Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP,
Only one division in the NHL can boast having every single team over the .500 mark. Surprisingly, it’s the Central.
Widely considered the weakest of the league’s six divisions over the last few years, where Detroit has captured six straight titles, the Central has some spine this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are vastly improved while the Nashville Predators have not tumbled badly as many had predicted.
“They’re all good teams,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press this week.
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Coming off the Devils’ seventh straight win, I spoke to Brodeur about his goaltending style, his new coach and teammates and the league’s progression from the neutral-zone traps of the ‘90s to the more wide-open style played today….
Who’s the player you’d least want to see coming at you on a breakaway or in a shootout?
Jagr. He’s so skilled, he can beat you with his reach, his moves, his shot. He’s really talented, he’s one of the guys I fear most in the league.
Other than yourself, who would you say are the three best goalies in the NHL today?
[Roberto] Luongo has to be one. DiPietro, for sure. [Henrik] Lundquist, he’d be another one.
from Eye Weekly,
At least, on Jan. 1, the NHL’s televising that outdoor hockey game in Buffalo, that “Winter Classic” between the Penguins and Sabres — because, the way it stands right now, watching Syd the Kid skate through a snowstorm is looking like superior New Year’s Day entertainment than anything college football’s gonna provide.
you can read on, but it is all NCAA Football talk & we give them a pass on “Syd”.
via RDS (translated sort of),
The Penguins have placed the name of Mark Recchi to tie. L’attaquant de 39 ans avait été rayé de la formation lors de six derniers matchs. The attacker 39 year old had been removed from the training during the last six matches.
added 1:07pm, via TSN,
The Pittsburg Penguins have placed forwared Mark Recchi on waivers.
Recchi, 39, has had a difficult year - playing in only 19 of the Pens’ 26 games this year and has registered just two goals and six assists. Recchi has been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games.
Ironically, Monday was “Mark Recchi Bobblehead” night in Pittsburgh.
from Craig Custance at the Sporting News,
Talk to everyone involved with the team and you’ll get different ideas about the season’s turning point. A wild comeback that fell just short in Ottawa. A gutsy win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. A thrilling shootout win in Montreal. With each of those efforts, each team dinner on the road and every minute of grinding travel from one stop to the next, a bond formed where chemistry had once been a huge issue.
“That’s how your hockey club grows together,” Waddell says. “They can practice all they want, but after practice everyone has their own lives, their own families. On the road you become a hockey club.”
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“Hockeytown,” which still graces the center-ice circle at Joe Louis Arena, remains a brilliant slogan, a motto so evocative that the Canadiens emulated it this season with “The city is hockey,” evidence that Montreal has game if not syntax. Of course in Detroit in 2007 the Hockeytown moniker seems as appropriate as, well, dipping a beef taco in a glass of milk.
Detroit’s Hockeytown crown has slipped. There were so many empty seats in The Joe during the playoffs last spring that you could have twirled an octopus in some rows of the upper deck and not slimed a soul.
from University Sport,
Mike Babcock has indicated that his alma really does matter and he intends on wearing his old school tie when he steps behind the bench for Detroit’s National Hockey League game against the Montreal Canadiens, tonight.
Babcock, who played hockey at McGill University in the mid-1980s, where was captain and MVP of the Redmen, confided to some old school buddies during dinner in Old Montreal, Monday, that he would wear the crimson red silk tie for the game against the Habs.
For close-up pictures of the tie, see a previous KK post...
from the National Post,
Vigneault likes the identity his team has forged in the last month and said that Linden doesn’t fit the type of player he is looking for on his fourth line.
“We have to look at our team identity right now,” Vigneault said yesterday, which was a day off for his players. “We have one offensive line, we have a good checking line, we are getting some identity now on that fourth line as far as grit, grind and in-your-face-type hockey ... So that’s where we are right now.
“Where does Trevor fit? If we want to be an in-your-face type team on a fourth line, Trevor doesn’t fit there. We’re in that little dilemma now.”
from the Star-Ledger,
Two months into his first season as an NHL coach and with the Devils riding a seven-game winning streak, Brent Sutter sat down yesterday for a one-on-one interview with The Star-Ledger….
You’ve been tough on some guys. Is part of your coaching style to challenge, push and test your players?
Coaches need to find the right buttons with players. There is accountability. They need to play at a certain level for the team to be successful and there are different ways coaches have to get them to do that. It depends on the circumstances and what is going on at that point in time. Coaching isn’t always about soft love. Sometimes there is tough love involved.
from the Courier Post,
Briere and Kapanen, each of whom is listed at an exaggerated 5-foot-10, traded a flurry of punches while battling for a puck along the boards in a 2-on-2 drill. They were quickly separated by teammates.
“It wasn’t much,” Briere said. “It was a battling drill. I think he gave a shot to somebody and then he gave me a shot. There were some pushes back and forth.”
For the record, those weren’t pushes, they were punches.
Kapanen suggested there was more to the skirmish than some spur-of-the-moment adrenaline…
So what gives? Is it possible Kapanen was trying to send a message to Briere?
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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