Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Sidney Crosby is back again.
The Penguins captain will return to the lineup Thursday night when the New York Islanders visit Mellon Arena.
“I am playing,” he said. “My ankle feels great and my conditioning is as good as it can get, really, without playing. It always takes a few games, but I feel good.”
Today, the NHL arranged a teleconference call for the media, speaking with the Staal brothers: Eric of the Carolina Hurricanes, Marc of the New York Rangers and Jordan of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, and Carolina leads their division and the Rangers are sixth in the East. If all three clubs make the playoffs, the brothers would become the first set of three brothers to compete in the post-season since 1992 when and the Brotens (Aaron, Neil and Paul) and the Sutters (Brent, Rich and Ron) all competed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Q. Marc and Jordan, I think you guys faced in each in the OHL Playoffs a few years back. I was wondering for each of you what your most vivid memory of that season was competing against each other, if there were any memorable one-on-one battles?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
When Calgary wins, the formula for success is as simple 1-2-3.
1. Kiprusoff outplays the goalie at the other end of the rink. When he’s engaged, the Finn moves well, plays big, covers lots of net, and generally limits the bad goals that he allows to a manageable few.
2. Iginla, the perfect captain, rallies the troops, by word and deed, with a manner that is rare in today’s NHL. With the team touch-and-go just to make the playoffs, he has turned in a first-star performance in virtually every win they’ve had over the past two weeks.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
But a dynasty was forming in Detroit, as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 and four Stanley Cups in six years. This run coincided with Howe reaching physical maturity.
Howe was 6-foot, 205 pounds, one of the larger players in the NHL at that time. He was tall and lean with a farmer’s hard muscles. He came from utter poverty and he wouldn’t let anyone compromise his career on the ice.
Howe one-punched Maurice “Rocket” Richard to the ice early in his career and he crushed Bobby Orr late in his career. Howe was uncanny. He could deliver immediate, devastating retribution or he could let a slight go unpunished so long that the perpetrator forgot about it, until he found himself flat on his back when Howe found a situation that wouldn’t compromise his team’s chance of winning.
more with a photo gallery….
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
With just 30 wins this season, the LA Kings have been playing meaningless hockey since before the onset of winter. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing meaningless hockey for about 41 years and people still care about them. Of course, Kings fans care about their team too, and it would be wrong to suggest that they don’t. A total of 16,784 people travelled to the Staples Center on Tuesday night to watch a late-season game which for the home side held no promise at all.
But it’s in the wider community that this team is in trouble. If a franchise survives on the oxygen of publicity, then this is an organisation gasping for air. It would be wrong to say that Los Angeles hates a loser, simply because it takes effort to hate. If you are a loser, LA will just ignore you to death.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators are the 12 lowest payroll teams, and the Penguins and Sharks are the only teams in that group in a playoff position.
“The fact is that money has always talked, and it carries the preponderance of play,” said Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
According to a well-placed team source, Bruins [team stats] leading scorer Marc Savard suffered a broken bone in his back when he was cross-checked Saturday in Montreal by the Canadiens’ Steve Begin.
The cracked bone is called a transverse process, one that protrudes from a vertabra and serves as an attachment point for muscles and ligaments. An Internet search for information regarding the problem suggested the injury might not be all that severe.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens take a well-deserved day off, here are 10 reasons why they are the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference:
1. Alex Kovalev: He’s the Habs’ most valuable player, and coach Guy Carbonneau believes he deserves consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Not only has Kovalev rebounded from a disappointing 2006-07 season, but he has made the other players around him better through his actions on - and off - the ice.
via the Vancover Sun,
“I wish I had the answer for you, but I don’t,” Luongo said when asked to explain the Canucks’ disappearing act after the first period. “I just try to do my job out there and make saves. Obviously, I needed to make one extra save tonight to give our team a point.”
The Flames won it when they scored two power-play goals—one of them a 5-on-3—41 seconds apart midway through the third.
“We took three straight penalties and they scored,” he said. “Not much you can do about it. For me, I have to put it behind me and get ready for tomorrow night. It’s obviously a big game for us.”
from the Calgary Flames,
The Calgary Flames Hockey Club announced Tuesday Dion Phaneuf has been named the recipient of the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award. The Scurfield Award is presented each year to the Flames player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service.
In his third professional season, defenceman Dion Phaneuf has not only established himself as an elite player but has also proven he is a proud Albertan who truly understands how important it is to use his profile to enhance the work of local charities and make a positive impact on his community.
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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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