Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tracey Myers of CSNChicago,
Twenty-one games down, 61 games to go.
Yes, boys and girls, we’re just past the quarter mark of the 2014-15 season. The Blackhawks have been very good at times, mediocre at others. If the playoffs started today the Blackhawks would be seventh in the Western Conference.
But the playoffs don’t begin today, so let’s move on from the nonsensical “if.” This is about what the Blackhawks have done, or haven’t done, to be in seventh right now. So while the Blackhawks take Monday off, let’s look at what’s worked and what needs work.
What needs work
Individual games. Bryan Bickell is struggling again. Andrew Shaw was, too, before he was injured. Marian Hossa broke out of a scoring slump on Saturday but offensively he’s been quieter than usual. The Blackhawks are at their best when everyone’s doing a little something out there. They haven’t been getting enough contributions across the board yet.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Bryan Murray went for a car ride with an old pal Monday in Detroit.
Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson invited Murray along for a little ride about town, allowing the two to catch up.
"I ran into him today and he asked me what I was doing and he said, 'Let’s go for a drive.' It was nice," the Senators GM told ESPN.com Monday ahead of his team’s game against the Red Wings.
Just goes to show that despite Alfredsson’s dramatic exit from Ottawa before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2013, time heals all wounds.
Another edition of NHL highlights from the past week, all in four minutes of slow motion.
via Hometown Hockey,
From the jersey Wayne Gretzky wore during 81-82 when he broke all those records (worth more than $300,000 today), to Wayne’s 1986 Mercedes convertible (license plate: WAS 99S), Shawn Chaulk, the Wayne Gretzky of Wayne Gretzky collectors, talks about how a Newfoundlander who came to Fort McMurray 30-odd years ago to raise a family and build a home fell in love with the Oilers and built the world’s largest collection of game-worn Gretzky memorabilia.
More at HometownHockey including a few pictures of some of the memorabilia.
It is one of the strange anomalies of modern sport that even high earning players and coaches can go bankrupt, whether this is at the peak of their career or once they have put their glory days behind them. Some case are more unusual than others, however, with the recent circumstances surrounding NHL player and Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenceman Jack Johnson particularly strange. The player has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, while he also claims that his parents are responsible for having led him financially astray.
The Blue Jackets, who sit eighth in the Metropolitan Division and host Boston at the Nationwide Arena at the weekend, have declined to comment so far. This has not prevented the news from reaching the Columbus Dispatch, however, which reports that Johnson’s financial issues began after he granted power of attorney to his mother and gave her full control of his finances. The news of his plight is even more surprising given the fact that Johnson signed a seven year, $30.5 million deal with the Blue Jackets as recently as 2011.
from Eric Duhastchek of the Globe and Mail,
The first sense that Pat Quinn’s health was failing in a meaningful way came last week, just before Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were to take place. Quinn, as chairman of the Hall, had a significant role in the proceedings and up until a week before, seemed to be recovering from a stubbornly resistant infection that had followed a medical procedure back in mid-September. Finally, Quinn sent word that he wouldn’t be able to travel after all and John Davidson, stepped in to handle his duties.
It was an unexpected and worrisome development – Quinn was, after all, just 71 and as recently as last June, when our committee met to select the class of 2014, apart from a slight limp, looked good. But when Tiger Williams travelled to Vancouver last week to see Quinn and was told he wasn’t well enough to receive guests that created a renewed sense of concern in the hockey community.
This wasn’t good news. Quinn achieved a lot in his career – 606 NHL games played, another 1,400 coached. He was in charge when Canada won its first men’s Olympic hockey gold medal in 2002 at Salt Lake City - arguably his greatest achievement as a coach – and again in 2009, when he led Canada to a world junior gold.
During his time away from coaching in the mid-1980s, he earned a law degree – something that’s a bit more common now, but virtually an unprecedented academic feat back in the day.
NEW YORK (Nov. 24, 2014) – Vancouver Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen, Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 23.
TORONTO (November 24, 2014) – It is with great sadness that the Hockey Hall of Fame, on behalf of the Quinn family, announces the passing of our Chairman, Pat Quinn, last night at Vancouver General Hospital after a lengthy illness. At this time the family requests privacy.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Quinn”, said Jim Gregory, Vice-Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "Pat is one of hockey's most respected individuals whose lifetime involvement as a player, coach and executive has made an indelible mark on the game, and our thoughts and prayers are with Sandra and all of Pat's family and friends at this extremely difficult time."
added 11:11am, TSN on Pat Quinn... Also added at 11:16am a very good video from Sportsnet on Quinn below...
2014-15 SEASON HITS THE QUARTER MARK
The 2014-15 season passed the quarter mark Sunday, with 311 of 1,230 games (25.3%) in the books. A look at some of the highlights thus far (compiled with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau):
* 189 games (60.8%) have been tied or within one goal entering the third period.
* 155 games (49.8%) have featured one-goal margins. Another 23 have been decided by two goals following an empty-net score (combined, 57.2%).
* 128 games (41.2%) have seen a team overcome a deficit (at any point in the contest) to win, including 54 in the third period. Of those 128 games, 27 have featured a multi-goal comeback.
* 77 games (24.8%) have gone past regulation, 31 of which have been decided in the five-minute overtime period. That’s nearly 7% higher through the same number of overtime games in 2013-14.
* 22 games (7.1%) have seen a tying goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation, including five in the last 60 seconds.
* 19 games (6.1%) have seen a tiebreaking goal scored in the final five minutes of regulation, including six in the last 60 seconds.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Some people keep waiting for the bottom to fall out on the Vancouver Canucks, and and it certainly hasn't been pretty every single night this season. However, Sunday night's full-value, 4-1 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks improved Vancouver's record to 14-6-1.
This was a team rival GMs pointed to most during my preseason conversations as a potential surprise. The new Trevor Linden-Jim Benning-Willie Desjardins regime has not disappointed, that is for sure. An important theme from the outset has been whether they could get enough secondary scoring to contend for a playoff spot.
Jannik Hanen's hat trick Sunday night was yet another example of that kind of secondary scoring the Canucks have got so far this season. If that continues, the Canucks should be playoff-bound.
read on for Burnside on Tikhonov for the HHOF, Custance on the Rangers and Strang on the Blues...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org