Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
The perspective is a remarkable one, one that each time humbles, reassures and, especially today, staggers.
The perspective of a warrior, of a fighter, of a hero.
The perspective of a solider.
We’d talked Wednesday at Honda Center, before the Ducks-Oilers game, on a night when the military would be honored for Veterans Day. And, once again, I was astounded by the unrelenting commitment of someone willing to give their final breath.
Wade Scott told me about the day in 2011 when, during a firefight in Afghanistan, he was shot multiple times, four bullets ripping into his side and another through his wrist, leaving his left hand looking like “hamburger with fingers sticking out of it.”
Three more rounds struck him in the chest, the Army master sergeant able to tell the story now only because of the body armor that absorbed the Taliban’s worst.
Then, Scott, a veteran of 14 years of service, said this:
“That could have happened at any other time during any other deployment. A lot of things much worse happen to people all the time. It was just my day and I got lucky.
“But, yeah, I’d do it again tomorrow. That’s what our job is. It’s a passion. People tend to fall in where their passion lies. It’s part of who I am.”
We had met to discuss Defending the Blue Line, a nonprofit that assists military children interested in ice hockey.
“We have to come to the rink every night ready to play. Because we need to be a desperate hockey club right now. We show it at times abut we haven’t put it together for 60 minutes. It’s just frustrating really as a group. It’s unacceptable. We expect better and we need to sort this thing out quickly or we’re going to keep digging ourselves into a bigger and bigger hole.”
-Bruce Boudreau, head coach of the Anaheim Ducks after a 4-1 home loss to the New York Islanders. Eric Stephens of the OC Register has more on the Ducks.
Below, watch Boudreau post-game...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
“A drop pass to their guy is never going to work,” Getzlaf said. “You’d have backup (in five-on-five play). The three-on-three’s a weird animal right now. We need to do a little bit better job. Maybe watch video or something on what works and what doesn’t in allowing us to succeed in those a little bit more.”
A terse Boudreau was more pointed when it came to the play. Boudreau started the overtime with Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg and Sami Vatanen, all of whom had strong games. And then he put Getzlaf, Perry and Cam Fowler on the ice.
“We knew what we were supposed to do,” Boudreau said. “We've had enough 3-on-3 overtimes. You don't drop-pass to nobody. You don't do it.
more on Anaheim's 4-3 OT loss to Arizona...
Below, watch the game highlights...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Ryan Getzlaf will return to the Ducks’ lineup Friday night against Columbus after missing the last four games to recover from an appendectomy.
Getzlaf skated with the team Thursday and did some extra work afterward to prepare for game action again. The team’s captain also took part in the morning line rushes Friday before pronouncing himself ready.
"Being out [stinks]," Getzlaf said. "That’s not fun at any point in the year, especially when your team’s going through struggles. I’m excited to be out there and play tonight."
"A world-class talent, a great two-way player. Graceful, great hockey sense, great skill. He could bring you out of your seat when he was coming up the ice in full flight."
"His skating, his puck handling, his shot; he could do anything at an elite level. But certainly his skating ability was his best attribute, not just in straight out speed but in turning and stopping and starting and moving from side to side; to me he's one of the best skaters I've ever come across."
"Sergei said that to me several times, 'I knew I could trust you, that you would do the best things for my career. That's what I tried to do. I brought him into the office often. I talked to him often. He didn't understand everything at the beginning, but as time went on he got pretty good at it. He got to be a real good team guy. He didn't rock the boat. He performed."
"He was strong everywhere. You go back to the old Russian days, when those guys trained year-round with their team … he always won all the awards for conditioning at training camp. He'd go do pullups, rip off 20 at one time, and go, 'OK, what's next?' He was such a great skater and he had that low-center-of-gravity skating stride. He had elite puck skills. He's one of the best players of all-time."
"He could skate like a defenseman, backwards, and he was so fast. He could move, get back and get pucks. He was still thinking as a forward when he was playing defense, but he could play that position well and he did."
