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The “First Step” In China

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The kids skated out in full uniform and lined up in the corners. Two days ago, they mobbed the Los Angeles Kings for autographs after practice and learned from some of their alumni at a hockey clinic. Now they greeted the Kings and Vancouver Canucks before the first NHL game ever played in their country.

They slapped gloves with the players as they came out, lined up on the blue lines with them for the Chinese national anthem, then took off their skates and helmets and headed up to the third level of Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Still in full uniform, waving rally towels, taking pictures with their smartphones, sitting on the edges of their seats, they watched the Kings' 5-2 preseason win Thursday in the 2017 NHL China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging. Until now, they had never seen an NHL game live, never experienced the skill, the speed, the size.

"They skate one step," said Marco Huo, 8, "and for me, I have to skate five steps."

This was a first step for the NHL.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Premium Defensemen Are The Key

from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,

Since so many of the league's most dynamic players now occupy spots on the blue line, every team is looking for an elite defenseman. Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Drew Doughty have established themselves as franchise players by becoming the engines that drive their respective teams' offense from the back end. Any defenseman capable of making a swift tape-to-tape pass out of his own zone might have a place in the NHL.

When it came to defensemen driving the attack, the Predators' fleet-footed quartet of Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm proved crucial in Nashville's run to the Stanley Cup Final, in which it lost in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. When those four generated offense, the Predators won. In fact, the Preds went 5-0 in the postseason when they got goals from Josi, who was named on Sept. 19 to replace Mike Fisher as the team's captain.

"To have somebody that can help you get out of the zone, that's a big plus. A guy who has two guys coming at him and he still gets the puck out and on the tape -- not just distributing on the boards," said veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury...

more

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Jonathan Drouin’s Skills On Display

from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,

Canadiens coach Claude Julien recognizes the versatility this player possesses and why it will be a tremendous asset from the half-wall position.

“We’re not stuck just using the same plays because he has good vision and he can make those passes,” said Julien after Montreal’s 4-2 loss. “You can see that as a penalty killer, you don’t know if he’s going to throw it to the point right in the middle of the ice so that guy can get a great shot, such as [Shea Weber]. Or you don’t know if he’s going to pass it down low for Hemsky or make that pass like he did to [Pacioretty], or [Pacioretty] can also slide to the slot or down to the goal-line and back up for a quick release there, too.

“There’s a lot of different things, and if they watch a guy like Pacioretty, there’s always that cross pass to the D on the other side coming in closer to the backdoor. There’s a lot of things that I think Jonathan can see and do, and we’ll continue to work with that.”

They should.

It’s fair to say that the Canadiens haven’t had a player with the poise, vision, playmaking ability and the shot that Drouin owns since Alex Kovalev was running their power play from the same position.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+drouin

Torey Krug Out With Non-Displaced Fracture Of The Jaw

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: torey+krug

How to Select the Best Casino Online to Level Up Your Game

By Mike,

 

 

Without a doubt, gambling is something that has already ingrained itself into our culture, and it’s here to stay. Who doesn’t like the feeling of winning a slots, poker, or

roulette game, after all? It’s the thrill of anticipation – and the actual pleasure of winning – that makes gambling such a popular activity for the young and old. Furthermore, most games are easy to understand and play, so most everyone can do it. Nowadays, you have more options when it comes to casino games – you don’t even have to visit an actual casino to enjoy a game or two! It can all be done online, and that makes it even more attractive to many. But if you’re thinking of trying out a few casino games online, the site you choose makes a big difference as well. Here’s how to select the best online casino to level up your game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s All New In Vegas

from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,

And so, on his first day at the facility, Bellemare visited the team offices upstairs to make introductions and begin learning names. A nice gesture, but an almost impossible task. “Right away,” Bellemare says, “you get like, Oh boy.” Defenseman Nate Schmidt has focused his efforts on teammates, albeit with mixed results. “To establish chemistry with people you give them nicknames and start remembering everything by it,” he explains. “Sometimes they’ve liked it, sometimes I’ve gotten an awkward stare back.” Try having to manage them all. “I didn’t know a lot of our guys,” head coach Gerard Gallant says. “They’d walk by, you’d guess their name. Now you put the name with the face, it’s a lot easier.”

And how’s it going so far? “I’m awful with names. Awful.”

Sunday night, the Golden Knights had their first preseason game in Vancouver and walloped the Canucks 9-4. The next morning, city leaders proclaimed that Sept. 18 would be known as City National Arena Day in Clark County and southern Nevada. “This is a game-changer for us,” lieutenant governor Mark Hutchison told the crowd, not long before the first ceremonial puck was dropped at the new rink. “Vegas had one thing missing: Major league professional sports.”

Of course, it’s all novel for locals too. Defenseman Deryk Engelland, whose family was already living in Las Vegas during the offseason before he joined the Golden Knights, had a first-day-of-school experience Monday morning. Upon coming downstairs in his gameday suit, a few hours before flying to Denver for his preseason debut, his wife started taking pictures. “Probably the best dressed I’ve been leaving the house, for sure,” Engelland says. “Definitely a new feeling coming to the rink. It’s going to be real. We’re playing a different team.”

more

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

You Call This A Hockey Game?

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Don’t complain. Consider yourself lucky.

Especially if you bought a ticket and can frame it and store it somewhere safe. Because pretty much every other year, Game 2 of the NHL preseason doesn’t bring with it a memory that could last a lifetime.

Whatever the heck it was that transpired Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena – the 16 combined power-play chances, all minor penalties called totaling 22:24 – will likely be remembered for a long time.

“Anybody who watched this game, that was not an NHL hockey game,” former Penguin Trevor Daley fumed after his new team, the Detroit Red Wings, dropped a 6-5 decision in overtime. “That was a special teams practice.”

continued

added 8:40am, from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ruining The Game?

from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,

One week into training camp and so far all the talk has been about how the referees are ruining the game of hockey.

Boston’s Brad Marchand called the NHL’s crackdown on cheating in the faceoff circle “an absolute joke.” Toronto’s Leo Komarov is upset that if he chooses to wear a visor, it must actually be low enough to protect his eyes. And there have been so many slashing penalties called that Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock joked he hasn’t been able to evaluate anything other than the power play and penalty kill.

The hockey might be sloppy for this time of year. But when it comes to criticizing the men in stripes, everyone seems to be in mid-season form.

Do they have a point? Well, kind of.

Prior to Wednesday night’s games, there were 91 slashing minors and 16 faceoff violations called in the 19 exhibition games in which off-ice officials kept real-time statistics. It seems excessive. And yet, this is the time to be excessive.

continued

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

Erik Cole Signs Ceremonial Contract With Carolina, Named Team Ambassador

RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed left wing Erik Cole to a ceremonial contract. Cole subsequently announced his retirement from his playing career in hockey.

Following Cole's announcement, Hurricanes President Don Waddell named him as team ambassador. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole

Training Camp Talk

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

With training camps in full swing in 31 different markets, and two teams preparing for the season 9,000 kilometres away in China, a lot is happening in the NHL at once.

Luckily for you, we have 10 important training camp developments:

The Coyotes have...

…one of the NHL’s better defence corps? That definitely isn’t a sentence you would have read at any point in the last handful of years. GM John Chayka has nicely rebuilt Arizona, whose backend includes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Alex Goligoski, Jakob Chychrun, Luke Schenn and now Jason Demers after last week’s trade for forward Jamie McGinn. That is going to make new netminder Antti Raanta’s transition to the desert smoother, plus shows Ekman-Larsson the team is serious about improvement, as OEL can sign an extension beginning next July 1.

9 more developments...

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

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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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