Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Albright of ESPN,
Some facts and figures to digest prior to tonight’s national championship game between No. 4 West Regional seed Miami and No. 1 overall seed Boston University (ESPNHD and ESPN360, 7 p.m. ET) at the Verizon Center:
Boston University (34-6-4)
• The Terriers have won four national championships (1971, 1972, 1978, 1995).
• BU is 4-5 all time in NCAA championship games….
Miami University (23-12-5)
• First national championship appearance in any sport.
• Miami has the best winning percentage (.693) in Division I hockey over the past four seasons with a record of 106-43-14….
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The guy never has had the red carpet of life rolled out for him. For virtually his entire hockey career, he’s been dissed, dismissed, doubted and degraded. Even the person who engraved his name on the Stanley Cup engraved his surname as ‘Lagace’.
But like the famous movie producer Robert Evans, the kid has found a way to stay in the picture.
“You get used to it,” Legace told THN.com. “It’s been that way my whole life. ‘He’s too fat, he’s too small, he’s too this or that.’ So you get used to having to prove yourself every day. And that’s fine with me; that’s made me a better person and a better goalie.”
from David Albright of ESPN,
The 2009 Frozen Four finds itself in our nation’s capital this weekend as college hockey’s final weekend plays its last three games at the Verizon Center. And with that, you can add a new venue to the list of ones that have hosted this event.
If you’re keeping score, the Verizon Center will be the 30th different arena that has called college hockey’s final four home. Now the question is whether a new team will be added to the list of national champions.
Of the four teams left standing, only Boston University has previously won a title. If Bemidji State, Miami (OH) or Vermont skates around the ice with the championship plaque Saturday night, it will mark the 18th different school to claim the national title.
Here are five key questions (plus a bonus one) heading into Thursday’s national semifinals (ESPN2HD and ESPN360, 5 and 8:30 p.m. ET).
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey have been invited to play for Team USA in the World Championships in Switzerland from April 24-May 10. Ilya Kovalchuk will play for Russia, Tobias Enstrom for Sweden and Boris Valabik for Slovakia, Thrashers coach John Anderson said Wednesday. There may be others.
“I’d like to see Bryan Little get a chance with Team Canada,” Anderson said. “He certainly deserves it.”
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
It would be hard to imagine at this point how Mike Babcock could not be named the head coach of the Canadian men’s hockey team for next year’s Olympics.
Perhaps a verbal Avery-ism in front of TV cameras? Revelations that he was actually born in Galveston, Texas rather than Manitouwadge, Ont., and isn’t a Canadian citizen? Perhaps allegations from his McGill University days that he wore an autographed Alexander Ragulin T-shirt under his gear after secretly rooting for Rags and the Russians in ‘72?
Otherwise, while Steve Yzerman has maintained this is a decision that will have to wait until after the current NHL campaign is completed, the 45-year-old Babcock seems destined to be the man to lead the troops into Vancouver next winter.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Wilson is a good coach; he just isn’t the best coach available for this team. Not by virtually any meaningful measuring stick.
There were three clear-cut candidates for the United States, which is looking to erase the sting of a disappointing turn at the 2006 Torino Games, where an aging American squad won just one game.
John Tortorella, currently the coach of the New York Rangers; Peter Laviolette, former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes; and Wilson. It’s not like Burke ignored a Scotty Bowman type in naming Wilson, but it’s difficult not to put Wilson at the bottom of this list in assessing worthiness for this post.
Let’s take recent successes.
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson will be busy during the 2010 Olympic Games.
According to sources, Wilson will be officially named the head coach for the U.S. Men’s Olympic team on Monday.
Wilson, who has a long-standing relationship with USA Hockey, led the team to a gold medal in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He was also coached the team again in 2004.
from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,
As a hockey player, every winter you get handed 20 new friends. I usually got along with about 19, genuinely liked five and found one gem.
But what happens when there isn’t that one gem? Or even five you genuinely like? What happens when you only get along with 16 of your teammates? Does it affect your performance?
Talent is what it is, you’re either good or you aren’t. When you get the puck, you make good plays or you don’t. Confidence plays a small part in these decisions, but it comes from successes and failures. False confidence, like your Mom’s “great game” after playing like a donkey for 60 minutes, means as much as “Mission Accomplished” from George W. Bush.
from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com,
The call-up of Syracuse Crunch rookie forward Nikita Filatov to Columbus on Wednesday at first blush seemed so illogical that fans in both cities wondered if it was an April Fool’s Day joke. It wasn’t. There is nothing to laugh about, especially in Syracuse.
The Crunch’s loss of its top game-breaking threat at its most important time of the season represents a defeat in a battle of conflicting developmental philosophies. And it’s one that Syracuse hasn’t had to wage for at least eight seasons….
Syracuse coach Ross Yates was diplomatically mum when asked his opinion of the move.
“It doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I’m in a no-win situation. You’re not getting me to go there,” Yates said. “This (roster) is what they’ve given me. I’m going to do the best with what I have.”...
“It (stinks), but that’s what this league is for. You play down here to get up there. We’d like to have him, especially the way he’s been playing lately,” said Syracuse captain Dan Smith.
This video has made the rounds on the web today, so maybe you have seen it already but Linus Omark, and Edmonton Oilers prospect, makes a nice move on a shootout goal.
I do have a couple of questions- I wonder how an NHL goalie would feel about the goal and is the announcer trying to imitate Jack Edwards (ha, ha, ha)?
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