Kukla's Korner Hockey
“It’s fun to be part of history, it really is. Seventeen years I was four years old the last time they won the division, so it’s been a long time coming for Blackhawks fans. It’s fun to beat out the Red Wings, a big rival.”
-Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks after winning the Central Division. More on the Blackhawks from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
Craig Conroy can see the burden wearing on his friend, straining him.
Yes, he does realize expectations are always high, but he wants to see everyone leave Jarome Iginla alone.
Even the sight of a routine knot of reporters surrounding Iginla after the Calgary Flames’ 4-1 loss to the home-ice Chicago Blackhawks had Conroy muttering madly in the dressing room’s corner.
Because it’s creating undue pressure on Iginla?
“Yeah, too much,” said Conroy. “You got to give the guy a break. He’s got enough on his plate. Maybe we just need to back off. Everyone always expects Jarome to be the saviour. But, you know, it’s a team — a team game. I’m sick of everyone on him all the time. He’s doing his best out there.
“I just want him to be able to go play three games and enjoy himself and . . . not worry about the other stuff.”
“I don’t think I have issues. I’m a single guy and I like to go out and have a good time every now and then. Do I need to pick my spots better? Maybe. This time of year definitely. When you go through something like that, you look at yourself in the mirror.
“I need to realize how lucky I am to be in the NHL and the privilege it is and you’ve got to be ready to go every night. Some days, I take that for granted and maybe enjoy myself too much. That’s just me, I guess.”
-Shane O’Brien of the Vancouver Canucks. More from Ben Kuzma of the White Towel a the Vancouver Province.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Chris Pronger says he doesn’t read the newspaper clippings or stories on the Internet.
That’s why he was unaware of Larry Brooks’ Sunday NHL notebook in the New York Post that quoted two general managers anonymously saying Pronger is a “problem” in the Flyers’ dressing room.
When asked what he thought of the story, Pronger replied, “I can imagine what it is, because he [Brooks] said the same thing about me in St. Louis.
“He likes to stir the pot. He’s good at it. I don’t take credence to anything that comes from people like that’s mouth.”
from Malcolm Kelly of CBC,
Another day, another knot in the stomach for the Calgary Flames.
First on the Easter Sunday menu is an afternoon tilt in Chicago against the Blackhawks (3 p.m. ET) — a team the Flames normally can’t beat.
Then there’s the waiting around to see if the San Jose Sharks can do them a favour by beating Colorado five hours later.
Meanwhile, back in southern Alberta, fans of the red and gold will be quietly mouthing now familiar words: “Thank you, Miikka, please do it again.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
I thought this team was destined to finish last or next to last in the West again, and I’m also convinced that if the Avalanche management truly thought this was a possibility, it wouldn’t have traded Ryan Smyth to the Kings last July. Yes, that deal saved money, and that was a major consideration, but it also represented a concession that the rebuilding was on and would be a prolonged process.
Yet the way this is unfolding, the Avalanche is in danger of transforming what by most standards should be a praiseworthy turnaround season into an unforgettable collapse. This will be the ultimate test of Joe Sacco’s work in his first season as an NHL head coach: Can he convince this team to play as if it still controls its fate, and with a rediscovered collective swagger, in the final week . . . and not as if it is afraid of failure?
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Alexander Ovechkin, who will take on the Bruins tomorrow night with the rest of his conference-leading Capitals, tools around D.C. in a two-door Mercedes from the renowned car company’s “Black’’ Series. Typical cost: Upward of $275,000. And it reportedly can top out at 245 m.p.h. “A lot of car for the area,’’ offered Nate Ewell, the club’s senior director of media relations. Ovechkin opted to have the car painted in a special black matte finish. “We had a party at Six Flags for our season ticket-holders,’’ recalled Newell, “and they have a replica of Batman’s car there. Ovie and I walked by it and he said, ‘Hey, Nate, that’s my car.’ ’’
more hockey talk…
The must win games continue for the teams fighting for a playoff spot.
from Brian Costello of The Hockey News,
Here are a few nuggets I found around The Hockey News corporate headquarters in windy North York, Ont., while searching for Easter eggs.
• Was just wondering something. I’ve seen quite a few Calgary Flames games this season and in several of them didn’t notice former standout defenseman Jay Bouwmeester at all. So does that keep his NHL Ironman consecutive games played streak of 400-plus intact or should that be under review?
• I loved the line TSN’s Gord Miller used the other week after a rash of broken composite sticks in a particular game. It went something like this: Would a golfer on the PGA Tour be satisfied with a golf club that snapped once in every 20 or so shots? Why are NHL players OK with these sticks?
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
A few years ago, in a story published by the New York Post, former Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning painfully recalled the collapse of the 1964 Phillies, who blew a 6 1/2-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in seven days.
“The one thing we never got in ‘64,” Bunning said, “was the one performance, the one big hit, the one huge pitching performance that could have stopped the bleeding.”
Welcome to the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, a schizophrenic team on the brink of one of the greatest folds in Philadelphia sports history.
On March 19, after a solid 3-2 win in Dallas, the Flyers were fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 37-28-5 record and 79 points. With a dozen games to play, they held a comfortable eight-point lead on the ninth-place Thrashers and 10th-place Rangers.
Since then, the team The Hockey News predicted would win the Stanley Cup this June, has lost seven of eight games and is flirting with its own immortality.
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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