Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Many fans want the Blues to play their kids more, to see what David Perron, Roman Polak and others could do in the remaining games.
But I can see why Murray doesn’t go there. His long-term challenge is to create a winning culture within the organization. His immediate challenge is to stave off a total collapse and keep his players from becoming demoralized.
He must find new ways to present his message and enforce his expectations. He must find ways to refresh the atmosphere.
from 850 The Buzz,
Conventional wisdom says the Carolina Hurricanes playing home games during the height of hoops season is a recipe for sparse crowds at the RBC Center. So much for the conventional way, since the Canes sold out games opposite the Duke / UNC season finale and the ACC Tournament Final.
listen to the Rutherford interview…
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The NHL has its destroyers (Georges Laraque), true heavies (Jody Shelley, Derek Boogaard) and agitators like Zack Stortini of the Edmonton Oilers and Daniel Carcillo of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Agitators are often big on talking and hitting, but they also back it up.
Carcillo, in particular, spends an inordinate amount of time sitting next to the timekeeper in the penalty box.
from the Chronicle Journal,
Lines were forgotten and cheeks became flush, but the North End Flames‘ foray onto the national stage couldn‘t have gone any better.
This Saturday night, the Thunder Bay atom hockey team will share the spotlight with their hockey heroes as they introduce Hockey Night In Canada as part of the program‘s pre-game show, Scotiabank Hockey Tonight. The segments were taped Tuesday afternoon at the Tournament Centre with many family members and supporters on hand adding to the pressure.
“Awesome,” said Flames goalie Christian Palmquist, 11, when asked what the experience was like. “It‘s like you‘re a star.”
from Simpson on Hockey,
The fact that the Edmonton Oilers are even in the playoff race with nine games to go is in itself an accomplishment.
But winning nine of 11 at such a critical time in the season to get them there is even more impressive….
The players who head coach Craig MacTavish hoped would someday be the leaders of this team have developed at such a fast pace that they are leading this team through one of its most challenging seasons.
from the Star-Telegram,
The Dallas Stars’ latest run has been forgettable.
They’ve lost five of their past six games. They’ve lost their lead in the Pacific Division. They’ve lost, at least for now, home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
They’ve just done too much losing.
But, after a two-day hiatus from the ice, the Stars say they haven’t lost their focus. In Stars land, the glass is still half full.
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A group of NHL hockey heroes arrived Wednesday in Afghanistan to give Canadian soldiers a battle of a different sort.
Skating stalwarts like Mark Napier, Chris Nilan and Bob Probert touched down in Kandahar – some of them for the second time in less than a year – in hopes of boosting military morale.
Also on the ground at Kandahar Airfield were country-rock crooners Blue Rodeo, Montreal rocker Jonas Tomalty and Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada’s chief of defence staff.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For Maple Leaf head scout Dave Morrison, however, there’s a professional poignancy to that concept given the status he shares with the rest of the club’s management, coaching and scouting staff. Morrison’s job, come June, will be to correctly identify the teenage prospect most likely to brighten the team’s future in the NHL entry draft, all the while knowing a new boss will arrive in the next few months and possibly clean house.
“To say we as scouts haven’t talked about that would be a lie,” said Morrison. “But we can’t control that, and we’ve got a chance to do something special in this draft.”
Given those circumstances, you might think Morrison would be hoping for the Leafs to sink as low as possible in the standings by season’s end to maximize their chances to select one of the high-profile prospects.
A KK reader passed this along to me…
The “Amur Tigers” played a very unusual game - taking on a prisoners’ hockey team of Zaozernoe Prison (№13). Khabarovsk Alumni (Amur Tigers) players won the game 5-3.
The prisoners prepared the ice surface and the idea of playing this game belongs to the prison’s priest (Father Oleg) who also was on the Tigers’ roster.
One of those who took the face-off against murderers, rapists, robbers and assorted other social deviants was Alexander Mogilny.
View some great pictures a this site and note the site is in Russian. The blog belongs to a TV journalist who participated in the game, playing for the Tigers.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
While the Senators’ winning percentage with McCreary as one of the two referees (eight out of potential 14 points; .571) is just a little lower than their winning percentage overall (87 out of a potential 146 points; .596), the ammunition for McCreary conspiracy theorists is Senators opponents have been given almost twice as many power plays in those seven games as the Senators.
According to the NHL game sheets, the Senators have had 23 power-play opportunities in games in which McCreary has worked; their opponents have had 42. That’s an average of 3.29 power plays vs. six short-handed situations in those seven games.
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