Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,
It is, he said, “an unreal life. A dream life. I can remember when I was 12, 13, 14, we had this garage. I don’t know what you call it—you drive in, it had pillars.”
“Yeah, a carport. And it was yellow. I would sit out there by the hours. I had 10-15 tennis balls, just slapping them. My mom would scream from the window because every time I missed the net, there was the tennis ball mark.
“My mom would go out—probably she should’ve sent me to clean it—but my mom was an eager beaver. She loved to clean. She’d be wiping down all these tennis ball marks. Next day I’m out there pounding tennis balls, and I’m pretending I’m this one ... I’m that one, and all of sudden you wake up one day and you’ve spent your whole career in hockey.”
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Great to see the country’s “national newspaper” has taken on the task of being the propaganda arm for Jim Balsillie. Normally businessmen of that stature have to pay for such services.
The way that media outlet talks it is as though southern Ontario hockey fans are some great oppressed people straining under the rule of the tyrant Bettman, with the liberator Balsillie prepared to set them free. Guess the NHL commissioner’s trips to Calgary and Edmonton in recent months to push for new arenas to support NHL teams in those cities was also about somehow denying Canadians their national birthright.
And here I was just thinking it was about the business of hockey.
Will the Ducks and/or the Canucks go up 3-1 tonight?
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
In the United Center crowd the other night, a couple of intrepid fans – crashing the Blackhawks’ party – were seen hoisting Roberto Luongo-cum-Jesus Christ posters.
Informed about this, the Vancouver goaltender lifts his eyes upward in an altogether doleful Messianic expression. “Must be because of my looks, not because of my play.”
Well, there is that.
It is perhaps to Luongo’s misfortune that he does so eerily resemble Christ, at least as portrayed by artists through the ages: the long, mournful face, the dark shoulder-length tresses, an appearance of suffering. A Vancouver artist actually rendered Luongo-as-Christ in a painting this year, which was not well received by serious religionists.
The flip side is a hint of satanic features in the visage, a bit of Charles Manson.
As saviour, however, the metaphor is rich.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks have been outshot in each of their nine playoff games and by 375-249 overall, including 145-93 by Detroit. That they upset San Jose in six games and hold a 2-1 edge entering Game 4 tonight at the Honda Center is a tribute to Hiller, but the escalating quality of Detroit’s late shots makes the Ducks’ high-wire act appear ever more precarious.
The Red Wings believe the Ducks are due for a fall.
“When you’re shooting the puck and you’ve got people at the net, I’m a big believer over time you’re going to get a tip that goes in or you’re going to get a rebound that comes to you eventually,” Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday.
“Right now that’s not happening, but it’s a process. Stay with it.”
Marian Hossa, whose apparent tying goal was disallowed during the Red Wings’ 18-shot third period Tuesday, credited the Ducks’ defense for limiting rebounds but said that won’t last forever. The Ducks have been outshot in the third period in eight of nine playoff games and in this series have been outshot, 80-34, after the second period.
“There’s lots of loose pucks and we have to keep after them,” Hossa said, “and sooner or later rebounds are going to come to us and we’re going to put it in.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Many have marvelled this week at the terrific playoff series between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, and with good reason.
There are stars and characters galore on these two entertaining, well-managed and well-coached teams, and clearly these are two cities which are passionately behind their clubs.
But if the same logic had been applied to the Caps and Penguins a few years ago that many are now urging must be applied to the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes, neither team would be in their current city.
Would the NHL be better for it? Probably not.
Folks, this is why it’s important during this ongoing debate over the future of the Coyotes not to be distracted by extraneous, irrelevant issues.
This, you see, isn’t about popularity contests between Gary Bettman and Jim Balsillie or meaningless website gimmicks….
This is about a business, the NHL, that sells professional hockey. So let’s get a few facts straight.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
If the Bruins were your laptop computer, ever trusty and full of answers, you would have turned it on last night, watched the screen come aglow, and within a few minutes you would have been convinced that it picked up a mysterious and potentially deadly virus.
A few more minutes, and you no doubt would have been tapping the space bar, really tapping the space bar, in hopes of fixing it. Yes, sir. Tap, tap, tap.
If you grew up in the world before cable television (Google UHF antenna and aluminum foil), you next would have employed the foolproof method of smacking the side of the screen maybe, oh, two or three or four times. And if that failed, the only option would have been to heave the sucker clear across the kitchen and curse the bleepin’ thing back to working order. That ever work for you, bunky?
All in all, that had to be how Boston coach Claude Julien felt after watching his misguided wanderers flub and stumble their way to a 3-2 overtime loss last night to the hard-charging Hurricanes.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Many of us are defined by the work we do, and Taylor Pyatt of the Vancouver Canucks counts himself in that group as well. Pyatt was back at work for the first time in a month on Tuesday — and it was exactly the right thing to do at this moment of his young life.
Pyatt lost his fiancée, Carly Bragnalo, just over a month ago to a traffic accident in Jamaica, where she was vacationing. It was a tragedy that turned his life upside down.
“For the first few days, I wasn’t sure if I would even get back on skates this season,” Pyatt said yesterday after the Canucks’ practice. “As time passed by and the weeks went by, and I got back to Vancouver, I just took it one step at a time.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
When Eric Staal lifts his team and puts it on his shoulders, there’s no telling how far he can take it.
There were plenty of Game 3 heroes for the Carolina Hurricanes, from Jussi “The Finnisher” Jokinen scoring yet another winning goal, to Cam Ward making a save on Milan Lucic to open overtime, to Sergei Samsonov scoring his first goal of the playoffs against his former team.
But on a night the Hurricanes did just about everything but score yet still found themselves trailing the Boston Bruins, Staal again made himself the difference.
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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