Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Learning Year For The Colorado Avalanche

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Complacency, even short-lived and subconscious, and even when not obvious, is a fatal flaw in the NHL.

"All my years, and it's not been 100 years, but the last 10 years as a coach and a coaching staff, I think we always like to evaluate our work," Roy said Thursday in Vancouver before coaching the Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Canucks.

"We did that least year, we're doing it this year. We're always going to learn something. Talking to other coaches, there are years you're going to be learning more than others. This year was a year that I thought I learned a lot more, compared to, say, last year.

"Last year we were playing with confidence, we were playing with such a good mind-set, it was kind of a lot easier. This year, we had to try to find ways to get the team going, find ways to help the power play, working at it, changing the structure of the team, working harder on details of our neutral-zone forecheck. These are things I feel that we learned a lot."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Happened To The San Jose Sharks?

from David Pollak of the Mercury News,

So what went wrong? How did a team that finished with 111 points last season -- tied for fourth best in the NHL -- fall so far?

"We can't look at a single faction of our team, whether it's the youth or the older players or the leadership or the coach or the coaching staff," coach Todd McLellan said this week. "Whatever it might be, we're team-deep as far as where we've put ourselves in the standings."

There is no shortage of things you can point to by looking at stats.

Patrick Marleau is a minus-16 and, with only 17 goals, is having his poorest season offensively since 2007-08. A year ago, Marleau had 33 goals and was even when it came to plus-minus.

Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto, two of the young players around whom the Sharks constructed their rebuild, did not show the improvement that was expected after their rookie seasons. Hertl, in fact, went backward. He has 12 goals in 74 games; last season, he had 15 goals in 37 games. Rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller also struggled at times as he tried to make the jump from junior hockey.

read on

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

Evgeni Malkin On The Recent Play Of The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Evgeni Malkin did not mince words Friday in a frank assessment of the Penguins.

“We play so bad right now. It’s true. Not just one guy, the whole team,” said Malkin. “Not fun [to] watch, you know. Last game I think [was the] worst game all season. It’s not fun to watch it.”

He also said he is sure the Penguins can turn this around.

“Yeah, of course. There’s a great chance. When you win, it’s more confidence for everyone,” Malkin said.

Could Malkin be the spark the Penguins need to generate some confidence?

Malkin and Patric Hornqvist are “very close” to returning to lineup, coach Mike Johnston said Friday, almost gleefully.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Morning Line- Bernie Miklasz

The playoffs have been an eternal, unsolved mystery for this franchise. But you have to like where the Blues are standing right now.

-Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on the Blues.

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

Video- Recap Of The Three NHL Games On Friday

It will take you just over 2 minutes to watch the highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Tough call. But we want to try to limit the amount of reviews.”

“I saw the broken stick incident, tough call for the ref. In my opinion this should be another call for the guys in the war room. It’s no different than being kicked in.”

“In a perfect world it would be nice to have all goals reviewed. Problem is, that goal is easy to make a decision on. Once you go down the path of reviewing all goals, etc.. there are issues that will arise on calls that are not as clear cut.”

“Boy, that’s a tough one. Seems like logic would say that it should be reviewable.”

-a few NHL General Managers when asked about the 'broken-stick' goal by Justin Abdelkader.  More from John Shannon of Sportsnet.  

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

Nick Bjugstad Had Back Surgery Today

via the Florida Panthers,

Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that F Nick Bjugstad underwent successful surgery on his lower back today at the Mayo Sports Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He will be out for the remainder of the regular season and a full recovery is expected.

“After consulting with Nick and thoroughly evaluating the extent of his injury, we mutually felt it was important to have this procedure done as soon as possible,” said Tallon. “Nick showed a tremendous amount of character over the past month, playing through an injury, while helping our club compete down the final stretch for a playoff spot. He will be closely monitored by our medical staff during his rehabilitation process and will be ready for the start of training camp in September.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+bjugstad

Who Is The Fake Sean Monahan?

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The creative force behind the fake Sean Monahan Twitter account (Boring Sean Monahan) remains an unsolved mystery in the Calgary Flames dressing room, though the suspect list has generally been narrowed down to two possible candidates, both of them long gone from the team.

It might have been defenceman Chris Butler, now with the St. Louis Blues, because of his quiet sneaky sense of humour. Brian McGrattan, now in the minors, is the other option, a loud and boisterous dressing-room presence who took Monahan under his wing last year, when the latter was still an NHL rookie.

Whoever created – and still maintains – the account (@boringmonahan) follows just one player (McGrattan), which is either a too-obvious clue or a clever red herring.

Defenceman Dennis Wideman thinks it’s the latter.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+monahan

Using Advanced Stats In The Scouting Process

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

Will the age of enhanced statistics one day change the way NHL Central Scouting goes about its business in evaluating the top players eligible for the NHL Draft?

There's no denying the fact enhanced stats have taken the NHL and its fans by storm. In February, the League announced a partnership with enterprise software company SAP to provide many new statistics via NHL.com. If this stats revolution changes the way people now analyze the game, what could it do for NHL scouts?

"If you add ingredients to help you evaluate someone, you have to use those ingredients," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "But you can't go overboard; we've been baking a cake our whole life and now, if you put icing on the cake, it's better. But if it's all icing it's not a good cake, so I think if you take it too far it might not work.

"The eyeball test still has to be there, you still have to apply what analytics do. It could help you decide between one guy or the other, and I believe it is good for the game."

Chris Edwards, who does a majority of his scouting in the Ontario Hockey League, isn't completely sold on the enhanced stats revolution.

continue

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Auston Matthews Another Example Of Hockey’s Growth

from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,

Once again, there’s a seismic shift going on in the hockey world.

The last major one, you could argue, came in the late 1980s and early 1990s when European players started coming overseas in large numbers to play in the NHL, minor pro, U.S. colleges and in the Canadian Hockey League.

At around the same time, the seeds were being planted in the southwestern United States for a harvest that would take more than two decades to be realized, but is now coming into plain view for anyone paying attention.

The indicators are all around. Since 1992, the registration of hockey players in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Texas) and southeastern U.S. has increased by 240 per cent, more than half of that has come over the past 10 years.

In the same time period, there have been NHL teams added in Florida, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Anaheim, San Jose and Nashville, joining the Los Angeles Kings, whose acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in 1988 undoubtedly accelerated interest in the sport in virgin territories.

Not surprisingly, all these NHL teams and registered skaters have started to produce more and more elite players.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

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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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