Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On Frozen Blog,
Of course, our perceptions of these professions are premised on myth and an outsider’s necessarily flawed vantage. When you actually get a chance to talk to someone in them, markedly different realities are detailed for you. This was my experience recently in an entirely unplanned and altogether fortuitous exchange I had with a full-time NHL scout. From the moment I confirmed his identity I knew I wanted to pick his hockey head clean of its “a season in the life of” experiences and analyses, for his is a line of work long shrouded behind the scenes, in mystery even, by design.
In this scout I had not only a fertile and fruitful information source but an emblem of hockey’s most impassioned: you don’t go into hockey scouting because the loading gig at Home Depot didn’t come through, you scout — necessarily making unfathomable sacrifices on your personal life — because you possess in inexhaustable fire for life on ice, he told me. He didn’t merely answer my questions in rich detail but created compositions with my readers’ perceived curiosity foremost in mind. He asked of me only that I preserve his anonymity and that of his NHL employer. I happily obliged.
read on... Take some time out today and read both parts of the interview, great stuff…
Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When approaching the playoffs, it’s always sound judgment to check with the greatest coach in NHL history, listen to the stream of consciousness of Scotty Bowman and marvel at the insight.
This was the guy who four months ago, when Anaheim was making a mockery of the Western Conference, said the Ducks would come back to the pack before it was all over.
When a fellow has won as many Stanley Cups as Bowman, it’s generally a good idea to avail yourself of arguably the greatest mind in hockey history.
from the Vancouver Sun,
“When you make the moves that we made this year, you obviously are signifying that you are looking towards better days in the future,” Crawford said.
“We felt that it was better to strip things down and to build in the way that we thought was the right way and that is what we have done. We have been much more competitive here, especially in the latter half of the season when our goaltending kind of solidified itself with [Mathieu] Garon getting healthier and Sean Burke coming in and giving us real quality outings. We have played a lot better.”
Veteran defenceman Rob Blake, who will serve as a mentor of sorts to Johnson, thinks the Kings are heading in the right direction.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien said coach John Tortorella showed “a lot of guts” to do what he did.
Captain Tim Taylor said it shows “he’s putting a lot of trust in us.”
And left wing Andre Roy added, “It shows he believes in us, and we’d better believe, too.”
In case you missed it, Tortorella, after Tuesday’s disheartening loss to the Panthers, guaranteed Tampa Bay will make the playoffs. It wasn’t quite Joe Namath guaranteeing the Jets would win the Super Bowl. But Tortorella did put himself out there a bit.
I think the Blueland Blog has had enough of the “soft” talk…
from the Boston Globe,
For all the millions it cost him to push that franchise “EASY” reset button, club owner Jeremy Jacobs, who has grown accustomed to failed seasons since the early ‘90s, sounded reasonably composed when contacted earlier this week. Disappointed, and somewhat lost for answers, but composed.
“I had high hopes for the season,” said Jacobs, speaking by phone from Delaware North’s headquarters in Buffalo. “It turned out to be a lot less than I thought it was going to be. I thought we had put together a real team, to put us back in contention. But that hasn’t materialized. It seems to me that the skill is there, and the talent is there, but it didn’t jell this year.”
from Wallace Matthews at Newsday,
Hiding injuries from opponents is one thing. Denying injuries to yourself, or minimizing their severity, is something else. Something foolish and potentially destructive, to the player and to the team.
Clearly, DiPietro suffered a significant concussion against the Canadiens, and a couple of days off weren’t quite enough to clear it up. Then he suffered another one against the Rangers. By the team’s acknowledgment, he “hasn’t been right” ever since.
Nobody involved with the Islanders wants to say the words “post-concussion syndrome,” because to do so would be to acknowledge that what is afflicting DiPietro is potentially career-threatening.
We understand that the NHL is the most stoic of our sports leagues, a modern-day Sparta in which players think nothing of losing teeth, leaking blood, getting sewn up and going back out to play, preferably without missing a shift. This is admirable, if a bit anachronistic in an era in which baseball players are routinely hospitalized for a case of the sniffles.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
So yesterday, as the Blue Jackets went through off-ice workouts, Hitchcock was asked whether his boys have reached the point of struttin?.
“To me, you?re strutting when, instead of bowing your head when the opponent is tough, you?re looking him right in the eye,” Hitchcock said. “Whether you?re good enough at the end of the day, you play like you?re in it right up to the end.
“I don?t know that the strut is there just yet, because it?s a consistently high level of play over a long span. It gets to a point where it?s self-sustaining, where it?s just part of who you are as a team.
“We?re not there. But we?re getting really close to it.”
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
The NHL’s injury disclosure police are out in full force. While mindful of players’ safety, the league is reminding teams to follow the guidelines of a policy introduced last week that encourages clubs report proximity of injuries.
On Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators reported Patrick Eaves suffered a “lower body” injury after getting hit with the puck.
According to policy, “lower body” is no longer acceptable.
Based on the video evidence that clearly shows where the puck made contact…in this case, an exception is understandable.
from the Tennessean,
“They forecheck really well; they finish their checks well; and their forwards also chase you hard back to their zone,’’ Hamhuis said. “They just do a good job protecting the middle. That has to do with their speed and smarts.’‘
In a strange twist from yesteryear, the Wings’ tough defensive tactics also had the Predators complaining that they weren’t getting enough calls from the officials.
“There was an awful lot of clutching and grabbing going on out there,’’ Predators center David Legwand said. “It looked like the old NHL out there. But in the playoffs, that’s what we’re going to have to work through.’‘
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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