Kukla's Korner Hockey
One of the most eminent sports psychology experts in the country, Paul Dennis has a PhD in sports psychology and teaches at Toronto’s York University. The Leafs player development coach, Dennis has worked for the club for 19 years.
Mapleleafs.com’s Mike Ulmer visited with him to talk about what everyone wants: a return to the winner’s bracket for the Maple Leafs.
Ulmer: What are the impediments, other than talent, to winning?
Dennis: The individual’s mindset: self-doubt, self-criticism, worry. These are all aspects the athletes is in control of.
Ulmer: Are athletes more or less insecure than the average person on the street?
Dennis: I think they are considerably more insecure. A lot of people would see the glamour and not agree with my assessment. They see hockey players as successful and skillful. That is true and the term we refer to is ‘self-efficacy.’
Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke has been suspended two games for a hit to the head of Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Scott Walker.
added 5:47pm, Official Release
TORONTO (January 27, 2009) – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of a blow delivered to the head of Carolina forward Scott Walker during NHL Game #687, Jan. 20 against the Carolina Hurricanes, the National Hockey League announced.
Cooke was assessed a minor penalty for interference against Scott Walker at 12:58 of the first period. Walker left the game and did not return.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Cooke will forfeit $12,903.23. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Cooke will miss games against the New York Rangers on Jan. 28 and New Jersey on Jan. 30. He will be eligible to return Jan. 31 at Toronto.
via Mike Knobler of Thrashers Blog at the AJC,
Kovalchuk has been credited with getting Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin to end their feud over the weekend. Kovalchuk, in typical fashion, downplayed his role.
“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Kovalchuk said of his reported role as peacemaker. “They’re both Russians. They were always friends. Russians hit each other on the ice, they make a big deal about it. Canadians fight all the time, and they don’t say anything.”
Ovechkin did some guest DJing at a club. Kovalchuk didn’t spin any tunes.
“He was pretty good. I just was listening,” Kovalchuk said. Did Ilya dance? “A little bit,” he said.
via Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
New York Rangers winger Dan Fritsche, a former Blue Jackets player and a native of Parma, Ohio, is on NHL waivers, The Dispatch has confirmed.
From Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy:
There’s a disarming honesty with [Tim] Thomas, the 34-year-old goalie in his fifth NHL season with Boston. Maybe a guy who kicked around the minor leagues and Europe for several years after breaking in with the ECHL’s Birmingham Bulls in 1998 doesn’t want to waste a moment of his NHL career with a canned answer. Or maybe he’s just a humble, blue collar guy from a town (Flint, Michigan) and a team (the Bruins) that both share that same aesthetic.
“There are times when I feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, in a certain way,” he said. “If anything, that just gives me motivations to keep proving people wrong. I probably would feel uncomfortable if everyone believed in me too much.”
He may feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, but some of his actions this season for Boston have seemed more in line with Ron Hextall or Billy Smith. Thomas knows this, and he’s not exactly proud of it.
The All-Star weekend has come and gone and now teams return Tuesday night for the second half. Scott Burnside and E.J. Hradek answer these 10 Burning Questions as we count down to the playoffs:
What’s the one move one team needs to make before March 4?
Burnside:...It says here if Gainey does not upgrade the team’s goaltending depth, the Habs will celebrate their centennial season with a second straight embarrassing second-round exit.
Hradek: If the Blue Jackets want to help support their rookie goalie and earn their first playoff berth, they’d be wise to add a veteran scorer to boost their attack. Maybe they could grab a guy like Blues winger/center Keith Tkachuk?
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog,
Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, and Andrew Ference will all play tonight against Washington.
Bergeron, out since Dec. 20 because of a concussion suffered when he collided with Carolina’s Dennis Seidenberg, passed the neuro-psych test that is required of all players who are diagnosed with head injuries. Bergeron received clearance to play after passing the test.
“Just relief of getting a chance to be back soon,” Bergeron said when he was informed of his clearance. “There was relief. I was happy.”
from Bruce Ciskie of NHL Fanhouse,
One of my favorite hockey-related shows on NHL Network is Voices. As a hockey broadcaster myself, it is neat to watch how the best in the business prepare to go on the air, and how they interact with the best athletes on the planet.
Watching Voices made me start wondering who the best really were. With that in mind, I took advantage of a Center Ice subscription and an active remote, watching every team’s local broadcast as many times as I could stomach.
I came to a few conclusions.
Mike Emrick is so good he deserves his own category. I feel bad excluding him from this list, but I do it because he’s that much better than everyone.
via Stan Fischler of Game On,
What is the difference between Brendan Shanahan’s comeback and that of Mats (Card Table) Sundin? Brent Sutter has the answer while twitting Matty: “Shanny is well-conditioned,” explains the Devils’ coach. “He wasn’t traveling North America playing poker in those celebrity events!”
Sutter rates Sid Crosby (as a Junior) and Zach Parise among the two “hardest-working” players he’s ever coached. Parise, despite impressive numbers, does not rate himself a superstar. He tells us, “I could be better if I could be more consistent. I’ll figure it out soon.”
RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that Associate Head Coach Ron Francis will not be behind the bench for tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. Francis suffered a back injury during the All-Star break and is not with the team on the current road trip.
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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