Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Perhaps, before tonight’s home encounter with the Atlanta Thrashers at MSG, John Tortorella ought to hire a bugler and a drummer.
Prior to his club taking the ice, the drummer would knock off a rousing roll on his snare while the bugler would toot that wake-up call of all wake-up calls, “Reveille.”
It might help because (No News Department) this is no time for comedy. You can look it up; the Blueshirts now officially are in No-Ifs-Ands-Or-Buts Land.
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Not going to keep beating this horse, but…11,448 last night for the Flames-Avs game, a showdown for first place in the Northwest Division. Folks, what gives? That was on a Family Night deal, too, where tickets and a meal averaged less than $25.
One question I have is: has the advent of HDTV made it less imperative to go to the games? Is the picture so good on TV now that, in effect, teams are hurting themselves by looking so good on TV?
Farber selects the Wings team of the 2001-02 season as the best team of the decade…
Their fourth line in the 2002 Stanley Cup finals featured Igor Larionov centering Luc Robitaille and Tomas Holmstrom. Larionov and Robitaille are now in the Hall of Fame. (Holmstrom will also be going if the Hall establishes a wing for players who set up shop on the edge of the crease during power plays and talk trash.) While Detroit’s 116 regular-season points fell two shy of Colorado’s team of all-stars the previous year, the Wings’ credentials were impeccable. Robitaille and Larionov represent just a sliver of slam-dunk Hall of Famers on that team, which included Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull (already enshrined), Dominik Hasek, Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan, Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov.
Much more by clicking the above links…
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Is Mike Keane not one of the best sports stories out there?
Keane returns to Denver on Tuesday night to be honored by the Avalanche as part of its Alumni Night series this season. Of course, the Avs had to find a night on the Moose’s schedule when they weren’t playing to get Keane to visit.
Keane is in the middle of his fifth consecutive season with the Moose, playing for chump change after 1,161 games of making NHL money. At this point, Keane really is playing for the love of the game, as it seems hopeless any NHL team will give him another chance.
He has been eyed by many NHL teams, but only as a coach or a front- office guy. But Keane stubbornly resists, believing he can still be of good use to a team in a jersey and skates, not a suit.
I have a lot of great memories as a writer covering Keane. He was always a personal favorite, not just because he gave a great quote — who can forget his “They’re all a bunch of homers” rip on the Red Wings in 1997? — but because he was smart and funny and a merciless needler.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“There’s good players in that room,” Laviolette said, pointing to the Flyers’ locker room. “I’m not looking for a trade. We’ve got good players coming back at some point this week. I’m looking for our guys to dig in.”
He says that his system - which includes a risky offensive style, a strong and structured team concept and rigid discipline - takes time.
“These guys don’t like change,” Laviolette said. “Change is hard. Change is tough. This is a complete change in philosophy. In Carolina, it didn’t happen right away.”
Laviolette called out Danny Briere yesterday for his crosschecking penalty against the Devils and made him skate in front of the entire team.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Henrik Lundqvist, who shares the distinction with Michal Rozsival of being the only two players who have been Rangers since the first training camp following the lockout, is under no illusions about what’s ahead in his fifth season on Broadway.
“I didn’t think we were going to be one of the top teams at the start because of all the new guys we brought in over the summer and the time it was going to take everyone to get used to a new system,” The King told The Post. “Now it looks like it’s going to be a year where it’s going to be a battle to make the playoffs.
“If you look at the standings you can see that there are a lot of teams in the middle. We’re one of them. We’re not up with Washington or Pittsburgh. We’re going to have a fight on our hands the whole year to make it.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Sutter didn’t explode like Mount Vesuvius after his team’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, but he came awfully close.
“It was a carry over from the other night,” he said. “We played three terrible periods at home the other night and it carried over for two periods here tonight. That tells me a little bit.”
Asked what it told him, Sutter said: “I don’t want to get into it.”
But he did give a solid hint.
“There was a sense of urgency in the third (period) that hasn’t been there for five periods,” he said.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
• On Saturday, the NHL’s holiday roster freeze goes in effect for eight days, meaning the last day for GMs to do their pre-Christmas player shopping is the 19th. In recent years, the Christmas deadline hasn’t elicited much action on the trade front, and with the Philadelphia Flyers signing goaltender John Grahame to a minor-league contract as insurance until Ray Emery gets back, it pretty much puts an end to speculation that they are in the market for netminding help.
• How can 14 of the 15 Western Conference teams go into today’s eight-game schedule with winning records – more points in the standings than games played? Obviously, the answer is three-point games – the bonus points awarded for shootout or overtime losses that distort the standings and create the illusion that no team is really struggling, even if they are.
added 8:28am, from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
You are Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. You wake up yesterday to discover your team, one of the NHL’s sad sacks not so long ago, is tied for top spot in the Western Conference at 45 points with the suddenly free-falling San Jose Sharks, the club you ran before being replaced by Doug Wilson.
Life certainly is good in Mr. Lombardi’s world these days.
A huge key to the Kings’ meteoric rise up the standings can be attributed to their success in the shootout. Los Angeles has reeled off six consecutive shootout victories.
from James Cybulski of TSN,
The Coyotes saga had to be one of the most painful to follow in 2009 so there’s no point in trying to rehash the NHL versus Jim Balsillie saga, but the end result may yet have a happy ending. With Ice Edge Holdings signing their letter of intent with the league on Friday, it shows that there is reason to believe that hockey may yet live in the desert. No people, I’m not drinking while writing this.
Here’s why it has reason to work. Despite what others may say to the contrary, these new owners are legit.
Marian Hossa catches the puck, tosses it down and puts it in the net before it hits the ice.
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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