Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Clement at NBC Sports,
Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. The two best players in the NHL and in a real treat for hockey fans they’re both part of this year’s playoffs. Their careers are in their infancy and will forever be the subject of comparison and debate. The test of time may or may not definitely answer which one was greater.
As for the present, it’s fun asking which would be the choice if one were starting a team from scratch?
If in reality such a decision had to made, it would be the greatest can’t-lose proposition in the history of hockey. The possibility of being wrong would not exist.
The Boston “sniurB’s” are not a playoff hockey team. They only made the playoffs because in a league of mediocrity at best - everyone else was pathetically worse.
Tim Thomas - nice guy I’m sure and a really nice story. But please, tell me on what other team in the NHL would he be a number-one goaltender? At 34 years old he’s your future?
Zdeno Chara - not a captain. He as much a captain as Joe Thornton or Jason Allison were - both bolted town. OK, Jumbo Joe got traded. But guess what, if he got his chance, he was out of here.
Glenn Murray and Marco Sturm - the Golden Oldie’s twins.
Glen Metropolit - HuH??
more from an entertaining—and seriously fed-up—Bruins fan.
(*or, umm, “sniurB’s fan)
From the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have signed Tom Gilbert to a six-year contract that will keep the 25-year-old defenceman with the team through the 2013-14 season.
The 6’3”, 210-pound native of Bloomington, Minnesota enjoyed an outstanding rookie season with the Oilers in 2007-08. One of five Oilers to appear in all 82 games, Gilbert finished eighth on the Edmonton scoring list and first among defencemen with 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points.
And from TSN: “It is a 6-year deal at approximately $4-million per season.”
Update 8:10pm ET: And more added by TSN, Robert Nilsson was also signed. Here is the breakdown:
Gilbert’s new pact will pay him $24 million over six years, while Nilsson signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract.
Gilbert will earn $3.5 million next season with a $1.5 million signing bonus, $3.5 million in 2009-2010, $5.5 million with a $1.5 million signing bonus in 2010-2011, $5 million in 2011-2012, $3.5 million in 2012-2013, and $3 million in 2013-2014 for a salary cap average of $4 million a season.
Nilsson will earn $1.5 million next season and $2 million in each remaining season.
*hat-tip to rinkrat for noting the deal in the KK Forum
From James Mirtle’s blog, an interview from April 2007 with Ted Leonsis,
And on this Saturday afternoon last April, they were awful.
I knew they were awful. Leonsis knew they were awful. And the fans in the building, at least those wearing Capitals colours, knew it, too.
It was with that uncomfortable knowledge that we all watched the third period together.
I’ve only met Leonsis the once, but there were two things I realized right away: (a) this is one competitive guy and (b) I’ve just met the biggest Capitals fan in the world.
more… on what a difference a year makes
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
The inspirational message on the chalkboard in the Ducks’ locker room before their 2008 Stanley Cup playoff opener Thursday was this quote from author Robert Louis Stevenson: “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.”
After watching the Ducks’ lopsided 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars, a weak first attempt to defend their 2007 Stanley Cup championship, I suggest unveiling a more appropriate quotation before Game 2 on Saturday night at Honda Center.
This one, from noted puckhead Willie Shakespeare, would fit: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
And speaking of the heads that were crowned in June, why did some of the guys in the home black forget to use them Thursday night?
From Mychael Urban, national writer for the official site, MLB.com:
Does the U.S. media have an East Coast bias? Sure. Our country was founded there, as were all of the big-time sports leagues. (Save your e-mails, hockey fans. We’re aware that the NHL was founded in Canada. We’re also aware that you aren’t “big-time” until your TV ratings top those of “Golden Girls” reruns on Lifetime.)
Very original—I’m sure it took him all night to come up with that.
Now, if only I paid enough attention to baseball to be able to toss insults back…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“I think the players decided that they didn’t want to get outhit,” said Carbonneau, whose players delivered a dozen more hits at 37-25. “That wasn’t something I talked to them about.”...
The physical play from Canadiens such as Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev filtered down the lineup. “When you see your star players on your team getting physical, it sets the tone,” Kostopoulos said.
“The knock on us has been that we’re a soft team,” Canadiens forward Christopher Higgins added. “But I just don’t see that. We have proven and proved again in this game that we can hit.”
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC at From the Pressbox,
I’m not covering Ottawa-Pittsburgh, but had an interesting conversation with an NHL coach yesterday about the Senators.
“Every rumour I’ve heard about the Senators this season…Well, now I believe them,” he said.
“The playoffs are about playing for each other. Teammates are supposed to be motivated by watching each other block shots, watching each other making sacrifices, watching each other play with pain.
The whole idea is to feel that you can’t let down the other 19 guys, so you do something extra, too.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
It’s easy to sometimes forget that Crosby is only 20-years-old. We’ve already read and heard so much about him for half a decade that it’s scary to think he’s going to be front and centre for another 15-18 years.
But already I see a noticeable change in his maturity. I vividly remember coming to Pittsburgh for the team’s rookie camp in August 2005 and a shy, 18-year-old prodigy from Cole Harbour, N.S., coming down the escalator at the airport and looking down nervously at a throng of media awaiting his arrival. He patiently answered all the questions, like he always has, but his answers were naturally limited by the inexperience of youth.
Now in his third NHL season, his answers to the media are deep and analytical.
more… including the tale of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and some confusion about who the heck is Sidney Crosby.
April 11, 1936 • Detroit coach Jack Adams steered the Red Wings to their first Stanley Cup championship with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 of the best-of-five Stanley Cup Final. The Red Wings, who had entered the NHL in 1926-27, became the last of the League’s “Original Six” teams to win the Cup.
April 11, 1965 • Detroit Red Wings center Norm Ullman set NHL individual and team playoff records by scoring two goals just five seconds apart in Game Five of their Semi-final series against Chicago. Ullman scored at 17:35 and 17:40 of the second period in a 4-2 Detroit victory. The goals were scored in almost identical fashion—snapshots from about 50 feet out, using Chicago defensemen as screens to beat Glenn Hall. Chicago won the best-of-seven series 4-3.
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