Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
He has four points in his last two games, and 17 in 24 games, only playing 14 minutes a night. All seven of his goals have been scored at even-strength. He has 15 five-on-five points. Only Penner has more, with 19.
Of players taking at least 150 faceoffs, 22-year-old Brule is the only Oiler over 50 per cent (51.8). He has the best shooting percentage of players with at least 30 shots (17.9 per cent).
“You always encourage guys to develop themselves to the point where they rise up in importance on their team unit,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “He’s a young guy we’re pushing for. He’s got lots to learn, and if he continues to work ... and he’s an attentive player, he’s got a chance to be a good player in this league for a long time.”
from pucksandbooks at On Frozen Blog,
In literary circles this narrative might be termed a potboiler — a tale hastily conceived and executed with commercial profits foremost in mind. Earlier this fall Ovi signed on with the global champions of sports personality marketing, IMG. It’s a firm renowned for being visionary and aggressive in its strategic branding. When word of the deal broke, I wondered: how might Ovi be re-launched under IMG’s auspices? I was pretty sure the firm wasn’t going to simply allow the dynamic winger to merely pile up goals this hockey season and issue a press release come spring saying, “Ain’t that just dandy?”
One idea that might have occurred to IMG brass would be to exploit Ovi’s on-ice aggressor activity. He doesn’t just hit, he hits hard, and often, and often ferociously, pummeling plexiglass in the process and intimidating some of the league’s largest bodies. Additionally, it might have occurred to the firm that the league’s preferred poster boy, Sidney Crosby, rarely wades into trouble waters out on the ice, and so establishing a clear antagonist to #87, the protagonist, with a Russian bad-guy motif might just catch a few outside-of-hockey eyes.
Blue Jackets and Blackhawks went deep into the shootout last night.
Chicago finally pulled out a 4-3 victory. Watch the shootout below…
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
The team, retooled by Burke over the summer, had won only six of its first 25 games before facing Montreal.
“I’m a great fan like all of our other millions of fans are and we want to see a winning team but we also have patience,” said Tanenbaum, adding that he is “110 per cent” behind Burke’s rebuilding efforts.
“I’m patient but anxiously awaiting a Stanley Cup here one day.”
Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSE, said Burke and his front office team would have as much time as needed to get the team back on track. Burke has been on the job for just over a year.
“I have complete faith in Brian and (assistant) David Nonis and (coach) Ron Wilson that they’re going to turn this around. We’re all disappointed in where we’re at today. But we knew the fixing job was not an easy one,” said Peddie.
“He’s the last general manager I’m hiring. He’s safe in my tenure that’s for sure.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For the second time in less than three months, Jonas Gustavsson has been forced to seek emergency medical attention for his heart.
Anyway you cut it, that’s scary stuff, a situation that no pro sports team dares trifle with.
So as soon as Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson heard that the prize rookie goaltender’s heart was racing after playing an outstanding first period Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, he didn’t wait to find out if Gustavsson could continue.
“I’m not going to be responsible for someone keeling over during a game,” said Wilson after the Leafs’ hard-earned 3-0 triumph. “The game’s not that important.”
from Ken Belson and Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Over the past two decades, the Canadian teams in the N.H.L. were considered poor cousins of their wealthier colleagues in the United States. Some floundered financially, others packed up and moved south. The league even created the Canadian Assistance Program to subsidize the country’s struggling teams.
But the landscape in Canada has changed drastically, thanks to a rise of more than 50 percent in the Canadian dollar since 2002. A stronger currency has made it cheaper for the six Canadian teams to pay their players in United States dollars and to reduce debts.
It has also inflated the revenues of the six Canadian franchises and, in turn, the league’s revenues. That has hurt some of the weaker teams in the United States by pushing up the minimum amount teams must spend on payroll.
Jonas Gustavsson started for the Leafs tonight in their game in Montreal, but when the 2nd period started, he was replaced byJoey MacDonald.
Report is Gustavsson has been taken to the hospital for observation.
added 9:14pm, TSN reports he had an elevated heart rate and with his history the best course of action was to be taken to the hospital for observation.
update 11:20pm, According to Jonas Siegel of AM640 in Toronto, it appears Gustavsson will be ok.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
The New York Jets coach returns to the city where he grew up, played hockey, cut classes ... and cheered for the Leafs.
Rex Ryan is practically mapping out the parade route.
The one down Bay St., not Broadway.
The emotional coach of the New York Jets is discussing how much a championship would mean to a certain title-starved city. He’s not talking about the Jets, the Big Apple and the NFL, either.
“Can you imagine how crazy Toronto would go if the Maple Leafs were to ever win a Stanley Cup?” the bubbly Ryan says with excitement. “Man, people would go nuts!
“It might be the biggest celebration in the history of sports.”
I know there is still a lot of regular-season hockey to be played, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that I expect to be spending quite a bit of time in April, May and June in the Windy City
-Craig Simpson of CBC. More from Craig on the Blackhawks.
from Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out,
At his first press conference as Canadiens owner, Geoff Molson expressed satisfaction with team president Pierre Boivin and general manager Bob Gainey.
“Are we going in the right direction? Yes,” Molson said. “Bob Gainey has done an excellent job in rebuilding the team.”
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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