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Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“There isn’t a guy in there that should be proud of their effort in the first 20 minutes. It starts with leadership. The coaches are the leaders. We have captains in the locker room that have to make sure they’re prepared to play. And everybody individually has to take some responsibility and it’s not there right now. It’s disappointing.”

-Sharks coach Todd McLellan after last night’s loss to the Coyotes.  More from David Pollak of Working the Corners.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Impact of the Butterfly on Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Epstein at Sports Illustrated:

By the time [Patrick] Roy retired in 2003, having amassed a record 551 wins with the Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, 12 of the 30 starting goalies in the NHL were Quebecois, including Giguere, and nearly all 30 used the butterfly at least on occasion. What neither Allaire nor Giguere nor the throngs of youth imitating Saint Patrick could see, though, was that Roy’s style had been steadily ravaging his hips.

“All that going up and down at high speed,” says Pat Karns, a former Avalanche trainer. “We really had to work on Patrick daily [to keep his hips healthy].”

With each drop, the butterfly excavated the cartilage in Roy’s joints. It would be worse for his disciples, the goaltenders who started using his style as children and have dropped to the ice thousands of times. Those boys are all grown up now, and for many of the brightest among them—Giguere, Rick DiPietro of the Islanders, Antero Niittymaki of the Flyers and Vesa Toskala of the Maple Leafs among them—a scar on their surgically-repaired hips marks them as the butterfly generation. But from pee wee to the pros, butterfly is firmly entrenched.

much more

*thanks to KK reader Alan for the pointer!

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, injuries

Trouble With Cable Providers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:

By moving the game to the NHL Network, in an attempt to give it more exposure, the league shut out a large number of Center Ice subscribers. Up until last week, I had DirecTV, which includes the NHL Network as part of its digital package. I learned, apparently along with a lot of fans, that Comcast doesn’t include the NHL Network in its basic digital package - even if you ponied up the bucks for Center Ice. Now, I need to get the NHL Network anyways, so I didn’t mind calling Comcast and bumping up a package for another $8 a month. But by the time we got it ironed out, it was 2-0 New Jersey.

Like a lot of hockey fans, I was part angry, part confused. So this morning, I called the league for an explanation.

It was explained to me that putting the game on NHL Network made the game like any other nationally televised hockey game, which means it wasn’t available on Center Ice. Usually that’s not an issue, because you can just turn on NBC or Versus and watch it. But for those of us who didn’t get NHL Network, it became an issue. But the league assured me that it wasn’t some underhanded tactic to get people to pay more money for extra cable coverage. In fact, it’s the opposite.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Center Ice, NHL Network, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Penguins Are Now a Team to Fear

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bill Clement at NBC Sports:

These are not the Penguins of the start of the season. They are not the Penguins of the turn of the year. They’re not even the Penguins of last month.

These are the Penguins to now fear. A new coach, a couple of key trades, and a return from injury by a key player have worked wonders for the team, and its captain, Sidney Crosby.

Pittsburgh is kicking tail and taking names. Starting with their last two games in February, and running through their March 17 meeting with Atlanta, the Penguins had won seven of nine, and their two losses in that stretch were shootout losses.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Brind’Amour Plans To Return Next Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

But while 20 years in hockey can take its toll, while this season has had its ups and downs, Brind’Amour says there will be a 21st, that he hasn’t given any thought to retirement.

“It’s not a question of whether I’m going to play again,” Brind’Amour said. “I know I still love the game, and I still think I can play. And that’s the key.”

For Brind’Amour, this season has been more trying and taxing than any of the 19 before it. There were times he appeared slower than usual on the ice, when he couldn’t quite make plays, lost key faceoffs, turned the puck over.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rod+brind'amour

Top 10 Lines

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

John Grigg of The Hockey News lists his Top 10 lines…

1. Johan Franzen – Pavel Datsyuk – Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings

The choice in Hockeytown was even tougher than the one in Philly. But Datsyuk is the premier defensive forward in the league and has a 24-point lead in the Red Wing scoring race. Plus the line owns a cumulative plus-63 rating and has scored 29 power play goals and 11 game winners.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Carbonneau Not Happy With Firing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau says he is unhappy he was fired and that he didn’t see the dismissal coming.

Carbonneau, who was let go by general manager Bob Gainey on March 9, told a news conference in Montreal today he thought the team was heading in the right direction.

continued

Update 4:45pm ET: Audio from Carbonneau’s news conference via HabsInside/Out. [mp3]

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guy+carbonneau

Dave Hunter, Past & Present

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Matheson at The Edmonton Journal, via Faceoff.com:

Dave Hunter has three Stanley Cup rings, two that he keeps in a safety deposit box and the third he keeps around the house. He could flash it for some his oilfield clients, a little show and tell, but he doesn’t.

“My fingers got too fat ... the ring doesn’t fit like it used to,” said the self-deprecating former Edmonton Oilers winger, who has no trouble discussing his Battle of the Bulge.

Hunter, 51, says he’s about 280 pounds now, somewhat north of his robust playing weight.  When he quit hockey in 1989, Hunter laughingly said he would never set foot in a gym again. He has been in a gym, but not often.

continued… with a profile on life after hockey, plus some memories with the Oilers

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+hunter

Looking At Coach Patrick Roy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Roy carries baggage—his temper, especially—but a lot of that luggage is high-end, Louis Vuitton-type stuff. He has conspicuous passion and undeniable hockey smarts. He also has an ability to motivate, at least at a junior level. While his combustibility might be incompatible with coaching pros, eventually some team is going to find out about his upside.

The one thing Roy does not have is the ability to sell tickets….

If Colorado does want Roy, it should be because they think he can remake the team, run a bench and handle players. The Avalanche should want him for the right reasons—as a coach, not a marketing tool.

more and some “tanking” talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+roy

Staggering To The Finish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,

Looking at the recent NHL standings and the respective performances of some of the teams supposedly “battling” for playoff contention, I can’t help but wonder if any of these teams are really serious about making the playoffs.

Ok, I admit, that’s a harsh assessment, lots of things happen with a team over the course of a season, it’s never just one thing, there are always plenty of variables that affect performance, blah, blah, blah….

My point is that looking at the logjam for the final playoffs berths in both conference there are very few teams that actually appearing to be seizing the opportunity before them.

continued

added 12:04pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

The Hawks have lost eight of 11 and look lifeless. There is no intensity, no fight, they lose battles and are getting outworked.

Everyone seems to want to fire GM Dale Tallon, but when does what’s happening fall on the coach? If you can’t get a team prepared to play at home against the Islanders and Colorado, then questions need to be asked.

more

added 12:18pm, from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

For now, the Panthers remain just one point out of playoff position, but they can’t afford any more performances like Tuesday’s. Not only were they shut out for the fourth time this season, they recorded zero shots on goal in the third period, tying a franchise low. They had 19 overall.

“They dictated. We sat back and didn’t do much. We were really flat,” defenseman Bryan McCabe said. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s unacceptable….”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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