Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Watch the Devils in the opposition’s end. Their players are sticking around to try to make things happen on offense rather than automatically dropping back to defend. Even defensive specialists like John Madden and Jay Pandolfo are free to take the odd chance.
Crowds have been dwindling in New Jersey, so this new style of play – along with a brand new building – may help revive interest in the team. I’m not certain the Devils have the personnel at this point to be a Cup contender, but clearly the club is moving in the right direction.
from the Montreal Gazette,
While many people were enjoying the sunshine this summer, a group of devoted fans from across North America that congregate on Habsinsideout.com decided they should get together to watch their favourite team up close in Montreal.
What started as an innocent comment from Brian Jones, known as Yeats on the website, turned into the Habs Fan Summit, a full day of events that brought Canadiens fans from across the continent together on Saturday to watch the Habs defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2.
from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
In its lengthy rebuttal to the lawsuit brought by MSG over new media rights, the NHL alleges MSG’s “real gripe” is with a league-imposed $100,000 fine — not the NHL’s effort to migrate MSG’s New York Rangers Web site to a league platform.
The league also dismisses MSG’s antitrust charges in the lawsuit saying, “MSG’s implicit suggestion that the NHL and its Member Clubs have somehow limited the scope of their joint venture to scheduling games and agreeing on limited broadcast rights is absurd.”...
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote, “The Rangers’ complaint amounts to an attack on the fundamental manner in which the league and every other professional sports league is organized and operates. … Granting MSG its requested relief would strip the league of its essential and fundamental structure.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Manhattan, we’ve got a problem.
Let’s face it. Gomez has looked lost skating with Jagr the last two games, but what’s even more troubling, Chris Drury also looked lost skating with Jagr the first five games of the season. Really, there hasn’t been a single shift on which either center has appeared to be speaking the same hockey language as No. 68….
As long as Jagr insists on playing the game his way - and obstinacy is a trait shared by every great player extant - then going with Gomez as his pivot is a dicey proposition. So too is reverting back to Drury. So what to do with the 2-4-1 Rangers who have scored two even-strength goals their last six games and pretty much will go as Jagr goes as long as he’s here?
from the Mercury News,
Then (Ron) Wilson talked about Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom as a role model for what he would like to see from his players.
“He goes and stands in front of the net. And he gets punched and he gets whacked by the goalie, he gets knocked on his keister and he fights back and he maybe gets a penalty. The next shift, where’s Tomas Holmstrom? Back in front of the net. It might have taken him some time to get comfortable doing that, but because of what the reward is, you have to do that.
“That’s what I want to see. When you do get punched in the head, or they dump it in the corner and you get run on the very first shift of the game, does it affect your second and your third and your fourth shifts?
“Don’t allow anybody’s efforts to get you off your game. That’s what we’re working on.”
From Damian Cristodero at Tampa Bay.com,
The debate over visors in the NHL, believed to be the last major league in the world that doesn’t mandate some kind of facial protection, is not new. But it gained traction this season with several high-profile injuries of unprotected players.
Devils defenseman Colin White could be out for the season after a Sept. 19 practice incident in which a puck deflected into his right eye, broke his nose and blurred his vision.
Tampa Bay’s Chris Gratton is playing, now with a visor, but still has blurry vision in his right eye from being clipped in the cornea by an errant stick blade in a preseason game. Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier needed three stitches in his right eyelid when he was clipped.
This at a time visor manufacturers say their product has never been more sophisticated and addresses players’ main complaints of distorted vision and moisture buildup with “optically correct” designs and clear coating to reduce fog.
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Coming off two straight wins in which they generated nine goals, the Islanders would like nothing better than to keep the ball rolling to build on their 5-3-0 start. But it’s as if the NHL has scheduled a fall recess for them with only one game in the final 11 days of October and just four games in a 20-day span through Nov. 9.
Privately, several Islanders have complained about how tough it is to maintain not only game conditioning but also a game mentality with such long breaks between games. For instance, they got off to a slow start in Washington on Thursday after a four-day layoff before adjusting to the speed of the game. [...]
“We’re playing well,” goaltender Rick DiPietro said. “It’s kind of a weird schedule. We played six games in nine nights at the beginning, and now we play three in [16 nights]. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect us.
From Michael Russo at his blog on the Star-Tribune,
Pavol Demitra was injured nine minutes into the third when he strained his right hip on a shorthanded rush with Marian Gaborik. Demitra will be evaluated tomorrow and is day-to-day “for now,” said assistant GM Tom Lynn.
*At 7-0-1, the Wild is off to their best start in franchise history and remain the only team unbeaten in regulation this season.
From Eric Duhatschek in Monday’s Globe & Mail,
As for Smyth’s return on Tuesday, which figures to be an emotional night for both him and his former team, Staios said he hoped that Edmonton fans will take into consideration his years of service when deciding how to greet him.
“He did a lot of great things for this organization,” Staios said. “The business side of things is never really appreciated by the fans.”
“Hopefully, they’ll remember what he did on the ice and in the community and can show him that respect – like they did for Jason when he came back.”
more… (*looking at the new Oilers era)
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
Atlanta’s 0-6 start this season that led to Hartley’s firing followed, and perhaps a change had to be made. But the “Aw, he was too tough” malarkey that came out of Atlanta was so lamely clichéd and predictable, it makes anyone who went along with it look silly.
In any sport, if it works, it’s “restoring order”; if it doesn’t, it’s “pettiness.” I think they still teach that in Sportswriting 101.
Plus, this is the sport that more than any other gives players excuses to tune out coaches with the prevailing attitude that coaches’ effectiveness is a short-term proposition, and all they need is the ability to determine which side of that rationalization standard the coach falls on.
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 email@example.com