Kukla's Korner Hockey
New York – While much about the fan balloting for the Western Conference All-Star starters has come into focus, a wild battle is raging among three former Norris Trophy-winners for the chance line up next to Chicago’s Brian Campbell on the blue line for the face-off of the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. today, Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer had nudged slightly ahead of Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom for the second-highest vote total among Western Conference defensemen…
continued at NHL.com
New York – Having already received more votes than any goaltenders in the history of NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, neither Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury nor Montreal’s Carey Price have secured the big prize: the starting nod for the Eastern Conference in the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. ET, Fleury held just a 39,363-vote lead over Price in an election in which the two young stars had received an astounding total of more than 2.2 million votes….
continued at NHL.com
I had the pleasure of talking with Eddie Olczyk this morning and discussed Wings/Blackhawks. Eddie will be providiing the color for the Winter Classic on NBC which starts at 1:00pm ET on January 1st.
If you wish to download the audio, just click here.
NEW YORK (December 30, 2008) – The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that it will honor seven Chicago sports legends during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field. The salute to the sports legends, all of them Hall of Famers in their respective sports, will open the outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio, XM Radio).
The Hall of Fame legends scheduled to appear include former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, former Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, former Cubs outfielder Billy Williams and Blackhawks greats Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard.
from Darren Pang at PhoenixCoyotes.com,
Several years back, I was up in the scoreboard and my duty was to change the score as the Cubs were struggling. I had to place the old tin numbers in the right spot. It was hot and muggy. It was so cool to be up there. What an experience that was.
On Jan. 1, I will see the first NHL game played at Wrigley and I can’t wait. No need for anyone up in that old scoreboard.
The Wings vs. the Hawks. The defending Champs vs. the Contender, a real legitimate contender.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg against Kane and Toews.
Outdoors. Let the temperature drop and let the game begin!
from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,
It’s understandable that Murray is shopping around but the bottom line is there’s no trade Murray can make that will save his team’s season.
Vermette, Fisher and Schubert aren’t going to attract the type of players Murray wants, and if he’s to be believed he’s not shopping Spezza.
Even if he were, Spezza’s expensive salary ($7 million per season) with a no-trade clause kicking in after next season significantly limits his market value. It’s not that teams aren’t interested, most just simply cannot afford to take him on their payrolls.
There’s even been some talk of getting Dany Heatley to waive his no-trade clause but unless Heatley requests a trade Murray won’t move him.
from Matt Kalman of the Hockey Journal,
Former Bruins standout Rick Middelton, who now lives in New Hampshire, remembers how everyone pretty much did their own thing when they arrived for a game during his days with the Black and Gold (1976-88).
“Well there wasn’t any soccer, I’ll tell you that,” he told Hockey Journal, with a laugh under his words….
“Every routine that I saw was different,” he said. “And then there’s the routine itself – what time you do certain things. Some guys get dressed and sit there three hours before the game; some guys liked to get dressed in 15 minutes.”...
“We had a goalie, Marco Baron. I guess it must’ve been on game days that he played he couldn’t touch doorknobs – unless he turned it exactly the right way, he wouldn’t walk through it,” Middleton recalled. “I said, ‘Thank God the door to the Bruins’ dressing room didn’t have doorknobs; we never would’ve got out there because the goalie goes first.”
from SnapShots at Mlive,
I can only promise you two things over the next 72-or-so hours:
1. I can’t say that I’ll find every mainstream media story written about the Winter Classic II, but I’ll sure as hell try.
2. This ain’t no stinking commercial for the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL and the Blackhawks clearly planned on “selling” the game as a statement for the resurgence of the Hawks’ franchise, and Burnside’s interview with Hawks president John McDonough and the Blackhawks website’s coverage of the preparations (including the “de-stressing” of Wrigley’s ice) indicate as much.
A clip from NBC Chicago captures an unnamed NHL employee describing the game at hand thusly: “This year we’ve got the resurgent Hawks, which are just a fantastic story…In the world of sports, for that matter, and they’re playing their arch rival, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and it’s really shaping up to be a fierce, fierce day of hockey.”
Note that the Red Wings weren’t even mentioned by name. That’s how it’s shaping up.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
In the hockey code, agitators such as Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo are supposed to stand up to their mischievous ways by answering the challenge of a fight or at least “man up” in other ways.
Avalanche coach Tony Granato all but called Tootoo chicken after the Predator refused to fight an Avs player for the second time this season following attempts at a big hit.
“We expected a guy who was running around to stand up and fight for himself. Instead, he went down and covered up,” Granato said of Tootoo. “I would expect a guy that runs around that much, finishing his check and stirring the pot as much as he does, to be able to answer the bell. I’m sure Darcy felt the same thing.”
via Flames Insider at the Calgary Journal,
Referee Mike Leggo took the unusual step of making a public comment Monday night after botching a call in Calgary’s 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Late in the second period, Minnesota’s Stephane Veilleux scored a goal, but the puck came out so quickly that the tally was waved off and play continued (as an aside, why can’t the nets be loose and drapey like in the old days?) Moments later, Flames defenceman Mark Giordano shot the puck over the glass.
After consulting the video goal judge, Veilleux’s goal was rightly counted . . . and Giordano was penalized for delay of game. Leggo admitted that he goofed and that the goal should have negated the penalty. Luckily for the zebras, the Wild failed to convert on that power play.
If I recall correctly, the Wings were involved in the same type of play earlier this season. Wings were awarded a goal from a replay and Rafalski (I think) took a penalty after the goal but before play was stopped to review the goal. I recall Ken Daniels reciting the rule stating the penalty is not wiped-out, so now I am really confused
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Allen Iverson made fun of practice, saying it was overrated.
The Flyers disagree.
“We talkin’ about practice,” goalie Marty Biron said in his best Iverson impersonation after yesterday’s workout here at General Motors Place. “It’s the first one we’ve had in a long, long time.”
Because of a crowded schedule, the holiday break, and weather-related travel woes, the Flyers had not had a full practice since Dec. 19.
“I think we’ve gotten away from what we were doing,” center Jeff Carter said. “We had a couple days off and haven’t really practiced and kind of got sloppy and really weren’t playing our system or style. Just have to go out there and get back to basics, and we should be good.”
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
One game into his comeback from a second knee operation in a span of five months, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is hurt again. He took part in the pre-game skate today at Madison Square Garden but will miss tonight’s game against the Rangers with a strained groin.
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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