Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sarah Miller of the National Post,
We decided to take a look at some of the NHL’s mascots. If the meanness of the mascot is an indication as to how far the team will go, perhaps that is why the Toronto Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup in 42 years: Carlton the Bear looks more like Beenie Baby than a menacing carnivore. The same rationale can be applied to the Detroit Red Wings’ win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in last year’s Stanley Cup final (Al the Octopus looks evil, while Iceburgh looks like he came strolling into Mellon Arena from Sesame Street).
Here are five teams that, despite having a menacing mascot, have not fulfilled their championship potential (all records as of the completion of Sunday’s games):
5. Stinger, Columbus Blue Jackets
Stinger is a, um, green, uh, thing. He’s an insect of some sort. Anyway, his eyes are big and red and his mouth makes him look pretty angry, so he gets a spot on our list as one of the mean mascots in the NHL.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
How much fun is this? As of Monday morning, five teams occupying sixth through 10th place were tied with 53 points and eight points separated fifth through 14th. How crazy is the Western Conference? Well, Phoenix looked like it had firmly established itself as a playoff team as it sat fifth in the conference after the All-Star break, but after three straight losses, the Coyotes are now 10th. Dallas, once left for dead in the nether regions of the conference, was among those teams at 53 points and sit seventh overall.
With 2½ months to go, we figure the Coyotes are cooked unless they find more consistent scoring. Columbus, likewise, doesn’t have enough scoring depth and its power play is the worst in the league. If there’s one team currently in the top eight that we can’t get a handle on, it’s Edmonton.
read on for more Western Conference talk and some Doug Gilmour talk too…
NEW YORK (February 2, 2009) – New Jersey Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the month of January.
NEW YORK (February 2, 2009) – New Jersey Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 1.
NHL Network’s “On the Fly” presents the plays of the month.
Craig Hartsburg was fired as head coach of the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night, only 48 games into his first season behind the team’s bench.
The final straw for Hartsburg might have been Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Washington Capitals. After the game, Hartsburg called his team out for not playing hard.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Penner was a dressing room no-show after the game, sending word that he was “in the gym.”
The previous game, MacTavish had been asked about benching Penner and replied: “Dustin lacks the consistency, night in and night out, but I wasn’t upset with the lack of focus or energy. He just struggled with the puck.”
Yesterday, he had more to say.
“He’s lost his game. It’s more than his play with the puck. When you have a guy like Hemsky playing the way he is right now, all you have to do is get him the puck somewhere between the hash marks in your own end and the red line and you are going to get a chance.
“Hemsky’s an elite player playing at the top of the game and we have to find someone for him.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
And so here are the Rangers 51 games into the regular season that’s been far more successful than we ever envisioned, that’s for sure. But it all somehow seems so empty, doesn’t it?
Where is the color?
Where is the edge to their game?
Where is the player who can be expected to step up his game in the tournament?
Where is the player with the capability of inspiring his teammates?
Where is the player an opponent is going to have to worry about stopping in a best-of-seven?
from CBC Sports,
Carbonneau said the Russian has to step up his game if Montreal has any hope of catching Boston….
“Alex is a professional. He’s not a rookie,” Carbonneau said. “Right now, he’s struggling, but we need him [if we’re going to] go far.”
It’s been suggested in the Montreal media that Kovalev’s play tapers off when captain Saku Koivu is in the lineup. Koivu returned to action for the Habs on Jan. 21 after missing 17 games with an ankle injury, and Kovalev has struggled since then.
“I hope that’s not the truth or we’re in trouble, because I’m not taking the C off Saku — that’s the bottom line,” Carbonneau said. “If anyone needs a letter to perform on the ice, I have trouble with that.”
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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