Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Watching The Stats

from the New York Times,

Not so long ago, the N.H.L. paid practically no attention to statistics. Beyond goals, assists, penalty minutes and goals a netminder allowed, the league kept track of nothing. Players’ reputations were made and broken almost entirely on subjective grounds because there were virtually no objective measures to go by….
But starting in the mid-’80s, the N.H.L. began paying closer attention to statistics, and the league has become more and more conscientious. Shots, saves, plus/minus and other important numbers were tabulated, enabling more educated assessments of player performance.

read on

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Nichol Deserves More

from Alessandro Nicolo of Blog Critics,

Spacek lay on the ice for several minutes and appeared to be thankfully all right. The NHL subsequently handed Nichol a laughable nine game suspension. I realize I’m a “non-essential” (to steal TSN’s Pierre McQuire’s jargon) but nine games seems to be a tad low — especially in light of what the NHL just went through with Bertuzzi — and Marty McSorley before him. And Gary Suter (recall his vicious crosscheck to the face on Paul Kariya) before him and Dave Brown’s horrible assault on Tomas Sandstrom of the Rangers (in a similar incident to Suter’s) before that.

more

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A Little Trade Talk

Are the Sens planning a move and will Sundin waive his no-trade clause?
Check out Spector for the scoop…

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Higher Nets

from Slam,

If, indeed, the National Hockey League decides to go to an enlarged net to juice up scoring, they would do better to leave the posts six feet apart and do the enlarging by moving the crossbar a few inches higher than the standard 48 inches. The reason rests with the evolution of the butterfly style among goalies during the past 15 years, a style that has made the lower part of the net virtually impregnable.

more (about 1/4 down the page…)

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Carlyle Believes In Hard Work

from the LA Times,

He is stubborn.
He is intense.
Most of all, he knows the game. How a player thinks.
Honesty and hard work are the currency he values, even if it’s expressed through the use of a choice four-letter word or two.
“Hard work is no big deal in my mind,” Carlyle said. “I’m expected to work hard. If a player comes to me and says he’s working hard, so what. Everybody has to work hard. That’s a norm.”

read on (reg. req.)

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Canucks Coach Starts Pointing Fingers

from the Vancouver Sun,

A frustrated Alain Vigneault lashed out at his underperforming players Friday night, suggesting it’s time for some of his unproductive forwards to step up and prove they truly belong in the NHL.
“Right now we have [defenceman] Kevin Bieksa who has eight goals and I think we’ve got six of our forwards who don’t have eight goals combined,” Vigneault said after watching the Canucks drop a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“We think these guys are NHL players, that’s why we gave them NHL contracts. You have to perform like NHL players. It’s not normal that you have one D that has more goals than half your [forward] group.”

continued

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Maurice Not Happy With Hit On Peca

from the Toronto Sun,

Centre Michael Peca’s right knee was a mess—a suspected torn medial collateral ligament and fractured tibia—after a first period knee-on-knee collision with Jim Vandermeer of the Chicago Blackhawks, who weathered seven of eight Leafs power plays and scored short-handed in a 3-1 win.
“It was a knee-on-knee hit ... our guy is going to be out a long time and their’s will probably be back in the minors before (Peca) gets back,” Maurice said. “He’s in quite a bit of pain, but we won’t know until we get a better look inside. This is not a day-to-day, week-to-week thing. This is a bad knee injury.”

read on

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Will Rucinsky Be A Ranger

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

But a deal for Rucinsky might be necessary to save this season. Rucinsky, who is currently playing with a broken jaw, has made it clear that he would waive his no-trade clause in order to rejoin the Rangers. That, however, does not guarantee that JD would be amenable to moving Rucinsky (6-15-21) in a sum-zero deal.
If Davidson - who, according to a well-placed source, has already talked to Glen Sather about the availability of impending free agents Keith Tkachuk, Billy Guerin and Eric Brewer (as well as Petr Cajanek) - asks for a young asset in exchange for Rucinsky, it will be difficult for the Rangers to strike a deal, regardless of his importance to Jagr and in the room.

more

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What Hockey Needs

The Detroit Free Press’ Drew Sharp, never one to pay much attention to hockey in the first place, has decided it’s time to weigh in.

The NBA has swallowed the NHL whole when it comes to television exposure and media coverage. There could be a mass riot at an NHL game and few would notice because only the truly faithful are paying attention to the still-struggling league.

And even their patience is thinning.

More

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Peter Bondra Gets 500th Goal

In tonight’s Chicago Blackhawks - Toronto Maple Leafs matchup, Peter Bondra got his 500th career goal.  Bondra is only the 37th player in NHL history to achieve this. He joins Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michel Goulet as the only Chicago players to score their 500th goal wearing the Blackhawks sweater.

Anticipating this milestone earlier in the week, from the Chicago Tribune:

Perhaps it will be Wednesday, or maybe Friday. It could end up being Saturday or stretch into next week.
Whenever it ends up, Peter Bondra is going to score another goal and reach the magical number of 500 for his career and, perhaps then, it actually will sink in and he will allow himself to savor what it means.
But not until then.
“I don’t want to make this a distraction for the players,” Bondra said last weekend. “I don’t want them to think they have to pass to me or anything like that.”

Continued...

added 7:43am 12/23/06, Watch the Bondra goal…

 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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