Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Montreal Canadiens:
For one generation, the dream was to be like Maurice Richard or Guy Lafleur. For another, it was all about Patrick Roy.
Before Roy began showcasing his talents in the Canadiens’ crease in 1985, goaltending was generally reserved for the less athletic or, if you prefer, less talented. That changed quickly with the arrival of the Habs’ netminder, who suddenly had kids across Quebec clamoring to strap on the pads just like their idol.
When Roy decided to hang up his pads after a 19-year NHL career in 2002-03, the league was inundated with stoppers who grew up admiring the Habs’ No. 33. Just that year alone, there were 29 Quebec native goaltenders lacing up their skates in the NHL.
Update 1:45pm ET: Lynn Zinser at the New York Times has a great summation of Roy’s Top 10 Moments
The video below is a career retrospective in honor of Roy’s jersey retirement on Saturday night, with numerous other NHLers reflecting on his career.
From the San Jose Sharks:
The branding of the “BlackArmor” sweater is a unique marketing partnership between the Sharks and Seagate, marking the 12th season that the organizations have been partners. Seagate also serves as the presenting sponsor of the Seagate “Sharks Player of the Month” and the Seagate “Sharks Player of the Year” Awards.
The branding of the alternate sweater coincides with Seagate’s promotion of its BlackArmor™ product, the world’s first safe portable hard drive. The BlackArmor portable hard drive from Seagate is a storage solution that provides government-grade AES encryption…
Icethetics promises to have more feedback on the new black jerseys later today, as well.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s a first for me, in the new give-and-take world of cyberspace sports writing. Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals’ owner and AOL mover and shaker, took a shot at me in his blog, Ted’s Take. Leonsis took exception to my views on the ballot-box stuffing controversy in Montreal, in which Canadiens supporters have their six candidates miles ahead of the pack in the voting for the 2009 All-Star Game.
What fun! Usually, it’s the other way around – writers critically analyzing the work of owners, general managers and players, mostly done in a vacuum. Turnabout is absolutely fair play - I wish more of them did it. A real dialogue could be a useful tool in ridding the industry of the lame blah-blah-blah that passes for analysis these days, fuelled largely by professional athletes who are coached to say nothing of consequence, for fear of alienating opponents or tarnishing their brilliantly polished images.
continued with many more NHL topics…
from Marc Crawford of CBC at Blogs and Colums,
Six weeks into the NHL regular season and we are beginning to see a familiar trend. Everybody is OK! Not great, mind you, but definitely OK.
Yes sir, parity has arrived and is living well in the fastest league on earth. There have been some early season disappointments, like Dallas and Ottawa, but most hockey insiders believe that those two teams will right their ships.
In the Western Conference, as of Nov. 18, there is no club that is less than two games under .500. In the East, just two teams are three games under .500, and if you look at the league as a whole, there are only six clubs that are less than a game under .500.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have prepared an in-depth, scientific study of the NHL schedule and how it affects many of the western teams—not the least of which is themselves—with a view to getting policy changes made at the league level when the schedule is drawn up.
“We’ve had this on-going, detailed scientific study of the schedule prepared by [manager of scouting and player information] Jonathan Wall which we feel is salient, topical and not in any way prejudicial and we presented it to the commissioner,” said Gillis in undertaking an effort to level the playing field to some degree at least for the clubs furthest away from the mainstay of the league’s cities.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Here’s a look at some of the key numbers from the first few weeks of the season:
37.9 — Shots per game by the Sharks, the most in the NHL. The Sharks have allowed just 26.0 shots against per game, second to the Los Angeles Kings; San Jose’s differential of 11.9 per game is by far the best in the League.
45 — Games that have gone to a shootout this season. Home teams have won 23; road teams have taken 22. The key to winning seems to be scoring first; just five of the 45 winning teams have rallied after allowing the first goal of the shootout. The Rangers are tops with four wins; Chicago has played the most shootouts (6) and lost the most (4).
How would you respond to the critics who say you’re past your prime or may question your decline in point production over the past few seasons?
It’s no secret that as you get older you tend to change your game a little. I still think there are things I can offer. When you get older, you need to find a team where a role is going to fit you. You can come in here and see this is a real good team. You can come and fit in right away and not have to do too much. Every night you just try to do something to help them win. My biggest thing is to fit in on a team capable of winning.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Knuble, perhaps selfishly, thinks the Flyers are fine without Shanahan.
Through 17 games, Knuble is tied for third on the team with seven goals and leads the club with three power-play goals.
“I totally respect what Brendan can bring to a team and to a (locker) room,” Knuble said. “But I think we grew as a group last year. Would one guy be able to come in and change a lot of things? I don’t know. We don’t have one of those yeller-screamer personalities, but we have guys who step up and say the right things.”
At 36, Knuble is three years younger than Shanahan and believes he can be a productive player for the Flyers beyond this season. Knuble makes $2.8 million this season, a fair price for a player on pace for 34 goals.
more on the Flyers…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Byfuglien and defenseman Brent Sopel were scratched for the game against the Stars. Both have been mentioned in recent trade speculation. Quenneville said Sopel, often injured this season, was a healthy scratch and was in the Hawks’ locker room after the game.
Most prominent of the trade rumors have Byfuglien going to the Capitals in a deal that would bring Nylander back to the Hawks. A straight-up deal was nixed by the Hawks this week, apparently because they couldn’t stay under the salary cap if they acquired Nylander. Adding Sopel to the deal would allow them to do that…
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Craig Conroy twice experienced the wrath of Patrick Roy.
On his first day on the ice as a rookie with the Montreal Canadiens, a high shot in warmup brought about a confrontation with the Hall-of-Fame goaltender…
“It was actually my very first day on the ice. Patrick was on my team for the scrimmage,” said Conroy, who was a little excited in warmup and watched his first shot at Roy get away from him.
“It kept rising and hit him in the head. He kind of stopped everything, cleared off his crease, then he came out and actually punched me in the head with his blocker.
“I thought, ‘What do I do?’ He’s Patrick Roy. I’m just nobody. I didn’t throw any punches or anything. I just kind of took it and they broke it up. I was sent down (to the AHL Fredericton Canadiens) pretty soon after that.”
more from Conroy on Roy…
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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