Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
The economy is bad and could get even worse.
Even many fans who would have been willing to dig deep into their pockets were unable or unwilling to get to the Devils’ past two home games because of snowstorms.
Still, Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek remains optimistic fans will support a team that has been surprisingly resilient on the ice and that the club will be profitable for a second straight season in the Prudential Center.
“The health of the Devils is fine,” Vanderbeek told The Star-Ledger Monday. “Certainly we saw the light (financially) last year, but we need to continue to grow. I haven’t seen specific numbers, but I think our attendance is just a touch up (from last year at this point). I think the prospects are good.”
The Flames, Panthers, Hurricanes and Coyotes climb as the Blue Jackets and Oilers slide in this week’s edition of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings.
2. San Jose
(Maxim) The other great debate in hockey is fighting. Some people are for banning it, others say it’s a necessary part of the game. How do you feel about it?
(Bettman) It’s always been a part of the game. It’s an incidental part of the game and in increases and decreases based on how the game is being played. It’s physical. Contact is encouraged. Players are skating at each other, running into each other. It’s speeds up to 30 miles per hour and players are carrying sticks. It’s nonstop, it’s edgy, and it’s emotional. So the fact that this is an incidental part of the game-I don’t think it calls for debate to whether or not it should be in or out of the game. It’s always been a part of the game.
many more topics discussed…
Five minutes of the best goals, hits and saves from last week.
from the Phoenix Coyotes,
GLENDALE, Ariz.—- In times of a troublesome economy, the Phoenix Coyotes are taking an extra step to help make a fun night out easier for Valley families.
The Coyotes have launched an Economic Stimulus Plan that includes a variety of promotions to help make attending games more affordable to fans during tough economic times, including an all-you-can-eat offer for the 6 p.m. Coyotes’ New Year’s Eve home game vs. Colorado.
The All-You-Can-Eat Pack – that will regularly be available at all Saturday Coyotes home games – includes an upper-level game ticket and unlimited hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and fountain sodas for only $25.
Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers took part in an NHL tele-conference today.
Q. Have you always shot the puck as much as you’re doing this year? And at this time of the season, did you think you would have more goals than Ovechkin?
JEFF CARTER: Yeah, I mean, when I grew up, my dad always taught me you can’t score if you don’t shoot. So I try to put it in the net every chance I get. The second part about Ovechkin, I don’t know how long I can hold him off for. He seems to be scoring well these days. He’s a great player. We’ll see.
Q. The number of fights this year is up. Have you noticed the play being more chippy this year, a little bit more closer quarters than they have been?
JEFF CARTER: I don’t really see a difference at all. I think it’s just the way the game is. I think it’s intense, tight games this year. I think a lot of teams are real close to each other in the standings and stuff like that. They mean a lot more, and guys are just battling.
Q. What were some of the things that you figured out so far on this swing?
TY CONKLIN: It’s a lot easier to play when it’s not minus 20. You know, they were both neat and they are both a lot different to be honest with you. I think the one in Edmonton, as well, was really cold. Tough conditions.
You know, everything was so new, I think that—I think what gets lost a lot of times is that there’s actually two points available. This game is—you know, Chicago is not far behind us right now. They are not far back, and they are playing as good as anybody these days. That’s going to be an important game, and it’s going to be an important two points, too. I think that’s something that gets lost a bit.
I think it might have got lost a little bit in Edmonton, just because it was so new and so much was made out of it. I think those two points were a little bit closer on everybody’s mind when we played Buffalo last year.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
1. What do you think of the “code” everyone talks about in hockey?
Code Schmode. It’s like an area code: It changes from team to team, state to state, province to province. In general, the “code” goes something like this:
Don’t be a jerk unless being a jerk on the ice gets the other team off its game and enhances your chances of winning. Don’t embarrass yourself or your teammates, especially in public or to the media, and have your teammates’ backs, even if they are, well, jerks….
5. So, who’s the best team in the NHL at the Christmas break?
It’s almost become rote to suggest it’s the San Jose Sharks. And with good reason. The team has 55 points, more than any team in the league, and has yet to lose in regulation at home (17-0-2).
...But (you knew this was coming, didn’t you?) take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks have almost the same goal differential (114 goals for, 82 goals against) as San Jose (116, 80) and are also dominant at home (10-1-4). Chicago also has seven players with 20 or more points, the same number as San Jose.
more plus other hockey topics…
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Since Rocket Richard did it for the first time ever in 1944-45, there have been 184 total 50-goal seasons posted by 87 different players. It has been done by the truly great (Gretzky, Wayne; Lemieux, Mario), by the merely very good (Nieuwendyk, Joe; Roberts, Gary) and by the downright obscure (Richard, Jacques; Chouinard, Guy).
Not once has it been done by Crosby, Sidney. In fact, Crosby hasn’t even come within 10 goals of scoring 50 in a season and given his goal production through the first third of this season, nobody should count on it happening in 2008-09….
he concern I have for Crosby is that he may never emerge as a truly elite goal-scorer in the NHL. In fact, instead of taking his goal-scoring up a notch as his career progresses, Crosby appears to be faltering more in that department as each season goes by. Through the early part of this season, the dip in scoring for Crosby has been as precipitous as it has been mysterious. His goal-drought to date has reached a career-high nine games.
from Cassie Campbell of CBC Sports,
Now that the Mats Sundin saga is over and done with, here’s a look at what the NHL’s Canadian teams need to do in order to get to the next level.
With it so difficult to operate under the salary cap system, moves will be easier said than done.
Calgary Flames - The Flames are top contenders in the Western Conference, but consistent losses to Detroit and San Jose have to make GM Darryl Sutter want to tinker with his team. A priority for the Flames has to be a top six forward who provides much needed size down the middle.
Edmonton Oilers - A frustrating year so far for the Oilers with a lack of team consistency, it looks as if a trade can wake up for a squad that has played below its capabilities. With three quality goaltenders in the lineup, one would be used as bait for a team who encounters an injury situation in that position. To me, a top priority for the Oilers is to find themselves a top six forward and preferably a quality and established centre.
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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