Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
"It's like the National League and the American League. It really is," said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky. The debate over the unbalanced schedule introduced by the National Hockey League this season will rage on long into the offseason. Many think eight games against each division opponent are too many. And when schedule-makers see fit to have Vancouver and Colorado play each other four times in 20 days, there's no question the schedule can mean overkill for both players and fans.continued...and around the rink from the ESPN experts...
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Put the Ducks on that list. They are routinely dropping four men between the blue lines, with one man passively funneling the puck carrier to one side -- typically the Ducks' left wing side. Even when the opposition has the puck in full possession behind their net, the Ducks are using just one man deep in the zone, with the wingers positioned on the boards nearer the blue line than the goal line. They are firmly entrenched in trying to capitalize on failed forays through the neutral zone, working solely on turnovers to generate offense. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But if you're looking for games with flow and offensive creativity, the Pond isn't the place to partake. During their recent run of five wins, two were by 3-1 counts and two were 2-1.more
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues must hurry up and improve. Playing at their present pace of 5-15-3, they won’t lure many fans back into Savvis Center. Continuing along their current trail, their proud playoff streak will die by Valentine’s Day. So how can the Blues salvage their season? Here is a 10-step plan... 1. Sell the franchise to local businessmen. The lingering ownership limbo has taken a toll on everybody around the organization. By holding out for a higher price, Bill and Nancy Laurie will lose big cash this season and forestall the needed rebuilding. Enough is enough. The franchise needs new owners, a new management team and a new start.continued
There are rumblings in Pittsburgh that owner/forward Mario Lemeiux (sp) might be planning yet another retirement. Nothing definite yet and the decision may well be put on hold depending on whether or not Lemieux is named to the Canadian Olympic team, but sources tell Sportsnet.ca that Lemieux's unproductive play of late is not totally the result of his battling a stomach virus and that he simply isn't able to keep up in the now fast-paced NHL.more NHL tidbits...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL trading game, which has been far more active than two months ago when they dropped the puck to start the new season, could get even more interesting as December moves along. Just about every team in the league has passed the one-third mark of its schedule and the halfway point comes for most teams in early January. At that stage, some players that were virtually untradeable at the start of the season should start to come into play on the open market: Namely, the established veteran that was overpriced in October, but suddenly looks a lot less expensive as the games click off the schedule.read on
San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau, who led all scorers with six points (one goal, five assists) in three games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, December 4. Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who backstopped the Predators to three consecutive victories, one by shootout, and recorded a 1.30 goals-against average and .952 save percentage, is the League's Defensive Player of the Week.
from the Marpac News,
As a teenager, Keith Diakiw daydreamed every hockey fan’s fantasy: to be an Edmonton Oiler and play alongside Wayne Gretzky in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. His daydream went like this: In the dying moments of a tie game the Oilers race toward the opposing team’s net, Gretzky in lead with the puck. Diakiw dekes out the defenceman, takes a drop pass from number 99 and with the cup title resting on his shoulders, Diakiw scores the winning goal. That dream melded with reality last month when the 33-year-old reservist from HMCS Nonsuch attended Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp IV in Glendale, Arizona, Nov. 12 to 18.continued
from the Meridian Booster (Alberta),
The league is in its adjustment period. Players have been playing the game a certain way for the past 15 years and they have been told to now do a complete 360 and play the exact opposite way. It will take time to change. It will not happen overnight and may in fact actually take the entire year to adapt, so be prepared for 15 power plays or more a night for the duration. So how is hockey better than it was 18 months ago? First and foremost there is a flow back in the game. Teams trade chances on a regular basis, not just once or twice a game on a defensive breakdown or a bad line change. The idea of coming from behind to win games has also returned. It used to be – unless of course you played for the Oilers – if you got a one or two goal lead you shut it down from there on out. You pull back into a defensive shell, only sending one forward deep on a forecheck, and protect the lead at all costs. Thusly we wound up with a plethora of 2-1 and 3-2 games with a combined 45 shots between the two sides.more
from the Salem News,
Ray Bourque has absolutely no intentions of going behind the Bruins' bench to coach, or coaching anywhere else, the 22-year NHL veteran and Hall of Famer said. One sports talk show caller last week endorsed Cam Neely as the next B's coach and Bourque as the general manager. Sorry folks, but Bourque is officially a special consultant (on ice, helping coach the defensemen) and he's perfectly happy to be getting his feet wet and back in the organization, as he put it. The role fits him perfectly right now.read on
I have a few appointments this morning. Posts should continue about 1pm today.
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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