Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Aaron Portzline and Theodore Decker of the Columbus Dispatch,
As a loud, passionate crowd celebrated one of the Blue Jackets’ most emphatic victories in franchise history Thursday night, some scary moments played out behind the scenes in Nationwide Arena.
Two threats to shoot the Blue Jackets’ rookie goaltender, Steve Mason, and another threat to bomb the arena led to an arrest on the Northwest Side before the game ended.
Peter Stenzel, 52, was charged with inducing panic and menacing, both misdemeanors, after police traced the phone calls to his apartment at 6115 O’Sweeney Lane….
His sister, Wendy Tanaka of Worthington, said that Stenzel is an avid hockey fan, but “to threaten someone like that, that’s not him. Not even if he had a million dollars on the game.”
Stenzel, who is single and has no children, makes a living working on computers. He was born in Toronto and maintains dual citizenship in Canada and the United States, Tanaka said.
“I don’t know how people can take such things so seriously,” Tanaka said. “Sign of the times.”
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
For Alex Ovechkin and four of his Washington Capitals buddies, this was not a typical day at the office. Instead of skates and sticks, Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Staffan Kronwall and Karl Alzner wanted a thrill away from the hockey rink. They found it — on a Go-Kart track.
“It was so much fun,” said Green, one of the organizers of the off-day excursion to Allsports Grand Prix in Dulles last month. “They were FAST — like racing ones. It was sick. It was like real racing — we weren’t just putzing around out there.”
What was interesting wasn’t five professional hockey players hanging out and driving Go-Karts at 35 mph, but rather the composition of the group: two Swedes, two Canadians and one of the most famous Russians in the sporting world.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 in Vancouver yesterday and discussed the media in Vancouver.
...coach Scott Gordon tells you how it was done.
Plus, a great save by Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald sure helped too. Watch below…
from Dan Wood of Duck Blog,
The question now is whether the Ducks or the Edmonton Oilers have enough left in the tank to drive for the Stanley Cup playoffs over the season’s final seven games.
That task will be considerably more daunting for the Ducks in the wake of a wild Friday night rollercoaster ride that featured a franchise-record 54 shots on goal but resulted in a 5-3 loss to the Oilers at Honda Center….
“It’s a tough loss,” Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. “You’re going to feel it here for a little while, but when you leave the rink tonight you have to put it out of your mind and make sure we’re ready to come to the rink tomorrow to work and prepare for Colorado on Sunday.”
Ritch Winter, Marian Hossa’s agent, tells Sporting News Today that he is optimistic a deal will get worked out, allowing Hossa to re-sign with the Red Wings.
“It’s a nightmare. I’m embarrassed. Hopefully my teammates are embarrassed. I’ve been in bad situations, but this is the worst of my career. 15 goals in two games? I mean, we have to have more pride than that, to show that we care more about one another. I know it’s tough; guys can use the injury factor. But what can you do - quit?”
-Ian Laperriere of the Colorado Avalanche after losing to the Ducks. More from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs.
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The family crossover, the common interest, the closeness in age—it was probably inevitable that the three teenagers would bond.
“I think it was the first game I went to in Pittsburgh. I met them, and we just started talking,” Taylor Crosby said of Stephanie and Austin Lemieux. “Right away we were friends. I always stay with them when I go to Pittsburgh. We text or e-mail. You could say we’re kind of like cousins.”
The three are the next wave of players from Pittsburgh’s first families of hockey.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
While top contenders like Boston and Washington struggle down the stretch, the Hurricanes finally discovered that extra gear, setting themselves up to be a team no one really wants to face in the first round.
No one should compare this group to the one that won the Stanley Cup in 2006, at least not yet, but there’s reason to believe it could enjoy a productive spring. For one, Cam Ward’s been magnificent, starting 22 straight and putting up the best numbers of his career.
“He was always technically sound, but I really like the way he battles,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “You can see his lateral movement has improved . . . [and so has] his rebound control. He’s not looked on as one of the real elite goalies because there’s nothing spectacular about his game. But, you know, he’s won it all before. That tells you all you need to know about his ability to compete.”
more and other hockey notes…
Our weekly “Faceoff” features ESPN.com NHL writers Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Pierre LeBrun (based in Toronto), who duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Which teams out of this season’s playoff hunt have a shot in 2010?
Scott Burnside: Bonjour, Pierre. Ouvrez la fenêtre, fermez la porte. That’s French for “open the window, close the door.” Or something like that. Well, we’ll be talking playoffs almost nonstop leading up to the end of the regular season two weeks from Sunday. But I think it’s good to take a brief look at the teams that won’t be taking part in the tournament and which ones might be capable of taking a step forward next year as we’ve seen Columbus and Chicago do this year. Can the Islanders get up off the mat? Is Colorado really as bad as it looks? I know we’ve spent a lot of time this year talking about the Kings and how close they are. I think it will be a huge disappointment if the Kings aren’t in a playoff spot next year,
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.
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