Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kostya Kennedy of Sports Illustrated,
In a parity-stricken league, Lidstrom has ensured that the Red Wings remain in a class of one, and in June he crossed into hockey’s final frontier when he became the first European captain in NHL history to hoist the Stanley Cup. “I’m very proud to be the first,” he said, and in the next breath, “I’m very proud of the whole team too.”
What makes Lidstrom so Sportsman-like is, well, his sportsmanship: his humility, his professionalism. He is intuitive on the ice and equally so in the locker room. Earlier this year Babcock told me that he had never coached player this good. “In what way?” I asked. Replied Babcock: “In any way you can think of.”
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators centre Mike Fisher is expected to miss two weeks with strained right knee ligaments, it was announced after practice this morning.
The news is worse on Chris Neil.
The rugged right winger will have arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. It’s not yet known how long Neil will be out of the lineup.
from Viktor Tikhonov of the Phoenix Coyotes at the Hockey News,
The road is also a good place for practical jokes. The other day we were at a team dinner and everyone was sitting at one big table. Players started clinking their glasses as if someone was going to make a toast, but when I saw a couple of them looking at me, I knew something was going on. Sure enough, I looked down at my shoes and they were covered in ketchup. I got shoe-checked.
After that I was given a mission to shoe-check Turris and Mikkel Boedker. I crawled under the table to get Boedker, but he was sitting next to defenseman Keith Yandle and I got Yandle by accident instead.
Rookie mistake, I guess!
from Kathryn Tappen of the Play Ground at NESN,
I liked what I saw from the Bruins on Monday night, however, I’m concerned that they looked tired. After getting out to a 2-0 lead over Toronto, I was just waiting for the Leafs to come storming back against an injury depleted Bruins blueline. We saw it against the Rangers on Saturday night, and I feared a repeat performance north of the border.
The Bruins are in the midst of playing 10 games in 18 days, four games in six days this week alone. They are physically drained, but even more so, they are mentally fatigued. Now is the time when the Bruins must work together as a team, and stay strong through 60 minutes of hockey (perhaps more as we saw in New York over the weekend).
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Chicago Blackhawks, according to multiple NHL sources, have a standing deal ready to go at a moment’s notice to acquire veteran center Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals.
The only hitch is that in order to make the transaction, the Blackhawks need to free up considerable cap space and conventional wisdom is the only way they can do that is trade netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.
Just one problem, though. Khabibulin is playing much better than Cristobal Huet…
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I was talking it over with some reporter brethren after the Avs’ sulfurous effort against the Flames, and the question crossed my head - was this the worst game I’d ever seen the Avs play?
Quite possibly, it was. I know there have been bigger blowout losses over the years, but this might have been the worst wire-to-wire performance this team has ever played since moving to Denver.
The inability to make even the most rudimentary plays was stunning. How many times did an Av have the puck on his stick in his own zone, only to hand it right back to a Flame, usually at the points?
from Mike Knobler of Thrashers Blog at the AJC,
This is about more than a “C” on the jersey. It’s about Kovalchuk truly fulfilling his amazing potential. There’s a certain comfort level in being one of the guys, in not wanting to stand out, or, perhaps more accurately, not wanting to risk being perceived as putting yourself above other people around you. But if you want true greatness, you have to get over that. You have to be willing to risk setting yourself apart and above if you want to lead.
Barack Obama had to be willing to run for president, with the real possibility he would fail and the certainty people would accuse him of being presumptuous — “uppity” was Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s unfortunate word — for seeking that office. Kovalchuk doesn’t have to run for president. But he does have to step forward, rather than waiting to be anointed.
from Jeff Vinnick of VancouverCanucks.com, Tonight,
Tuesday evening, a few guys opted for a 5-star dinner, a couple other hit Broadway and a few more went to the live Letterman taping.
I’d like to think I topped the list: I got tickets to the Daily Show. Seeing Jon Stewart in person was something special. Now that I have my gloating out of the way, I can talk about our practice day in the big apple.
We started off with a trip to the NHL head offices on the Avenue of the Americas (at 47th Street). Both Mason Raymond and Roberto Luongo got up extra early so they could do interviews for the NHL Hockey Show. We then got a tour of the offices and met with NHL executive Bill Daly.
more with pictures…
Since the Panthers/Lightning game was not televised last night, lete’s turn to George Richards of On Frozen Pond for all of the action…
Greetings from the Chik-fil-A Center in uptown Sunrise where I’m listening to Randy ‘Red Deer’ Moller and Billy ‘I Beat the Bruins’ Lindsay broadcast live from Tampa.
Yes, Randy just sold his soul and called it Hockey Bay USA….
On TV Tonight Instead of the Panthers: Seinfeld is on TBS, the boys selling NBC on a “show about nothing.’’ Also, Two and a Half Men on Channel 39. Minnesota and Pitt tied at 1 on Versus. Heat lead the Capitals, err Bullets, on Sunshine Network.
FSN bringing us the ever-exciting, ever-important Tennessee-Martin/Tennessee basketball game. I wouldn’t watch this matchup if it was a football game.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The curious thing about the Canucks is that their beat writers believe they are a better team than they showed on the ice in Uniondale. On Game Day, both Vancouver papers treated the Islanders game as a virtual exhibition in preparation for the real test at MSG. And for a short while, they appeared to know something that The Maven didn’t know. But Scott Gordon’s Isles, if nothing else, compete. They overcame an early (MacDonald’s fault) goal, scraped together a tying counter and extended the Canucks to the shootout where Luongo faltered and MacDonald did not.
Playing once again without Scott Gomez – it’s futile to guess how long he’ll be sidelined, so why not figure another week and get it over with? – the Renney-gades still should be able to handle Vancouver, Sedin Twins or not.
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