Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
What hockey really needs is a great villain. Enter the Caveman.
“They call me Caveman because I don’t care what others think of me,” said Ovechkin, as quoted by Sovetsky Sport. “I couldn’t care less about anyone or anything.”
Ovechkin is exactly what has been missing in hockey, whose appeal has long been built on a case of Kokanee beer, head-bangin’ guitar riffs and the Gordie Howe hat trick.
You can have Sid the Kid Crosby as hockey’s savior, all you plain vanilla ice cream lovers.
Ovechkin is as subtle as a shot of vodka. He blows across the blue line faster than a bone-chilling breeze from Siberia. His passes, like the one that set up Washington’s second goal against the Avalanche, cut through a defenseman’s ego like a stiletto.
“The solution is simple. Win. If we had consistently won, the situation would be different.
“It can work there. Without a doubt. I’ve said it over and over again. I mean, previous to the last couple of years we were averaging 14,000 per game, even more.
“But we haven’t been to the playoffs in seven years. This franchise hasn’t even been out of the first round for something like more than two decades. Even in Canada, if you had struggled that long with droughts like that, your team would struggle for support too.”
-Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes talking about the situation in Phoenix. More from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronton Sun.
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
Perhaps it was only fitting that on a night when former St. Louis Blues star Brett Hull was honored, ex-Blues coach Mike Keenan found a way into the ceremony.
During a pause in Hull’s speech with the arena quiet, a fan in the lower bowl screamed “I hate Mike Keenan!”
That not only brought a smile to Hull’s face, it sparked an impromptu ovation from fans who remembered Keenan trading away fan favorites Brendan Shanahan and Curtis Joseph and feuding constantly with the Golden Brett.
“I saw Mike this summer and we have made amends,” Hull said. “I’m way too old, I’m too old to hold grudges. We had a great talk.
“I always said this—I hated him as a coach but he’s a really good human being. We had a great talk.”
continued and Brendan Shanahan comments on Keenan too…
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The game was marred by a major boarding penalty by Avs enforcer David Koci to star Washington defenseman Mike Green in the second period, a hit from behind that left Green down for a few minutes, bleeding from the head. Koci almost surely will face a suspension from the NHL over the hit, and Washington coach Bruce Boudreau was livid over it.
“Please, the guy’s got one goal in six years. He couldn’t play in the American League,” Boudreau said. “I’ve faced David Koci an awful lot, he might be a nice guy, I have no idea. I’m glad he’s making a living, but if this is any game, he gets on the ice for the first three minutes, he gets into his fight with the guy and then he sits at the end of the bench, so what good is he?
from Gary Peterson of the Contra Costa Times,
Less than two weeks ago, the skies were clear in San Jose, the weather was mild and the view was spectacular. Especially from where the Sharks sat. With a 19-6-4 record, they had the most points and best winning percentage in the NHL.
Thirteen days later, welcome to April in December.
The Sharks have lost five games in a row, the longest stretch of futility in the short tenure of coach Todd McLellan. But before we crank the air raid sirens, we’d like to concede it can be spun any number of ways.
One, it’s only December, four months removed from the adrenal rush and slushy ice of games that really matter.
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,
It looks like the Ducks will be without a significant piece of their offense for a while longer.
Winger Joffrey Lupul is a candidate for back surgery, Coach Randy Carlyle said after the morning skate.
“We don’t know if that’s 100 percent (sure), but it’s a probablility at this point,” Carlyle said.
Carlyle did not say what kind of procedure Lupul could undergo.
more on the Ducks…
from the Buffalo Sabres,
The Buffalo Sabres today announced a $99 Birthday Card offer that includes a limited edition Buffalo Sabres Birthday Card with a pre-recorded Rick Jeanneret audio greeting.
continued (purchase information)...
from Erik Erlendsson of Bolts Report,
The Lightning will face the Predators tonight minus former all-star Alex Tanguay and center Jeff Halpern, both of whom will be healthy scratches tonight as Tampa Bay attempts to end a stretch of nine games in which the Lightning have one victory. Tampa Bay will field a team with eight defensemen in the lineup, with David Hale and Kurtis Foster expected to see time on the fourth line.
“We’ve got eight (losses) in nine and I don’t like the trend, certain individuals and as a team,’’ Tocchet said. “And that’s probably my fault for letting it go the past three or four games. Sometimes you put the onus on the players and certain people to straighten it. But ultimately it’s on my (rear end). Hopefully we’ll have 18 or 19 guys going and not just 11 or 12.’‘
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I’ll be doing my notebook lead on the two penalties called on Derek Boogaard Saturday night in Vancouver. The Hockey Night in Canada folks apparently went after referee Brad Watson pretty good, and Watson certainly appeared to call Boogaard with “reputation” calls.
I don’t know if Boogaard really angered Watson, or perhaps the ref wanted to showboat for the loud Vancouver faithful, but it was beyond belief how animated Watson got after the two penalties he called on Boogaard. He vivaciously waved Boogaard to the box on both calls like the Boogeyman had just committed murder—one after Darcy Hordichuk twice punched Boogaard in the face and Boogaard retaliated for the lone call and once when Boogaard fell (he may have embellished, but he swears he slipped because he was on one skate when bumped) after the Canucks committed the definition of textbook interference (fencing off) at the blue line. I thought it was Willie Mitchell, but Boogaard says it was Kevin Bieksa.
Regardless, Todd Richards couldn’t use him again—not because of Boogaard, but because he didn’t trust Watson.
from Danny Tolensky of TSN,
It may be the most important position in professional sports. If you’ve got it, you’ve got a shot of winning against any team on any night. If you don’t, your team has little to no chance of success.
If you’re interested in goaltenders and like charts, I’m confident you’ll find this post interesting.
So far this year there have been 67 goalies who have played at least one game this year. I wanted to take a deeper look at how these players have been acquired, where they’re from, their draft details, age and contracts to get a sense of trends and pull out some conclusions/observations.
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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