Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The Ottawa Senators are in Buffalo Tuesday and the Sabres will be in Ottawa on Thursday to complete a home-and-home scenario that is one of the many reasons this season-ending run in the NHL has been so entertaining across the entire National Hockey League.
The best part: hockey fans in most every city across the league can enjoy something similar.
It’s all in the schedule, baby.
continued... Meanwhile, the Detroit fans are ready for the playoffs to start, now!
From Adam Proteau’s mailbag at The Hockey News:
I was wondering if Cristobal Huet would return to Montreal after he is a free agent in July? [...]
Dianne B., Ottawa, Ont.
The only way Huet returns to Montreal is if Carey Price quits hockey to join a Zen Buddhist retreat, and Jaroslav Halak receives an eight-year, $80-million restricted free agent offer from Kevin Lowe in the off-season.
added 5:03pm, We had two Morning Lines, so why not two Afternoon Lines…
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
He blew up at me several times, probably the biggest being after I wrote of his also-legendary incident when he smashed up the office of Bob Hartley in 1999, in Anaheim.
Roy smashed up Hartley’s office with his goalie stick, after being pulled briefly in a game, one in which the Avs won but Roy didn’t get credit for the victory. The Avs did a good job of keeping it quiet, but a few days later I got word of it and wrote about it. Roy not only came after me, he went on a kind of witch hunt around the team as to who leaked it. A few people were falsely accused, and it was a full-blown circus in the locker room for a while.
From Thomas LaRocca at NHL.com:
“I was nervous,” O’Ree said of his taping. “I was more nervous than in my NHL debut. I had my lines all down pat and then they changed the script and then changed it again.
“This was my first acting appearance and it was fun; but I would much rather be on the ice playing hockey.”
Spoken like a true hockey player.
Also appearing in the episode was New Jersey Devils goaltender Kevin Weekes. He was also in the scene with O’Ree, helping the two main characters, Drew and Chris, with directions to see the New York Islanders play Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers in the early 1980s.
from the CP via 660 News,
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has suspended Quebec Remparts coach Patrick Roy for five games for his role in a weekend brawl.
The league said today that Roy is being suspended for “prejudicial conduct” related to his team’s scrap with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Saturday….
Jonathan Roy was suspended for seven games for barrelling into the Chicoutimi goaltender and pummelling him with repeated blows.
Update 2:52pm ET: From Marty Henwood at Hockey.com,
When it comes to the Roy family, apparently the apple doesn’t fall all that far from the tree.
A piece of friendly advice to the Roy clan? Time to put in a call to the doc and seek a little anger management, provided the caller can stay on the phone long enough prior to dropping an f-bomb and hanging up.
Update 5:02pm ET: From the CP,
Quebec’s director of public prosecutions has launched a criminal investigation into the junior hockey brawl that netted suspensions for former NHL great Patrick Roy and his son, among others.
The province ordered the investigation after the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League suspended Roy, the Quebec Remparts coach, for five games for his part in an ugly brawl involving his son.
Update 6:38pm ET: From CJAD,
“I certainly regret not taking better control of the situation,” said Roy.
Roy did not respond to suggestions he egged his son on, but says he accepts the league’s ruling.
“My goal is to never make this sort of mistake again,” he said.
*And more, posted earlier today on KK, from Jeff Marek (including video link).
From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,
Experience and instincts are a large part of reading the situation. Knowing angles to avoid the hit, knowing where your defensive partner is to make a quick play on the puck, even putting on the brakes to minimize the damage, are all factors. Decisions are made in just a few seconds.
Many times, the option isn’t going to be pleasant.
“You are not scared, but you take a look to see who is breathing down your neck,” Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien said. “You know your job as a defenseman is to get to the puck first, but if he is right on you, sometimes you can slow down a little bit and let him get right on your back. That way he doesn’t have that stride-and-a-half to bury you.”
more… on all the strategies of being—and checking—a defenseman.
from Lightning Strikes,
We won’t find out until tonight, when Lightning goaltender Mike Smith will see the doctor, but consider that the team is calling up Jonathan Boutin from AHL Norfolk to be the backup to Karri Ramo for tonight’s game against the Panthers and is putting Marc Denis on 24-hour re-call waivers so they can get him in here.
Smith was hurt during a breakaway drill at the end of Monday’s practice when Marty St. Louis fell over him. He was in enough pain to be down on the floor of the locker room in full gear while his left knee was being looked at by trainer Tommy Mulligan.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
“I favour the no-touch icing rule, as do a majority of our players,” NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said Tuesday. “This position is grounded in serious safety concerns about precisely the type of high speed collision that led to the unfortunate injury to Kurtis Foster. The NHLPA has advocated for the adoption of the no-touch icing rule for many years. We intend to raise the issue again via the competition committee at the end of the season.”
Minnesota GM Doug Risebrough has routinely voted against changing the icing rule but now is obviously re-examining his stance given the injury suffered by one of his players.
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-Rakers (Columbus Dispatch),
I’ve asked Ken Hitchcock this a number of times, and he won’t go there publicly, which I totally understand. But a lot of the players here don’t have it in them to compete in 82 games a year. Yeah, they have moments where they look capable, and they say the right things, but they just don’t have the heart and guts to do it. Every five or six games, they prove that.
The Jackets are under-talented, yes. We’ve written that a bunch of times. But a roster gutting needs to be done to bring in some hyper-energetic guys who have fire in their bellies and the confidence that they’re good enough to outplay players on playoff-caliber teams.
Let’s face it: we’ve see what a lot of these players can do, and it’s simply not good enough.
From Jeff Marek at CBC,
Well, by now we’ve all seen the video of Patrick Roy’s son Jonathan attacking Chicoutimi netminder Bobby Nadeau. If you haven’t seen the clip yet, have a look. QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau will rule on the incident sometime Tuesday.
We all have our opinion on the incident itself. It appears that Patrick Roy motioned to his son to skate down the ice and attack the other goalie, who wanted no part of the encounter as is evidenced by the video.
I can never condone that.
more… plus Marek’s thoughts on Patrick Roy’s future as an NHL coach, perhaps of the Avalanche
NEW YORK (March 25, 2008)—Fueled by unprecedented League-wide competition for playoff spots and positions, the NHL is on pace to obliterate its March attendance records. A per-game average of 17,900 fans—97% of capacity—has filled NHL arenas this month. The existing March record average of 17,331 was set last season.
The late-season surge has ensured another season of record NHL attendance. The 2007-08 per-game average of 17,194 is running 1.7% ahead of the 2006-07 campaign, which concluded with a record figure of 16,961. The NHL will surpass 20 million in total attendance for the seventh consecutive season and will, for the first time in its 90-season history, conclude the regular season with a per-game average in excess of 17,000.
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