Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Sidney Crosby recalls attending prep school in Minnesota in the spring of 2001, getting ready for his entry into major-junior hockey a couple of years later.
Ryan Whitney was a senior at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was participating in the U.S. national developmental program.
And Mark Recchi was a respected veteran, with a Stanley Cup ring and hair that was thinning a bit on top.
OK, so not everything has changed over the past six years, but one thing finally has: The Penguins are part of the NHL playoffs again.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero, son of famed coach Fred Shero, grew up with a far greater understanding of the league’s history and tradition than others who have risen to his rank.
He appreciated the difficulty of the playoff gauntlet long before he had his first NHL job, and he can testify to the stages of building a championship team, including the time-honored tradition of a team needing to know playoff failure before it knows playoff success. But he doesn’t necessarily buy the idea that history has an impact on the future.
A new spot for Gatorade by Downtown Partners DDB in Toronto, airing exclusively in Canada, reveals what happens inside the head of Sidney Crosby, center for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as he prepares to take a shot on goal.
As Crosby, the youngest player with two 100-point NHL seasons barrels toward the goalie, the camera zooms onto, and eventually smacks into, the back of his head.
Inside, we find a group of men dressed like air-traffic controllers gathered around a miniature hockey table with graphics reminiscent of a video game. Crosby’s mind is a hive of activity. In one area, men shovel coal into a blazing blue fire. In another, hundreds of pictures blaze by.
read on...and you can see the video there too…
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Few can say they went on tour with legendary rock bands.
Joel Kwiatkowski did, though, as he and his wife followed bands Poison and Cinderella through Michigan on their “20 Years of Rock Tour” last summer.
And, it wasn’t like he was just following the bands to catch some concerts. Kwiatkowski, a guitar player, actually got on stage with the bands during their sound checks.
“I am actually really into music. Chris Moody, my old [assistant equipment manager] in Florida, his best buddy is a tour manager for a bunch of bands. So, we got out with Poison and Cinderella on a little tour last summer,” he said.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The Buzz: You can’t get Americans to watch a hockey game without dressing it up with a healthy dollop of good old fist-in-your-face violence.
The BACKHAND: For the record (and you can look it up) the highest-rated Versus Network hockey telecast ever was last week’s game between the swift-skating Buffalo Sabres and the similarly inclined Pittsburgh Penguins. The game didn’t have a single fight, almost no penalties and was a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat affair that featured Buffalo coming back from a two-goal deficit in the closing minutes of play before Pittsburgh pulled out the win via a walk-off shootout goal from Sidney Crosby before a sellout crown in the supposedly decrepit Mellon Arena.
read on and much more Buzz & Backhand topics…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
“He doesn’t mind talking on the bench, let’s put it that way,” said Crosby. “It’s not the first time (he has said something to me). That’s just the way it is.
“If he wants to say that I’m disrespectful to him, if he feels he wants to do that, that’s fine.
“It’s not right, but if he wants to do that, so be it.
“I didn’t speak to him until he started making gestures.
“But what I was saying was, ‘Why are you looking at me?’ There was absolutely no reason for him to be yelling at me.”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Not only will the Penguins players have their names over their stalls, but the coaches’ room will have a label on it with a Penguins logo, as will the training room and the video room.
Heinze also hangs signs bearing the slogans that are prominent around Mellon Arena; sayings such as “Attention to detail,” “Pride,” “Respect,” “Commitment,” and “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
“When we go on the road, I try to make their experience as comfortable as possible,” Heinze said. “I want them to walk in and see the Penguins logos everywhere. It really does dress up all the visiting locker rooms and I like it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators coach Bryan Murray yesterday accused Pittsburgh Penguins superstar centre and NHL poster boy Sidney Crosby of swearing at him during the first period of Ottawa’s 4-3 shootout loss on Sunday.
Murray said that’s conduct unbecoming of an NHL superstar.
“He’s one of those young people, and rightly so, that the league is really promoting as the example of the new NHL,” said Murray. “When he turns, and I’m sure he’s on camera quite often, using the language he does, I don’t think that’s something he should do. That’s all.”
from Joe Starkey at the Hockey News,
It used to be that Fleury made the simple save look spectacular; he dropped to his knees more often than a break dancer. Now, pucks are regularly hitting him in the chest. Coach Michel Therrien’s structured system hasn’t hurt and it’s nice when your guys are filling nets like longshore fishermen, too.
“The team is helping me out a lot,” Fleury said. “They’re blocking shots and clearing rebounds, which is a big help. The forwards are coming back.”
Truth is, Fleury has begun to look like a closer. His penchant for allowing bad goals at the worst times had all but disappeared.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, the 18-year-old Penguins rookie gives his take on the Chris Simon suspension, tells us which of the four Staal brothers is the best NHL player and explains what it’s like riding shotgun with Sid the Kid….
Q: Who deserves the Calder, you, Malkin or Paul Stastny out in Colorado?
A: I think Malkin. He has done everything he can, everything possible to win it. I think he is definitely the man.
Q: Why not Jordan Staal?
A: [Laughs] I don’t know. I would love to win that thing, but I don’t have the numbers he has. Of course, we have been put in different roles, but I think the way Malkin has been playing, taking the pressure off Sid, he has been huge.
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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