Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/06/14 at 09:38 AM ET
from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
No, it's not a perfect team. Yes, Ray Shero has work to do. But whether it's Evgeni Malkin's Mario-like return from injury Sunday or James Neal scoring with or without Malkin, or Chris Kunitz joining Neal as a richly deserving candidate for Team Canada, or summertime afterthought Matt Niskanen's plus-21 rating and winning blast past Al Montoya on Sunday, or Olli Maatta looking as poised as any 19-year-old defenseman in these parts since … um, never, it just seems to me this is a season worth appreciating so much more than it has been.
“Yeah, we've kind of noticed that,” Niskanen was saying after the game. “I understand it, too. I think we've all felt the way the fans are feeling with how stuff went down last summer. We felt there was more to this group, too.”
He was referring, of course, to being swept out of the Eastern Conference final by Boston, a still-festering memory that beyond a doubt is most responsible for all this blah. Even all this time, no goals seem to matter except all those that weren't scored against Tuukka Rask.
“I understand where the fans are coming from,” Niskanen continued. “But I think there might also be a few that are a little bit spoiled and expect us to win every game. That's OK. We have high expectations, too. But it's hard to win in this league. Really is.”
“We're doing that right now. We're winning. And you'd better believe we're enjoying it.”
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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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