Kukla's Korner Hockey
Nobody is forcing (Jeremy) Jacobs to have a payroll bumping up against the cap ceiling. He could have instructed Bruins management to spend much less but instead allowed forking out big bucks for Joe Thornton, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Wideman. He’ll likely pay out even more to retain Tim Thomas, David Krejci and Phil Kessel this summer.
-Spector (Lyle Richardson) at his Fox Sports Blog. Read more from Lyle…
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Five identical signs hang in the Anaheim Ducks’ dressing room at the Honda Center and at their practice arena. All are emblazoned with instructive and, at times, inspirational messages.
For example, No. 3—Play With Self-Disciplined Aggression - reads, in part: “Control emotions when playing aggressively or you will be controlled by opponents or situations (i.e. bad call, cheap shot).”
No. 5—Unselfishness Is Essential—reads: ” ... Teammates, staff and officials are to be treated with RESPECT!”
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, stood amidst those signs last week and tried to explain that the league’s referees really don’t have it in for the Ducks.
continued plus some Wings and Barber Shop sweater talk…
from Mike Morreale of NHL.com,
“Back in the 1980’s, I was in awe of these masks,” Toronto artist Dave Arrigo told NHL.com. “I remember Grant Fuhr’s mask and Bunny Larocque’s. To me, that was still great art back then. It was the style of the time and, even today, they remain classics.”...
As decades passed, however, it seems goalies became a little more self conscious about what they were putting over their face. Sure, protection and comfort were first and foremost, but great artwork also offered a strong personal statement and inner connection.
“The goalie mask is a billboard to that player’s soul,” Arrigo said “It can be anything from a favorite video game to music legend.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
With back-to-back games against the torrid Boston Bruins slated for tonight at the Wachovia Center and Saturday afternoon in Boston, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren assessed his team’s recent play with these words:
“I think we’ve struggled lately,” he said of the Flyers’ 5-4-2 stretch. “We’ve got 33 games left and it’s going to be a dogfight. In my opinion, we’re not playing good enough to get into the playoffs.”
Message sent. But was it received as intended?
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHL’s trade deadline is exactly one month away from today. Between now and then, the speculation will ramp up and much of it will be unfounded. But hey, fans love this stuff, right?
Take, for instance, the crazy rumor we heard Tuesday. Someone we were talking to told us he had “heard” the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers were working on a three-way deal that would send Jason Spezza to the Big Apple, Jay Bouwmeester to Canada’s capital and Scott Gomez to South Florida.
“Gee, should I make the deal?,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said sarcastically when reached by ESPN.com on Tuesday. “Seriously, I don’t know where that comes from, but I can guarantee you, at least from my end, that that was never talked about. It’s unbelievable what people will say.”
continued with more trade talk…
added 10:15am, Spector gives his views on the trade talk too.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal answers a few questions from fans…
Q: The trade deadline is coming up. What players do you think might be on the trading block for the Oilers and whom do you see coming to Edmonton via trade?
A: After missing the playoffs for the last two years and it being imperative that they make it this time (probably to get a cacophony of fans off coach Craig MacTavish’s back even though they are close to 50 games over .500 in his tenure), the Oilers will almost certainly be buyers, not sellers. They need (a) a left-winger to play with Ales Hemsky, and (b) a defensive, big-body centre who can win faceoffs (Jerred Smithson and Radek Bonk ate them up in the Nashville game)....
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“I don’t know what the right words are, but my heart is pounding out of my chest. Can you tell?” Graves said.
Always the consummate teammate, Graves said it was his hope to go off the ice with his former teammates Mike Richter, Mark Messier and Brian Leetch. However, it was Messier who made Graves stay on the ice to absorb the final applause from one of the most adoring and appreciative crowds I have ever seen.
“Mess is Mess,” Graves said. “He gets greater joy out of other people’s success than his own. That’s just the type of guy he is. That’s Mark.”
more and watch the Graves tribute video below…
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,
So, are the Stars out of the woods yet in this very strange season? Hardly. But if this team can play like this on a fairly regular basis, then they definitely can win a lot of games.
Dallas (24-18-7, 55 points) now touts the fifth best points percentage in the West. That’s what happens when you win five straight.
Of course, as Brad Richards reminded, this can also go the other way if they put together a bad week.
Buf you have to love the gumption this team is showing right now. Are they a playoff team? Probably. Should they just ride out the chemistry and not do a thing? Hmmm. Have they earned the right to add a key player at the trade deadline (or earlier)?
from Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice,
Not sick-in-the-head, though many would advance that theory. Sick as in “Man, I can’t get outta bed, it hurts so bad” sick. One wicked case of sinus infection, which seems to happen this time every year.
Stuck at home, feeling like I blocked an Al MacInnis slapshot with my forehead, until the drugs kicked in. Dragged myself to the basement TV room couch. Thankfully, there were a lot of NHL games on this particular Tuesday evening.
Started with Pittsburgh in Montreal. Talk about a game both teams wanted to win. The Penguins trying to claw their way back into an Eastern Conference playoff spot; the Habs trying to hang onto theirs.
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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