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Colorado In First Place

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I would never have predicted that twelve games into the 2009/10 season, the Colorado Avalanche would be in first place in the NHL.  I picked the Avs to finish second last in the West Conference and my prediction was not out of line with most common opinions.

Colorado has a 9-3 record (with 2 losses counted as overtime ties).  That is a very good record, but it is the overtime ties that propel Colorado into first.  Without them, they would be near the top, but below Pittsburgh in the standings.

For the most part, Colorado has been outshot pretty badly while winning.  They average 26.6 shots per game and allow 33.2.  This almost seven shot per game deficit is more typical of a weaker team (for example Anaheim has three wins in ten games and has an eight shot per game deficit).  Colorado has won largely due to goaltending.  Craig Anderson has been outstanding.

Continue Reading »

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Plays Of The Week - TSN Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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Former Lightning Player John Tucker Beating Cancer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

They did seek the counsel of Charles Slonim, a Tampa opthalmologist and friend, who has been a team physician for the Lightning since its inception. He also is a survivor, having beaten lymph node cancer in 1988.

“He explained it all to us when we had no clue,” Lynn said. “He held our hands and said everything was going to be okay.”

“John is a rock,” Slonim said. “He’s not a complainer. If you’re a complainer, the first thing you do is tell everybody and try to get people to feel sorry for you. That’s not John.”

In fact, Tucker said he plans to get involved with those fighting the disease, whether they be patients or caregivers, whom Tucker called “angels on earth.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tucker

Last Year’s Oilers Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Last night they looked like the Oilers who were booed out of their building again and again and again last year and conspired to get Craig MacTavish fired as they missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

They were back to being a pushover to play in their own building and unable to score a goal for the second game in a row as they recorded their third straight loss of the season, 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche.

They reeked.

“Obviously it’s embarrassing getting shutout two games in a row,” said Sam Gagner. “Tonight we didn’t even show up in the first period.”

It was the worst first period the Oilers played this year.

It started with the $7 million dollar man, Shawn Horcoff, losing the opening face-off and then turning the puck over as the Avalanche took a 1-0 lead only 25 seconds into the game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kopitar’s early success ranks him ahead of Marian Gaborik, Alexander Ovechkin, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Rick Nash and even Sidney Crosby—all the superstars you would see on national TV if the NHL had a decent broadcast deal with a network that’s not in a dispute with DirecTV.

-Helene Elliott of the LA Times. More on Kopitar and the Kings from Helene.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: helene+elliott

Don’t Expect A Quick Sale Of The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,

While it expects to complete its purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes next week, the National Hockey League has not committed to a timeline of when it will flip the troubled franchise to another buyer, with the NHL deputy commissioner saying a re-sale is “not imminent.”

Bill Daly also said the Coyotes, mired in sometimes heated bankruptcy proceedings since May, have attracted more than one suitor. Ice Edge Holdings, a consortium of Canadian and U.S.-based businessmen, has publicly confirmed its interest in the team, and met league commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this week.

“Ice Edge isn’t the only horse in the race,” Daly wrote in an email yesterday.

continued

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Fantasy- Early Success Stories

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

We’re four weeks in. You’ve managed to resist trading away the Luongos and Lecavaliers of the league that were killing you out of the gate. With a little luck, your core is slowly, but surely, taking hold and giving your group the traction you’ve been waiting for. Cool like the cucumber, you didn’t dump Doan (2 points in the first 5 games, 8 in the next 5) in order to covet Captain Tkachukles (6 points in his first 3, 2 in the next 6).

Phew.

And despite wanting both badly, you’re thankful now that you didn’t get your paws on contract-year juggernauts Marc Savard and Ilya Kovalchuk.

continued

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Not Really Sure If You Can Set A Return Date After A Concussion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

The health status of Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook will be the first thing Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is asked about after practice Wednesday.  Of course, we may get our answer sooner if either Toews or Seabrook is on the ice for the workout.

Quenneville is probably getting as tired of the Toews/Seabrook questions as we are of asking them.

It’s a long season, not even November yet, so there should be no reason for the Hawks to rush Toews and Seabrook back into action.

In fact, the smart thing would be to hold them out the next two games on Thursday and Friday against Nashville and Montreal, take your chances and let them shoot for a return on Nov. 5 at Phoenix.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Transportation Departments Forgot About The Reporters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Three newspaper reporters covering the Ottawa Senators—including the Citizen’s Allen Panzeri—were caught in the middle of a nasty free-trade fight between airlines in the United States and Canada on Tuesday.

The reporters were denied access on the Senators’ charter flight bound for Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, because of a U.S. Department of Transportation Agency ruling.

Writers from the newspapers typically travel on the club’s flights—paying market rate for the service—because it provides the convenience of being in attendance for all of the Senators’ games and practices. Commercial flight schedules don’t offer the option of flying from one city to the next immediately following games and not all NHL cities are directly accessible from Ottawa commercially.

“It might only be three people, for now, but clearly this is a barrier as to how businesses operate,” said Citizen editor-in-chief Gerry Nott.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ryan Johnson Taken Off The Ice On A Stretcher

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

Vancouver forward Ryan Johnson was taken off the ice on a stretcher after crashing into the end boards early in the second period of the Canucks’ game against Detroit on Tuesday night.

With just under three minutes gone in the period, Johnson raced into the Detroit zone, swerved past defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom but lost his balance and crashed into the boards head-first.

Medical personnel put Johnson onto a stretcher and he was wheeled off the ice.

Upated word is Johnson has been taken to the hospital for observation and tests.  He is alert and has movement.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johnson

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