Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
If the Flyers are going to make the playoffs, they will, by most estimates, need 91 or 92 points. So they have to earn nine or 10 points over these final eight games, four of which are against the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, who have given the Flyers problems this season. There are also two games against the resurgent fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, who have 89 points.
The Flyers are likely going to labor to collect points from these clubs, even if they sweep the remaining two games against the Islanders.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
“I remember a couple of years ago Ed Jovanovski leaned over the bench and said, `Hey Andy, when did you turn into a tree hugger?’” Ference said with a laugh yesterday in an interview.
“There was one other time – I won’t tell you the guy’s name – when I was in a bit of a scrum and he punched me in the face and I punched him in the face and then he said, `Why don’t you go save the f—-ing world?’
“I’m pretty sure that one was an insult.”
It comes with the territory, of course, as being identified as a professional athlete interested in environmental and other international issues.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
You read correctly: the boyish Bobby Orr turns 60 today, but the brilliant defenceman of yesteryear will not be in attendance at the TD Banknorth Garden. Instead, Orr will remain at his winter home in Jupiter, Fla., and quietly celebrate his milestone birthday with his wife, Peggy, and his family and friends.
“He probably doesn’t want to acknowledge it,” Harry Sinden, Orr’s first coach with the Bruins and later his general manager, said jokingly.
Even though Orr hasn’t lived in Canada for more than 40 years, since he first suited up for the Bruins in 1966, he remains as visible as any hockey player in this country, including Wayne Gretzky, because of his commercials for General Motors and MasterCard and work for Chevrolet’s Safe & Fun Hockey program to help young players develop positive values while learning the game’s fundamentals.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Last night at the Rock, the clock was tick-tick-ticking away on the game and, in essence, on whatever chance the Rangers New York Rangers were going to have at making a dash down the stretch to capture the East title.
It was 1-0 Devils with fewer than five minutes to go in third, just as it had been 1-0 Devils from the 6:05 mark of the first.
In other words, Drury Time.
Time for the Big Moment Kid.
from Russo’s Rants,
As (Kurtis) Foster passed the goal line, he was hit from behind by an oncoming Torrey Mitchell and slammed headfirst into the lower part of the end boards at full-speed.
“It’s just one of those things that tell you that there should be automatic icing,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “I guess that’s a play where the fans want to see a big car wreck like that.”
Mitchell, immediately realizing the severity of the situation, showed concern toward Foster.
“We both fell, so I don’t know if I lost an edge first or he lost an edge first,” Mitchell said. “I was coming in with a lot of speed and so was he. We collided. It wasn’t intentional. I asked him if he was OK when it was over and he said no. … I would never want to hurt anyone.”
added 7:47am, you can view a video of the play using the TSN Video Player.
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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