Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Columbus has been a bit of an NHL backwater since entering the league in the last wave of expansion, the only team in the league which has yet to make the playoffs. As of Wednesday morning, they are on the outside, looking in, but hovering on the fringes of the playoff race.
Or, as coach Ken Hitchcock puts it, they are like players at a blackjack table — down to their last chip, when they double down and win and suddenly, they’re back in the game.
“There are teams in the playoffs right now, in the top eight, and our feeling is that one or two of them are not going to be there,” said Hitchcock. “We just have to find a way to manufacture points and if we can keep doing it, we’re hoping somebody trips up.”
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
There are no easy match-ups in the playoffs anymore, but every edge counts. And in the West, despite all the talk of parity, Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas and Detroit are in a group that’s a notch higher than whichever other clubs grab the other four playoff spots among Minnesota, Calgary, Vancouver, Colorado, Nashville, Phoenix and Columbus.
If you’re Anaheim, San Jose or Dallas—the last thing you want is to face one another right off the bat. It’s one of the more compelling races to keep an eye on. And it’s worth noting that the Stars have beat the Ducks five out of six games this season.
In the East, the Northeast Division may go down to the wire between Montreal and Ottawa with at least the No. 2 seed in the conference at stake
from Team 1200’s Dean Brown,
I want to start by saying something I have said over and over on both radio and TV. I have great admiration for the way the Anaheim Ducks play the game. I believe their philosophy is not new but it is brilliant. It plays on the one constant in NHL officiating. That is the official’s internal calculator….
Anaheim is the dirtiest team in the NHL and all the stats prove that. But what fans miss in their anger because their team was the victim of the Ducks “thousand cuts” game plan is the excellence Anaheim has achieved in executing this type of game plan. Getting everyone to play this way. Getting your skill players to play this way. Not an easy thing to do, but they have. It is not the type of hockey you can do half way.
thanks to a KK member and fellow blogger for the pointer…
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The top 10 list this week shows the NHL leaders in positive differential of points on the road versus home. Among the top 50 road scorers this season, here are the 10 that have been more productive in away games compared to the friendly confines of the home arena.
10. Brian Gionta, New Jersey (26 road points, 19 home points) Plus-7.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The cataclysmic reaction to the negotiations breakup between Sean Avery and the Rangers is reaching “Where’s Britney Spears?” proportions.
Chances are that Sean—alias The Great Gabbo—will be around a lot longer than Britney, the pop bop.
Fear not, Rangers fans, Avery is going nowhere when his contract expires; not to Philly, not to Chi-town nor Beantown nor Toronto from where he comes.
from Rand Simon at the Hockey News,
Dumbest thing heard on the radio recently (non-Rush Limbaugh division): “Look at Steve Yzerman, he hadn’t done a thing by the time he was 28”—Toronto-based sports radio host….
The reality is that by his 28th birthday, Yzerman already had a career worthy of Hall of Fame induction with 1,040 career points to his credit in 757 games. Compare that to Cam Neely who is in the Hall of Fame with 694 career points in 726 career games. (Interestingly, Yzerman also played in exactly 757 games after turning 28 and had 715 points in those games.)
Anyway, it was just another example of why I find it so frustrating to listen to sports talk radio.
more hockey talk…
The move of Murray Harbour hockey star Brad Richards from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Dallas Stars has led to a surge in sales for Stars merchandise at sports stores on P.E.I.
Many store managers have had to order in extra supplies.
“It makes a pretty big impact on the merchandise,” Mike Morrison of Source for Sports in Charlottetown told CBC News Tuesday.
This question is bound to come up, so here is the answer…
If two or more clubs are tied in points at the end of the regular season, the standing of the clubs in each Conference will be determined in the following order:
from the Buffalo News,
Kalinin coasted lap after lap around the Wachovia Center ice Tuesday during the morning warm-up, and Ruff was right with him. He skated next to Kalinin, yelling in his ear. He skated backward, nearly nose-to-nose with the defenseman, firing profanities in Kalinin’s face.
“Play with some passion!” screamed Ruff, who benched the veteran for Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Play with some [expletive] passion! You’re better than that!”
It was no coincidence Ruff conducted his session in front of the other players
from the Miami Herald,
(Craig) Anderson hasn’t surrendered a goal in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 46 seconds of game time. Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere was the last to beat him, on Feb. 23. Anderson, Florida’s backup to Tomas Vokoun, has also stopped 105 consecutive shots. Since the new year began, Anderson has won five of six starts.
‘‘This could happen to anyone, I’m just trying to work hard in practice to make sure I’d be ready when I did get the call,’’ said Anderson, who made 40 saves Tuesday after making 53 Sunday against the Islanders. ``It starts by working hard in practice and battling for the guys there. The guys are definitely pulling together. It’s good to see. These last two have just been terrific.’‘
more on the Panthers…
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.
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