Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pioneer Press via the Duluth News Tribune,
Gaborik hungers for more these waning days of the 2005-06 season: More ice time from a demanding coach. A stronger supporting cast from a patient general manager. Respect from impressionable teammates. Earning power from accelerated leverage under the NHL's collective agreement. Performance and seniority have entitled Gaborik to certain benefits, such as being chosen as an alternate captain and gaining arbitration rights and a negotiating hammer that could pound out a lucrative contract this summer. How aggressive the Wild are after the season in assembling a contending roster could influence Gaborik on whether to pursue an arbitrated settlement and play one more season before becoming an unrestricted free agent or to seek a multiyear deal to stay in Minnesota.more
from the NY Times,
"The Tournament," a Canadian import series that starts tonight on OLN, is a rarity to be treasured — a comedy about youth sports that instead of delivering a feel-good message features bickering parents, thrombotic leather-lunged coaches and kids so terrified they throw up both before and during games. That this is a hockey show probably goes without saying, given its origin, but it's also fitting. Anyone who has ever spent time at the rink knows that in the hierarchy of psycho, meddlesome sports parents, hockey moms and dads are by far the worst.continued added 7:36am, from the Star-Telegram,
Phil Esposito, one of the NHL's all-time great scorers, doesn't have much patience for boorish sports parents. "They're a pain in the neck," he says. "I've had people come up to me and say, 'My son is 14 years old, and he's way better than you were. Wait till he's in the NHL. He's going to do way more than you did.'" Esposito, a Hockey Hall of Famer with 717 NHL goals, fires back in an episode of The Tournament, a Canadian-made TV comedy series about a youth hockey team and the players' obsessive, obnoxious, delusional parents.read on
from the Philadelpia Daily News,
Now come the playoffs, and expectations are no longer as clear as they once were. The Flyers will not win the Atlantic Division, will not be a top seed and, if they make a run to the Stanley Cup finals, well, luck will be involved. The starting goalie has changed and changed again. Home ice looks like a distant hope. And who knows which team will show up for which game?read on
from Martin Brodeur special to the Edmonton Sun,
The Vezina Trophy that I had the good fortune of winning in 2003 and 2004 should be awarded this year to Miikka Kiprusoff. In my opinion, the Calgary Flames goalie is the logical choice for getting on the ballot that will be a tightly guarded secret among the general managers of the league. Kiprusoff has had an exceptional season.continued
via the Mercury News,
Joe Thornton is on the verge of breaking one of the lesser-known NHL scoring records: Most points in one season while playing for two teams. Entering today's game against Dallas, Thornton has posted 111 points (33 with Boston, 78 with the Sharks). The record is 112 points, set by Bernie Nicholls in 1989-90 when he split the season with the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers.more interesting notes, but most have been discussed previously...
from Multichannel News (reg. req.),
National Hockey League fans should be prepared to get checked into the boards -- repeatedly -- by OLN's coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the start of the playoffs, OLN executives are planning to feature approximately six hours of hockey content each weeknight, encompassing one or two playoff games, as well as a studio wrap-up show. NBC will carry weekend coverage of the playoffs. All told, OLN anticipates that the conference quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will yield 15 -20 games apiece, while conference-finals coverage will span 7-12 games, from May 19-June 2. On the HD front, OLN plans to offer one series in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds in the enhanced format. Both conference-finals series and its Stanley Cup Finals contests June 5 and 7 will be filmed in HD. OLN executives said that throughout the playoffs, the network, when feasible, will simulcast games from Canadian networks and domestic regional sports networks covering the playoffs, giving hockey fans additional access.
from the Calgary Sun,
For many years, NHLers considered Calgary's rink to have among the best ice in the league. It was consistently good, not prone to chipping or as susceptible to ruts as nearly every other rink. Playing at the 'Dome was a respite from the slushy and substandard rinks around the NHL. That hasn't been the case this season. "It's not as good as it's been in the past," said Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr. "And it shouldn't be that way. It should be the best in the league."more
Hockey fans in the U.S. (Canada too) that have access to CBC, tonight at 8:00pm, The Canada Russia ‘72 series starts tonight. I am looking forward to watching and should bring back some wonderful memories.
from the Daily Breeze,
There were perhaps 9,000 (this is a liberal estimate) present at 18,118-seat Staples Center for the start of the Kings-Ducks non-rivalry game Saturday afternoon. This was an indication of the lack of urgency people with tickets felt about getting to the game, won, 4-2, by the playoff-bound Ducks. The lack of urgency mirrored the play of the Kings. And so it is that the Kings sink rapidly into the NHL sunset with a textbook demonstration on how a team can come apart at the seams.read on
from the Philly Burbs,
Even Scotty Bowman teams occasionally took an early powder. But Hitchcock has been consistent, guiding the Dallas Stars to the Cup finals twice (including a win in 1999), plus a conference finals appearance. He coached the Flyers to the conference finals in '04. In the past six postseasons, Hitchcock has coached an eye-popping 104 games and won 61 of them. Obviously, Hitchcock enjoys the challenge. But what makes him so successful? “I just love the playoffs; I love the strategy for a seven-game series,'' Hitchcock said. “I love the preparation, all the little things you do. I look forward to it.''more
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