Kukla's Korner Hockey
From The Southern Gazette,
“Really, it’s been the last six games in the playoffs that I’ve been feeling close to what I was before the injury.”
The face mask, styled after that used by a place-kicker in football, has been attached to Cleary’s helmet since he returned to the ice. He doesn’t like using it, but he has no choice if he wants to play.
“It’s a win-lose situation. I wear it, and I can play. I can play better without it, but if I get hit, I’m out of the line-up. It’s really hard to see the puck at your feet, but I’ve adjusted. A couple of high sticks have hit the shield, so it has definitely saved me.”
While the timing of his return home has not been decided (he may come home as the first person from Newfoundland and Labrador with his name engraved on the Stanley Cup), Cleary will be heading home to Riverhead this summer.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Curtis Leschyshyn might be a little biased. After all, Todd McLellan — the Detroit Red Wings assistant who could become the Avalanche’s next coach — was in his wedding party.
The former Avalanche defenseman, though, can’t say enough good things about McLellan and what it would mean to the Avs if they get him.
“That would be a very wise decision by the Avalanche,” said Leschyshyn, who now is involved with the Littleton Youth Hockey Association. “He’s ready to coach in the National Hockey League. He’s a guy that didn’t ever jump into something he wasn’t prepared for. He’s made sure that, along the way, he learned and experienced what it was going to take to be successful. That’s why I think he’d be a tremendous guy for a team needing a coach.”
Some of the stuff going on at these blogs is way over my head (maybe below my head too) but the pasion is genuine, from both sides.
I will be an innocent bystander over the next two weeks, watching as one blog goes down on the canvas, only to get back up and deliver a round-house right punch.
I just hope they fight fair, remember, no low punches allowed.
from Michael Farber of Rink Side Blog at Sports Illustrated,
This might be mere serendipity or a sign of something more significant at work. Three seasons past the lockout, maybe it is time for the NHL to take a bow. The game was re-worked in the 2004-05 hiatus in an effort to end the old hook-and-hold-‘em rodeo and reward skilled players. Although the pace of progress seemed glacial—the so-called officiating standard can be maddening—there is an increased flow and indeed beauty to the NHL game. The league seems to have found its happy place.
When the two teams that play the most exemplary hockey get to do it in a Stanley Cup final that starts Saturday, the NHL has got it right.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Yesterday, Holmgren confirmed what many following this team during the postseason had suspected, that Smith, the Flyers’ captain, had suffered a separation of an already-ailing shoulder in one period against the New Jersey Devils on April 4, then separated the other shoulder the following period. It forced him to miss the final game of the regular season and the week of practice leading into the playoffs, forced him to alter his physical style, and forced him to receive repeated injections to numb excruciating pain.
He did not miss a playoff game, his minutes vacillating wildly as the injuries around him piled up. “I don’t know how he did it,” Holmgren said. “Jason Smith and Derian Hatcher brought toughness to a new level, in my mind. Neither of them should have been playing.”
I was 9 years old and I remember watching the 1996 playoffs. The Wings were playing well, which is why the Bud Ice Penguin commercials are forever ingrained in my head. From an early age, I started to associate hockey playoffs with beer, Bud Ice beer.
- Christy of Behind the Jersey
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins watched the game Monday night, and many have watched the Red Wings other nights.
From that, and from reputation,, the Penguins are well aware of Detroit’s tight defense, led by captain Niklas Lidstrom. And the potent offense led by Henrik Zetterberg, who is tied with the Sidney Crosby atop the playoff scoring race with 21 points. And the shutdown goaltending of Chris Osgood, whose 1.60 goals-against average is the best of the postseason.
“We didn’t play all season, but we saw them enough,” winger Georges Laraque said of the Red Wings who have been among the NHL’s elite teams the past several seasons.
from the San Jose Sharks,
Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick has agreed to terms with the Sharks for the 2008-09 season.
“Jeremy Roenick was a warrior for our team on and off the ice this past season,” said Sharks Executive Vice President Doug Wilson.
Update 12:09pm ET: From TSN,
TSN has learned that the contract is worth roughly $1 million, or slightly more than twice what he earned last season, however the paper work on the contract must still get approval from the NHL.
from Jacques Demers at USA TODAY,
These Stanley Cup Finals are filled with stars. Though the NHL would never say so, this is their dream matchup.
The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are what hockey in the post-lockout era is supposed to be about: great scoring chances, puck control, great passes. Pittsburgh defensemen Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar and Detroit’s Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom can get the puck up ice quicker than anyone.
Both teams love the transition game. Their coaches are among the elite of the NHL. Even if they’re strong defensively, you’re still going to see a lot of offense.
from Ross McKeon at Yahoo Sports,
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to win a Stanley Cup. You can bet your bottom dollar on it. It’s a lock, a sure thing, guaranteed.
But it just isn’t going to happen this year. Not against this group of Detroit Red Wings. So with all due respect to the Penguins, and the late, great Herb Brooks, this is not your time.
Now before you hit the reply button and fire off that nasty email I’ve just inspired, hear me out. No, I don’t hate the Penguins. I don’t love the Red Wings. I’m not a fan of any one team in the NHL, nor do I have any rooting interest unless it comes to overtimes.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org