discount is here to stay. For some players, the notion of remaining in a place in which they are comfortable and playing for a team they know will be a long-term contender outweighs the prospect of making more money somewhere else. The NHLPA should accept and encourage players to do what is right for them as individuals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to lean on Curtis Joseph between the pipes for the next three games after Martin Gerber was tossed for pushing referee Mike Leggo and shooting a puck in his direction following Washington’s controversial tying goal Tuesday night.
For his act, Gerber faces a minimum three-game suspension for category three abuse of the officials - a violation of rule 41.
‘‘I’m sorry for me, for losing my cool there,’’ said Gerber. ‘‘I got shoved in the net. That’s why (the puck) went in. I was upset, shot the puck against the boards and after that he tossed me out for I don’t know what.
‘‘I shouldn’t have done it. That’s obvious. But there’s not much you can do now.’‘
If you missed the incident, you can view it here...
Updated 4:47pm ET: Note from TSN’s SMS updates—“Martin Gerber receives automatic 3 game suspension for abuse of officials.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province via the National Post,
Paul Kelly knows that soon enough the Gary Bettman-led NHL owners will be back for more goodies now that they’ve run over the players with a steamroller in the 2004-05 lockout when they established the salary cap.
At the moment, Kelly, the National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director, is just trying to gauge what sort of backbone the players might be able to grow over the next two years, when negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement will be underway. And he made clear the one thing that has galvanized the players’ thinking recently is the massive escrow payments, which are take a big chunk out of their paycheques this season….
“We’re finding every time we meet with the players there is more and more interest in the issues facing us and the league. They want to know more and more, and the thing that’s really got their notice is the high deductions from their cheques this season.”
The more the players learn about the issues and how the CBA affects their lives, the better able they might be to resist the owners’ next attempt, which likely will come in the form of trying to whittle down payments to players they wish to buy out - in other words, to chip away at guaranteed contracts.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that center Paul Stastny will miss 2-4 weeks due to a broken foot.
“A CT scan taken yesterday (March 24) revealed the fracture in his foot,” said Avalanche team physician Dr. Andrew Parker.
Alyonka Larionov and Mr. Malkin try their hands at some Russian cuisine and Kris Letang does the food testing.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster goes through a rigorous rehab to get back on the ice.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Here’s my quick bloggie look at the playoff races in both conferences.
The Bruins, Devils, Capitals and Flyers are good to go. These four teams have been a given for a while now. What order? I say B’s, Devils, Caps and Flyers.
After that, I think the Hurricanes, Rangers and Penguins will be there, too. Those three teams have been pretty good over their last 10-15 games. They’ve been able to put a sliver of room between themselves and the rest of the pack. For no particular reason, I’m going to say they’ll finish 5-6-7, Penguins, Hurricanes, Rangers, respectively.
That leaves one spot.
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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