Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronton Sun,
• Love to know what the head of the NHL Players’ Association thinks about the head-shot controversy, but alas, there is no head of the NHLPA and thus no one to speak on behalf of the players for or against.
• Can’t envision a Stanley Cup final that doesn’t have Pittsburgh or Washington in it. The West can offer up a deeper field with Chicago, Vancouver, San Jose and Los Angeles all capable of doing some playoff business.
• For as much as Dion Phaneuf has contributed to the Leafs, he has yet to bring much offence. As of Saturday night, he had no goals, just two assists with the Leafs and the Toronto power play has been mostly dismal since he was traded for.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
Hockey is Freudian for Canadians – it puts the id in our collective identity.
The father of psychoanalysis would have had a wet dream dissecting the thumb-sucking relationship between a game and a people. Not that there’s been a shortage of behavioural experts to probe this particular symbiosis, from pinhead academics to press-box philosophers…
Canada is one coast-to-coast Hot Stove League. Put another way, hockey for Canadians is chronic masturbation: Can’t keep our hands off it. Hence the perpetual kneading and modifying and mutating, not always as justifiable as deterring hits to the head.
Whether talking hockey at Tim Horton’s or hand-wringing hockey at “stakeholder” symposiums, weighing opinion polls or dispatching delegations to study how the game is conducted elsewhere, romanticizing in prose and mythologizing in culture, even occasionally bleeding over into political debate and courtroom pseudo-defendant, this, our national sport and obsession, is the common denominator.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
In each of the previous two seasons, the Rangers took one road trip on which players were accompanied by their fathers. One of the highlights of last season, in fact, was when the fathers chanted, “Let’s Go Rangers!” in the corridor outside the locker room in Chicago on Jan. 16 during then-coach Tom Renney’s postgame press conference after their kids’ team defeated the Blackhawks in overtime.
But this year, though we’re told that preliminary planning had taken place for a trip including the players’ mothers, there was no such event. Repeated requests for an official explanation went unanswered, but several sources told Slap Shots that current head coach John Tortorella had put the kibosh on the event.
more hockey talk…
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The CEO of Ice Edge Holdings, emphasizing that financing is not a problem, is optimistic that the purchase of the Coyotes can be finalized by the close of the NHL season.
Anthony LeBlanc said the “whole deal” is contingent on renegotiating a new lease with the city of Glendale.
“We indicated it was going to take us three to six months, and best case, we have this closed before the playoffs start,” he said. “We certainly expect that this will be closed by the time that the Stanley Cup is awarded this year. That’s our plan, but it will require the city and us working together to get the lease ratified.”
The process took on a new urgency for Coyotes fans in the past few days when gloom-and-doom reports surfaced in the Canadian media. An article in the Toronto Globe & Mail riled fans and prompted LeBlanc to post a letter of reassurance on a Web site.
LeBlanc said most of the time he and his colleagues just laugh off stories such as those - “Here we go again,” he said.
Both Don and Ron MacLean said the head shot proposal needs to be changed now, not next year.
The Cooke segment starts at the 2:00 minute mark.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
So, I suspect readers may be surprised that I have no problem with the controversial hit by Penguins winger Matt Cooke on Boston center Marc Savard last Sunday at Mellon Arena - even though Savard was left with a Grade 2 concussion.
Cooke’s hit was legal by current NHL rules, a league with a thematic rule of accepted violence. These literal and thematic rules are understood when players sign an NHL contract, as is the cold reality that every player’s next shift could be his last.
I do more than feel for Savard. I fear for him because I suspect his life has been forever changed by this serious concussion. I also am thrilled that league general managers have taken a big step toward eliminating blind-side hits by drafting a proposed rule change for next season.
Those hits should be prevented as much as possible, but they cannot be taken out of this game as long as it is played in a confined space at a fast pace by elite athletes trained to be aggressive.
If players aren’t comfortable with the possibility of serious head injuries, if they don’t like it that violence has been and will be a part of the NHL, they should consider switching professions.
note 8:58pm, note sure what happened, but clicking the link now ask for a password so I went to the site, and the story is no longer there. Maybe later?
note: link now working again.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled forward Viktor Tikhonov from Cherepovets of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), where he had been on loan from the Coyotes since Nov. 28.
Tikhonov, 21, appeared in 25 games with Cherepovets and recorded 14-1-15 and 12 penalty minutes (PIM). He led the team in plus/minus with a +11 rating while his 14 goals ranked T-2nd on the team. Prior to joining Cherepovets, Tikhonov played in 18 games for the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL) and registered 2-6-8 and 12 PIM.
In 2008-09. the native of Riga, Latvia played in 61 games for the Coyotes as a rookie and collected 8-8-16 and 20 PIM. He ranked T-2nd among Coyotes rookies in goals and 3rd in points. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Tikhonov was selected by the Coyotes in the first round (28th overall) of the 2008 Entry Draft.
Two early games kick-off the NHL schedule today, then six games with a 7:00pm ET start and we finish with only one late game.
See the complete schedule below…
from Gene Wang of the Washington Post,
Just because he [faced] 20-some shots, it’s not fair to look at the goalie and say, ‘Hey listen, it was his fault,’ ” Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We didn’t do the job as forwards and defensemen. We stayed out too long. We got outworked, and we didn’t’ play the way we’re capable of playing, and that’s the reason we lost. It had nothing to do with the goaltending.”
more on the game last night…
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
When Viktor Stalberg first started taking on the superstars of the NHL, it was an easy game.
He would fly down the wing or cut to the inside. Shoot high, shoot low and generally be a dominant force in every game he played.
And then he turned off the video game.
When the self-confessed gaming junkie — “I play ever(y) day,” he said Friday — tried that act on the ice against the best professionals in the world, suddenly it wasn’t so simple.
“There’s no question I was (intimidated) at first,” Stalberg said at the MasterCard Centre following the first two-goal game of his career the previous night. “Most of the guys I was playing against in video games for the last four years then you go out there and you are a little star struck. I was like ‘Wow, I’m playing against these guys and have to snap out of it.’ ”
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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