Kukla's Korner Hockey
More from Damien Cox today on The Spin,
Q: Damien; I enjoy your insight into the game and share many of your views. I have never subscribed to the view that Leaf fans would not stand for a complete over haul of the club. An overhaul that would leave the club in a non competitive position for a period of time, perhaps with the playoffs being a distant dream for another couple of seasons. Do you think that the Board will give, or should give JFJ, should he be retained, the latitude to blow up this ship and rebuild from the bottom up? I for one would welcome it.
Jeff Ostic, Fergus, Ont.
A: You’re not the only one, that’s for sure. The “blow up the Leafs” support group may be larger than the Green Party these days.
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have agreed to terms with goaltender Patrick Lalime on a 1-year contract.
Lalime, 32, 6’3”, 189 pound netminder appeared in 12 games with the Blackhawks this past season posting a record of 4-5-1 with one shutout, a 3.07 goals against average and a .896 save percentage. Lalime made his Blackhawks debut on February 7th when he shutout the Vancouver Canucks by the score of 3-0. The last time a Blackhawks goaltender had a shutout in his debut and won the game was back on October 8, 1957 when Glenn Hall defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by the score of 1-0.
*Hat-Tip to Spector where I stumbled across this news
Just a reminder that Paul Kukla will again be unavailable today due to yesterday’s family medical emergency, and won’t be able to respond to emails, etc. Thanks again to everyone for the nice comments sent his way.
If you have any information or inquiries to direct to Kukla’s Korner today, please don’t hesitate to contact me (Alanah) by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Mark Herremann at amNewYork,
Oddly enough, for the second time this week, the action was frantic in Toronto, perhaps hockey’s greatest hotbed. They’re not playing hockey there now, but they’re watching it in league headquarters. And for the second time in two games, the watching went against the Islanders.
Actually, this time, the trained eyes in the NHL’s home office didn’t make the ruling. They just conferred with referee Mike Leggo, who had ruled that Brendan Witt’s apparent tying goal with 1:42 left in Game 4 didn’t count because Sabres goalie Ryan Miller had been pushed into the net.
The Islanders have video that suggested otherwise, but, hey, as they say up north, “That’s hockey.”
From NHL.com, a photo gallery of famous faces and NHL hockey hardware.
From Craig Custance at AJC,
As the Thrashers players filed out of a quiet visitors locker room, one of their owners stood outside sharing in the disappointment.
The Thrashers lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers Wednesday in front of a loud sellout Madison Square Garden crowd. The loss was the final in a 4-0 sweep in the franchise’s first playoff series.
“I’m just trying to remember the good times,” Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson said.
For these Thrashers, the positive memories in a year of firsts — a playoff berth and a division title — were now being threatened by new memories.
Like a packed arena chanting, “Sweep! Sweep!” in the final moments of the Rangers win.
Or Sean Avery driving nearly every Thrashers player crazy with his constant yapping and physical play. He also did a little scoring, once again assisting on a Brendan Shanahan goal that tied the game 2-2.
Or having to answer the same postgame question — What went wrong?
continued… (*requires free registration)
Note: Over at AtlantaThrashers.com, you can find a fan appreciation video.
From John Glennon at the Tennessean,
The Predators managed to thwart the normally potent San Jose power play yet again on Wednesday, holding the Sharks without a goal on five power-play chances.
But Nashville players and Coach Barry Trotz are starting to scratch over at least some of the calls that are sending the Predators to the box on a regular basis in this series.
Center Jason Arnott was particularly irritated by a somewhat mysterious hooking call on Jordin Tootoo in the second period. It appeared Tootoo had been impeded by Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo, but Tootoo wound up going to the penalty box.
Plus: A photogallery of the Shark/Preds series
The Globe & Mail has a short slide-show of photography from Wednesday night’s playoff action:
From Helene St. James at Detroit Free Press,
As the Red Wings prepared to play tonight’s Game 4 of their first-round series with the Flames, establishing success on special teams was at the forefront.
While the power-play struggles can hardly be surprising giving its ineffectiveness throughout the regular season, the penalty killing’s vulnerability has been far more noticeable. The Wings have allowed four power-play goals in three games, and their 75% success rate ranks 14th among the 16 NHL playoff teams.
Plus: St. James questions if Bertuzzi could boost the Wings’ 2nd line.
From NY Daily News,
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try and try and try and try and try and try and try again.
Expectations are growing. Despite all these years of mockery, James Dolan had rightfully earned this small victory over a flawed opponent wearing earth-tone uniforms.
Dolan had stuck with his guy, Glen Sather, who had been losing for what seemed like forever. And after all the lousy seasons and flimsy alibis, both men had discovered the right formula - a calm, savvy coach, a hot goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist and a hybrid roster of grizzled veterans and young legs.
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