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NHLPA Stumbling Along As Usual

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHLPA is in bad shape.  Is that even news anymore?  Over the years I have written posts entitled NHLPA in bad shape, NHLPA problems, NHLPA in shambles, NHLPA shoots itself in the foot and others.  The continuing story is that the NHLPA is always in bad shape.  It is never strong.  It doesn’t seem that the players are capable of creating a strong NHLPA.

Just when it looked like things were on the upswing under Paul Kelly, the players inexplicably fired him.  No reasonable cause has been released for his firing.  It doesn’t seem that one exists. The players don’t even seem to know what happened.  This is shown by the four player committee set up to investigate what happened.

EDIT:  A couple hours after this post, Ian Penny resigned from his NHLPA post.  It is yet another case of somebody who did wrong being subtracted, but when there seems to be an unending group of such people, can it really be sited as yet another point where the NHLPA is trying to right itself?

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

New Or Same Story For The Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle, .

..And finally, there is Todd McLellan as the monotoned narrator who has decided that sugar-coating the bad stuff is bad for their diets. He is less afraid to name names and point fingers, and is becoming less a player’s coach and more a coach of players. He lived last year’s book, a seemingly brilliant bit of work that ended in a shambolic mess, and he knows of the books published before him, so he’s more likely to be Doctor Buzzkill than Doctor Feelgood.

In all, it’s a different set of characters than all the other Sharks volumes because the characters after the top three or four are being written as younger, less distinct and open to interpretation. Some may end up being surprisingly important figures when the shooting starts, others may end up as corpses in the background.

And maybe the slow buildup leads to a better ending. Or not. The one thing we’ve always known about the Sharks is, they never know how to finish a good book.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Walking Around In A Fog After A Concussion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

Steve Staios felt like he was stuck in Groundhog Day, and every morning was a wicked New Year’s Day hangover that wouldn’t go away.

Knocked out of Edmonton’s lineup with a concussion two games into the season, he’s been trying to free himself from the cobwebs ever since.

“The first 10 days that I took off were not very good at all—I had some really rough days,” said the Oilers defenceman, who felt well enough, finally, to skate for the first time yesterday,

“I’m glad I’m past those because they were tough. Walking around in a fog, you don’t feel crisp. That hangover feeling all day.

“It was a little bit concerning at some points, but you try not to make too much of it and hope the next day was a good day.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+staios

Gaborik’s Gone And So Are The Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

There’s no hiding the first month of the Chuck Fletcher/Todd Richards regime was as successful as a grouse staring down the barrel of a shotgun, but, boy oh boy, the hockey gods sure had a good laugh at the Wild’s expense.

As the Wild keeps losing (it is 3-9), Gaborik keeps scoring (10 goals), although in a fitting twist of irony, Gaborik’s St. Paul homecoming is threatened tonight because of that oh-so familiar “lower body” injury. He hasn’t skated since Monday.

But let’s be honest: Gaborik’s fast start under the Broadway spotlight was as predictable as a rush-hour traffic jam through the Lincoln Tunnel.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Head Shots Need To Stop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

How many players must be taken off the ice via stretcher before the NHL changes its way?

Will it take a body bag before the league finally clamps down on head shots?

Sure looks that way.

After years of believing the biggest cure of the headshot problem was players not skating with their head up, I’ve converted.

The onus has to be put on the players making the hit.


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

Crosby Gains Confidence With New Stick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

With nine goals in 12 games, Crosby is off to the best start of his five-year career. He has 24 goals in his past 36 games, including the playoffs. He is on pace to score 62 this season, though it’s a bit early for projections.

Some people want to attribute Crosby’s hot start solely to his new, one-piece stick. Crosby is not one of them, although he acknowledges that the stick, at the very least, is symbolic of his budding scorer’s mentality….

Crosby favored the wood, among other reaasons, because he could feel the puck better on his stick. He finally made the switch this past summer, partly because the wooden blades he favored went out of production two years ago (he kept a stash for last season and still has plenty left, just in case).

“If anything, I think (the new stick) has probably given me more confidence to use my shot a little more,” Crosby said Wednesday, after scoring a hat trick against Montreal. “I definitely feel like I’m more likely to shoot from a little farther out than normal. In my mind, I’m not afraid to take a shot in a one-on-one now. That’s important. I can’t be too predictable.”

read on

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

Bergeron Finding His Game Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald,

After watching Patrice Bergeron score a first-period goal in the Bruins 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night at the Garden, an NHL scout in attendance began taking down notes.

“He’s skating . . . he’s strong on the puck,” wrote Tom Fitzgerald, a former teammate of Bergeron’s and now an assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “He’s hunting down the puck . . . he gets physical . . . he scores goals.”

And then, sounding more like the former teammate and less like the scout, Fitzgerald smiled and said, “He’s the old Bergie.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+bergeron

Leafs Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,

Vesa Toskala: Don’t you get the feeling this guy would be really good at dodgeball?

Lee Stempniak: A capable point man on the power play ... who knew?

The Frat Pack: A sharp-looking line during pre-season, Viktor Stalberg, Tyler Bozak and Christian Hanson have been reunited ... with the Marlies. For now they’re the Drat Pack, but they’re in the right spot.

Tomas Kaberle: Say what you like about his teeter-totter play from one game to the next, but don’t you just want to pinch those rosy cheeks?

Mikhail Grabovski: Has the tremendous ability to go 100 m.p.h. without actually getting anywhere.


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

Filppula Out With Broken Wrist

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings have lost center Valtteri Filppula for 6-8 weeks with a broken right wrist.

Filppula was hurt in the second period of Thursday’s 6-5 shootout loss at Edmonton when he was hit by Gilbert Brule.

“I feel terrible, but nothing I can do now,” Filppula said.

“It’s not good,” Henrik Zetterberg added. “It’s tough to lose a player and especially Fil, he plays a lot of minutes and plays in all situations, so it’s a tough break for us.”

General manager Ken Holland said the team would not be recalling anyone from the minors, as they have enough forwards to go around.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: valtteri+filppula

Complaining About Holmstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

On Tuesday when Niklas Kronwall scored to make it 2-2 early in the second, Holmstrom not once, not twice, but three times pushed Alex Edler out of the way while at the same time bumping against Roberto Luongo.

Then on Pavel Datsyuk’s go-ahead goal that made it 4-3 on the power play, Holmstrom was partially tying up Willie Mitchell in front of Luongo. You could argue that had it been Mitchell doing the same thing he’d be called for interference.

In football it’s called offensive interference; in the NHL it’s called when and if the refs feel like it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+holmstrom

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