Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
After the Avalanche’s Tuesday morning skate, Tony Granato had just finished confirming that he expected and wanted to be back as the Avalanche’s coach next season.
The followup question — “Why?” — bothered him.
“What do you want me to do, be a full-time fisherman?” Granato asked. “Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of an organization I have pride in? Why wouldn’t I want my . . .”
“If you think I’m a quitter or you’re insinuating that you should bail out when things aren’t going well, you don’t know a hockey player and you don’t know me,” he said. “That is almost an insulting question. Personally, when you’re in a position and things aren’t going well, if everyone bailed out, you’d have a lot of losers around this world. I’m going to fight through this the best I can and if I get the opportunity, try and turn this thing around the way we plan to.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Ten days after dislocating his right ring finger in a fight with New York Islanders rookie Joel Rechlicz, Cote underwent surgery Tuesday that will sideline for 10-12 weeks.
Cote, the Flyers leader in penalty minutes with 174 before the arrival of Daniel Carcillo, injured his finger when he got it caught in the jersey of Rechlicz during a tugging match March 28….
With Cote out, the Flyers have a few options for their fourth line. Andreas Nodl is playing there now with center Darroll Powe and Carcillo. In 35 games for the Flyers, Nodl has one goal, three assists and is a minus-12.
“I think Nodl’s played OK for us,” Holmgren said. “We have other options if we get to that point. We’ll play it by ear.”
more on the Flyers…
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
It would be hard to imagine at this point how Mike Babcock could not be named the head coach of the Canadian men’s hockey team for next year’s Olympics.
Perhaps a verbal Avery-ism in front of TV cameras? Revelations that he was actually born in Galveston, Texas rather than Manitouwadge, Ont., and isn’t a Canadian citizen? Perhaps allegations from his McGill University days that he wore an autographed Alexander Ragulin T-shirt under his gear after secretly rooting for Rags and the Russians in ‘72?
Otherwise, while Steve Yzerman has maintained this is a decision that will have to wait until after the current NHL campaign is completed, the 45-year-old Babcock seems destined to be the man to lead the troops into Vancouver next winter.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Spring is a time for rebirth and fresh starts in the NHL. But as the playoffs approach, some prominent players will be entering this two-month odyssey with more baggage than Madonna on tour….
These are the players—or groupings of players—who personally have the most to gain or lose during the pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup this year.
Said one rival GM: “If he’s getting his points and the Bruins are doing well, he’ll be great. If he’s not getting his points and the Bruins are doing well, I’m not so sure how happy he’ll be.”
Savard can shed his career-long “me-first” label by continuing to work both sides of the puck, whether the points flow or not.
read more about Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Jose Theodore, Evgeni Malkin & Chris Osgood.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
How do the Panthers get back? They have two games left and really need some help to make the playoffs. Montreal needs one point to finish in front of the Panthers. Yeah, the Habs are in trouble. But don’t you think they probably at least pick up one point in their final two games? How about the Rangers? All they have to do is win one of their final two games.
Can’t blame missing the playoffs on losing to the Flyers. You can, however, blame it on the loss in Buffalo. The two on Long Island to a vastly inferior team. The back-to-backs against Tampa after Christmas. The third period collapse to Columbus.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
And so the Rangers need just one more, need just one more victory in their final two games to clinch a playoff spot after taking advantage of Carey Price’s slipshod night in nets to defeat the Canadiens 3-1 at the Garden last night while the Panthers were being beaten 2-1 in Philadelphia….
The Blueshirts inexorably took the game away from the Canadiens over the final 40 minutes with a combination of smart work in the neutral zone, a five-in-the-picture look in the defensive zone and sustained forecheck work and down-low pressure in the offensive end. But they received an immeasurable boost from Price’s inability to keep his balance (and poise) or play his angles.
He was terrible when it mattered, which was in the first and early in the second, when the Blueshirts seemed both tentative and as if they were waiting for something bad to happen.
But when something bad happened, it was to Price, who surrendered a horrid short-side goal to Chris Drury at 13:14 of the first and then lost the puck behind the net to Sean Avery, who got it in front so that a headlong-diving Nik Antropov could chip it in for the eventual winner at 2:37 of the second.
from Flames Insider,
Yes, the Flames deserved far better. No question, Calgary should’ve walked out of GM Place on Tuesday with the Northwest Division pennant tucked safely in their back pocket.
But, chill. All is not lost. Quite the contrary.
Roberto Luongo was sensational. Give the man his due. But give the vanquished theirs, too. That was the finest game Mike Keenan’s backtracking battalion has played since trashing the Flyers 5-1 in Philly on March 5.
And for those Sea of Red zealots in full angst mode, bemoaning the criminal unjustness of the Vancouver netminder’s scene-stealing performance - take a deep breath and a small cup of perspective. How many times has Miikka Kiprusoff left other teams cursing in exactly the same way over the years? Hey, it can happen to YOU, too, you know.
In point of fact, outside of that absolutely impotent (now 0-for-37) powerplay, there wasn’t much to quibble about.
continued and watch video highlights of the game below…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
There was plenty of blame to go around in the Devils’ 4-1 loss to the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Prudential Center….
When I asked Sutter after tonight’s game if he was concerned about the way Brodeur has played lately, he replied, “Just to get back to the question I get asked about whether I think about rotating goalies: Now you can see why I’m not thinking about doing it.
“There’s still things that Marty needs to work on to get himself ready (for the playoffs).”
In other words, Brodeur will start the team’s final two regular season games.
Brodeur didn’t excuse himself from blame.
“Not good enough to win a hockey game,” Brodeur said in evaluating his own play. “That’s the bottom line. When you face a goalie is playing so well and the way he played today, you just want to make sure you keep your team in the game and definitely giving them a three-goal lead, regardless of how it happens, it’s something you have to try to avoid.”
The Thrashers put out this PSA (public service announcement) yesterday.
added 9:40am, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t happy the video was shown, he doesn’t like the mocking.
Watch Boudreau’s post game presser below, the topic starts at the 50 second mark.
added 12:50pm, As a commentor just mentioned, the first video is no longer working (it was earlier) but check the comments for a link to the vid.
from Stan Fischler of the Hockey Journal,
Commissioner Gary Bettman should immediately put a stop to one of the most ridiculous off-ice practices, which is spreading across the NHL. That happens to be the issue of dressing room carpets, of all things.
More and more teams have oversized team logos on their rug. That is fine in theory, but the nuttiness, which started in Tampa several years ago, has it that nobodyis allowed to step on the logo.
Violators – usually unknowing media types – face a shouting down from trainers, p.r. people or the players themselves. What’s the fuss all about? Isn’t a rug to be walked on?
“It’s a respect thing,” says Blackhawks forward Adam Burish.
If that’s the case, hang the darn thing on the wall. And by the way, what about all the center-ice logos that players skate over endless times during a game? The commissioner should have the rug hung on the wall or the ceiling or – better still — have the silliness stopped once and for all.
read on for more hockey notes from The Maven…
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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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