Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Stamkos, who has nine points (4-5) in his last nine games, played a season-high 22:15 on Saturday in a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers. He’s seeing the ice well, feeling more comfortable in his decisions and with the puck.
This is the Canadian junior star we’ve waited for. To his credit, he didn’t self-destruct in the fall when many a teenager might have. Picked to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in many September predictions, he game out of the gates with only four points (2-2) in 17 games amidst the controversy of his low playing minutes under former coach Barry Melrose. But, through it all, he persevered.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
There never has been another Rocket Richard, a fiery blend of speed and strength, a stocky body with overwhelming strength, plus a wild look in his eyes as he bore down on goalies. A product of Montreal who played for the Canadiens, Richard also embodied Gallic pride and wore his ethnicity as a chip on his shoulder. It’s doubtful the city and all of Quebec ever will embrace an athlete as it did “The Rocket,” who died May 27, 2000, at age 79.
By the same token, there hasn’t been a player since Richard that so closely resembles him in size, strength, skating, shooting and scoring as Ovechkin, whose passion for winning closely rivals Richard.
“I think that’s a great comparison and as good a comparison as I’ve heard in a long time,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The only thing Alex doesn’t have is the temper that Rocket had, where he would blow up and go nuts. Alex is the same fiery type of guy with the same physical attributes that Rocket had in his day that Alex has in this day.”
via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
Hawks coach Coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Monday that Sammy Pahlsson would make his Hawks debut on Wednesday at Columbus.
Meanwhile, Nikolai Khabibulin will start again Tuesday in New Jersey when Devils goalie Martin Brodeur goes after his NHL-record 552nd career victory.
The Hawks are actually looking forward to trying to deny Brodeur his place in history - at least for a few days. “It’s going to happen. We’d just like to postpone it,” Coach Q said.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
What is most surprising about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ pursuit of their first playoff berth?
Well, one of the most interesting components of the Blue Jackets’ surprising play in the second half is a move that received almost no attention. When the Thrashers unloaded veteran forward Jason Williams in mid-January, it was part salary dump and part getting rid of a guy who didn’t seem to fit. Well, the undrafted 28-year-old has fit like a glove in Columbus. He has eight goals and 11 assists since becoming a Blue Jacket and has chipped in on a power play that has languished at the very bottom of the NHL for the entire season.
“He’s been caught up in the atmosphere, that sense of urgency,” coach Ken Hitchcock told ESPN.com on Monday. “I think he’s responded properly to being in that atmosphere. He’s working hard. He’s playing the game honestly.”
more on the Flames, Sabres, Canes, Flames and fighting…
NEW YORK (March 16, 2009)—New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, Calgary Flames center Olli Jokinen and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Mar. 15.
via Puck The Media,
NHL Live on NHL Network/XM Sirius just announced that NHL Network will follow Marty as long as it takes to get the record, which means that NHL Network will be airing Tuesday’s Devils-Blackhawks game, with a blackout in the New Jersey/New York metro and Chicagoland areas.
from Todd Smith at MinnesotaWild.com,
“Hockey sticks are the tools of their trade,” said Minnesota Wild Assistant Equipment Manager Matt Benz, standing in an auxiliary room that houses the Wild’s hockey stick workshop deep inside the bowels of the Xcel Energy Center. The room was filled with a wide assortment of tools: saws, blow torches, heat guns, files, spray cans, vices, sanders, and endless rolls of tape. “Each player’s stick is unique. The knobs, blades, and tape job are all specific to the player.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
After a team gets up two or three goals in this league, there is always a parade to the penalty box on marginal calls in favour of the trailing team. In this case, it was the Colorado Avalanche who were the benefactors.
As soon as the second period began, suddenly the Canucks, who didn’t need to take any penalties, found themselves down and then down two men and the Avalanche were back in the game on a power-play goal.
The Avs were the same struggling team a step behind the play as they were in the first period, but the officiating kept the game close until Vancouver had to play so much defence and worry so much about taking a penalty that they got tentative and Colorado got their legs.
from Tripp Mickle and Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal,
The NHL and Madison Square Garden are close to completing a settlement in their contentious, two-year-old legal battle over new media rights, a letter filed with U.S. District Court shows.
Terms of the settlement aren’t disclosed in the letter, but it does say that the settlement is expected to be completed by the end of March, at which time documentation of it will be submitted to the court and the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Sources familiar with the pending settlement say that it will see MSG cover all of the league’s legal fees, which are more than $15 million. Additionally, MSG will receive a seat on the NHL’s digital committee, NHL governors will be given the right to motion for anonymous votes on issues put before the board, and ownership groups will be able to propose a 30-day waiting period before the board votes on an issue brought forward by the NHL.
continued and thanks to SBJ for making the link available to KK readers…
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
When the Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 to the dismay of a packed house at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, they cracked the 100-point mark for an NHL record ninth consecutive season.
Think about that.
It’s an impressive feat under any circumstances. I think it’s even more impressive when you consider the Wings have done it as they’ve transitioned from a Steve Yzerman-Brendan Shanahan-Brett Hull team to a Pavel Datsyuk-Henrik Zetterberg-Johan Franzen squad. And they’ve done it as the league has changed from a clutching-and-grabbing circuit that operated without a salary cap to today’s post-lockout NHL.
To me, that makes the feat absolutely mind-boggling. It really is a special accomplishment for the Ilitch family, GM Ken Holland and the entire group in Hockeytown.
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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