Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Edmonton Sun,
“It’s our job to do that, tonight I didn’t,” he said, adding he’s been fighting it a bit lately. “I’m trying to force myself to make a save, I have to relax and let the puck come to me. I’m not reading the play as well as I normally do.”
MacTavish has a team that has to rely on its goaltender, so expect him to go with the hot hand from here on in. And right now, it ain’t Roloson.
“We can’t win right now with average goaltending, I don’t think there’s many teams that can, and in my estimation tonight he was average,” said the coach.
“He’s not playing at the level that he has played. That’s obvious. But the one thing he’s got going for him is a bunch of mental toughness and a bunch of battle.”
more on the Oilers…
from the Calgary Sun,
According to an eastern-based columnist, rising star defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his agent had rejected a contract proposal from the Flames.
Only one problem, said Phaneuf’s agent Don Meehan.
“We have never discussed a number,” he said yesterday.
from the Buffalo News,
“Goalies have to get smaller or the nets have to get larger,” Regier said. “That goalie has to get significantly smaller for the likelihood of an outside shot to go in. If we can’t make the goalies smaller, then I don’t know what other options we have but to consider making the nets larger.”
He added that if the nets get bigger, it must be a significant increase. He argued that just a small bump would put teams into a bigger defensive shell. That’s the leading cause of the scoring dip. Coaches have begun crowding their five skaters near the net, which rids the shooters of their open lanes.
“Most goals are probably scored within 30 feet,” Regier said. “So it argues that if you can defend that area and protect that area, then you’re less likely to get scored against.”
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Speed, through all three zones on the ice, needs to be enhanced. Defensive schemes that throw a blanket over offensive talent and creativity need to be cut back. Goaltenders need to be protected, but they also need to either have their equipment reduced in size or the nets they guard enlarged.
The NHL was on that path, but things have changed and it needs to act once again.
It needs to be vigilant in keeping offence and entertainment in the forefront and too much defence and stagnation at bay.
If it doesn’t, it will fail to grow its version of the game and failure to grow the game, in the U.S. and around the world, is a ticket to economic failure for all the teams, even the six forever loved entities across Canada.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
TSN will use a new play-by-play configuration for tonight’s Montreal Canadiens-Buffalo Sabres telecast. Chris Cuthbert and Glenn Healy will call the game at ice level, which they’ve done before, but this time Pierre McGuire will provide additional analysis from the broadcast booth as an “eye in the sky.”
TSN’s Mike Milbury called the appointment of Brett Hull, who has no managerial experience, to the position of interim co-general manager of the Dallas Stars “an insult” to all NHL general managers.
more hockey notes…
from the PJStar,
Do not worry about Nikolay Lemtyugov.
The St. Louis Blues and Peoria Rivermen prospect is not among the Russian players who in the past have left North America - or refused to come at all - once an NHL roster spot was not guaranteed….
“If I wanted to earn money, if that was my goal, I would stay home in the Super League,” Lemtyugov said. “I came over here to play at the world’s best level. I will work in the AHL, wait for my chance, earn it.”...
“If it’s clear I can’t play at the NHL level, I’ll go back home,” Lemtyugov said. “But finding that out could take two or three years. The AHL is the third-best league in the world (behind the NHL and Russian Super League). I understand it’s part of the process in getting to the NHL.
“Too many players don’t have patience.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The NHL, unlike other major sports leagues, does not have lucrative national television contracts. The Blue Jackets rely heavily on gate receipts and recognize the value of letting fans attend free practices in the Ice Haus adjacent to the arena.
“We’re not in a position to be losing fans,” left winger Rick Nash said.
Fans can learn a lot about the sport, Hitchcock said, by attending practices. Former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Terry Crisp used to run one session a season wearing a microphone to educate the crowd.
“To me, the most fun is watching how a team performs in practice and how the coach yells and how many swear words he uses,” Hitchcock said.
Just thought you’d like to know that Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is…
absolutely amazed at the size of Ray Bourque’s thighs.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The most fascinating aspect of the Penguins’ struggle is that it provides us the first opportunity to gauge what kind of administrator general manager Ray Shero will be. Because this is his first GM job, we have no history to review.
But my hunch is Shero will be able to walk the fine line between aggressiveness and panic. I believe he will continue to look for scoring wingers, and I believe he will continue to be patient with Fleury. I believe he will be more patient with Fleury than his coach seems to be. I think if Shero believed Fleury needed an older goalie playing beside him, he would have acquired one last summer.
via Watchdog at Newsday,
For their eight games on FSNY, the Islanders are up spectacularly, from 0.07 percent of area homes last season at this point to 0.32.
The Rangers are up 102 percent on MSG compared to last year.
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.
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