Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Taking fighting out of the National Hockey League will “rip the fabric out of the game” and empower “the growing rat factor in our league,” Brian Burke says with emotion but not apology.
He is not about to change his view on fighting in hockey.
He believes in it. He welcomes it.
“First off, it’s an important part of our game historically,” said Burke, the president and general manager of the Maple Leafs. “It’s not like I came into the NHL five years ago. I see no reason to change that. That’s No. 1.
“To me, fighting is the mechanism that allows players to regulate the level of violence in the game ... There are already a number of players in our league who flaunt the system. Fighting brings accountability to that ... To me, there is a growing rat factor in our league right now. You know who those players are. I don’t have to name them. But do you want to turn the league over to them?”
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Montreal forward Alex Kovalev will be wearing the captain’s “C” in front of the home folks at Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Kovalev was named captain of the Eastern Conference team and San Jose center Joe Thornton will wear the “C” for the Western Conference squad when the NHL holds its 57th All-Star Game at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Get us a new Avalanche goaltender.
If Francois Giguere cannot make a deal for somebody better than Peter Budaj or Andrew Raycroft, then find us a general manager who can….
In Colorado, this NHL season is slowly dying of boredom.
We deserve a better brand of hockey.
Do something, Mr. Giguere.
from Mike Board of CalgaryFlames.com,
Certainly he could have left the Flames for more money as a free agent. But he hasn’t. It’s like a job that is not quite complete. And a few of his mentors, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux, have all played for the same team throughout their career.
“There are a lot of great hockey cities. For the fans and the passion, there isn’t a city that beats Calgary, ” said Iginla when he signed his five-year, $35 million deal in July 2007.
With Iginla looking to lead the Flames for years to come, we thought we should get to know him just a little better and bring you 10 things you should know about Jarome Iginla.
ONE: The name
The birth certificate reads Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla. Born July 1, 1977 in Edmonton. We know him as Jarome or Iggy. Opponents know him as tough and relentless. Iginla, by the way, means ‘Big Tree’ in Yoruba, his father’s native language.
NEW YORK, NY - Beginning Thursday, Jan. 22, through Sunday, Jan. 25, NHL Network will be on location at the 2009 NHL All-Star Celebration in Montreal to provide viewers with 15 hours of live HD* coverage from the star-studded event. NHL Network’s Brian Duff and Gary Green and contributors Dave Strader and Joe Micheletti will bring viewers inside the festivities with interviews featuring NHL players and coaches, live broadcasts from the All-Star practices and expert analysis.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
NHL.com thanks the experts for clarifying the various elements of “speed” in the NHL, but to get back to the original question, we asked them to name who they wouldn’t want to race against, end to end.
“I think Edmonton’s Andrew Cogliano is the fastest skater in the NHL,” Davidge said. “I watched him when he played for (University of) Michigan and he’d just pull away from guys in the first three or four strides. Matt Lombardi and Mason Raymond are like that, the first three strides and look out—they’re on their way. Marian Gaborik is like that, too. Raymond is so quick up ice, he gets lots of breakaways. If he could only score half the time ...
“For effective pure speed, check out the Blue Jackets’ Jason Chimera. … There’s nothing but north-south, no lateral in there whatsoever. But when he’s going around a defenseman, he has the size and strength to drive the net that you just can’t teach.”
Adams had a couple of players he’d put near the top in terms of pure speed.
Patrick Marleau jumps out, he always looks like he’s flying,” he said. “And nobody is faster over 60 feet than Hedican. When Erik Cole gets the puck, if he’s even with a defenseman, he beats him and goes to the net.
from Erik Erlendsson of Bolts Report,
“I’m proud of this team. The last three or four weeks, this team has faced a lot of adversity and they passed the test. They’ve done a great job,’’ Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet said.
Not sure what it’s going to mean once games resume as any talk of getting into a playoff race still must be tempered, even with 19 of the final 35 games at home and Tampa Bay nine points out of the No. 8 spot right now. But you have to admit, being tied for 11th place and to be within single digits of a playoff spot is a long way removed from where this team was sitting around Thanksgiving, eh?
Do they have enough to even think of the playoffs? Should that topic even be broached?
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle sought a “jolt” for the team when he lifted Giguere, but also said both Islanders goals were “stoppable pucks.”
Giguere, who had won his previous four decisions, is 1-5-2 with a 3.68 goals-against average and .876 save percentage since leaving the team a second time and ultimately returning just before Christmas following the death of his father, Claude.
“We didn’t want to go on the break losing that game,” Giguere said. “Personally, I wanted to have a better effort, for sure.”
With only five victories in their past 16 games, the Ducks have fallen into a tie with the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks for sixth place in the West, but have played more games than both teams, as well as at least two and as many as four more than all seven clubs below them in the standings.
“We have to use the break, take a step back and not worry too much about what has happened, but worry about what’s coming up,” Giguere said. “It’s going to be a good four days for us to do that. I’m the first one who should do that.”
more on the Ducks and their loss to the Islanders Wednesday night…
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
With the Maple Leafs struggling badly on their own ice – they haven’t scored a goal at home in more than 127 minutes of play – Matt Stajan has asked for a little more life and energy from the Air Canada Centre crowd to help the team get over the hump.
“We want our crowd to be as loud as it can be from the start of the game to the finish…we want the fans to cheer as loud as they can. We would love to have that on a nightly basis here,” he said this morning.
“We get it some nights but, obviously, we would like it more nights. We have to do a better job of giving them some excitement but we hope they can bring some excitement and energy to this building as well.”
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
But it is the last minute scratches which are a major headache for the league. There is an unwritten rule from the NHL that if you pull out of All-Star Weekend, you better miss at least the game before the All-Star break, and the first game after it. Of course, this is impossible to enforce.
Sensational Columbus goalie Steve Mason played back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday, and made some typically spectacular saves. Yet his team announced Tuesday he wouldn’t be going to Montreal because of back spasms.
Washington sophomore Nicklas Backstrom looked fine against Ottawa Tuesday night, but he’s pulled out too.
I’m not judging either player. In fact, I’m guessing the decision was probably made by coaches or management. But it troubles me.
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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