Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
...You might question the overall mobility of Vancouver’s blue-line corps, but certainly not its depth. When you have a talented player such as Kevin Bieksa slotted in recent games as your fifth defenseman behind the Willie Mitchell-Sami Salo and Mattias Ohlund-Alexander Edler pairings, you know it’s a decent group.
Outstanding in goal, solid on defense and now balanced offensively up front. Anyone like this team’s odds?
“Once you’re in the playoffs, I think anything is possible for any team that’s in there,” Vigneault said. “It’s a matter of getting on a roll at the right time and getting your players to believe in themselves.
“Right now, our guys are feeling pretty good about their game and pretty good about their teammates.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Vancouver Canucks have done a great job down the stretch reeling in the Calgary Flames in the battle for the Northwest Division title. The biggest reason why may be the play of a pair of youngsters.
You can colour me surprised because if you had told me at the beginning of the season that Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler would be the top two players on the Vancouver Canucks, I would have said ‘I don’t think so.’ Valuable guys yes, but most valuable? Well that’s exactly what they are.
via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
During the melee, Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and the Hawks’ Duncan Keith got tangled and Burrows yanked Keith to the ice by his hair and continued pulling on the defenseman’s mane as they wrestled on the ice.
“That’s not something I’ve ever had happen to me,” Keith said. “My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It’s kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice.”
“I don’t know what the ruling is,” Keith said. “I don’t know if the league reviews that or not. It’s pretty blatant he was pulling my hair.”
The pulling of hair is prohibited and normally would draw a match penalty. However, none of the officials on the ice saw it as they were tending to ther other fights on the ice.
“I think it’s silly,” Hawks forward Adam Burish said. “There’s no spot for that. I think that’s stupid the way he was pulling [Keith’s] hair. Especially a nice haircut like Duncan has. I didn’t see it at the time [but] I’m sure I would have been more mad than I was already.”
The video of the whole incident was posted on KK early today if you missed it.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles and the Chicago Daily-Herald,
After what happened Sunday night at the United Center, you’ve got to wonder if it would be better for the Hawks to face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs than Vancouver.
The Canucks can be a physical, nasty team with a more complete defense than Calgary, a more intimidating goalie in Roberto Luongo and a more dangerous top line with the Sedins and Alex Burrows.
Then. the fights broke out.
Canucks went on to shutout the Blackhawks 4-0.
You can checkout the boxscore at TSN for all the penalties.
“Just look at the standings. [Friday’s] game was a huge two points for us and it set this game up in Chicago. We see where we are in the standings. We see the battle we’re in with Calgary and Chicago and even Columbus. We see how huge this game is.”
-Mats Sundin of the Vancouver Canucks talking about today’s game against Chicago. More on the Canucks from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Right about the middle of next month, the Blackhawks are sure to make their first postseason appearance since 2002.
With the season dwindling to its final games, they’re already getting a taste of what that experience will be like. That learning process should continue when the Hawks play their biggest game of the season when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night at the United Center.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 in Vancouver yesterday and discussed the media in Vancouver.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver is the fifth stop for Hordichuk in an eight-year NHL career and before signing with the Canucks last summer, he had heard all the horror stories about how tough the travel is out on the West Coast.
So far, the most difficult thing has been deciding which of the three entrees to order on the team’s charter airplane, a custom-fitted Air Canada jet that is the Canucks’ home away from home.
A typical travel day goes something like this, once the players and coaches board the 60-seat aircraft, where all the seats are first-class and legroom is most definitely not an issue.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Hordichuk says. “We get on board and they have some appetizers, some fruit and maybe some salads and vegetables and whatever kind of snacks you want. Then you have your main entree, which is usually a choice of three different meals.
“I think first and foremost, I want to win the Cup and whichever team is going to give me the best chance to do that is the team I want to be with,. I love Vancouver, it’s a great city with great fans. So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time there. Obviously, this year and next year are going to be a key role in my decision.”
-Roberto Luongo on ‘After Hours’ on HNIC last night. More from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org