Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Blue Seats at the NY Post,
I bring this up because of the heavily European Red Wings roster. North American players are out numbered slightly in Detroit, but it hasn’t hampered the club’s regular season success. Granted, they haven’t won a cup since 2002 when their core was comprised of greats like Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Pat Verbeek and Luc Robataille…
What this all has to do with the Rangers is this: we complain about the Jagr-ization of the power play, decrying it as European hockey when it’s not exactly that simple.
more... and no Cup for the ‘Little Ball of Hate” with the Wings. He only played two seasons with the Wings, 1999 & 2000, both non-Cup years.
A rough translation of this story from iDNES.cz,
Q: Writer Larry Brooks wrote in NY Post that Rangers shouldnt start next season in Prague but is not sure you will play for the team. Do you know it?
A: I dont solve this. I dont mind it.
You know, Nylander has left during summer. Straka was out for 15 games. That is not funny. I dont wanna complain, but with players, who Rangers bought in summer, i havent found clue, i didnt know how to play with them. Rangers invested big money into centers but i finished playing with boy from minors.
Q: You are captain, the biggest star on team. Rangers was Jagrs team. Is it stil Jagrs team?
A: I dont think so. Not now. If I dont play good, I am losing my position. But that is normal.
If you want to take a shot at more of the translation, feel free to post in the comments…
added 11:17am, You can find a better translation at HFBoards.
from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
Jaromir Jagr’s contract no longer contains a team option for next season, meaning that the current agreement under which he would earn $8.36M for 2008-09 will be extended only if he hits the performance triggers included in the deal, The Post has learned.
That means that unless Jagr scores 40 goals or records 84 points while the Rangers win a playoff round in April, or unless he wins the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy or Conn Smythe Trophy, a) No. 68 will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1; and, b) beginning next season the Blueshirts will no longer be entitled to any cap discount on their captain.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
When I addressed Tom Renney with that point, he paused and then hit the nail on the head.
“We’re legitimately in the top four or five of the conference,” said the coach. “But if the power play is bad - or we beat ourselves - the stats will bear out where we belong. And we should be humbled by that.”
“There’s a level of excellence that’s acceptable and we expect.”...
When I asked Sean Avery about it, he was blunt.
“The power play is all about work ethic and there are not enough guys working hard at it,” said Avery, who labored as energetically as any Ranger against Dallas.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Funny, but when it was over no Rangers player stomped around the locker room complaining that his team lost 3-2 because it had been out-goaltended, although Lundqvist griped after Wednesday’s 2-1 victory in Tampa because he was unhappy with the players Tom Renney had on the ice when the Lightning scored at 19:43 of the third to spoil the shutout….
“I wasn’t questioning why any individual player was on the ice, but I had a conversation with Brendan about maybe having more defensive players on the ice,” Lundqvist told The Post yesterday. “I haven’t talked to Tom about it. I’m not going to.”
from the New York Times,
“You have to break the fear,” Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival said. “You try it once, it hits your shin pads and you say, O.K. We all played the game for so long. Nobody really thinks about it anymore. It’s like natural. I don’t think there’s any guy in the locker room who would be thinking, Oh, should I block it or not?”
The N.H.L. did not start keeping statistics for blocked shots until 1998. Since then, blocking shots has become an increasingly important — if still hard to fathom — part of the game. Coaches preach of them as a way to cut down scoring chances, to keep life easier for the goalies, and to turn defense into something practiced by the whole team, not just the defensemen.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News (Sunday edition) via the Santa Barbara News Press,
I simply don’t have any great playoff memories of Jagr past 1992….
Maybe Jagr is more Scottie Pippen than Alex Rodriguez. Maybe he’s the sidekick who could never get it done on his own. Jagr floundered with the Penguins when Lemieux wasn’t there. He actually made the Washington Capitals a worse team. They are paying about $4 million a season for Jagr to not be on their team.
He’s all flash and no grind, and that’s a major sin in hockey.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
There is no neutral zone on the subject of Sean Avery, former boyfriend to actress Elisha Cuthbert, suitor to Paris Hilton (he was shut out), member of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” contingent, provocateur in Toronto Nov. 10 in a pregame dustup that left Avery denying a rumor that he had ragged Jason Blake for having leukemia. Avery later said that that’s over the line.
For someone like him, everything is a fine line. It’s part of NHL strategy for a team to have someone who challenges players physically and tries to intimidate them verbally. Euphemisms refer to them as “pests” or “agitators.” They are different from “tough guys” or “enforcers,” who are known for using their fists, not their vocabularies.
This protocol is one of hockey’s quirks that non-fans find hard to understand. Maybe the sport would be more popular if more people took the time to love or hate the likes of Avery.
A friend of mine (not a Rangers fan) argues that—love him or hate him—Sean Avery is good for hockey in many ways. I’m not always sure, myself… but he certainly does does know how to draw a spotlight.
from Men’s Vogue,
The interviewer, Gary Thorne, pressed Shanahan about the cottage in Ireland and running with the bulls. Finally, he brought up the Canadian Jazz Festival. To Shanahan’s dismay, he handed him a saxophone. “So, Shanny,” he said, a trifle smugly, “we wanted to have the opportunity to hear you do it.”
Shanahan, cornered, stood the saxophone on his thigh. He turned strangely calm, and he spoke without hesitating. “I would,” he said earnestly, “except the coach says, ‘No sax before a game.’ ” Such suave aplomb is only one reason I admire Shanahan.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But it still is no less incredible that Dan Girardi, emerging as a go-to, first-pair defenseman at the age of 23, could have gone through both the 2002 and 2003 entry drafts without one of the 30 teams calling his name; no less incredible that 583 players were selected in those two drafts and Girardi was not one of them.
“We were just talking about that this morning,” Tom Renney, then part of the Rangers’ personnel evaluation staff and now the coach who will send Girardi onto the ice with partner Fedor Tyutin against the Islanders’ most dangerous line tonight at the Garden, said on Friday.
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