Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Some reflections on the 2008-09 season.
• There are still a number of old-timers who complain about today’s game.
Bob Clarke, for instance, considers it to be basically unwatchable and a travesty. It’s not real hockey, he says. Mike Milbury decries the increasing “pansification” of the game, even though he’s no longer allowed to use that word on Hockey Night in Canada.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of hockey fans seem to love today’s game. It’s fast, it’s intense, and it still has plenty of heavy hitting. Fighting is up and so is scoring. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but it’s surely a much better product than anything we ever saw in the playing days of Clarke and Milbury, and top to bottom, it’s probably the best fans have ever seen.
Flames forward David Moss has signed a multi-year deal with the team.
The Michigan native has 20 goals and 18 assists this season.
Matthew Barnaby of ESPN participated in a chat earlier today…
Matt what is up with the Flames lately should I be as concerned as I am they just don’t seem to have that same pop like they did right after the trade deadline.
Matthew Barnaby: This is a banged up team right now. With all their injuries and problems with the salary cap, they have been playing the last few games with 17 players, which is one below the number that is supposed to be the norm. Cory Sarich and Robyn Regehr are two important parts and have been out along with a few forwards and that is why they have been struggling.
There are always seem to be some unexpected upsets in the early rounds. Do you see anything like that this year?
Matthew Barnaby: I think if there is one team that could get upset early it would be New Jersey or Washington. Washington’s goaltending still scares me and New Jersey could end up facing a six seed in Pittsburgh. I do not know if that is an upset, but by the seedings it would be.
more questions & answers…
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
In a surprise move today the Flyers signed an inexperienced defenseman and thrust him into the playoff race.
The Flyers signed 6-foot-4, 220-pound David Sloane, an Ambler native, to an amateur tryout under emergency conditions and said he would be in the lineup tonight against the host New York Rangers.
Sloane, 24, who played this season for Colgate University, will replace the injured Ryan Parent. Parent is listed as day to day with a strained groin.
Under emergency conditions of an amateur tryout, Sloane is available to play for a 24-hour period beginning with tonight’s game.
It was unclear this afternoon why Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren chose to use Sloane instead of calling up a player from the Phantoms.
via Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable,
Briefly stopped by the opening of ESPN’s snazzy new Los Angeles digs last week, and stuck around just long enough to hear a prominent National Hockey League team executive indirectly trash league television partner Versus, which picked up a hockey package as its main asset when ESPN balked a few years back.
On stage at the opening of the new complex, Anschutz Entertainment Group (owners of the Los Angeles Kings) CEO Tim Leiweke turned to ESPN chief George Bodenheimer and said, “We made a huge mistake with hockey - we need to get back on ESPN with the NHL.” While many people agree, I wonder how that comment went over back at Comcast, which has shelled out quite a few scheckels to the NHL?
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated:
The end is plainly in sight even if, with just days remaining, we don’t yet know all of the teams that will join the second leg of the biathlon. But before we say goodbye to a marathon regular season that needed nearly all of its 1,230 games to eliminate slightly less than half the teams that thought they had a shot at the playoffs, a few items deserve your upright attention:
Let’s start with the Calgary Flames, the franchise that most American hockey fans know only as the first family of hockey failure in Atlanta.
The Flames have been playing shorthanded for several games, including a crucial loss earlier this week to the surging Canucks that may have decided first place in the Northwest Division. Now, there are a number of reasons why that can happen. Penalties incurred during a contest is the one that comes most readily to mind, but there can be injuries or a called-up player not getting to the arena on time.
The Flames are shorthanded simply because they are out of money.
continued… with thoughts on several teams
from Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com,
The National Hockey League’s now famous “Winter Classic” could be staged at Fenway Park this coming New Year’s Day, although a decision hasn’t been made by the league to play the annual outdoor game there yet, an NHL spokesman said on Thursday.
“We’re looking at Fenway,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president of public relations, said in a telephone conversation about the 97-year-old home of the Red Sox. “But we’re looking at a variety of options.”
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The guy never has had the red carpet of life rolled out for him. For virtually his entire hockey career, he’s been dissed, dismissed, doubted and degraded. Even the person who engraved his name on the Stanley Cup engraved his surname as ‘Lagace’.
But like the famous movie producer Robert Evans, the kid has found a way to stay in the picture.
“You get used to it,” Legace told THN.com. “It’s been that way my whole life. ‘He’s too fat, he’s too small, he’s too this or that.’ So you get used to having to prove yourself every day. And that’s fine with me; that’s made me a better person and a better goalie.”
from Lindsay Berra of ESPN The Magazine,
Q: What do the San Jose Sharks and the Titanic have in common?
A: They both look good until they hit the ice. [Harsh? Try this one.]
Q: What do you call 30 millionaires watching the Stanley Cup Finals on TV?
A: The Sharks!
Hold the applause—these comedic gems aren’t ours. They are but a sampling of the wit posted on message boards by Sharks fans who are tired of San Jose’s beast-in-the-regular-season, belly-up-in-the-postseason play.
Too harsh again? Hardly. In November 2005, GM Doug Wilson traded for Bruins center Joe Thornton, who notched 125 points and won the Hart. In the playoffs? The Sharks lost in the second round to the eighth-seeded Oilers. In 2006-07, they posted a franchise-best 51– 26– 5 record … and lost again (to Detroit) in the second round. Last season, they picked up coveted blueliner Brian Campbell in late February, won the Pacific—then lost to the Stars in you-know-what round.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Collectively, the hockey staff decided to exile veteran goaltender Manny Legace to Peoria. That was a difficult decision. Legace is a pretty good guy. But Manny wasn’t happy and he wasn’t playing well.
Since his exit, the Blues have seldom lost.
Collectively, the hockey staff elected to keep Tkachuk at the trading deadline and not collect some additional future assets.
Since then, the Blues have seldom lost.
This run from 15th to eighth place in the Western Conference has taken on a life of its own. The Blues transformed into an entirely different team.
Sometimes it seemed supernatural forces were at play -– like when the team rallied improbably at Boston for one of the most freakish victories in franchise history.
And here is the best news: The fun has just begun.
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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