Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
How can it possibly be difficult to build a winner in the National Hockey League? All you have to do is listen to the radio in cities where the team is struggling.
In those places, the winning formula is freely distributed by the experts, some professional, some amateur. “Blow it up,” they say. “Go into the tank.”
Basically, it’s the same theory. Management is supposed to get rid of all the talent and not try to win. You can’t throw games, but you could use minor-leaguers and the backup goalie.
The proponents sometimes offer a little preamble about how the local team is going nowhere and has no future if it continues to piddle around in the lower or middle levels of the standings. So the answer is clear: Blow it up.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We often talk about “the missing piece” when it comes to Stanley Cup puzzles. That one, elusive block to complete the tower, the one snapshot to complete the image.
Usually it’s a player, a puck-moving defenseman, a shut-down forward, a power-play specialist.
Sitting on a bench near the Tampa harbor is the man who may well be the Chicago Blackhawks’ missing piece. He’s 50 years old with a graying mustache and a steely glare and three teenage children.
Joel Quenneville won’t score a goal for the Hawks and he won’t block a shot, but he is the man who holds the key to a team and a city aching to win its first playoff series since 1996.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Predators center David Legwand is doubtful for tonight’s game against San Jose after taking a puck to the side of his face during practice Wednesday.
The team plans to re-evaluate his status today after some of the considerable swelling goes down from the area. So it’s uncertain whether or not he’s dealing with a broken bone.
I have pointed to this site just about this time every year, so why not do it again.
Sports Club Stats shows the percentage of all NHL teams making the playoffs plus a lot more.
“I think it takes like 10 games or 12 games to really come together,. hey lost three guys (Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Kent Huskins) who were Stanley Cup champions. That’s a hurtful loss. It’s going to take some time, but everyone is warming up. Everyone is getting along pretty great and getting to know each other. That’s the key.”
-Erik Christensen of the Anaheim Ducks. More on the Ducks win over the Avalanche last night from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog.
from Allison Quillen of NashvillePredators.com,
Since the Predators began play in 1998, Nashville has had a history of great goaltending beginnings, starting with netminders Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason, both of which had their professional NHL careers start in Nashville. Although both of these goaltenders have gone on to flourish with other NHL teams, both were given opportunities and challenges in Nashville that would later influence their futures elsewhere. With players of their magnitude starting their careers in Nashville, the franchise has proven itself to be a great starting ground for future goaltending greats.
from Kurt Streeter of the LA Times,
It startles the senses and sears the eardrums; the percussive sting of a lightning-fast hockey puck slamming against the barrier separating NHL fans from NHL chaos.
Like a Colt .45, fired at close range.
Sitting in a seat behind goal during a recent spate of Kings’ games, I’d clearly see a forward’s windup. There’d be time to ready myself in case he missed his target, in case that puck sped past the goalie and headed straight at me. Other times, all I saw was churning legs, swirling motion, and, out of nowhere: CRAAACKK!
Each time the puck hit the clear barrier, a divot formed. Each time, the crowd tensed and a woman screamed.
It’s jolting enough in the stands, so what’s it like for the goalie?
via Mike Mouat of the Detroit Examiner,
On this date in Red Wings and NHL history…
1950: Ted Lindsay set a record for most assists in a season with 55.
1961: Goaltender Terry Sawchuk blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 as the Wings won game three of the semi-finals.
Uh Mike, I think you missed one!
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
Is there any fear that with the economy in the shape it is and newspapers struggling that this might be a situation for sports fans of other teams moving forward? There are always fan blogs, but they typically can’t travel with the teams either. Do you just watch the game on television and chat on message boards when you can? Do you give up being a fan?
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
It is a word teams are loathe to use, because it implies the current situation is broken. But Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke used the “R” word when discussing his thoughts on his last-place hockey team.
“I think we have some rebuilding to do,” Kroenke said. “We’ve been good for so long, I don’t think we’ve been able to do that. But every now and then you’ve got to take a deep breath and rebuild. It may be time.”...
No matter who is in charge, radically overhauling the roster for next season won’t be easy. The Avs have nearly $44 million devoted to 13 players for 2009-10, and the NHL’s current salary cap of $56.7 million isn’t expected to change much. That means the Avs could have only around $13 million with which to sign 10 players to fill out the roster. And included in players not signed for next season are captain Joe Sakic and a goalie.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com