Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
One would think being the first 60-goal scorer in the NHL in 12 years would bring a little more excitement out of Alex Ovechkin, but the Washington Capitals superstar says he’s too preoccupied with his team’s playoff chase right now.
“The last two years at this time we were thinking about vacation and what we going to do in the summer,” Ovechkin said Monday on an NHL conference call. “We weren’t thinking about the playoffs. Right now, we have a great chance to move forward.
“My personal stats are my personal stats but right now I’m just thinking about the team.”
from the Thrashers Blog at the AJC,
Kozlov said he has no regrets about signing with the Thrashers again, and that all they really need is a superstar defenseman to contend. No problem, right?
“This team needs a foundation, defensively - like a [Zdeno] Chara or [Nicklas] Lidstrom. Good teams, they have one or two very good defensemen who can play 30-35 [minutes per game]. Like [Chris] Pronger on Anaheim - one of those guys. They’re hard to find, but that’s what we need.
from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Veteran Bruins center Marc Savard, cracked across the back Saturday night by a Steve Begin crosscheck in Montreal, underwent a CT scan today at Mass. General Hospital and will not be in the lineup tomorrow night when the Bruins face the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Head coach Claude Julien confirmed the CT scan after today’s workout here at Ristuccia Center, but he was unsure of the results. Julien did not reveal why Savard needed the exam, but CT skans typically are given when there is a suspicion of a broken bone.
more on the Bruins…
added 7:17pm, from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Bruins center Marc Savard, tied for 12th in the NHL in scoring, will miss the club’s next two games, following a CT scan today at Massachusetts General Hospital that confirmed an unspecified injury to his lower back and mid-torso.
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
Now that he’s with the Sharks and a pending UFA, Campbell’s contract value certainly rise above the $25-million deal he reportedly sought from the Sabres. It has been speculated Wilson could get Campbell signed to a five-year, $30-million deal. Elsewhere, Campbell might command a $7 million per season offer.
The New York Rangers, Chicago, Atlanta, Carolina, Colorado, New Jersey and Los Angeles could be interested in Campbell and all have the available cap space to bid for his services.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
Not since the spring of 1986 has every single NHL team in Canada made the playoffs in the same season. That’s right—22 freakin’ years.
The Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, apparently putting rocket fuel in their cereal these days, seem determined to help end the streak.
With just under two weeks left in the regular season, the two Canadian clubs, written off by the hockey world long ago, are waging quite the campaign to get into the playoff dance against all odds.
Update 3:17pm ET: Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail adds some more thoughts on the Oilers “Cinderella Story” as they race to make the playoffs.
from Adam Schwartz of NHL.com,
There’s a reason Stanley Cup championships produce some of the best celebrations in sports. After four rounds of some the most demanding competition on earth, the euphoria can no longer be contained after all the sacrifices needed to claim the hardest trophy to win in sports.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
The Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks refuse to say uncle out west while in the east, someone forgot to tell the Toronto Maple Leafs to look to next year. The Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals are defying all logic with their relentless playoff pursuit. And while those four situations are engaging in their own right, the two teams that have piqued my interest the most the last several weeks are the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers.
Now, the Panthers do this routinely every year: Fall far behind in the first half and surge at the end of the season, only to come up short of the playoffs.
NEW YORK (March 24, 2008)—Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala and Philadelphia Flyers center Daniel Briere have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 23.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Lack of continuity has been the problem. Much of it has been their fault. Some of it hasn’t. Injuries, for example, remain a crippling presence, literally and figuratively.
“It seems like when we get on a roll, something happens. We get an injury or lose a guy, and it’s back to square one, trying to find chemistry,” said Brunette, the team’s second-leading scorer. “For me, the biggest thing has just been chemistry. Through injuries, through different things, we can’t seem to all get together on the same page when we’re out there.”
Those “different things” for why chemistry hasn’t been better, critics say, lie at the feet of coach Joel Quenneville. A growing chorus of fault-finders, on radio waves, chat rooms and the like, say Quenneville changes his lineup too often.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
Twilight of the Goons? Requiem for the Heavyweights? Guess again. In case you missed the memo, fighting is officially back in the NHL. Saturday’s tilt with Minnesota featured a card of three, count ‘em, three staged scraps (at least IDLM was spared Mark Smith or Eric Nystrom risking life, limb and incisors for the cause).
The NHL mantra of having your tough guy and my tough guy square off in ritual fashion is that it “sets a tone” for a big game. Funnily enough, none of the NCAA games in March Madness featured a punchup at the opening tipoff to “set a tone.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org