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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The players will all rally around the coach and the jerseys that they wear. This is a team. They play for each other and for our passionate fans. The players will want to thank Alex for his MVP talents and we hope to NOT miss a beat. We will test our mettle now. This may be a small blessing in disguise as each and every player will have to step up their game to replace the one-of-a-kind talents of Alex Ovechkin.

-Washington Owner Ted Leonsis.  More from Ted at Ted’s Take…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Nine Top Teams In The Last Decade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Here are the Top 9 NHL Teams of the Last Decade ...

9. 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes

A Southeast Division champion with 112 points in the first regular season following the lockout, Peter Laviolette’s group had four 30-goal scorers including Eric Staal’s 45-goal, 100-point career year.

Outside of their star center, it was a solid but unspectacular team, and was carried through the postseason by rookie goalie Cam Ward’s Conn Smythe performance (.2.14 GAA, .920 save percentage).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not Surviving In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,

First, it sure looks like this team is moving somewhere at the end of the season. When the NHL governors convene in December, Gary Bettman will deliver a status report on trying to find local buyers, and this time around the questions are going to be tougher when he tries the “all is well” speech.

Second, any sex appeal this team had is gone because Wayne Gretzky is gone. Dave Tippet’s a heck of a good hockey coach but he’s not Gretzky and the media interest there once was in the Coyotes because of Gretzky is now gone.

The team is 9-5-0 despite last night’s loss, a terrific start by all measures. But the Coyotes play in a tough division and a playoff berth seems unlikely.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Get Down & Dirty In Practice Session

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Tossing the puck towards the faceoff dot like a lion tamer would hurl raw meat, Brent Sutter ordered two of his most ferocious beasts to do battle.

With players lined up along the centre ice circle to provide a makeshift cage, Dion Phaneuf and Brian McGrattan were summoned to the middle where they collided with considerable force.

With instructions to simply fight for the puck, the two scraped and clawed while Sutter barked at them three times to “battle.”

Following a series of violent cross-checks to one another’s backs, their 30-second war had ended with McGrattan doubled over in exhaustion and Phaneuf checking his beak for blood.

Without hesitation another puck was hurled into the circle for another two teammates to clash over….

After squandering leads in consecutive home losses, Sutter followed up a day off with the type of practice yesterday that was, quite frankly, three or four years overdue for the Flames.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tavares Has The Winning Formula

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The learning curve lies ahead for Tavares, but he should have no problem with it. He has Crosby’s demeanour: respectful, ready to learn, yet in a hurry to take in the knowledge.

(Doug) Weight, who recently had H1N1 and jokes that his primary responsibility in taking the team’s franchise player under his wing is “Don’t give him The Swine,” would bet you an NHL paycheque that Tavares will turn into a superstar.

“He just wants to be an islander and be a great player. He’s on his way,” the tutor said. “His shot, his savvy. He’s got it, he gets it, and he wants it.

“He wants to be great. I think he’s going to be a winner.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

The Dominating Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

From 1998 to 2004, (Dave) Dryden served as the NHL’s goaltending “watchdog,” checking to ensure equipment was kept to size limitations and advising the league on what might be done to improve safety as well as increase goal scoring.

He may himself be a former goaltender, but he is also one who has come to believe the position has reached a point where it is overly dominant for the good of a team sport.

“It’s spun out of control,” he says….

The NHL’s solution to dominant goaltending has been to allow, for the most part, the oversized padding in order to offer the greatest protection but then to adjust the rules in a manner in which the padding is somewhat cancelled out.

This has created a game in which, as Dryden puts it, “We’ve got to have ways to get to the goalie.” It has created the era of the ugly goal. It has made “crashing the goaltender” a legitimate tactic when, at one time, it was forbidden.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+dryden

The ‘Jagr’ Look For Voracek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

First, to Voracek’s hair.

It’s not one of the “business-in-front, party-in-the-back” mullets that became, sadly, popular in the 1980s. No, Voracek’s mop is all party, similar to Jaromir Jagr’s ‘do in the early 1990s with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Jake and Jaromir are both from Kladno,” Blue Jackets defenseman Jan Hejda said, referring to a city in the Czech Republic, an industrial suburb of Prague. “It’s like our Pittsburgh. So everybody looks like that in Kladno.”

Coach Ken Hitchcock—an old-school NHL coach by most measures—said he doesn’t mind the “Kladno cut”. But he might feel differently under other circumstances.

While in he was in Calgary this season, Flames reporters noted that such a haircut would never fly under the old-school rule of Flames general manager Darryl Sutter or coach Brian Sutter.

“Jake’s trying to see how far he can go before he really (honks) off the coach,” Hitchcock said, with a smile. “And he’s getting close.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jake+voracek

Coach Wilson Believes Head Shots Should Be Banned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Ron Wilson feels head shots should be banned, even if contact is made with the shoulder.

And that goes for the hit delivered by Andrew Ladd of the Chicago Blackhawks, who flattened an unaware Matt D’Agostini of the Montreal Canadiens during the Hawks’ 3-2 victory Friday.

“(Ladd) was trying to rip his head off,” Wilson, the Maple Leafs coach, said yesterday.

“You should not be allowed to target the head. That’s not a clean hit.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tampa Holds Players Only Meeting After Loss To Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Captain Vinny Lecavalier, who had a season-low 16:06 of ice time, and Todd Fedoruk were minus-3. Marty St. Louis and Alex Tanguay had one shot each, and the team had one shot on two power-play chances.

The defense at times seemed mesmerized by the puck, allowing Flyers players to stand unchallenged in front of the net. And no one seemed prepared to throw a meaningful check or win a puck battle.

“There just wasn’t any pushback,” Tocchet said. “Our wall work was terrible. Our defense had as bad a game as they played this year. It’s tough to get anything positive.

“Tonight,” he added, “was an alarming message where we are going.”

“Sometimes your heart is in the right place but your mind is not,” Fedoruk said. “Focus, preparation, who knows? Things that have to be done before every game just weren’t there tonight.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Senators Owner Wants His ‘Heatley Bonus’ Money Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

It’s payback time for Eugene Melnyk.

Sun Media has learned the Senators owner was so furious with being forced to shell out a $4-million bonus to Dany Heatley, who refused to accept a trade to the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, he has filed a grievance asking for his money back…

It’s believed Melnyk not only claims the decision by Heatley to kill the deal cost him $4 million, it also hurt the club’s ability to sell season tickets because of the uncertainty in the Senators camp.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

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