Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Pollak at Mercury News:
A very sad day here in Western New York, but there will be hockey tonight.
Several Sabres players live in Clarence Center, the suburban-rural area where the commuter flight from Newark crashed and they talked about the experience. Defenseman Teppo Numminen heard both the sound of the plane coming down and the noise from the impact. He and his wife opened the shade on the bedroom window and could see the flames and the red sky. Goalie Patrick Lalime lived even closer. Former Shark Craig Rivet lived nearby, but far enough away that he and his family weren’t aware of the 10:20 p.m. crash until they woke up this morning.
continued… with more on the Sharks
From Roger Hensley at STLtoday.com
Obviously injury-riddled all season, the Blues offered early hopes, sank in the standings, then made a big run right before the All-Star break. It even had some, myself included, talking playoff possibilities as recently as earlier this week. Of course it was a long shot. But since I mapped out the “Ten Nights in February” posting a couple days back about the import of the next ten games, beginning with Vancouver, the Blues have responded with a resounding thud.
That has brought me to the precipice of capitulation. Not on the team, mind you, but on the realities of this season. This decision did not come easily, but is one that had to be made. It was either that or I end up sticking a fork in my eye during one of these games.
from John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times,
You see Tampa Bay beat Toronto 6-4 and you begin to believe the worst is finally in the past and the future is closer than you ever imagined.
For the first time in a long while, the Lightning has direction. Not like last season, when confusion was everywhere. And not like the first few months of this season, when confusion was upgraded to chaos.
The Lightning has gone 12-9-2 since Dec. 23. Maybe that doesn’t translate into Stanley Cup fever, but it’s the franchise’s best 23-game stretch since the end of 2006-07.
After all this time, a plan is in place. An honest evaluation of assets and liabilities has been made. And the remaking of the Lightning brand is under way.
Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars when asked if he thinks he will be back for the playoffs…
I do. That’s how I approach every day when I get to the gym is to make sure when the playoffs are here, I’ve done everything in my ability to be up to speed.
A few more questions for Brenden from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars blog…
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
If Curtis Joseph’s NHL career indeed comes to an end at the conclusion of this season, he’ll retire with the fourth-most goalie wins of all-time and a giant question begging to be answered: has he done enough to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Most people I talk to instinctively say no. He was a very good goalie, who wove an excellent 19-year tapestry – at times he was stellar – but didn’t set himself apart enough to become an Honored Member. He never won a Stanley Cup or appeared in a final, never earned a post-season all-star berth, never captured a Vezina Trophy.
For the past 13 seasons, Ray Tufts has been San Jose’s head athletic trainer. He’s been working with professional athletes for more than two decades. Before coming to the Sharks, Tufts was on the training staff of the San Francisco 49ers and worked with the likes of Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.
Most fans envision the trainer darting onto the ice when a player is injured, but much of Tufts work goes into preventing injuries from occurring.
“We’re in the business of keeping the players as healthy as possible without injuring or re-injuring them based on something that we do,” said Tufts…
Before practice and on game day, Tufts and his staff work on keeping players muscles warmed up and ready for action. Following practice and games, they also work on helping players cool down their bodies to help recover.
The training staff also knows that one size doesn’t fit all – in other words, everyone has different needs.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
University of Alberta School of Business instructor Chris Neuman and business student Ryan Jeffrey have released new statistics (on the day between the Canadiens’ two thumpings in Alberta) using a computer-based model to repeatedly simulate all remaining games on the NHL schedule.
The Canadiens, they find, have a 94.9 per cent chance of making the playoffs.
The probability of a team winning or losing a game is based on their current win percentage and the win percentage of the other team.
read on for a chart listing the chances of every NHL team…
Craig Custance of Sporting News Today has a Q & A with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren…
Q: Is there a specific area you’d like to address before the deadline?
A: There are some areas I wouldn’t mind shoring up. We’d like to get a little bigger up front, if we could….
Wade Belak of the Predators takes on Cam Janssen of the Blues.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Despite mutually miserable seasons, however, the two teams which entered the contest 10 and 13 points out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, respectively, are worlds apart in other ways.
The Leafs, as we are reminded regularly by coach Ron Wilson and president Brian Burke, are looking far beyond this spring, enjoying the benefit of never having to worry about selling tickets.
The Bolts, as embattled interim head coach Rick Tocchet made clear yesterday, have no such free pass.
“I don’t care who you have on your team, if you don’t win, you’re not going to bring people in,” Tocchet said. “We’re in a market here where we have to at least compete.
“The fans want to see us win, that’s the bottom line.”
As league issues go, that bottom line is becoming particularly gruesome in these economic times, particularly for NHL teams in southern locales.
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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