Kukla's Korner Hockey
Sept. 29-30 - Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings season-opening series at London.
Oct. 3 - General regular-season opening night.
Nov. 10 - Hockey Hall of Fame Game - New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nov. 12 - Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Toronto.
from the News & Observer,
Watching practice Monday morning, Ron Francis sat in the stands at the RBC Center and sketched and doodled on a pad in his lap, diagramming plays.
Francis is searching for an answer to the same question that so plagued the Hurricanes a year ago: What went wrong with the power play?
“Everybody sort of understands what we’re trying to accomplish,” Francis said. “With the talent we have and the skills we have up front, we just need to give them the freedom to read and react and make plays.”
from the Washington Post,
At 6 feet 5, 230 pounds, Viktor Kozlov towers above his new teammates. But an enormous frame isn’t the only reason the Washington Capitals forward has stood out from the crowd during training camp.
Kozlov has shown the rare ability to control the puck in traffic, distribute passes with a marksman’s accuracy and use his rangy reach to disrupt opponents—all while operating at top speed
The most intriguing revelation about Kozlov’s game, though, is how it seems to be meshing with left wing Alex Ovechkin’s.
continued (reg. req.)
from the Calgary Herald,
It’s not like the older defencemen ignored him completely.
It’s not like Adrian Aucoin, breaking in with the Vancouver Canucks in 1995, wasn’t involved.
“They’d tell me to get the beer and I’d get the beer,” says Aucoin, grinning. “I didn’t say a word. That’s the way it was. They were the best guys”—Dave Babych, Dana Murzyn, Jyrki Lumme, Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican—“and I had a great time, but it was different then.”
Craig Conroy, recalling his formative years with the Montreal Canadiens, can vouch for that.
Veterans ruled the roost—if not with an iron fist, then at least with a spiked tongue.
Take a tour of the training camps with Canada.com, where you can read stories like this…
Leafs in good hands with Belak
Wade Belak is heading into the final year of his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And he was asked, as a player who sometimes spends more time in the penalty box than on the ice, how he could best impress management this season.
“I’m a good kiss-ass,” he said smiling.
It has been four years since the 31-year-old scored a goal in the National Hockey League, and he has never finished a season with more than nine points. He managed only three assists last season and was barely given five minutes of ice time per game, but the Leafs still value his hands, precisely because they were never created to score goals.
read on for more NHL bits from numerous NHL teams…
from the Courier-Post,
Joffrey Lupul and Jeff Carter may have played 2,000 miles apart last season, but they shared similar growing pains on a pair of teams grounded by injuries after sky-high expectations.
“It was a bad year,” Lupul said of his first and only season in Edmonton, where the Oilers finished last in the Northwest Division with a 32-43-7 record.
“A tough year all around.”
“It was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life,” echoed Carter, who saw the Flyers finish with the NHL’s worst record (22-48-12).
from the Vancouver Province,
We accept the responsibility that comes with winning the Stanley Cup,” says Carlyle. “We know we are going to be the measuring sticks for other teams, and we also know that’s not an excuse.”
What he doesn’t know is how all this is going to play out.
As he enters just his third full season as an NHL head coach, Carlyle doesn’t have to be reminded that he enjoyed good breaks on a number of fronts last spring. Can they count on those same things again? That’s just one of the questions he now faces.
The Ducks, in fact, are a veritable Double Jeopardy board as the curtain pulls back on their season.
from the Calgary Sun,
“Yeah, I think so. I hate hearing guys (say), ‘Ah, I’m in the best shape ever. Blah, blah, blah.’ That basically says maybe I didn’t work hard enough in the past,” Warrener said yesterday.
“But I think you do get wiser and smarter as you go on and, as the years go by, you take better care of yourself.
“Certainly, I feel as good as I’ve ever felt at the start of the exhibition season.”
Warrener looks nowhere near his listed weight of 215 lb., and while he won’t disclose exact numbers, it’s safe to say he dropped more than the 10 pounds Jarome Iginla shed during the last off-season.
via the Edmonton Sun,
With so many candidates to take over the Edmonton Oilers captaincy left vacant by Jason Smith’s trade to Philadelphia, head coach Craig MacTavish hinted yesterday the club might alternate the C.
“The preference is to find your best player and give it to him,” said MacTavish, whose best players are the likes of Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll.
“If your best player is still a relatively young player, then that factors into it.
“We could name somebody who’s going to evolve into it but isn’t quite ready, or we could share it for a while until that person evolves into it.”
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues coach Andy Murray thinks 19-year-old center Patrik Berglund has a chance to make the NHL roster. Berglund believes it, too. So will he be with the team when it opens the season Oct. 4 in Phoenix?
“He just has to be above one centerman we have in our lineup right now,” Blues coach Andy Murray said….
“I’m very happy about it,” said Berglund, the 25th pick in the 2006 NHL draft. “They show a lot of interest in me and they give me a chance to play with the best players in the world and that means a lot to me.”
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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