Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
Fighting used to be ingrained in hockey culture. These days, however, there seems to be more taste for a kinder, cuddlier game. So is it time for fighting to go?
I can only shake my head at the attention the Jonathan Roy story has received in this country this week.
When did the tree huggers take over this bloody country? When did we all become such bleeding hearts that a junior hockey brawl shocked our collective senses so badly we became outraged?
Update 2:38pm ET: Gare Joyce at ESPN addresses how Patrick Roy’s situation may ultimately affect his legacy with the Montreal Canadiens.
From The Puck Stops Here on FoxSports,
So far this season, there have been 30 Russian players who have played one or more NHL games, down from 57 prior to the lockout. Talent is already being drawn away from the NHL.
The skeptics will argue that the elite Russian talent still comes to the NHL, which is clearly true when one looks at the scoring race. However, some proven NHLers are having good seasons in the Russian Elite League right now and would be able to contribute to any NHL team were they in the NHL. A quick look through the Russian Elite League shows there are teams with former NHLers Aleksey Morozov, Alexander Perezhogin, Oleg Saprykin, Alexei Yashin and Maxim Sushinsky all leading them in scoring.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
When exactly are we going to see a non-North American hired as a top-level NHL official? Considering the league has employed Europeans as players for some 30 years now, you think it’d be high time somebody – maybe Jari Kurri, maybe Slava Fetisov – scored a prime spot in its management structure.
more and Brian Burke discusses a previous Proteau column…
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
But a dynasty was forming in Detroit, as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 and four Stanley Cups in six years. This run coincided with Howe reaching physical maturity.
Howe was 6-foot, 205 pounds, one of the larger players in the NHL at that time. He was tall and lean with a farmer’s hard muscles. He came from utter poverty and he wouldn’t let anyone compromise his career on the ice.
Howe one-punched Maurice “Rocket” Richard to the ice early in his career and he crushed Bobby Orr late in his career. Howe was uncanny. He could deliver immediate, devastating retribution or he could let a slight go unpunished so long that the perpetrator forgot about it, until he found himself flat on his back when Howe found a situation that wouldn’t compromise his team’s chance of winning.
more with a photo gallery….
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
With just 30 wins this season, the LA Kings have been playing meaningless hockey since before the onset of winter. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing meaningless hockey for about 41 years and people still care about them. Of course, Kings fans care about their team too, and it would be wrong to suggest that they don’t. A total of 16,784 people travelled to the Staples Center on Tuesday night to watch a late-season game which for the home side held no promise at all.
But it’s in the wider community that this team is in trouble. If a franchise survives on the oxygen of publicity, then this is an organisation gasping for air. It would be wrong to say that Los Angeles hates a loser, simply because it takes effort to hate. If you are a loser, LA will just ignore you to death.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators are the 12 lowest payroll teams, and the Penguins and Sharks are the only teams in that group in a playoff position.
“The fact is that money has always talked, and it carries the preponderance of play,” said Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
According to a well-placed team source, Bruins [team stats] leading scorer Marc Savard suffered a broken bone in his back when he was cross-checked Saturday in Montreal by the Canadiens’ Steve Begin.
The cracked bone is called a transverse process, one that protrudes from a vertabra and serves as an attachment point for muscles and ligaments. An Internet search for information regarding the problem suggested the injury might not be all that severe.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
As the Canadiens take a well-deserved day off, here are 10 reasons why they are the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference:
1. Alex Kovalev: He’s the Habs’ most valuable player, and coach Guy Carbonneau believes he deserves consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Not only has Kovalev rebounded from a disappointing 2006-07 season, but he has made the other players around him better through his actions on - and off - the ice.
via the Vancover Sun,
“I wish I had the answer for you, but I don’t,” Luongo said when asked to explain the Canucks’ disappearing act after the first period. “I just try to do my job out there and make saves. Obviously, I needed to make one extra save tonight to give our team a point.”
The Flames won it when they scored two power-play goals—one of them a 5-on-3—41 seconds apart midway through the third.
“We took three straight penalties and they scored,” he said. “Not much you can do about it. For me, I have to put it behind me and get ready for tomorrow night. It’s obviously a big game for us.”
from Peter Maher at the Calgary Sun,
Needless to say, an ice-level site wouldn’t get high marks from this PBP guy, but a willingness to try it with an open mind isn’t out of the question. For a colour commentator, a spot between the team benches is great.
When TSN play-by-play guys Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert are asked to take up such a location, you have to marvel at how they handle it.
Hockey PBP announcers need to have an overview of the game and see numbers of the players for identification. That’s not always as easy to detect at ice level.
For colour men, like TSN’s Pierre McGuire and Glenn Healy, the insights they provide from that location are priceless.
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