Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Does he feel wanted here?
“Yeah,” Madden responded.
Has he felt that way all season?
There are, of course, those who wonder if Madden has lost something. Is he the same player?
“Tough question. Yes, I am, but I think my role changed so I had to be a different kind of player,” Madden said.
Might he be over-the-hill?
“No. In fact, I don’t believe that at all,” he said. “And I’ll prove it.”
more on the Devils
from Fernando Carneiro of MetroNews,
Former Vancouver Canuck Gino Odjick, an Algonquin from Maniwaki, Que., said that being at the Vatican this week to hear the Pope express his sorrow for the “anguish” Canadian Aboriginals suffered in residential schools was bigger than any hockey game he’s ever played.
Odjick, a Canuck for eight years, said he remembers a time at about age 14 when he stepped on the ice, looked at the non-native kids and felt inferior.
“I used to look up to NHL players and it was like they could walk on water,” Odjick said from Italy on Thursday. “I didn’t think native kids could ever get there.”
via David Bean of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
So here we go again.
Hockeytown vs. the OC.
Teemu vs. the Teamsters.
Urban Outfitters vs. urban decay.
Implants vs. closed plants.
A place with a superiority complex vs. the city with a chip on its shoulder.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
Hockey is back in the City of Big Shoulders. In a major way. And we who worship at the shrine of Elmer “Moose” Vasko could not be more ecstatic.
From the emergence of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as Teen Beat heartthrobs to the icy excitement generated by the Winter Classic at venerable Wrigley Field, to the updating and reimagining of a franchise languishing in neglect, this is indisputably the Year of the Hawk.
Hey, they’re young, they’re fast, they’re audacious, they’re fun. No denying it. And although nothing’s perfect—you cringe a little at the money shelled out for softie defenseman Brian Campbell and playoff backup goalie Cristobal Huet, and the fact that they’re into that really annoying “Don’t step on the logo” nonsense in the dressing room and fence off the big Hawk on the carpet—there’s no doubting we’re over the moon to see the Chicago Blackhawks returned to their rightful place.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Richard Zednik will not play for the Florida Panthers or any other NHL team next season.
Zednik, 33, has signed a two-year contract with Russian Superleague team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the team reported on its Web Site on Thursday. An NHL source confirmed the report.
Sidney Crosby talks about playing against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Why It Makes Sense To Pick The Capitals: Why wouldn’t you put faith in a team that just scampered back from the precipice of elimination? Why wouldn’t you believe in Alex Ovechkin, the only NHLer who greets great expectations with an unmistakable boyish exuberance and bottomless pit of confidence? Why wouldn’t you expect Simeon Varlamov, who the Penguins have never played against, to continue his strong play in Washington’s net?
Why It Makes Sense To Pick The Penguins: Although the Caps have four genuine superstars (Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green) on their roster, the Pens’ marquee talent (i.e. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Sergei Gonchar) could just as easily out-perform their opponents. As well, Fleury has already demonstrated the ability to take his team to the Stanley Cup final; nobody on the Caps outside of Sergei Fedorov has shown a similar skill.
What Swayed Me To Pick The Capitals in Seven Games:
read on and this style used for all the 2nd round matchups…
from Bill Beacon of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
There were fears the economic recession would leave swaths of empty seats in NHL arenas during the playoffs, but the league says both attendance and U.S. Television ratings are up through the first round.
With fans flocking back to see good teams with star players in Chicago and Boston, the NHL says its rinks were full to 100.9 per cent capacity through the 44 first-round games, its highest figure in 16 years.
Only four games — two in Carolina and two in Anaheim — failed to sell out.
It also reports a 22 per cent increase in viewers on the Versus network in the U.S., which averaged a 0.44 cable rating, or 333,163 households and 442,301 viewers.
from Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press,
Other professional athletes on other teams—perhaps even in this town—might not have appreciated the gesture.
But to the players and coaches—many of whom reside in the Detroit area year-round—they underscore the unique relationship the Wings enjoy with their fans.
Imagine coming home after scoring a hat trick—as Franzen did in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals last year against Colorado—and discovering your driveway covered with hats.
Franzen won’t forget the moment.
Not in the least, according to Franzen.
“I still have them in my garage,” the 29-year-old Swedish forward said with a smile. “It’s a good healthy relationship between us and the fans here.”
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
The problem every year with the Bill Masterton Trophy is that when you read the supporting material for each candidate, you come away thinking he ought to win. Then you read the qualifications of the next candidate and think he ought to win. And so on.
So, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association has a very difficult annual task in determining the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”
Once again, three deserving finalists are in the running in 2009, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, Florida Panthers right winger Richard Zednik and Nashville Predators left winger Steve Sullivan.
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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