Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Slap Shot at the NY Times,
During the final 10 minutes of many Rangers home games, the spotlights focus on Section 407 as Larry Goodman, the season-ticket holder known as Dancin’ Larry, pumps up the crowd with a frenetic dance in the aisle.
As Goodman’s routine is broadcast on the giant monitors above the ice, a familiar chant picks up momentum. “Ho-mo Lar-ry!” the crowd shouts.
The chant is one example of what several gay hockey fans describe as a toxic atmosphere during Rangers games. They say that Madison Square Garden, which owns the team, is not doing nearly enough to address their concerns.
from the Mercury News,
“They’re all out here - by a country mile,” Wilson said. “The West has depleted the East of the great ones.”
The Sharks’ acquisition of Buffalo’s Brian Campbell last month was the latest example of how cornering the market on top-echelon defensemen has helped tilt the NHL’s balance of power toward the Wild, Wild West.
The list is impressive. Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski. Dallas’ Sergei Zubov, Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf and Chicago’s Duncan Keith.
And now Campbell.
“Either through free agency or trades, guys are finding their way to the West,” Campbell said.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Nine months later Roenick is thankful that he went to see his former Blackhawks teammate (Doug) Wilson and grateful to Wilson for giving me “a chance to hold my head high again.”
Roenick said he was “blown away” by the respect that Wilson showed him that day.
“He told me that he didn’t want me to retire the way that it was going,” Roenick said, still touched by that meeting. “That meant the world to me because respect is huge to me.”
from the AP via NHL.com,
Teppo Numminen filed a grievance against the Buffalo Sabres for suspending him without pay after the veteran defenseman failed a preseason physical because he required open-heart surgery.
The grievance was filed with the NHL Players’ Association in November, union spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon told the Associated Press on Thursday.
News of the grievance surfaced as Numminen rejoined the team this week. Numminen had previously declined to discuss whether he was unhappy with the Sabres’ decision to place him on their suspended list after it was discovered during a routine physical in September that he required surgery to repair a faulty valve
via the Detroit News,
Wings defenseman Brad Stuart is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and possibly the beginning of the playoffs after suffering a broken finger.
Stuart was injured blocking a shot in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Columbus. Wings officials said the injury typically sidelines a player from 3-6 weeks.
added 1:53pm, Ansar Khan has more at Mlive...
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
Wednesday, captain Jarome Iginla and the players were back in full penitent mode after the 1-3 road trip. Vowing to up the intensity, they echoed comments made ad nauseum this season and last about getting serious. Vows that evaporate like a spring snow.
Coming from Iginla, there is at least the sense of sincerity in his resolve. In fact, the captain’s shoulders are a little too broad sometimes. As any dim bulb can see, he’s the Flames’ best player and has gone the long mile to make a success of the team. He’s a consummate diplomat with the media and as good with the fans as any player I’ve ever seen. Iggy shows up for games and fights.
That Captain Canada effort has given some players on the team a free pass, however.
Why do it when Jarome pulls the sled?
from the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet and this could look pretty silly if they were to somehow meltdown and miss them, but it’s time to look at what the best possible matchups for this team might be in the postseason.
If they can’t win their division and finish third overall, then clearly getting to sixth would have to be a priority because they would then matchup with another Northwest team. You only need to look at the standings to know that these teams are absurdly close.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
With the end of the regular season only two and a half weeks away, Colorado’s possibilities still run the gamut.
The Avs could:
a) Win the Northwest Division and claim the No. 3 Western Conference playoff seed. Because they will have finished strong and captured international attention with Peter Forsberg’s signing, they likely would become a fashionable darkhorse playoff pick.
b) Miss the playoffs altogether if they struggle and Nashville or Edmonton roars down the stretch.
c) End up somewhere in between, as the No. 6, 7, or 8 seed and going against a division winner in the first round.
from the Edmonton Sun,
If the Oilers win, they’re three points back of Vancouver for eighth spot, with another head to head game remaining. Lose and the Canucks are likely out of reach for good, and Edmonton will have to set its sights on the loser of tonight’s Colorado-Calgary game.
“I’m just really excited about the opportunity that the team’s created for itself,” said head coach Craig MacTavish.
“That’s all we can ask for, to play well enough to give ourselves continuing opportunity. And this really reeks and smacks of that opportunity. We feel like we’re in a pretty good state right now to handle it.”
from the Miami Herald,
Olli Jokinen, the captain, the leading scorer, the name most associated with Panthers hockey, understands the stakes for his team because he agrees this is the ‘‘biggest game,’’ of the season.
But he also has to have a clear understanding of what this means to him. Personally.
And that is this: He must keep the Panthers winning and pointed toward the playoffs, because if he doesn’t his reputation as a guy who can’t get his team in the postseason will only mushroom.
‘‘Every year you feel like a failure if the team doesn’t make the playoffs,’’ Jokinen said Wednesday. ``All the goals and points—that’s all stuff you want to put away. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs, it’s a failure.
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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