Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
The battle for the top spot at the 2010 Entry Draft has turned into a three-horse race. And like any good horse race, this one currently is too close to call.
In NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking of North American skaters, Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall currently leads the Plymouth Whalers’ Tyler Seguin and Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler by a nose. And there’s a lot more time before the stretch run, meaning a lot can change between now and April, when the final rankings are released, and it could last all the way to the draft in Los Angeles, to be held June 25-26 at Staples Center.
“If you’re a tough guy you should respect the honor code. There were people fighting around us and I was holding Verot. Then he told me: “Ok, we are done. No fighting”. I released his hand and in a second he punched me in the face. I didn’t see that coming and that’s why I fell down.”
-Jaromir Jagr on the brawl in the KHL yesterday.. More from Jagr at RussianHockeyfans.com.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
You might have heard. Our beloved Los Tiburones are sending more players to the Canadian team than any other NHL franchise. The top Sharks forward line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau will be joined by defenseman Dan Boyle.
What does that mean? It means that Saturday night, Babcock was sending out his Detroit players to fight and battle against the Sharks players who could be Babcock’s most key offensive performers in Vancouver.
And that had to be awkward.
“I don’t think there’s anything awkward about it,” Babcock said. “I don’t really understand where you’re going.”
Actually, in my head, I am going where Babcock will be going in a few weeks. Anxiety or intensity doesn’t begin to describe the destination.
In case you missed Coach’s Corner tonight on HNIC, here it is.
Most of the conversation centered around Phil Kessel & the WJC and why Canada is still #1 in Don’s mind.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There appears to be a resolution to the Olympic hockey roster dispute.
The International Ice Hockey Federation sent out a memo Friday to all national member federations clarifying that, at this point, roster changes can only be made for “valid reasons,” and not because of player performance, ESPN.com has learned.
Even Jagr got involved.
Get the recap here and watch another video below the first one.
Thanks to the Twitter of Habsinsideout1 for the pointer…
added 3:49pm, RussianHockeyFans says the game had 691 PIMs and the game was canceled due to the brawls.
from Mary Paoletti of CSNNE,
The snow fell fast and even. Fans hopped off the Green Line, paused for a moment on Commonwealth Avenue, and tried to find their bearings. It was a hockey night—that much they knew—but it was already unlike any they had ever experienced.
On this frosty Friday in January there was to be a collision between historic college tradition and an event momentous enough to make history with it’s first try.
Two NCAA hockey games played in a baseball stadium. And not just any stadium but in “America’s most beloved ballpark.” For one night in a city ruled by a hierarchy of professional sports, and where the MLB especially reigns supreme, four teams of student athletes were called into court.
from Joe O’Connor of the National Post,
Canada’s 6-5 overtime loss to the United States in the gold-medal game at the world junior championship was a coin-toss, not a tragedy. Anything can happen in overtime. Except when it happens to be an American team that is doing the winning and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner—on Canadian ice—it tends to sting. And this is one particular pain that could get worse, and much more common, with potentially no cure in sight.
Consider this: The night before the Americans claimed gold in Saskatoon, their under-17 national team did the same thing in Timmins, Ont, beating Team Ontario at the world hockey challenge. America’s women, meanwhile, have won three of the last four world championships by dispatching Canada in the gold-medal game. All that needs to happen now is some calamity in Vancouver, when the Canadian men face the United States, and Mr. Harper might reconvene parliament with a royal commission charged with examining why our game is no longer ours alone.
“(Canadians) take any loss hard. Whether it’s world junior, Olympics, world championship, intersquad game, exhibition game. We’re all competitors and we all love to win.
“Certainly with the buildup to Vancouver 2010, this was kind of a stepping stone. Will it put a little more pressure (on us)? I’m sure it will.”
-Chis Pronger talking about Canada’s loss in the WJC. More ‘pressure’ talk from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
How big is the world junior hockey championship?
Let’s start with the gold medal game on Tuesday outdrawing the 2009 Grey Cup, which set an audience record of its own.
And let’s add that the Canada-U.S. showdown ranks as the most watched telecast of any kind in Canada since 2005.
The TSN audience is also the sixth largest for a Canadian telecast dating back to 1994.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com