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Western Supremacy

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

For the last several years, the West Conference has had a winning record versus the East Conference.  So far this year, the West is 65-51 (with 15 losses credited as regulation ties).  This is a better pace than the 141-129 (with 26 regulation tie points) record the West Conference put up last year.  Does this mean that the West is becoming even more dominant over the East Conference this year, when compared to last year?

At least part of the early season improvement in the West Conference record against the East is a predictable travel effect.  As the season progresses, travel wears on both conferences.  The West Conference travels a further total distance.  They lose more time that could be spent on practice, rest, injury rehab etc. to travel.  After a few months of the season it weakens the West Conference relative to the East, allowing the East to win a few more inter-conference games later in the season.  Thus, the early season pace that the West Conference holds in inter-division games is never maintained the full season.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

More Life Chapters Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They walk toward the cancer clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and he reaches for her hand, an instinct no more conscious than the last breath he took. He opens the door for her, his hand gently in the small of her back, retracing steps traveled many times over the past three years.

It’s quiet here on a sunny Sunday morning, and the couple is greeted warmly like old friends by the staff at the clinic. Tim, one of the health care staff, who has been here for so many of these visits, tells Larry Pleau and his wife, Wendy, that he’s sorry they missed his homemade turtles the day before. They joke about the missed opportunity before Tim disappears and returns a short while later with a box of the candy for Wendy.

Jane, another staffer, works on the three-pronged catheter that has been embedded near the tip of Wendy’s aorta since June 15, 2007, drawing blood and then redoing the dressing around the device.

The device has made the regular blood transfusions and tests and administering of antibiotics easier, but it also has been a constant reminder of what has been taken from her.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: larry+pleau, wendy+pleau

When Panthers Collide

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Word is Gregory Campbell is OK, just a little dazed from the hit.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gregory+campbell

GM Messier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN that Hockey Canada will name Mark Messier as its general manager for the 2010 World Hockey Championship.

The 2010 event runs from May 7 to May 23 in Germany.

Messier, who is also the New York Rangers’ special assistant to general manager Glen Sather, is said to be “very excited” about his first international experience as a manager.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+messier

Blues Having Trouble At Home

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues are saddled with a 5-9-2 mark at home, a stat that is deceptively good. As mentioned, one of those “home” wins was a 5-3 victory over the Red Wings in Sweden. Moreover, the Blues’ stagnant offense has been even more impaired at home. The Blues have just 33 goals in those 16 “home” games, or 28 goals in 15 games at Scottrade, less than two goals a game.

“I don’t know, I don’t know why it is,” said forward T.J. Oshie. “Maybe guys get a little too comfortable at home ... I don’t know. But we have to do something about it. We have to turn it around.”

There was no time like the present on Monday, what with Dave Checketts in the house. The last time the chairman was in town, his hockey team lost at home to Nashville and Checketts responded by addressing the boys with a “not good enough” speech. The Monday Night Meltdown might have left him speechless.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalev Knows His Game Needs To Improve, But…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“Elite players have to start playing their best,” Melnyk said, without naming names.

Kovalev, who hasn’t scored since Oct. 29 — a 14-game drought (he missed three games to be with family in Russia following the death of his mother-in-law) — was in Montreal for a press conference yesterday to promote his charity DVD for off-ice training and was asked about Melnyk’s tongue-lashing.

“If those words are going to me, I’ll accept it. Not in a bad way, but the right way,” said Kovalev, a former Canadien who faces his old teammates tonight. “I know I have to step up to play better, there’s no question about it.”

But hockey is not an “individual sport,” Kovalev pointed out.

“People who know hockey have to understand I wish this could be an individual sport where you can prepare yourself and know you’ll have a good game or a bad game like in tennis,” said Kovalev. “In hockey, one person can make a difference, but I’m a new guy on the team.”

more on the Senators….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

The Reasons Behind The Flyers Slump

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

How bad are things in Flyerdom?

  Well, the Flyers equaled a franchise record for fewest shots allowed in a road game (13) Monday _ and somehow lost.

  Call them the Legion of Gloom.

  The Flyers fell to the host Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, despite allowing just 13 shots.

  The Flyers managed 15 shots _ and just two in the final period.

  Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.

  They have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. Want some reasons?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brodeur Ties Sawchuk’s Shutout Mark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,

It was the 103rd shutout of Brodeur’s illustrious career, tying him with Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk, who accomplished the mark in 971 career games for the Red Wings, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Kings and Rangers.

“I think with the last few games, we had a couple going into the third with no goals,” said Brodeur, who had been waiting to tie the record since his last shutout on Oct. 17 against Carolina.

“When it was nine minutes left I was like, well let’s try to beat this, and then move on to five minutes and really think about it in the last five minutes. The guys played really well in front of me and made a big difference in why we were able to get a shutout, but especially a big win.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

The Maven With A Gretzky Tease

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Stan Fischler of Game On,

Wayne Gretzky’s recent comments on MSG Network clearly indicate that The Great One is in no rush to return to an ice job.

In an interview with MSG’s Al Trautwig, Gretzky admits he’s content watching his kids grow as athletes. Wayne took in a Penguins-Rangers game last week from an MSG ice-side seat alongside his still gorgeous wife Janet.

Who knows, maybe there’s a job for Wayne at the NHL alongside Brendan Shanahan? Wayne and Janet reportedly are shopping for a luxury apartment within a mile or two of the NHL headquarters. Coincidence, or what?

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Two minutes of the best goals, hits and saves in the past week of the NHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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