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Friedman on early-season jitters

Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts":

There’s a GM who has one of the best lines I’ve ever heard about life in sports: “There are only two moods — winning and hell.”

In conversations over the last week, one theme stood out: This league is tense.

“Well, it’s always tense,” one executive laughed. “But even more than normal for this early.”

Various coaches, players, execs and media said they could see it in places like Arizona (winless after some good summer moves), Boston (injuries and a slow start, despite talented young players), Minnesota (injuries and expectation), Montreal (losses and intense local pressure), New York Rangers (roster in transition), Vancouver (attendance), Washington (organizational pressure) and Winnipeg (rough start before three straight wins).

Watching the Rangers’ last two games, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Alain Vigneault look so stressed. Until their young prospects — Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil — are ready, they’ll be thin at centre. And in the Metropolitan division, it’s very hard to win like that as Pittsburgh proved on Tuesday night.

I’m sure it’s similar in other sports, but one of the biggest changes over the years is the decrease in early-season optimism. It used to last 10 games. Not anymore. I’m not one to complain about the stresses of my job; I always think of Hyman Roth in Godfather II: “This is the business we’ve chosen.”

But pro sports takes its toll, and you can already see it.

Friedman continues at length...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Olczyk Back In Booth Wednesday

Good news.  Eddie Olczyk, battling colon cancer, returns to the NBCSN broadcast booth tomorrow to call the game between the Blues and his decidedly favorite Hawks. 

Olczyk said Aug. 8 that he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He is six weeks into a 24-week chemotherapy regimen.
"Three treatments in. Nine to go," he told USA Today on Monday. "We are a quarter of the way into the race and we are grinding it out."
Olczyk said he also will be part of the WGN broadcast for the Blackhawks game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHL.TV) and will work other games as his health allows.

More and nice to hear.  Not all of us may appreciate his approach, or his biases, but it's good to see him, or anyone, battling back against a wicked opponent. 

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Leafs: Playoff OT Losses Suck, But Better When You Learn From Them

Terry Koshan spoke with the Leafs today, specifically about how disgusting it was to lose the way they did to the Caps in last year's playoffs.  Nazim Kadri lied to his face and said the Leafs have no sad feelings.

“I don’t know how there can be,” Kadri said Tuesday after the Leafs’ morning skate at the Capital One Center.

“When five games go to overtime, that’s just anybody’s game, doesn’t matter who you are. I don’t think we would have changed anything or done anything differently. There are some mistakes we made that maybe we would want to take back, but that just happens over the course of the game.


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TSN Insider Trading: Double A and Calgary Arena Update

The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss what's next in the Flames' arena saga, whether Andreas Athanasiou is any closer to returning to Detroit, why the Kings could make Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez available, and the Capitals' interest in adding a defenceman.

Watch here...

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KK- Health Update

I just wanted to pop in here to say I won't be doing any posting at least for today.

Some of you know I am a type 2 diabetic and deal with it on a daily basis.  For the last few months additional issues have come up but I have continued to do what I do at KK.

I will go into more detail once I feel a bit better but right now, I am seeking some additional advice on my next medical step and really not feeling well at all.

Thanks for your understanding and I will update as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, IwoCPO will do what he can here at KK.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

KK Note

Morning everyone. Paul is currently under the weather. I'll try to get on here a bit later and very neutrally bring you a quarter of the material Paul typically would.  As some of you know, I'm very unbiased and not prone to hyperbole. My selections, if there are any, will reflect that.

If I have updates on Paul, I'll pass them along.

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Bad Start For The Boston Bruins

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

The B’s have played five games in this young season. Two were highly positive, wins against Nashville and a weak Arizona club. Three were troubling, as the B’s were outworked and outplayed by unsung Colorado (twice) and Vegas teams.

Like so many NHL clubs, the Bruins are a work in progress. But it seems, with two weeks completed, that the work hasn’t really started yet.

So the Bruins are back in Boston this week, still trying to find an identity and consistency of effort and execution, which more often than not, have eluded them.

Center David Krejci tried hard to defuse the negativity just after Sunday’s , 3-1 loss to the upstart Vegas Golden Knights.

“There’s no reason to point fingers,” said Krejci. “Yeah, we lost the game. (It was) a frustrating loss. But it was just the fifth game of the season, so don’t make a big deal out if it. We’re going to go back to Boston, work hard in practices and get ready for the next game. We’ve got to figure things out.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Oct. 16, 2017) – Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 15.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Is Auston Matthews The Next Face Of The NHL?

from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

It's clear he's trying to exercise his voice in small increments. That's the tricky part about celebrity -- in order to develop a voice, you have to be expected to have one. You have to want it, as much as anything else. Matthews will be a star, but the question is whether he'll fit the NHL's mold or develop into something of his own making. He is 20, and it's a choice he himself has to make. As the scrum unfolds, Matthews is asked a question that will chase him through his career: How does he want to be a role model for Hispanic children?

Standing away from his teammates with his arms crossed, Matthews rocks his weight from his left leg to his right. "Oh yeah," he says, pausing a moment.

"I'd like to -- I think -- in the future be someone kids can look up to."

much more on Matthews...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

The Twitter Account For The Vegas Golden Knights In The Spotlight For The Wrong Reason

from Nancy Armour of USA TODAY,

There’s nothing funny about sexism.

It doesn’t matter if it’s passed off as a one-liner or sly, edgy humor, as the Vegas Golden Knights tried to claim after a Twitter riff gone very wrong Sunday night. Disparaging women and making jokes at their expense is never OK, and the Golden Knights deserved every bit of condemnation and criticism they got.

Probably even more, given the condescending and defensive way in which the NHL’s expansion team defended itself.

Rather than list the actual players in the Boston Bruins’ lineup Sunday, the Golden Knights posted a series of tweets with women’s names. “Dakota-Sierra, Mandy-Samantha, Autumn-Ruby,” read the tweet for the “Broons Defense Pairs.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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