Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mark Zwolinski at the Toronto Star,
Alex Ovechkin has become many things in Washington: a celebrity, a millionaire and a hero. Now he’s a mentor and role model.
The 22-year-old has opened up his home to newcomer Nicklas Backstrom, and is helping the Swedish rookie adapt to hockey and life in the U.S. capital.
“I remember being a rookie and Dainius Zubrus, he helped me, so I wanted to give back the way Dainius did for me,” said Ovechkin, whose two goals lifted the Capitals to a 7-1 win over the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
“OV (Ovechkin) has been very good for Nicklas, he takes him all over and kind of shows him around,” Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. “Dainius was great with him, and now it hasn’t taken him long to reciprocate.”
From Larry Brooks at the NYP,
“After Saturday, Jaromir and I sat in the locker room until 12 o’clock, talking about changing the power play, and then [Sunday] we practiced it,” said Shanahan. “Jaromir really takes it personally, being here, and winning.”
Lundqvist was outstanding again. Ryan Hollweg had a mighty fine game going up and down the wing. Chris Drury was more involved in the action than he’d been since the opener. The defense played a simple game. The Rangers got pucks in and pucks out and Jagr got a puck in the mouth.
Someone wanted to know whether Jagr lost his original teeth.
“A gentleman never tells,” he said, with a Jack-o-Lantern grin. “But I think if I paid $20,000 for them, they’re mine.”
From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
Folks, something is going to have to give here. Whether it’s a big trade or a management shakeup, it seems unthinkable that even MLSE and its barely engaged board of directors will simply allow another season to limp along with two wins here, a couple of blowout losses there, an overtime triumph and then a couple more defeats.
This is the last two non-playoff seasons being played over again one more time. This is Groundhog Day, the hockey version.
It was the fifth time in nine home games the Leafs have allowed five goals or more to the opposition, an outrageous record. They’ve only acquired eight of a possible 18 points so far at the ACC, a home mark that will guarantee another missed invitation to the Stanley Cup playoffs if it doesn’t turn around dramatically. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact.
From Jeffrey Flanagan at the Kansas City Star,
If Kansas City does indeed ever land an NHL team, keep this in mind: The game has changed, and not necessarily for the better.
As enforcement of the instigator penalty has grown stricter in the NHL — the punishment is a minor penalty, a major penalty and a 10-minute misconduct — old-fashioned street brawls on the ice have all but vanished. And so has much of the game’s personality.
“Let’s face it: Fans do like to see the fighting,” said former Blades broadcaster Bob Kaser. “When you think about, what gets the crowd going more? Is it an end-to-end goal or is it seeing one of your team’s enforcers going at it with someone on the other team? It’s the fighting that gets the crowd on its feet in anticipation.
From Al Strachan at FoxSports,
So players routinely hit people along the boards, knowing full well that if they don’t, they could lose their jobs. As long as the opponent is not facing the glass, that’s usually not a problem.
But in many of these instances where players are being hurt, the victim turns to the boards at the last millisecond when it’s too late for the checker to stop his forward motion. The other variation is that a player — partly facing the boards — sees the checker coming and, in an attempt to absorb the blow, starts to bend towards a fetal position. He puts his head down — the worst possible course of action. When he gets hit, his face goes into the dasher.
What should the league do in these cases? To the casual fan, it appears to be a simple case. A player got whacked into the boards and is lying there hurt. Hand out a major and subsequently a suspension.
But on closer examination, it appears that there’s not much else the checker could do.
*This subject also addressed earlier today by Spector at FoxSports, and linked here on KK
Today, Chicago Blackhawks’ players Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and their coach Denis Savard, were all made available for an NHL teleconference.
The complete transcript is available below.
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Defenceman Willie Mitchell chose his words carefully but it was clear Monday he was annoyed by the public criticism directed at him by coach Alain Vigneault following the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Some things should stay in the dressing room, Mitchell said.
“If people are unhappy with things, (as a) player you’d like to have that addressed,” he said. “You don’t like to hear about it through the media most of the time. That’s his way of motivating I guess.”
From Craig Custance at the AJC,
Waddell has also been in touch with Marian Hossa’s new agent, Ritch Winter. If Hossa is convinced this team is headed in the right direction, I think he’ll sign. If he doesn’t, he won’t. It’s that simple. Waddell remains optimistic that something can get done.
I know there were rumors of a John Anderson interview, but that hasn’t happened. Waddell said he and Anderson met in Chicago, but it was a conversation and not an interview. He said he used the meeting as much to talk to Anderson about the job opening as to pick his brain about the players in Chicago.
Update 9:48pm ET: More on the Thrasher’s coaching situation again at the AJC.
The Calgary Flames have called a news conference tonight and sources tell TSN it is to announce a long-term contract extension for Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.
Sources add that the deal is worth approximately $35 million for six years, or an average annual cap hit for the Flames of about $5.8 million per year beyond this season.
From Stan Fischler via hockeyjournal.com,
John Ferguson deserves better than the relentless attacks from such human verbal howitzers as Steve (Toronto Sun) Simmons and Hockey Night in Canada’s Scott Morrison. As long as we can remember, Steve – otherwise a friend of ours – has been trying to pull the plug on Fergie. The Simmons fixation is troubling and it must pain the dear boy that Toronto has climbed above .500 (5-4-3). Meanwhile Morrison has the unmitigated gall to suggest that existing GMs, such as Jimmy Rutherford, up and leave their jobs to displace colleague Ferguson. How ridiculous can you get? Just for the sake of common decency, it would be neat if Ferguson’s Leafs ran off a six-game winning streak. That would shut these jackals up – for about a week.
read on… for Stan’s take on the NHLPA and other NHL news
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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