Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Flames defeated the Predators 3-2 in a shootout.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
Burke, who’s been mostly silent since pledging to remain in the background as the chief hockey executive of the Calgary Flames, had no problem Thursday arguing the need for fighting in hockey as a purely practical matter.
Whichever end of the P.C. spectrum you may favour, what Burke said in a telephone interview from Toronto is pretty much undeniable.
“What cracks me up is, the disarmament treaty is all in the East,” he said. “I don’t understand it, because you get to the (L.A. Kings-New York Rangers) finals, and what is the one thing that leaped out at you? The Rangers were too small.
“In the West … I mean, we’re going into St. Louis tomorrow. Big, ugly team. You play Anaheim, they’ve always been big and ugly, now they’ve added Kesler, who’s not big and ugly but he’s a grumpy, hostile player. Then you go up to San Jose, they’re historically one of the biggest teams in the league … I said this in a speech the other night: size and toughness, they’re not optional in the West.”
The movement to eliminate fighting, Burke says, is coming from outside the game, not inside.
“The amount of fighting has been significantly reduced, that’s a good thing. We don’t have bench-clearing brawls, we don’t have three-hour games,” he said.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
What malevolent being, what manner of depraved, twisted sadist, came up with this opening couple of weeks?
The Marquis de Sade?...
Wednesday’s season opener against the Vancouver Canucks in the comfy-cosy confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome is followed, in order, by a visit to Edmonton. Then off to St. Louis. Nashville and, shudder!, Chicago back-to-back. They finish up at the Jackets and Jets.
Well, at least the heathens didn’t stuff a three-stop California swing in there as a coup de grace. Thank providence for small mercies.
Still, it shapes up as a Slaughterhouse Six.
I’m definitely excited to have a fresh start. Talking to the coach [Bob Hartley], talking to management, they want me to have success, and that definitely makes your life easier. It keeps your mind free to just go out there and play as good as you can, instead of worrying about giving up bad goals and having to prove yourself every night – not just to the public, but to the coaching staff and everybody else. That’s definitely a nicer way to feel comfortable, if you know they have your back.”
-Jonas Hiller of the Calgary Flames. More on Hiller from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
The Calgary Flames are learning their lessons in truculence at training camp.
In a rare sight for an NHL club, the team devoted part of Thursday's practice to fighting technique, showing several players from their group of non-regulars how to drop the gloves.
"We're teaching the young players how to defend themselves," head coach Bob Hartley explained after practice.
The players - which included centres Paul Byron and Corbin Knight, right winger Ben Hanowski and left winger Trevor Gillies - were being taught on the ice by an outside instructor.
The Flames' regular roster already includes enforcers like wingers Brian McGrattan and Brandon Bollig and defenceman Deryk Engelland who signed a three-year, $8.7 million contract over the summer.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Far too often, the sports world forgets what it’s all about: Entertainment.
But what happened in this lakeside town of 13,000 over the last four days was a perfect illustration of two teams, a league, a broadcaster, a sponsor and every single player involved in getting it right.
The result: Pure magic for the residents of Sylvan Lake, who were privy to the very best the sport has to offer.
OK, so the hockey was ... well ... pre-season. But the packaging around it was sublime.
The ending: Perfection.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
“This is the first interview I’ve done, probably since the draft,” he says Tuesday afternoon, standing in a doorway on the dressing room level at the Saddledome. “Look — this (situation) works as long as the president of hockey operations doesn’t have a big ego. I want it clear to the fans: Brad (Treliving) is the GM here.”
Brian Burke’s next birthday will be his 60th, and his barber still charges by the acre. He is still one of the NHL’s prime interviews, even if Burke is out of practice.
It must be hard for a guy who used to hold court in the press box at Air Canada Centre to stay away from the cameras, no?
“I’ve never craved the spotlight,” Burke said. “It’s funny: Guys like you ask me for interviews, and then accuse me of wanting the spotlight. I never called anyone up and said, ‘Hey, let’s do an interview.’ But I gave colourful comments, and I think, thoughtful answers. But that was part of the job.
“I’m very happy to be in the background. The face of the franchise is, and should be, Brad.”
from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,
Turns out, Mikael Backlund’s injury could be more serious than originally thought.
The 25-year-old centreman has been dealing with an abdominal strain he suffered during the final few weeks of training in Sweden before the Calgary Flames 2014-15 training camp. And although he’s been listed as day-to-day, Backlund has been missing from on-ice sessions since the beginning of training camp,
“I don’t have any news to tell you,” reported Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley when asked about the pivot’s absence from the ice over the past few days. “But I’m worried . . . he’s still not on the ice.”
Not a good sign, especially so early on and especially based on the strides he made last season, becoming one of Calgary’s most reliable pivots.
continue for more on the Flames...
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
“I think the one word that still comes with Calgary has to be patience,” McLennan told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. “They sold to fans a complete rebuild.”
What happened last season, in Brian Burke’s first year as team president and Bob Hartley’s first full season as coach in Calgary? The Flames were in a league-high 49 one-goal games. The Flames still finished sixth in the Pacific Division, but they competed every night.
“They were in every game, which was exciting for the fans,” McLennan said. “Bob Hartley did a great job, but the message still has to be, don’t expect too much. Allowing guys like Sean Monahan another year to see what he’s like, another year of experience for Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund. They have some young pieces.“
Johnny Gaudreau with a deek then the backhand goes top-shelf, far corner.
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.
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