Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ross McKeon of Yahoo,
People in Washington and Pittsburgh won’t like to hear this, but if the season were to end today, Jarome Iginla is the league’s most valuable player.
The Hart Trophy race has never been so hotly contested. The competition is very much a reflection of close races, parity throughout the NHL and certainly a trickle-down effect of what a salary-cap system means to the league overall.
But the 30-year-old Edmonton native, who captains the provincial rival Calgary Flames, is the choice. He may not have as many goals and not as many points as others, but Iginla is the living, breathing, skating definition of the award: the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
Last month Brian Burke told The Hockey News that the 2008 Ducks reminded him of an awakening bear.
He said they appeared drowsy at times, and that at other times they’d stretch an arm and flex a paw and growl a bit, and then they might nod off again.
“But at the end,” Burke promised, “you’ve still got a bear.”
Well, the end is near, and we search for a sign of a Kodiak moment.
Instead, the Ducks look cooked in the Pacific Division race and seem consigned to a fourth seed and a first-round series against the Dallas Stars, if they can stop their freefall.
from Red Wings Corner,
When asked why the Red Wings have been able to string together so many 50-win seasons, Franzen’s first response was to point out the franchise’s veteran leadership.
“They make you relaxed,” said Franzen. “Of course you’re going to be a little bit nervous at the beginning (of a career). But they make jokes all the way to the game and it relaxes you. It makes it easy on the young guys. It’s a good atmosphere.
“Veteran players teach the young guys what it takes, preparation. The oldest guys on this team will often work out the hardest, set examples for the younger guys every day.
They don’t let up any games. They’re always prepared.”
via Off the Posts,
Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray just told us centre Chris Kelly will be out for a minimum of three weeks - which probably means the first round of the playoffs - with a fracture in his ankle.
from the Edmonton Journal,
“He (Ales Hemsky) had a special night for us,” said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. “It was like he was playing the game at a different level than everybody else.
I questioned some of his decisions at times, but he always turned it into something. It was high, high entertainment value watching him.
“Every time he had the puck on his stick he was creating something, and never the old-fashioned way. He was beating guys one-on-one, driving wide, just making spectacular plays.”
more on the Oilers…
from the Tennessean,
But here was Trotz, speaking with authority about the Predators’ playoff possibilities.
“We found out what the absolute mathematic probability of getting in is, based on the equations of all the teams playing each other,” Professor Trotz said after the Preds’ 2-1 shootout victory over Chicago. “It’s a lot higher than a lot of people thought.”
What gives? I guess when you’re coaching a team that entered the day with five losses in its previous six games, you’ll latch on to any sign of hope, even if it’s a bunch of statistical mumbo-jumbo authored by some schmuck in Saskatoon with a six-pack of Molson and a Ouija board.
Turns out, however, that the data is courtesy of Ken Roberts, who writes software for Interface Technologies in Raleigh, N.C.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Nolan confirmed his contract situation yesterday. “They haven’t offered an extension,” Nolan said. “There hasn’t been a discussion of it.”
Contacted yesterday on a scouting trip in Ontario, general manager Garth Snow said he had no comment. Team spokesman Chris Botta, citing team policy, said the organization would have no comment on contract issues involving management.
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Hard to think of a better goal at the Saddledome this season than Dion Phaneuf’s coast-to-coast job against the Wild on Saturday night.
continued with youtube video…
from Fire & Ice,
It was at least 10 minutes after the final buzzer before Devils coach Brent Sutter emerged from a closed-door locker room meeting with his players following a disastrous 7-1 loss to the Penguins tonight at Mellon Arena.
Sutter had plenty to be angry about, particularly in the five-goal third period. But it really started with Ryan Malone’s shorthanded goal with 3:46 left in the second that gave the Penguins the lead for good.
“You’re tied 1-1 in a hockey game and you give up a terrible shorthanded goal from a 3-on-1 break from the hash marks in their zone,” Sutter said. “I really though that changed the complexion of the game and from that point on we made a lot of mental mistakes. We had a lot of breakdowns. We weren’t very strong between the ears for the rest of the game.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
And for at least one afternoon — when Forsberg had two assists in a home victory over Dallas on March 8 — it seemed that any doubts about the wisdom of the signing were about to be dispelled.
Since then, though, it has been a mess and a four-ring circus that, especially when considered in the context of a bizarre run of injuries to other high-profile players on the roster, has contributed to the Avalanche’s inconsistency and inability to not only jump to the top of the mediocre Northwest Division but stay there.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: While the official explanation — the sport’s “plague,” a groin problem — almost certainly can pass legalistic muster, the bigger problems that have bedeviled Forsberg since his return to the lineup remains the same old problems.
His foot and ankle.
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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