Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Daily News,
Jagr - who scored 16 goals in 32 games for Omsk during the lockout year - insists he is not yet ready to commit to anything. But he has hinted in recent weeks that he believes negotiating a new deal with the Rangers is unlikely to happen.
“It’s not nice at this stage to talk about anything,” Jagr said, uncomfortable discussing his 2008-09 plans while he’s trying to captain the Rangers to the playoffs and a Stanley Cup. “(Omsk) finished their season. They’re coming here. I played there for a year. There’s no reason not to talk to them, not to meet them.
“They’re going to spend a week here? I’m not sure. I just keep in touch with them for a long time, since I played there. That’s nothing new.”
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
You see, baseball needs statistics. It’s a horribly boring game. If you didn’t spend your time debating the validity of pinch-hitting for that Dominican kid in the third inning, you’d realize you could have spent the afternoon reading the footnotes in the phone book.
Hockey’s not like that. The guys on the ice actually do something. This game moves so quick and is so enticing you shouldn’t even have the time to look up Josef Vasicek’s plus/minus rating on alternate Thursdays following a holiday.
Leave the stats to the only people that truly love and embrace them (in lieu of girlfriends).
The meek may indeed inherit the earth. They just can’t have hockey.
via the Miami Herald,
Questions about Jokinen’s leadership have surfaced, with coach and general manager Jacques Martin deflecting comment about that Thursday, saying it was something best addressed after the season.
‘‘I look back over the past 19 games and he hasn’t scored even strength,’’ Martin said.
“He’s a minus player right now. I think he has to be better and he knows that. If you want to win, your best players have to be your best players. We go a lot of nights with the Stephen Weiss line as the top line.”
from On the Islanders Beat,
Like most professional sports organizations, the Islanders have conducted a survey of season-ticket holders. In an interview this week with Newsday, Dey said 50 percent of those who responded said the performance of the team on the ice impacts their decision to buy.
“What you’ll see coming out is that we agree with you,” Dey said, speaking directly to the fans. “Garth can speak more directly to this, but I’m glad to put a little bit behind it. We need to commit to building a consistent contender. That’s going to require a plan, and we’ve got a very strong core of players we’re building around now – the DiPietros, the Hunters, the Okposos, Comeaus, Tambellinis. We’ve got a nucleus to build a consistent contender.
“We need to be a top-eight team in the league. We need to be a team that’s going to earn 100 points a year….”
from the Buffalo News,
Miller tied the Sabres’ single-season record for most appearances by a goaltender, guarding the net for the 72nd time to match Don Edwards (1977-78), Dominik Hasek (1997-98) and Martin Biron (2001-02). With five games left, Miller certainly will have the mark all to himself, probably as soon as tonight when the Sabres host Montreal in HSBC Arena.
“It’s just the coach tapped you on the shoulder,” Miller said in Scotiabank Place. “It wasn’t about setting a record or whatever. It’s just [coach] Lindy [Ruff] saying, ‘You got the start.’ It was definitely a learning experience for me.”
And Dobber Hockey has setup a playoff hockey pool with some great prizes, including an autographed NHL jersey, another RBK jersey, and more. Check it out. (Speaking of Dobber, be sure to check out his weekly mailbag in The Hockey News, each Wednesday).
P.S. If anyone else is hosting or has suggestions for other NHL Playoff pools to join, please feel free to drop a note in the comments.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
The first lesson Penny learned came courtesy of his boss, Steve Berklacich, an old Rangers hand who told him to stick an out-of-order sign on the pay phone as soon as he walked into a rink to scout a game.
“His words to me were, ‘Son, always carry a pocket full of quarters and an out-of-order sign for the pay phone,’ ” said Penny. “And I ain’t kidding you. The other scouts would see the phone was out of order, and they would have to make the call later.”
Times have changed, though the scout’s primary job—identifying and ranking young hockey talent—has not.
from Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere went through a full practice Thursday and pronounced himself set for duty in Friday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.
“I’m ready to play,” said Giguere, who has sat out the past three games because of back spasms.
Now the question becomes whether Ducks coach Randy Carlyle will go back to Giguere, or stick with the hot hand of rookie Jonas Hiller, who has stopped 102 of 106 opposition shots while filling in for Giguere.
from Drew Remenda at Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
As Kurtis Foster was laying on a opererating table getting his leg repaired, the Minnesota Wild had quickly made arrangements to get his fiance to the San Jose. Chris Snow the Wild’s Director of Hockey Operations stayed behind to make sure Kurtis Foster was getting the best possible care by keeeping the communication going between the Wild and Sharks Medical Staff. One of Kurtis’ first visitors at the hospital was Greg Jamison. The Sharks President and CEO brought by a gift basket and showed some kindness to the injured Wild Defenseman. Shortly after GM Doug Wilson dropped by.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,
Hollywood movies and human nature have conditioned most of us to hope, if not outright expect, our stories to have happy endings.
However, as a few NHL franchises just learned, reality doesn’t grant nearly that many wishes. More often than not, it specializes in the cruelest of lessons, crushed hopes and dashed dreams.
That was the unfortunate result for the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers, which all saw their Stanley Cup aspirations coldly cast into the proverbial latrine after losing must-win games this week. And soon, playoff bubble teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators – or perhaps the fast-sliding Vancouver Canucks – will set up shop with them on lottery lane.
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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