Kukla's Korner Hockey
TORONTO (April 9, 2010) - Pittsburgh Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky has been suspended for two games, without pay, for a boarding penalty on New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey during NHL game #1200 against the New York Islanders last night, the National Hockey League announced.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Ponikarovsky will forfeit $21,813.48. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Ponikarovsky was assessed a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct at 3:01 of the third period. Bailey was injured on the play.
Ponikarovsky will miss the Penguins’ final two regular season games - Saturday at Atlanta and Sunday at the New York Islanders.
If you missed the hit, you can view it here.
from Charles McGrath of the New York Times Magazine,
He also makes opportunities where there seem to be none, and has some of Wayne Gretzky’s uncanny sense of anticipation. He will often seem to be hanging harmlessly by the blue line or circling aimlessly by the boards when suddenly the puck is on his stick. But Gretzky seldom checked anyone if he could help it. His game was artistic and almost cerebral at times. Ovechkin, on the other hand, is an artist who also plays with tremendous physicality. He sometimes seems to be a brand-new kind of hockey player entirely: a hybrid who combines European finesse with North American toughness.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Norris (“to the defence player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position”):
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks.
Runners-up: Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Mike Green, Washington Capitals.
more awards plus additional hockey notes…
from Bob Verdi at ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
You can wonder what Eddie Olczyk does with all his money. I want to know what he does with all his miles. As television analyst for the Blackhawks, NBC and Versus, he will wind up broadcasting 125 or so games by June. Granted, when working locally for Comcast or WGN, Olczyk travels on the team charter. But otherwise, he is on his own, a very frequent flier.
Take, for example, Olczyk’s itinerary during his Olympic “break.” After seven double-headers on national TV, capped by the Canada vs. United States Sunday afternoon gold medal finale in Vancouver, he really should have gone to bed. Instead, he went to the airport for a flight to Los Angeles, then a red-eye to Tampa to resume the NHL regular season Monday night.
Is he crazy, or does he just like eating peanuts at 30,000 feet?
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
So if I were to make a case for Sidney Crosby to win the Hart Trophy this season, it would go something along these lines.
Obviously he’s having a tremendous season, including his best goal-scoring campaign ever with 49 goals as of today. If you believe goals matter more than points, and certainly second assists are given out like candy in the NHL, than Crosby’s numbers heading into the final weekend are unassailable.
He’s also pretty much doing it alone.
In Washington, Alexander Ovechkin is the best player on the best team and the argument may begin and end there. Ovechkin, it should be noted, has Nicklas Backstrom to play with every night, and somehow Backstrom is still flying below the radar in terms of elite NHLers.
#6 Boston Bruins (idle) would clinch a playoff berth…
* if the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers
#7 Montreal Canadiens (idle) would clinch a playoff berth…
* if the New York Rangers lose (in regulation or overtime/shootout) to the Philadelphia Flyers
#8 Philadelphia Flyers would clinch a playoff berth…
* if they defeat the New York Rangers
Below you can view the full schedule of games for tonight…
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Since Noel took over after the firing of Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 3, most of the team’s young players’ performances have spiked, and the club’s 10-9-5 record - while not glamorous - has been a mild improvement.
But the question that general manager Scott Howson must answer is whether Noel is the long-term solution for the long-suffering Blue Jackets, whether his quirky, unconventional approach is more than just an antidote to Hitchcock’s hard-tack style at the end of another lost season.
“Claude has done an impressive job here under difficult circumstances” is the extent of what Howson would say yesterday.
Still, it’s quite possible - perhaps even likely - that Noel’s last game behind the Blue Jackets’ bench will be at 7 tonight, when the Detroit Red Wings visit Nationwide Arena.
from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
It wasn’t the same without Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr was extended an invitation, but was one of a number of members from the Penguins’ first two Stanley Cup champions who couldn’t attend. Neither could Tom Barrasso, Scotty Bowman, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens or Rick Tocchet, all important ingredients.
“That’s what it takes to make a championship team,” said Ken Schinkel, the former Penguins player and coach who oversaw the 1984 draft that netted Lemieux. “The elite player that Mario is, he makes everybody better. But you’ve got to have that other talented guy.”
Jagr, indisputably, was that other talented guy.
This summer is the 20th anniversary of the Penguins drafting Jagr. Next season will be the 10th since he left in a forgettable trade that unforgettably returned Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk and Michal Sivek. In between those two landmark dates, the Penguins made 11 consecutive playoffs and won the Stanley Cup twice.
“I think later on some things happened that were unfortunate, but I’m sure Mario still has a place in his heart for him,” said Paul Coffey, the Hall of Fame defenseman. “As good as Mario was and is, you still need a supporting cast. Gretzky had Messier and Kurri and the rest of us. You can’t win by yourself — and Jaromir was huge, a great hockey player.”
Josh Bailey suffered a cut on the play, did not return but should be ok.
update 2:50pm, Now reports state Bailey out 4-5 weeks with facial lacerationsw.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
With just two games left in their never-ending, 82-game slate, the Flyers’ goal is clear: Capture two points against the Rangers this weekend and they’re in the playoffs.
Just win, baby, either tonight at Madison Square Garden or Sunday at the Wachovia Center.
That’s easier said than done. But the Flyers, going up against a team that cost them home-ice advantage on the final day of the regular season last year, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We control our destiny,” Ian Laperriere said. “Sometimes you get down to this time of year and you have to hope that other teams lost games to get in. We don’t need that. For us, we need to win one game to get in.
“It won’t be easy. That’s the team that wants to pass us. The pressure is there. We need to play hard and with emotion.”
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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