Currently, it is inseparable from the Detroit Red Wings organization.
If you have watched some of the Ottawa Senators’ road to the draft videos, it is the reason that prospects don’t merely ride a bike at the combine until their insides want out; prospects are interviewed, invited to NHL cities, and even dine in the homes of NHL captains, all with the hopes of searching it out.
Despite being a most coveted quality for any player or organization to possess, it takes the longest development route, and it can disappear in a flash. With so much riding on it this week, can Ottawa handle this key organizational and roster asset well?
At the beginning of December, I let it be known that I would be going through change with respect to my blogging. At first, I thought it might only be due to the fact that I was entering the charged and key final term of my mechanical engineering undergraduate career. The very career that opened me to my three great interests: engineering leading me to writing and editorial roles, and those roles leading me to hockey.
To complete this educational career phase, I thought that I should focus on my education to the near exclusion of the other two. Not long into that decision, however, hockey insisted that if I had to focus on engineering, it would complete the circle and insert itself right into the thick of all things engineering related.
My personal life would not likely interest many readers here, and so I seldom spoke of it. But those readers I have might wonder where I have been.
That, and there might be a pique of curiosity in those who wonder how engineering, university research, and composite hockey sticks fit into the discussion on Kukla’s Korner.
It didn’t take long for Chris Neil’s cheap shots towards Boston’s Seidenberg in the dying minutes of Ottawa’s 4-0 loss to Boston on Saturday to make news.
Less so because of the incident or the players dressed that night, and instead because of a few comments from Neil’s former teammate, Brian McGrattan (from TSN),
“I heard about it,” McGrattan told Boston.com. “That’s typical Chris Neil. I had to protect that guy for three years when I was there. He’d do that and I’d have to fight all his battles for him the next time we’d play a team after he’d do something stupid like that. It doesn’t surprise me.”
“That’s the way he does it,” McGrattan told Boston.com. “He’ll do something where he knows he’ll get kicked out of the game and won’t have to come back and fight anybody. I’ve been around him long enough to know he does that. Then I’m the one who usually has to fight his battles the next time. It’s typical.”
Quickly, as happens in the hockey universe, voices came out both for and against his comments (sometimes both from the same place). Set aside for a moment the question of whether or not agitators have a place in the game, which I’ll get to at the end, and ask yourself whether or not McGrattan’s role helped Neil; to look at the numbers, was McGrattan even right?
In round one, if you were in the West, being the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th seed meant you won. In the East, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th seed meant you lost. In round two, if you were in the West, home ice advantage meant you won, and the original 1st and 2nd seeds advanced. In the East, home ice advantage meant you lost, and the original 7th and 8th seeds advanced, also marking the first time in NHL history that a Conference Final featured the 7th and 8th seeds, or so I hear from Versus. Not one team has known their coach in these Conference Finals for more than two seasons.
The President’s Trophy winners were felled by the Canadiens, and then the Stanley Cup winners fell too. The Flyers were down three goals to none in game seven, just as they had been down three games to none in the series; in both cases, rare series and game seven comebacks happened.
Whether you love seeing a season’s hard work prevail, or an end of season push triumph, intrigue remains this spring, and the NHL commercials indeed had it right. History was made.
A fun trip to shop.nhl.com, thanks to the Sens Underground podcast for the pointer (specifically StooLi at 44m25s), reveals much to anyone’s surprise that while 16 teams have yet to hit the links this spring, only 15 of them actually want the Cup.
You could see a great many stories about the Senators today, from their unfortunate status as the most penalized team in the League (SENS), Murray’s desire to add at least a player (HC), the Oilers who Heatley kept in Edmonton rolling into town (OS), and Emery’s first game hosting ‘a team he used to play for’ (OC).
But, after last night’s Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, perhaps a little more reflection on the organization would be diligent.
As the afternoon buzzed away today, rumours flying everywhere, there was a quieter, gentler setting for a few of the top prospects at this year’s draft. Tavares, Hedman, Duchene, Kane, Schenn, and Despres where whisked away from the luncheon to the mainland and the Canadiens’ practice rink, joining a couple dozen young and very fortunate hockey players for some practice time.
It’s the story no one might care about, but the story that I’ll take to heart anyway.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but word on the street, or out of the NHL’s head office at least, is that the National Hockey League has the most tech savvy fans of any major league sport.
I know it’s been two days now since Carolina evened their series in Boston, but yesterday’s cause was defending 5-on-5 overtime. Those who watched the game appeared to be treated to the Canes taking a 3-0 lead not once, but twice.
You can’t help but find a hint of something there between those two statements, whether you label it irony, contradiction, or just some kind of philosophical mismatch, and certainly one that needs attention.
Over 100 shots on goal. Over 100 hits. Over 100 minutes of hockey.
That was Anaheim’s 4-3 win in Detroit yesterday, just over a minute into the third overtime period.
Don’t be fooled though; that represents exactly what hockey should be, whether it’s over in 60 minutes or still filled with smouldering hate after 120.
Who could ask for anything more?
Playoff series have always been filled with motivation, excitement, and bad blood by the end. This season it’s gone into overdrive, and left, right, and centre, every one has been a promising player in the mind, even when a brief on-ice pause may have been in effect (see Washington’s play against New York last night, periods one and two).
For 14 teams’ fans, April brought much of the excitement to a close, another 8 now joining them, but the storylines have managed to put up quite a fight in the meantime.
Native of Northern California. Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.
I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle. I watch, I react, I write it down.
My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked. I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind. When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom. It hasn't, I don't think it will. At all.
Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.
I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.
I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org