Kukla's Korner Hockey
The recent off-season deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak has led to a growing chorus of critics calling for the National Hockey League to ban fighting.
That chorus includes former enforcers like Dave Schultz, holder of the single season record for most PIMs with 472, and Chris Nilan, the Montreal Canadiens all-time penalty minutes leader, who believe the role of enforcer has changed since their playing days in the 1970s and 1980s.
Rather than play a regular shift as Schultz and Nilan once did, today’s enforcers usually play less than five minutes per game, and rarely see action in the post-season. They often engage in “staged fights”, whereby they simply line up with the opposite team’s enforcer during a face-off, agree to drop the gloves, and go at it.
To no one’s surprise, the Washington Capitals are once again ranked amongst the NHL’s top Stanley Cup contenders, but unlike previous years, they find themselves facing considerably more pressure to play up to expectations.
Led by superstars Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, the Capitals topped the Eastern Conference in 2009-10 and 2010-11, winning the President’s Trophy in 2010 for the best regular season record.
Unfortunately, those impressive regular season performances failed to translate into playoff success.
In the 2010 Eastern Conference quarter-final, they were stunned by an underdog Montreal Canadiens team, blowing a 3-1 series lead to bow out in seven games.
I’ve known Lyle Richardson since my early days of blogging and finally convinced him to come on over and do a weekly blog at Kukla’s Korner.
Now all you the folks who email me about rumors can now email Lyle, but he will probably tell you the same thing regarding most of those rumors.
Hi, folks, I’m Lyle Richardson. You might know me from my website, Spector’s Hockey, my thrice-weekly rumor column at THN.com, my weekly column at Eishockey News (if you read German), and my former gig as a contributing writer to Foxsports.com.
The Troy McClure-like intro aside, I’m pleased to announce I’ll be joining the ever-growing Kukla’s Korner family.
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