Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The San Jose Sharks may have something to say about it in the end, and playoff match-ups are unpredictable at the best of times, but could the NHL luck into a scenario in which four Original Six teams – the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the East; the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks in the West – qualify for the Stanley Cup semi-finals?
And if so, wouldn’t that be the strongest marketing ploy imaginable, as the league enters into a year in which its presence on the sporting landscape will be put to the test by the world’s growing economic crisis?
continued & many other hockey notes…
NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2009) —Boston Bruins goaltenders Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas, who combined to post a 12-1-0 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 13 games, have been named co-recipients of the NHL ‘First Star’ award for December. Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter was named Second Star and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin earned Third Star honors.
NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2009)—Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason, who posted a 7-5-0 record with a 1.41 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and three shutouts in 12 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December. It marks the second consecutive month that Mason has earned top rookie honors and the third consecutive month a Blue Jackets player has done so, following Derick Brassard in October.
Mason edged St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund (6-7—13 in 15 games), Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan (4-8—12 in 13 games), Boston Bruins left wing Blake Wheeler (5-6—11 in 13 games), Florida Panthers center Michael Frolik (4-7—11 in 14 games) and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg (3-6—9 in 11 games) for the award.
from Gene Laverty of Bloomberg,
The Detroit Red Wings’ 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday at Wrigley Field topped last year’s National Hockey League outdoor game by 12 percent in preliminary television ratings.
The game at the home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs was the third annual outdoor contest and had an overnight rating of 2.9, according to Nielsen Media Research. That tops the 2.6 rating for last year’s match in snowy Buffalo, New York, between the Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which had the biggest television audience for an NHL game since 1996.
from Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins are for real. The Bruins are loaded. The Bruins are deep, talented and extremely well-coached, and they are a legitimate threat to win—deep breath here—Le Coupe.
I mean, aren’t they?
Admit it: If you are like most Bostonians, the Bruins have had their place for a long time. They are No. 4. (This is the only similarity to Robert Gordon Orr.) Yet the simple, indisputable truth today is that Bruins are indeed No. 1, in more ways than one, meaning it is time for some of us to learn, once and for all, the true difference between a hockey puck and a Ring Ding.
from John Bishop of BostonBruins.com,
The 10-game run of victories is the Bruins longest such streak since a 10-game win streak from March 9-28, 1973. It is the longest such streak in the league this season and is tied for the fourth longest in team history behind streaks of 14, 13 and 11 games.
The Bruins also extended their home win streak to 14 games. It is their longest such streak since a 16-game home win streak from Jan. 10-Mar. 25, 1976. It is the longest such streak in the league this season and is the fifth longest in team history behind streaks of 20, 19, 16 and 15 games.
Not bad, but just don’t expect the Bruins to be talking about the victory on Friday.
“After every game…we’ve really turned the page,” said Julien. “[Friday], we’re going to start talking about Buffalo – we’re not going to be talking about Pittsburgh….”
from Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald,
Rhett Warrener isn’t quite ready to call it a career.
“Until that bridge is burned and there’s no coming back,” said the ailing Flames blueliner, “you still think in the back of your head, ‘maybe I’ll end up playing.’ “
Still, there are moments the 32-year-old cowpoke from Saskatchewan—who hasn’t played a real game since March—can’t help but wonder if it’s time to ride off into the sunset. It’s an overused term, but “warrior” is an apt description for a rearguard who’s battled his entire career. But when doctors hint at drastic measures like shoulder replacement surgery, you can’t help but wonder about the value of fighting against the dying of the light.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Just 22 seconds into Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver, Tootoo dropped the gloves with Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows, who’d infuriated the Predators last month by leveling Nashville’s J.P. Dumont with a flying check.
“I was just sticking up for my teammates,’’ said Tootoo, who missed the previous Vancouver game. “The last game we didn’t have that physical play there. We wanted to set the tone and we did that.’‘
Tootoo had to do some talking to Burrows before the Canucks forward was willing to fight, but Tootoo made short work of him.
“Obviously he knows what kind of fighter I am and he was a little intimidated,’’ Tootoo said. “But if you’re going to be able to dish it out, you’re going to have to be able to handle it. He knew it was coming.’‘
more on the Predators and watch the fight below…
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
It could be a major temptation for Lou Lamoriello, but at the March 4 trade deadline he’ll likely pass on picking up a significant piece of loot.
He’ll probably have to resist renting Scott Clemmensen to the highest bidder, unable to depend on an immediate and full contribution by Martin Brodeur Martin Brodeur , who would barely be back in action by then….
The Devils could likely demand significant bounty for Clemmensen, perhaps even a first-rounder from an injury-struck contender, as he heads toward certain summertime departure as an unrestricted free agent.
The Hockey Show takes us on an all access tour of the greatest outdoor party in Chicago.
from Lindsey Ungar at DetroitRedWings.com,
The taunting between fans of the Red Wings and Blackhawks went both ways, turning Wrigley Field into the “Not So Friendly Confines” Thursday afternoon.
Danni Wysocki, originally from Northville, Mich., but now living in Chicago, held up her “Our Mayor Can Beat Up Your Governor – Go Wings!” sign every chance she could.
Make sure to check out the pictures of the Winter Classic at NHL.com.
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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