Kukla's Korner Hockey
“This American team is coming in on a real high. They’ve got speed, they’ve got a lot of confidence. They’ve got a little bit of a thick skin that they built up,. They want redemption, they want a chance to be able to get a lead on Canada this time and shut it down.
“This is going to be very interesting,” says McKenzie. “Because Canada is kind of wobbling into the gold medal game, and the Americans are flying.”
-Bob McKenzie of TSN on the WJC Gold Medal game tomorrow. More on the game at TSN.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Brian Burke and his managerial staff for Team USA don’t believe their club is short on leaders despite the fact this happens to be the youngest group of Americans headed to the Winter Olympics since NHL players were introduced to the Games.
In fact, Burke, who in the fall of 2008 began evaluating the Americans he would ultimately choose to represent his squad in Vancouver, felt leadership was something he and his staff spent plenty of time debating.
“When you assemble a team, especially for a short-term tournament, leadership is critical,” Burke told the media during a conference call Monday. “We spent a lot of time on this. We discussed the type of player; what role he might have, is he a Type A or Type B personality. Is he wearing a letter now? Has he worn a letter on the US Team before? These are all things we talked about in great, great detail and at great length.
“Honestly I’m just going day to day right now. I had a great talk with (Moose coach) Scotty Arniel and every day I’m on the ice is just another day to get my legs going and feel good and have fun.
“As long as I’m here, there are young guys I think I can help and make better and it’s just all about being a good leader and being a good guy in the dressing room. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do my whole career.”
-Mathieu Schneider of the Manitoba Moose. More on Schneider from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
Critiquing TSN’s coverage of the world junior hockey championship seems almost like nit-picking, unless you’re one of those disgruntled hockey fans who’ve set up a Facebook page devoted to getting Pierre McGuire fired.
Admittedly, there are times when hoots of “roof daddy” and “stampeding elephants” might create the urge to sign on but McGuire and TSN have once again done a solid job of turning this tournament into a national must-watch event.
That said, and here comes the “but,” TSN might want to look at a few upgrades before Tuesday’s final.
For one, TSN might want to make sure it remembers there are two teams on the ice and tell viewers a bit more about those not wearing the maple leaf on their chests.
We also have the semi-finals of the WJC.
Canada vs. Switzerland at 5:00pm ET and Sweden vs. United States at 9:00pm ET. Both games are on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN/TSN2 will cover the games in Canada.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• My biggest concern on Steve Yzerman’s Team Canada: The apparent dependence on veterans Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger on defence. This is Pronger’s fourth Olympics. This should be Niedermayer’s fourth. Neither play at all-star levels anymore. Maybe they have one great tournament left in them. Maybe not.
• Another area of concern: Yzerman has added the entire San Jose line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley. Thornton has 10 NHL seasons with more than a point a game in the regular season, not one in the playoffs. Big games have never been his thing
more hockey talk…
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
• Gionta is being excluded for having missed 21 games with a broken foot from Nov. 14 through Boxing Day, no matter his ice generalship, two-way excellence and dressing-room leadership. And no matter Burke’s Friday claim that, “We tried to pick a team based on the body of work rather than how a (player) is playing now. We tried not to penalize players off to a slow start.”
• Gomez remains at home because Team USA assistant coach John Tortorella, head coach of the Rangers, had little time for the Anchorage native who played 21 games under him in New York last season.
• Burke would choose a Canadien over his dead body simply for his having been nearly booed out of the Bell Centre last June at the NHL entry draft. A Size XL ego who is loved or loathed with no grey area beyond his snowy scalp, Burke immediately claimed that he didn’t take the podium abuse personally. But ...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
• People who have watched Jiri Hudler with Moscow Dynamo say his heart’s not in it, but as one NHL executive says, “How do you turn your back on $10 million?” I’m sure he’ll be back in Detroit in two years. I know one thing: If the Red Wings knew Hudler was bolting for Russia, they would have moved to keep winger Mikael Samuelsson. Instead, they saved money for Hudler, who is seven years younger.
- - The Wings don’t feel Johan Franzen (knee) will be back until mid-February, so the Olympics are out, but if he somehow makes a quicker recovery, they have no objection to the Swedes adding him.
• The NHL is taking bids for next year’s Icemen Cometh outdoor game, but come on, if Alex Ovechkin, the best player in the game, isn’t on the bill at Yankee Stadium for the Washington Capitals against the New York Rangers, they’re missing the boat.
Winter Classic aimed at Americans and non-hockey fans; WJC for Canadians with true passion for the sport.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star on his Twitter
Any other truly passionate American hockey fans feel like this is a shot at us?.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
...the best illustration of the American depth can be seen in the team I can put together from players that were not selected for the American team:
1. Craig Anderson (Colorado)
2. Ty Conklin (St. Louis)
3. Jimmy Howard (Detroit)
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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