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Tracking The Goals

from KEvin McGran of the Toronto Star,

When Scotty Bowman watches a hockey game, it’s not like anybody else watching a hockey game.

The legendary coach is a savant when it comes to breaking down plays, habits and tendencies. Tell him more goals are scored off rebounds than any other kind of play and he already knows why.

“That’s because they made big changes in the game,” says Bowman. “Defencemen used to be big, strong guys who could take people out in front of the net. They eliminated all the interference. They give out penalties for roughing and cross-checking. And they made the end zone bigger. They made it 64 feet (in 2005-06). I’m not a big proponent of that. That’s why players stand in front of the net blocking shots. The wingers used to be out at the point, but now it’s too far.

“Now they’re down below the circle blocking shots because that’s the scoring area. That means you don’t get as many counter-attacks. They want to protect the house.”

The Star analyzed data from every game sheet so far this season to track what happened just before each of the 3,710 goals scored.

continued

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The Sky May Be The Limit For Aaron Ekblad

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Dale Tallon cannot tell a lie. He knew Aaron Ekblad was good, just not this good.

The 18-year-old Ekblad, youngest player in the NHL, might be Drew Doughty good, although with a bigger chassis at 225 pounds. Not Doughty good today, of course, but let’s see in a year or two. Tallon, once a junior defenceman like Ekblad, who went second overall in 1970 to centre Gil Perreault, walks around with a perma-smile in Florida. The No. 1 pick last June could be the NHL’s best rookie because he plays the toughest position, plus he’s the baby of the Calder litter, but Filip Forsberg, the Nashville right-winger, who may get 65 points, is more visible on stats sheets.

That said, Ekblad is something else, and, to this day, Tallon, the Panthers’ GM, is very grateful he resisted the urge to fill several holes on his club to move back a few spots with a big draft-day trade last June.

“He’s been phenomenal,” said Tallon.

continued

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  Tags: aaron+ekblad

The First Steps For The World Cup Of Hockey

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

This is just the beginning. When the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association stage the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto – featuring the Big Six nations, plus a team of other Europeans and one of 23-and-under North Americans, unfortunately – it will be the first step in what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called their “joint vision for international hockey.”

“The aspiration,” said John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer, “is to build a global brand and a global business.”

The NHL and the NHLPA announced the World Cup on Saturday at the All-Star Game. But they are working on a Ryder Cup concept – say, a best-of-5 series between North American and European NHL stars in a city like London or Berlin in 2018. They’re researching expanding eligibility requirements so NHL players who can’t make their national teams can represent other nations where they have roots – say, England or Italy. They hope to hold a qualifying tournament in 2019 to fill out the 2020 World Cup, so they don’t need teams of other Europeans and 23-and-under North Americans and the World Cup can become a pure nation-on-nation tournament.

continued

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The Philadelphia Flyers Have A Big Hole To Climb Out Of

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

His style is to lead by his relentless style on the ice. Giroux's teammates haven't followed the example enough. There have been too many listless periods, too many breakdowns on the penalty kill, too many nights where they fall behind early and are chasing the game.

"I'm not the only one frustrated. I think everyone in the room is frustrated," said Giroux, who will play in his third All-Star Game on Sunday. "Instead of me going in and yelling at everybody, I think it's important we stick together and we do this together. We can't be blaming and pointing fingers. I think it's important we stick together, and if we do this, we're going to get out of this hole."

The hole is deep. At the all-star break, the Flyers are 12 points out of a playoff spot and need to hop over four teams to get the final berth. Impossible, no. Highly improbable, yes.

The Flyers need a staggering 49 points in their remaining 34 games (say, 22-7-5) to finish with the same amount of points as last season - 94 - likely enough to qualify for the playoffs.

Now that would be a Miracle on Ice.

more

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Afternoon Line- Charlie Jacobs

“What are we, 6-1-3 in our last 10 games? I feel we’re certainly trending better. We’ll still have the odd game where we seem a bit uninspired, but I guess you’re going to have that in an 82-game schedule. Having said that all of that, the stuff that we’ve done with the better play has gotten us to eighth place.

“Do I feel better about it that we’re in a playoff spot? Yes. Do I wish we were in a better position than we are? Absolutely. Again, I’ll repeat that for this team to be even remotely close to missing the playoffs isn’t something we can be happy about. I would hope that this solid continues for the next 10, the next 20 and for the rest of the season, frankly. We’re at where we’re at, we’ve dug ourselves a hole and we’re starting to get ourselves out of it. But until we have a nice playoff run, the jury is going to have to be out on this group.”

-Charlie Jacobs, CEO of the Boston Bruins.  More from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.

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  Tags: charlie+jacobs

Three Outdoor NHL Games Next Season

NEW YORK (January 24, 2015) – The National Hockey League announced today the participating Clubs, locations and dates for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games planned for the 2015-16 NHL regular season.

 The 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, on Jan. 1, 2016. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following Toronto’s appearance in 2014.

 The 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the Club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The World Cup Of Hockey

New York/Toronto (January 24, 2015) – The World Cup of Hockey will return in September 2016 in Toronto, Canada when eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, compete for a best-on-best international hockey championship, the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in this tournament in what should be the biggest celebration of the game.

The eight teams will be divided into two Groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned Group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each Group will advance to a single game semi-final against a team from the other Group. Winners of the semi-final games will advance to a best-of-three final round. All tournament games (round-robin, semi-final and final) will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 - October 1, 2016.

“We are thrilled to partner with the NHLPA in planning and producing what we expect will be the world’s best international hockey tournament,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will highlight not only our global reach, but also the skill and passion of the world’s best athletes. We would like to thank our international partners – the IIHF and their members – for their cooperation in helping to make this event a reality.”

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

Live Stream- Gary Bettman Press Conference From Columbus

Garry Bettman meets with the media follow the NHL owners meeting.

It is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm ET and can be watched below.

Continue Reading »

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Video- Max Domi Receives His Own Lob Pass

via Sportsnet,

You thought you saw the best of Max Domi at the world juniors? Think again as he stuns fans and commentators alike with this jaw-dropping display of short-handed puck brilliance.

 

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: max+domi

NHL Short Notes

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
All Times Eastern
 
NHL Fan Fair
Greater Columbus Convention Center, Halls C & D
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
 
Commissioner Gary Bettman Media Availability
Nationwide Arena – Concourse Level
1:00 p.m.
 
All-Star Player Red Carpet Arrivals
Nationwide Arena – OhioHealth Ice Haus
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
 
2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition
Nationwide Arena
7:00 p.m.
(NBCSN, CBC, TVA)

Continue Reading »

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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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