"He was the best player I've ever played with."
Dan Rosen of NHL.com has much more on Fedorov.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Here is the list of first-month underachievers, ranked by the level of concern their fans should have:
Def Con 5
Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks): The fact is that Perry no goals (on 23 shots) in 11 games could be catastrophic if the Ducks lose the next three or four games. It could be a major contributing factor to coach Bruce Boudreau losing his job. The Ducks have only scored 14 goals in 11 games. Boudreau needs Perry to be himself. Perry has scored 77 goals in his past 146 games. The Ducks need him on the scoresheet, particularly with Ryan Getzlaf recovering from an appendectomy. General manager Bob Murray said he won't make "rash changes," but more losses could try his patience.
Ryan Johansen (Columbus Blue Jackets): He is supposed to be the Blue Jackets’ flag carrier, but new coach John Tortorella declared that he was out of shape, according to media reports. He has no points in his past five games, and he only has three shots in his past three games. Johansen doesn’t look to be the same inspired player he was last season. It’s way too soon to say he’s at a crossroad, but certainly there is major concern about him in Columbus. He is a star that is not shining bright.
Ducks GM bob Murray: "we were 1 game away from the Final just 5 months ago. So while this has been a terrible start I'm not inclined to
Make rash changes. I'm going to be patient. That said, we are severely underperforming as a group, I can't recall a time where a vast
Majority of our players have underachieved simultaneously and I fully expect a turnaround." End Bob Murray statement.
from Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Then came Horcoff's decking of Tarasenko. The cheers that followed Tarasenko's game-tying goal 10 minutes before were replaced by the silence of held breath.
Horcoff's forearm appeared to meet Tarasenko's chin. Their knees knocked. Tarasenko crashed backward and was eventually helped off the ice by a trainer. Blues center Steve Ott, never one to turn down an on-ice altercation, went after Anaheim star Corey Perry to retaliate.
By now you know how it ended. Tarasenko returned for the third period and the Blues won 2-1 to improve to 7-2-1.
Tarasenko declined to offer his opinion on if the hit was dirty. That didn't stop others from weighing in. Horcoff wasn't penalized for the blow, but he could hear from the NHL's department of player safety. That seems unlikely, though....
John Shannon of Sportsnet's Hockey Central came to the same conclusion:
"Don't expect any SD for Horcoff after his elbow on Tarasenko … Got his arm up, but what hurt Tarasenko was the inadvertent knee on knee."
Watch the hit below and no penalty on the play...
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
When it comes down to the hard road that’s now ahead for the Ducks, Frederik Andersen offered up some straight talk Thursday as he sat at his stall in the visitors’ locker room at Scottrade Center.
It is time to get serious. Deadly serious. Right now.
“We need to start having a sense of urgency,” the Ducks goalie said. “That’s the bottom line. We almost got to treat this as playoffs time. We can’t think this way but we’ve got to start winning games.
“We’ve got to start thinking of one game as a do-or-die game every night. We got to realize that.”
The Ducks are in a deep hole after the first 10 games. But the weakened Pacific Division might be the right place for them not to feel out of playoff contention as they sort out their many issues and get their act together....
So there is hope for the Ducks to set a new course upward – as long as the three-time Pacific champions aren’t anchored in the hole they’re in.
“I think we’re aware of that,” defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “We’re aware that the level of urgency has to be brought up. Obviously you can’t make the playoffs in the first month of the season. You sure as heck can put yourself behind and set yourself up for failure.
“We’ve really dug ourselves a pretty deep hole.”
Also from Stephens...
via Chris Nichols tweets,
Dreger reiterated how supportive Bob Murray has been of Bruce Boudreau. After last night's loss and Boudreau's post-game comments...
Dreger: "I believe now there's more likely a chance of a coaching change than I did say 24 or 18 hours ago."
Watch Boudreau post-game below (autoplay)....
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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