Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN discuss the Hart Trophy candidates.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
If the Detroit Red Wings miss the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, a primary contributing factor will be their inability to win games in overtime. Detroit is just 6-12 overall in extra time, with eight of the losses coming in shootouts. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins (9) have lost more. The Calgary Flames, Detroit’s closest challengers, aren’t much better in extra time (5-9, with six of shootout losses), but the Nashville Predators are (8-5), the primary reason they’re seventh and still in the thick of the race with two more talented squads.
more hockey topics…
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,
There’s been a lot of speculation about the Flyers’ future in goal beyond this season. An answer may be forthcoming sooner rather than later.
Michael Leighton’s agent, Mike Liut, has been in the Philadelphia area for several days and likely will talk to general manager Paul Holmgren about a contract extension for his client this week, a Flyers source confirmed to the Daily Times.
While there is no guarantee that anything will be signed this week, it’s a good bet ideas will be exchanged.
According to the source, the Flyers would like to have Leighton back – possibly on a two-year deal – if the salary figure is reasonable.
The radio voice of the New York Rangers, Kenny Albert, does a Q & A with Justin Terranova of the NY Post,
Q: Do you think there will be changes with coach John Tortorella and Sather if the Rangers don’t make the playoffs?
A: I think the management is in it for the long haul as far as Sather goes. And this is Tortorella’s first full year with the Rangers. And last year he inherited a team that was out of the playoffs and got them into the postseason. And they also pushed the Capitals to seven games and Washington was a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
There is much to admire about the chutzpah of the group of young businessmen who have gathered under the Ice Edge Holdings LLC banner.
Their plan – pipedream, the realists say – to buy the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL is reminiscent of another audacious play hatched over a few drinks after a beer-league hockey game. Bruce Firestone and his pals did land the Ottawa Senators expansion franchise with no real money, but they crashed and burned.
At this point, it looks as if Anthony LeBlanc, Daryl Jones and the rest of the Ice Edge group will not even get off the runway. Too many problems are coming up, almost all of them because no one in the group appears to have the substantial personal fortune needed to convince a banker or bankers to lend Ice Edge enough money to pull it off.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
The NHL’s top rookies—Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Victor Hedman, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Myers—are in uncharted territory: None of them has ever played this many regular-season games.
The fear with rookies at this time of the year is that they’ll hit “the wall.” The rookie wall differs for players who came to the NHL from college and those who took the major junior route. College teams play about 40 games. The Western Hockey League has scheduled 72 games the past few years while the Ontario and Quebec leagues play 68.
Last season, Boston Bruins left wing Blake Wheeler became the poster boy for rookies hitting the wall. Wheeler scored in his first NHL game and had 11 goals and 9 assists through 32 games. He had 10 goals and 25 assists over the next 50 games and really slowed down in March. Wheeler was honest about tiring last year and took steps to prevent a similar result this season.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
The boys are back in town and going through their checklist.
Kiss wife, pat dog, change diapers, throw dirty underwear in laundry, fall asleep on couch, wake up, stretch arms and say: “Well, as far as 14-game road trips go, that was one of the better ones.”
Or maybe it will be the only one. In any case, the Vancouver Canucks emerged from six weeks on the road broken up by that Olympic thing sitting atop the Northwest Division and with a playoff spot almost secured.
The Canucks did some interesting work on the 8-5-1 odyssey. Most notably, they began it by coming back from three goals down in the Centre of the Universe to shock the Maple Leafs 5-3 on national TV, outscoring Brian Burke’s Buds 4-0 in the final period.
They also came back to win after being down two goals in Boston, Columbus and Columbus again.
from Alan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
What if matters were reversed and it was Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby felled by a shoulder to his head? What if the Bruins target him in next Thursday’s game? Try to imagine the outrage if Crosby should be sidelined for any length of time, including the playoffs.
This is not a comfortable spot for the NHL, not when a Cooke suspension would have calmed things and prevented a steady cry from veteran NHLers such as Bill Guerin and Vincent Lecavalier calling for a ban on head shots. What we have instead is what we’re hearing and reading: The Bruins are ticked, their fans want revenge.
It’s a bad mix – dangerous, noxious, regrettable. And the game looms ever larger.
CALGARY, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today their third jersey for the 2010-2011 season will be the Flames Vintage jersey. In celebration of the Flames 30th Anniversary season this vintage jersey was worn five times in games versus the other five Canadian teams.
The new third jersey for the 2010-2011 season will feature Vintage jersey striping and colours on the new innovative fabrics and cut that was introduced by Reebok for the 2007-2008 season. The Edge Uniform System was introduced to better complement today’s game and to help improve player performance.
Tonight’s game versus the Ottawa Senators at Pengrowth Saddledome will be the last time the Flames will wear the vintage jersey this season. At the conclusion of the game all players will give the Jerseys Off Their Backs to 24 lucky fans who have been randomly selected through seat locations on ice level.
The third jersey will be worn up to 15 games next season and will be available at all FanAttic locations at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
See a drawing of the new look below...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Next Thursday, Pittsburgh visits Boston. By failing to find a way to suspend Cooke for even one game, the league puts the onus on the Bruins to mete out their own vigilante justice.
With that, we have the prospect of another Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident; an incident where Bruins players — who have been blasted at home for doing nothing at the time of the Cooke hit — act on the pressure to defend Savard.
Or worse, they target the Penguins best player. How would the league look if Savard were not the only one to miss the rest of the season because of a throw-away player like Cooke, but Sidney Crosby was injured as well?
Cooke’s problem, another NHLer said on Thursday, is that he likely doesn’t have any friends inside his own dressing room right now.
“Two guys punch each other’s lights out, then you go to bar and you have a couple of beers together,” said injured Edmonton defenceman Sheldon Souray. “When you’re Matt Cooke, you go to the bar that night and there is no camaraderie. There are no friends.
“When you fight, there is something honourable in that. But you flip that switch — you start hurting guys — there is noting honourable in that.”
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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