Kukla's Korner Hockey
from SnapShots at Mlive,
I can only promise you two things over the next 72-or-so hours:
1. I can’t say that I’ll find every mainstream media story written about the Winter Classic II, but I’ll sure as hell try.
2. This ain’t no stinking commercial for the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL and the Blackhawks clearly planned on “selling” the game as a statement for the resurgence of the Hawks’ franchise, and Burnside’s interview with Hawks president John McDonough and the Blackhawks website’s coverage of the preparations (including the “de-stressing” of Wrigley’s ice) indicate as much.
A clip from NBC Chicago captures an unnamed NHL employee describing the game at hand thusly: “This year we’ve got the resurgent Hawks, which are just a fantastic story…In the world of sports, for that matter, and they’re playing their arch rival, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and it’s really shaping up to be a fierce, fierce day of hockey.”
Note that the Red Wings weren’t even mentioned by name. That’s how it’s shaping up.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
In the hockey code, agitators such as Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo are supposed to stand up to their mischievous ways by answering the challenge of a fight or at least “man up” in other ways.
Avalanche coach Tony Granato all but called Tootoo chicken after the Predator refused to fight an Avs player for the second time this season following attempts at a big hit.
“We expected a guy who was running around to stand up and fight for himself. Instead, he went down and covered up,” Granato said of Tootoo. “I would expect a guy that runs around that much, finishing his check and stirring the pot as much as he does, to be able to answer the bell. I’m sure Darcy felt the same thing.”
via Flames Insider at the Calgary Journal,
Referee Mike Leggo took the unusual step of making a public comment Monday night after botching a call in Calgary’s 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Late in the second period, Minnesota’s Stephane Veilleux scored a goal, but the puck came out so quickly that the tally was waved off and play continued (as an aside, why can’t the nets be loose and drapey like in the old days?) Moments later, Flames defenceman Mark Giordano shot the puck over the glass.
After consulting the video goal judge, Veilleux’s goal was rightly counted . . . and Giordano was penalized for delay of game. Leggo admitted that he goofed and that the goal should have negated the penalty. Luckily for the zebras, the Wild failed to convert on that power play.
If I recall correctly, the Wings were involved in the same type of play earlier this season. Wings were awarded a goal from a replay and Rafalski (I think) took a penalty after the goal but before play was stopped to review the goal. I recall Ken Daniels reciting the rule stating the penalty is not wiped-out, so now I am really confused
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Allen Iverson made fun of practice, saying it was overrated.
The Flyers disagree.
“We talkin’ about practice,” goalie Marty Biron said in his best Iverson impersonation after yesterday’s workout here at General Motors Place. “It’s the first one we’ve had in a long, long time.”
Because of a crowded schedule, the holiday break, and weather-related travel woes, the Flyers had not had a full practice since Dec. 19.
“I think we’ve gotten away from what we were doing,” center Jeff Carter said. “We had a couple days off and haven’t really practiced and kind of got sloppy and really weren’t playing our system or style. Just have to go out there and get back to basics, and we should be good.”
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
One game into his comeback from a second knee operation in a span of five months, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is hurt again. He took part in the pre-game skate today at Madison Square Garden but will miss tonight’s game against the Rangers with a strained groin.
from the CP via TSN,
The challenge for Dan Craig, the NHL’s facilities operations manager in charge of putting down the rink and creating the ice, is to make sure the playing surface at the home of the Chicago Cubs is of NHL-calibre.
‘‘What they’re going to feel underneath their feet skating will be as close to what they have for an NHL facility and that’s going to depend on the day outside,’’ Craig said….
‘We’re hoping for (-3 C) weather and then our machines just sit there in cruise because the temperature we want on the surface is (-6 C),’’ Craig said.
Inclement weather is a test for both the players and the ice. And it was a factor in last year’s game when it snowed during the game between the Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Remember you can watch as Wrigley Field gets transformed into a hockey rink. The lines are painted and the Winter Classic logo is in place at center ice.
from Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com,
If you’re the 0-for-‘08 Detroit Lions, there’s hope.
The galactically dysfunctional New York Knicks and Dallas Cowboys? There’s hope….
That’s because the perennially worst franchise in sports has performed reconstructive cosmetic surgery on itself—and it worked! Any prettier and the Chicago Blackhawks would have their own modeling deal.
You can hardly recognize the Hawks these days. They’re winning (nine in a row going into Tuesday night’s game against Stanley Cup champion Detroit). They’re compelling. They’re as cool as a fresh sheet of ice. And if they can do it, then any franchise can.
added 4:45pm, For those few Detroit Lions fans, you may want to take a look at long time Lions beatwrter Mike Ohara’s new blog.
from Matt Vevoda of AnaheimDucks.com,
Thrust onto the Finnish Flash’s spot on the second forward line and on the first power play unit, Ryan was given the burden of trying to emulate Selanne, who at the time of his injury was the team leader in goals and league leader in power play tallies.
The 21-year-old rookie has not disappointed. In the five games without Selanne (including the game against the Oilers, in which Selanne skated only one shift), Ryan has been on the scoresheet in each contest while netting two goals (both with the man advantage) and eight points. His current five-game point streak is the longest yet of his promising career. Also with his recent surge, Ryan has vaulted into a tie for sixth place among rookie scorers in the league despite playing at least 10 games fewer than anybody else in the top 10.
This from the Stat Wizards at the Elias Sports Bureau…
Rookie Bobby Ryan assisted on the tying goal in the third period and scored the winning goal for the Ducks in their 4-3 victory in St. Louis last night. Ryan, who played 23 games for Anaheim last season but did not play his first game this season until Nov. 16, has scored 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) in 19 games) since being recalled from the American Hockey League—the highest point total over that span among all NHL rookies. Chicago’s Kris Versteeg is second with 16 points.
from the CP via TSN,
The Montreal Canadiens say former star Jean Beliveau has been taken to hospital with an undisclosed illness.
update 4:33pm, via Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau is doing well in hospital after falling ill on Monday. He was taken to a hospital after feeling ill while attending a funeral.
His blood pressure dropped suddenly, causing him to feel sick, according to reports.
update 5:23pm, Beliveau has been released from the hospital and resting at home. Good news!
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, when does meltdown occur in Ottawa?
Not sure about the exact timing, but the clock is surely ticking. Not only are the Ottawa Senators looking less and less like a playoff team, they’re looking more and more like a draft lottery team….
The challenge for Murray is that he is practically bereft of attractive assets to move beyond rock-solid defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who must stand as one of the team’s very few untouchables (along with captain Daniel Alfredsson). No one is going to be interested in Jason Smith at $2.6 million this year and next. Dany Heatley? With a $35 million price tag, plus what’s left of a $10 million tab this year, he’s hardly going to fit into most teams’ budgets. In other words: Yikes.
read on plus more questions and answers from Burnside…
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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