Kukla's Korner Hockey
The National Hockey League has handed Atlanta forward Eric Boulton a six-game suspension for a vicious elbow to the head of Tampa Bay defenseman Paul Ranger. The hit prompted a slew of outraged responses from across the league - including a profanity-laced tirade from Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. Boulton apparently waived his right to an in-person meeting with Campbell, but the NHL Players Association refused to grant Boulton's request for a quicker mandate.
from Shawn Roarke of Fox Sports,
Cam Ward knew from the day he was drafted by Carolina with its first pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, 25th overall, that he was the goaltender of the future for the Hurricanes. He just had no idea that the future would arrive so fast. Today, Ward is quickly emerging as Carolina's No. 1 keeper as he posts downright gaudy numbers — 3-1-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .910 save percentage — while veteran Martin Gerber remained idled by a hip injury he suffered in his first appearance this season. Not that the 21-year-old is complaining.
from Stanley Cup of the Sporting News via Yahoo,
Usually in the summer, I hang out for a day with each of the players on the NHL's best team. But as you may recall, last spring there wasn't any tournament played in my honor. So my handlers at the Hockey Hall of Fame, along with the NHL and the NHL Alumni Association, suggested I visit the old-timers who won me before my summer tours began in 1995. Most of them never had lifted me over their heads or drank out of my bowl.
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Everyone knew coming into the new NHL that adjustment would be part of the equation. As change pertains to the perennial Eastern Conference power New Jersey Devils, it is subtle yet obvious. On the surface, they look the same and play the same, yet this edition is a feebler facsimile of the teams that went to four Stanley Cups -- winning three -- in the last decade. Call it Devils-lite.
from the Detroit Free Press,
A former manager of a bar in Fenton owned by ex-Red Wings Joey Kocur and Dave Lewis claims in a lawsuit that the bar condoned and promoted lewd behavior, public nudity and underage drinking. Wanda Richardson alleges that she was forced to resign from Joe & Lewie's Pentaly Box Sports Tavern in August after confronting other employees at the bar about what she described as out-of-control, drunken and lascivious behavior.
Los Angeles Kings forward Craig Conroy, who tallied seven points (two goals, five assists) and posted a +5 rating in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, October 23. Detroit goaltender Manny Legace, who led the Red Wings to three victories and recorded a 1.30 goals-against average and one shutout, has been named the League's Defensive Player of the Week.
Around the rink, ESPN style takes us on a tour with many of the ESPN hockey experts. For example, Barry Melrose checks in with this-
This week, I am looking for an answer to one question: are the Predators for real? They're 7-0, but I am waiting for them to play one of the West's best teams, like Vancouver or Detroit. Against those teams, we'll see if Nashville is a pretender or contender.
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
A sports report was playing on a TV over Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland's shoulder when I asked him what it was that he liked most about veteran center Robert Lang before he traded for him just before the March trading deadline in 2004. "The best assets Robert has are great hands and a big body -- and he's a very, very smart player," Holland said. Then he smiled and added: "With the way the rules are now, he is exactly the kind of player you want down deep -- from the faceoff circles to the goal line, where a quick shot, a quick creative decision can often result in a goal with the time and space that players now have in our game."
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
A victim of the new NHL that has sacrificed intensity and physicality for scoring and speed, Iginla has done little to demonstrate the grittiness that has long fueled the game's most complete player. It wasn't until late in Thursday's win over Edmonton that the Flames captain has shown any sort of emotion, slamming his stick on the glass as he loudly protested an unwarranted penalty call handed to him thanks to Jarret Stoll's dive. Truth is, he didn't even deserve his two minutes -- something the Professional Hockey Writers Association will have to consider when voting. Other than that, Iginla has not registered the type of hits or passion that has long pumped him, his teammates and Flames fans up.
from the Toronto Sun via Slam,
"All of us are in favour of not having the grappling, the hooking, the holding," Quinn concedes. "Nobody wanted that. Where it is right now, in spite of everybody saying 'Oh, I love the new game,' I don't love the new game. I don't think it's hockey. It's special teams situations and we've got gimmicks to decide games. "It's totally different. You're not going to see the physical playoff style if everybody is afraid of penalties. So far, we've won our games on special teams and we've lost our games on special teams. Five-on-five is like the dodo bird."
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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