Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (November 10, 2008) – Just one month into the 2008-09 regular season, the National Hockey League already is building off of the momentum from the preceding seasons with the addition of new corporate partners, record-breaking game attendance, a rise in TV ratings and a record number of fans signing up to watch live NHL games online.
from Dan Peterson of Live Science,
Big hits have always been part of hockey, but the price paid in injuries is on the rise.
A total of 759 NHL players have been diagnosed with a concussion since 1997, according to data released last month at the National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Sports Concussion Symposium in New York. For the 10 seasons studied, that works out to about 76 players per season and 31 concussions per 1,000 hockey games. During the 2006–07 season, that resulted in 760 games missed by those injured players, an increase of 41 percent from 2005–06.
Researchers have found two reasons for the jump in severity — the physics of motion and the ever-expanding hockey player.
from Damien Cox at his Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
Unless you want to change the rules, there’s not much that could have been changed about the hit on Mike Van Ryn on Saturday night.
Van Ryn was doing his job, trying to make the toughest, most courageous play in the game, which is hustling back to get the puck in your own zone knowing you’re going to get drilled into the end boards.
Don’t tell me about the “tough guys” of the games, the guys who scrap. Tell me about the Van Ryns who make that play night after night. Those are the tough guys. Those are the players you need more of to make a tough hockey team.
So Van Ryn was making the right play. So too was Tom Kostopoulos, a 29-year-old winger from Mississauga who isn’t in the league to be fancy and score but to skate hard, finish his check and be a grinding forward.
In case you missed the hit, you can see it here...
“There’s [anger]. You can’t forget about something like that because everybody in the organization and [the players], we expected him to come back. We thought he was comfortable here, and he was really good with [Sidney Crosby as his center], and stuff.
“The way he left was kind of, [a blow] to the heart, but you have to live with that. ... You have to respect his decision, but, for us, it’s not the best thing that could have happened.”
-Max Talbot of the Pittsburgh Penguins. More player reaction from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as the Penguins prepare to face Marian Hossa and the Red Wings tomorrow.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Can we please stop with the com parisons between Aaron Voros and Sean Avery? For better or worse, there are few similarities between the players beyond their shared willingness to go to the front of the net and absorb the punishment necessary to be effective in that hockey battle zone.
There are Rangers who celebrate the differences more than they celebrate the similarities, and that is surely their right. But be advised that Avery most certainly would not have been just another spectator in Washington, D.C., on Saturday when the Capitals made it their business to run Henrik Lundqvist and his teammates.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
Memo to boss: You know that chart you wanted done, the one that was going to document just where Roberto Luongo was getting beaten for all those goals? Well, unless you are a huge fan of white space, I think we may want to put that project on hold.
Although come to think of it, every picture does tell a story and a blank canvas would tell us pretty much all we need to know about the Canuck goalie these days.
Luongo is stopping everything, or at least he has for the last 201 minutes and eight seconds he’s been on the ice.
from Lightning Strikes,
It is going to be an interesting evening Monday when the Lightning faces the Capitals at the Verizon Center and Olaf Kolzig faces his former teammates. Kolzig has never been shy about saying how emotional was his breakup with Washington, with which he played 16 seasons. But Kolzig, classy as always, said all the right things about his former employer.
“I still wish it hadn’t ended the way it did,” Kolzig said, but added that “there’s no bitterness. Obviously, going out there tomorrow, I want to beat them as bad as anybody, but there’s no malicious feelings or anything like that.”
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
A 6-3 Toronto victory, during which the home side outplayed Les Glorieux by a hefty margin, was marred in the first period when Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn was sent to hospital with a concussion, broken nose and broken left hand after he was smashed from behind into the boards by Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos. Later in the period, Leafs rookie defenceman Luke Schenn went hard into the boards when he was tripped by Andrei Kostitsyn.
Van Ryn, who was knocked out on the play, will be out for at least a month. Schenn was not hurt.
read on a and a video of the Kostopoulos hit on Van Ryn below
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This probably isn’t what’s meant by giving the finger, but the Maple Leafs are already attempting to deal Jeff Finger, the defenseman whom they signed to a four-year, $14M free agent contract this July, we’re told.
Finally, for those people who say, “Lou would never do that,” when the possibility is raised of Lamoriello trading for Nikolai Khabibulin in the wake of the potentially shattering elbow injury to Martin Brodeur, they should never forget this:
Lou would do anything.
more for some CBA talk and other hockey notes…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
With a trio of goalies—Kari Lehtonen, Ondrej Pavelec and Johan Hedberg—on their roster, the Thrashers have almost as many netminders as victories (five).
Many NHL observers think Atlanta GM Don Waddell wants to deal one of his surplus goaltenders in an attempt to kickstart his floundering team….
There are teams with obvious goaltending issues—the Senators, Kings and Oilers among them—but they won’t be the only teams that look at Lehtonen. Expect the Wings and Flyers to make inquiries as well….
The Senators would be interested in Bouwmeester, and it’s believed the asking price would be LW Antoine Vermette. Martin has always coveted Vermette and has tried to trade for him several times in the past, but the Senators have always resisted their offers and might be reluctant to give Vermette up for a UFA. Several other teams could go after Bouwmeester, including Edmonton, Vancouver, Boston, Montreal, the Rangers, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Anaheim
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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