by Patrick Hoffman on 12/09/10 at 06:06 PM ET
PH: So, we are 1/3 of the way through the NHL season. What are some of your thoughts?
JK: So far the season has been great, a lot of really interesting story lines including flops and surprises. It is so hard to look at the standing at the 25% mark, trust me it was much easier (as a Leafs fan) to look at the standings after the 5% mark. A team can string together 10 games of greatness and be right up there with the big boys. Or a team can easily drop 10 and be relegated to hang out with the Islanders.
PH: Which teams/players have surprised you the most in a good way? Why?
JK: Most surprising player for me has to be Tim Thomas. After winning the Jennings and Vezina in 2009 his numbers went for a Tank (pun intended). He saw his win total decrease by more than half his starts shrunk and his GAA ballooned.
I was expecting to see Rask put the pressure on him this year but all he has done is looked insane, currently leading the league in save percentage, GAA, and shutouts. The only goalie category he is missing for the sweep is wins which is held by Price in Montreal who has 3 more wins but has played 7 more games. Oh, and did you see that save against Toronto? Save of the year.
PH: Which teams/players have been disappointments? Why?
JK: Tough call between the Islanders and Kovalchuk…A really, really bad team is a tough thing to watch and get behind but a superstar player that is struggling is hilarious, err I mean…no it’s kinda funny. Big money comes with big expectations. New Jersey has always been a defense first team and it looks like Kovalchuk for whatever reason cannot get his game straight.
PH: Being that you are a huge Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan, how surprised/not surprised are you by their play this season?
JK: I am a Leafs fan with a clear view from the outside…so I understand that they suck, and that they need major improvements on the ice. I understand that Kessel isn’t going to take the team to the post season on his back, I get that. So I am fairly fine with the Leafs so far. At the start of the season I had said they would make the playoffs, I’m still fine with that idea. There are nights the TEAM looks great, there are nights the TEAM looks like a bunch of fumbling idiots.
PH: How much longer do you think Leafs’ head coach Ron Wilson will last? Why?
JK: I’ve been asked this before and I still think that Burke wont fire Wilson during the season. After the season, that is a different story.
He seems extremely displeased with his team, and voices that with the media. I still think he can do good in Toronto but that needs to start very soon. I was at the game on the 2nd and got to hear the “fire Wilson” chants first hand.
PH: Do you have any other thoughts that you’d like to share with readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
JK: “Other thoughts”...Three shootout attempts for Charlie Conway (circa D3) and Dean Youngblood - who scores more?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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