Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Bob Gainey insisted that he hasn’t made any final decisions on the Canadiens’ lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Maple Leafs, but it appears defenceman Mike Komisarek and forward Andrei Kostitsyn will be among the healthy scratches.
“Sometimes you send a message,” Gainey said when asked about the status of the two veterans who appeared to be extras at a late-afternoon practice in Brossard. “You see how they practise and how they respond to that. We have all our players available to us and we’ll decide tomorrow.”...
Komisarek had a plus-1 rating Thursday, but saw his ice time reduced as the game went on. He played 16:30 at even-strength while his partner, Andrei Markov, played 21:34 at even-strength and a total of 26:53.
Komisarek, who is known as a physical defenceman, had only one hit and no blocked shots.
“He’s hesitating,” Gainey said. “He has to be the first guy on the puck and he isn’t.”
via Empty Netters,
Malkin clearly went after the player’s head. Additionally, there was less than 10 seconds left in the game. If that’s a Flyer delivering a blow, the suspension is almost automatic. Malkin shouldn’t be exempt because he’s a star player. But the NHL has a game on NBC Sunday to worry about so don’t expect Colin Campbell and company to take any action on this.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The Thrashers are out of the playoff race but remain in an attendance race with millions of dollars at stake. Entering Friday night’s game against the Red Wings, the Thrashers were averaging 14,323, their worst announced attendance since 2002-03. Another, unannounced attendance figure is the one that counts, though.
The Thrashers need to match the league’s average revenue growth rate and reach a paid attendance threshold of 14,000 or the average NHL paid attendance, whichever is lower, to receive the full amount of NHL revenue sharing aimed at helping teams in non-traditional hockey markets.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Thursday marked the 185th time the 50-goal milestone has been passed. The legendary Maurice “Rocket” Richard was the first to do it when he scored 50 goals in 50 games during the 1943-44 season, and the mystique of 50 goals has held ever since.
Why is scoring 50 goals still considered an important benchmark when it’s been done so many times?
“Because goals are down,” said Scotty Bowman, the NHL’s all-time victories leader among coaches. “The game has become pretty high-tech with all the information available. Coaching staffs are huge now, too. A friend of Ron Wilson, the Toronto Maple Leafs coach, visited him recently and was amazed to see all these coaches working at six computers in the room. We didn’t have that 10 years ago.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
As the NHL regular season nears an end, here’s a look at the Top 100 rookies of this season, ranked in terms of long-term potential, with some allowances made for immediate impact….
This list of 100 will include only those players that have played at least ten games this season.
1. Steve Mason, G, Columbus
Stats: 29-17-3, 9 SO, 2.25 GAA, .918 SVPCT in 50 GP
Comment: It’s no sure thing that a successful rookie season will mean a long and fruitful career, particularly as a goaltender, but Mason has the chance to be a franchise goaltender.
2. Bobby Ryan, LW, Anaheim
Stats: 24-21-45, plus-13, 22 PIM in 53 GP
from Damien Cox at The Spin Blog,
Maybe tomorrow night the Habs will get back on a winning track against a Leaf team that is hustling to stay competitive in the final weeks of this season.
But there will be lots of Leaf fans there, helping once again create what is the most colorful hockey atmosphere in North America these days.
If it all goes bad for the Habs, it could get ugly.
more and other hockey topics…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
As he was poised to pass Patrick Roy as the NHL’s all-time wins leader, Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was invited to read the Top 10 list on the David Letterman show this past Monday night.
Brodeur, who would record his 552nd career win Tuesday night to pass Roy, declined to record the segment on Monday.
An Edmonton artist is auctioning a painting he did of Chris Pronger.
David Staples of The Cult of Hockey has the story.
from Tim Sassone of Between
The Circles, Coach Q said after Friday’s morning skate that it was time to ride goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, starting with Friday’s game against Edmonton.
“We want to get him playing games here,” Joel Quenneville said. “We need to give him the net for a while to get on a roll here. I think just prior to him getting hurt it looked like he was going to get the ball and go. The first time he got hurt the same thing.
“He’s positioned himself to get this opportunity and we’re going to rely on him to get the net.”
more on the Blackhawks…
ESPN.com NHL writers Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Pierre LeBrun (based in Toronto), who duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Who are the front-runners for the Hart Trophy and other major NHL awards?
Scott Burnside: Bonjour, mon ami. Le gateau est sur la table. That’s French for “Hello, my friend. The cake is on the table.” That’s my lead-in to a discussion of some of the major trophies that will be awarded after the regular season. Seems like people are just noticing the guy in Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin, who has a 10-point lead over teammate Sidney Crosby before Thursday’s action and a nine-point cushion over the guy I think many believe is a lock to win the Hart Trophy as MVP, Alexander Ovechkin. For my money, the vote is a no-brainer—Malkin has been the main man behind the Penguins’ revival in the second half of this season. Your thoughts?
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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