Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (March 25, 2008)—Fueled by unprecedented League-wide competition for playoff spots and positions, the NHL is on pace to obliterate its March attendance records. A per-game average of 17,900 fans—97% of capacity—has filled NHL arenas this month. The existing March record average of 17,331 was set last season.
The late-season surge has ensured another season of record NHL attendance. The 2007-08 per-game average of 17,194 is running 1.7% ahead of the 2006-07 campaign, which concluded with a record figure of 16,961. The NHL will surpass 20 million in total attendance for the seventh consecutive season and will, for the first time in its 90-season history, conclude the regular season with a per-game average in excess of 17,000.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
For Saku Koivu, it was Jari Kurri. For Chris Pronger, Mike Bossy. Plenty of current NHL stars had heroes growing up, especially when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Gordie Howe from a Q & A in the Detroit Free Press,
“I always said I believed in religious hockey, and that it is better to give than to receive. I remember one guy said he tried to hit me all game but all he saw was tape. When I was playing, a coach might say, “You don’t like so and so?” And I’d say, “I don’t like any of them out there. When the game’s over, I like a lot of them, but on the ice is not a place to be liking people.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Phaneuf is a punk, by the way. And some day he’s going to get his, and it’s not going to be pretty for him. He’s going to hit one backside of a player too many, and somebody is going to rip that shield off his face and hand him his teeth….
This is a 22-year-old guy, at the top of his physical powers and who really has a lot of talent. But he doesn’t play an honorable game.
He hits you when your back is turned. Then, when you get mad about it and try to hit him back, he backs away and hides behind his shield, mouthing off. He’s got a lot of Bill Laimbeer in him.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
On Monday, as the Blues were preparing for tonight’s game against Detroit, some took exception to Savard’s comments.
“Deni Savard trying to question our toughness or question our methods is beyond me,” Jackman said. “He played in a day and age when there was a fight every whistle and gloves in faces. If he’s got a problem with it, then he’s just not looking at what he played through.
“Those are their two best players. If they want to play in this league a long time, it’s going to be a situation where they’re going to have to face some adversity and that’s having to play through things. Kane had his stick on our goalie every whistle and Toews was standing in front of the net. If they want to go to the net, it’s a physical game. Sorry that we hurt their feelings.”
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
Back when Adam Graves arrived in the National Hockey League in the mid-1980s, the heyday of Wayne Gretzky, hockey was played like an icy hybrid of the National Basketball Association….
Today, the sport often resembles Saturday afternoon in the English Premiership.
“It’s gone from a game of high scoring, to almost a soccer style, where you look for your break, get it, then go right back into your system,” Graves said.
from Red Wings Corner,
Dan Cleary had surgery to remove wires from his jaw this morning and remarkably was at practice and made it through every drill. He’ll be in the lineup tomorrow night.
Cleary revealed the the front of his jaw is numb and could remain that way for a long, long time. Had he chosen the other procedure—where his jaw would have been wired shut for six weeks instead of two and he would have missed the rest of the season—he wouldn’t have that numbness. That’s a pretty big sacrifice to return to the ice.
more on the Wings, not good news…
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning coach John Tortorella has given captain Tim Taylor the option of playing in the team’s final game of the season April 5 at Atlanta. It would be a way for the center to finish his 13-year career as a player instead of on the sideline, where he has been since Sept. 7 hip surgery.
“He deserves that type of respect,’’ Tortorella said. “He’s been a loyal guy to the organization and has done a lot of things on and off the ice people don’t even know about, so he deserves that right.’‘
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
One would think being the first 60-goal scorer in the NHL in 12 years would bring a little more excitement out of Alex Ovechkin, but the Washington Capitals superstar says he’s too preoccupied with his team’s playoff chase right now.
“The last two years at this time we were thinking about vacation and what we going to do in the summer,” Ovechkin said Monday on an NHL conference call. “We weren’t thinking about the playoffs. Right now, we have a great chance to move forward.
“My personal stats are my personal stats but right now I’m just thinking about the team.”
from the Thrashers Blog at the AJC,
Kozlov said he has no regrets about signing with the Thrashers again, and that all they really need is a superstar defenseman to contend. No problem, right?
“This team needs a foundation, defensively - like a [Zdeno] Chara or [Nicklas] Lidstrom. Good teams, they have one or two very good defensemen who can play 30-35 [minutes per game]. Like [Chris] Pronger on Anaheim - one of those guys. They’re hard to find, but that’s what we need.
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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