Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I would like to sincerely thank Glen Sather and the New York Rangers for giving me the opportunity this past season in New York. I would also like to thank the Vancouver Canucks and all of their fans for their support over the 11-plus seasons I was a part of their organization, as well as to the Pittsburgh Penguins where I began my NHL career.”
-Markus Naslund in his official retirement announcement. More at NewYorkRangers.com.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester figures to break the bank when he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. So, what about the second-most coveted free-agent defenseman: Montreal’s Mike Komisarek?
According to an NHL team executive, his organization initially viewed the right-side blueliner as a $6 million player but downgraded him slightly after his mediocre season. One problem is the rugged Komisarek brings virtually no offense into the equation. He is an upgrade over Scott Hannan, who signed a four-year, $18 million contract with Colorado in 2007, but with the salary cap poised to shrink in 2010-11, Komisarek might be worth closer to $5 million annually.
read on for more hockey topics…
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today a restructuring of the National Hockey League club’s broadcast teams. Jeff Rimer, Bill Davidge and George Matthews will each return to the broadcast booth in 2009-10, while television analyst Danny Gare will not.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Interesting morning down at the Verizon Center in advance of Monday night’s Game 2. …
• First, it continues to boggle the mind that the NHL chooses not to force the Penguins and Caps—or, frankly, any two teams during the playoffs—to take the morning skate in the same building.
The Caps don’t like to skate at Verizon Center on game days, choosing most often to skate at their practice facility in Arlington, Va. Fair enough, but for the media covering the series—and, really, isn’t it always all about the media?—travel between the two sites on the morning of a game is difficult, not to mention annoying….
continued with more pre-game notes…
via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres acquired Mikael Tellqvist at the trade deadline as a short-term insurance policy. Turns out that’s exactly what he was.
The goaltender’s career in Buffalo lasted just six games, as the pending unrestricted free agent has signed to play with Ak Bars of Russia’s KHL. A report out of Sweden said Tellqvist signed for about $1.3 million, up from this season’s NHL salary of $800,000.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
I love overtime in hockey. Who wouldn’t?
But overtime period after overtime period after overtime period? No way!
I am quite certain this will offend many and quite frankly, I don’t care.
Play one period of 5-on-5 overtime and if the score is still tied, play 4-on-4 until a winner is declared. It really isn’t a radical idea. I understand this would be a huge break from tradition, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. The NHL went to 4-on-4 in overtime in 1999-2000 and we survived, right?
For heaven’s sake, it’s just a freaking hockey game! The fate of the world is not depending on the outcome.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
The one guy who knew Simeon Varlamov really well - better than anybody else on the Washington Capitals, probably - was Dave Prior, the team’s goaltending coach, and he didn’t want to use him. Sure, José Theodore had been ventilated in the first game of the playoffs, and Washington’s whole enterprise was suddenly unsure.
But though Varlamov had played well in his six regular-season appearances, Prior didn’t know if the silent Russian kid could handle playoff hockey, playoff pressure. Nobody did.
“Well, it wasn’t an easy choice,” said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau Sunday. “I lost hair over that one.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have more than a few issues to deal with as their second-round series lands in the Windy City. But job No. 1 is defending those killer stretch passes that have exposed their blueline.
David Bolland’s shorthanded goal Saturday night was simply the most glaring example of that play, but the Blackhawks have used the long bomb to ignite their attack throughout the first two games.
It’s confusing the Canucks’ coverage. It’s putting Roberto Luongo under considerable duress. And it’s completely negating the Canucks’ forecheck.
Here’s the result. Aside from a 30-minute span from the 10-minute mark of the first period to the end of the second period in Game 1, the Hawks have dominated this series to an alarming degree. The Canucks now have to prove they can play at their speed or slow them down to their own. Either way, the challenge is formidable.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Some, with heavy emphasis on the word “some,” Detroit Red Wings fans, at least some of those who choose to leave comments on this blog site, seem remarkably arrogant and cocky when it comes to the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series between their team and the Ducks.
The Red Wings, themselves, are suffering from no such delusions, as evidenced by some of their quotes after Sunday’s 4-3, triple-overtime Ducks victory at Joe Louis Arena tied the series 1-1 entering Game 3 Tuesday night at Honda Center.
Perhaps that contingent of Detroit fans can learn something from what their team had to say.
Coach Mike Babcock: “When this playoff series started, we knew it was going to be hard. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of surprise about how the games have been played.”
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit has two big stars who have gone dry: Pavel Datsyuk, a candidate for MVP of the league, and Marian Hossa, who signed in Motown for the sole purpose of winning a ring. They were the teams’ No. 1 and No. 3 point scorers during the season.
Neither man has a goal this series. Each has scored on just one night of the playoffs so far — and we’re in the second round. Hockey is about many things, that’s true, and you contribute many ways, that’s true. But they keep score by goals. And sooner or later, your stars must light it up if you want that ring.
“There’s no question about it,” agreed coach Mike Babcock after the 4-3 loss, “your best players gotta be your best players.”
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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