Kukla's Korner Hockey
Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail has some advice for the coaches of the six Canadian teams…
I know you are new to Calgary. So I thought I might give you some insight into your Flames. You inherit a pretty good team, a playoff team. But the West is a tough conference, the Northwest is a tough division and it is important to get the most out of your guys to even ensure a playoff spot.
Something went wrong with the back end of the team last year. Goaltending is a fragile thing. Miikka Kiprusoff was not the same goalie as in prior seasons. I know this is a sensitive point, but he is no Roberto Luongo (who was the most valuable goalie in the NHL last season).
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
“When Doug Weight left I asked him who he thought should replace him as captain and he said Jason Smith,” said Oilers’ coach Craig MacTavish.
“I asked Jason, when he left, and he said Ethan Moreau.”
While MacTavish threw out some teasers about maybe having rotating captains and suggesting he was going to be very open-minded about the whole deal, he knew who his captain was going to be.
“It was a little bit of a no-brainer.”
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish says the decision to name Moreau the Oilers new captain was made after careful consideration. MacTavish says, “Ethan’s leadership at this stage of his career is highly developed. The intensity and physical play that he exhibits every shift is a great example for everyone. It’s his voice in our dressing room that has the most impact and at the end of the day, Ethan was an obvious choice.”
Moreau said, “I’m extremely honoured and consider it a priviledge to be named captain of the Edmonton Oilers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization and will continue to strive towards bringing the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
MacTavish said the players can sense there is something special happening here.
“It brings the optimism up, for sure,” he said of having four high-end skill players making the team together as toddlers.
He said the players can all sense “there’s the making of something real memorable here. If you get that skill with players willing to play hard and sacrifice, we’re going to have something special.”
He said there’s suddenly a foundation here which gives you that feeling of deja vu - “something we’ve seen here in the past when a young team comes together collectively.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers signed 18-year-old centre Sam Gagner to a three-year entry level contract today, and plan on having their first-round draft pick in the opening night lineup Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.
Gagner, whose dad Dave played over 900 NHL games, is the first Oiler first-round choice to make the team in his draft year since another centre, Jason Arnott, in 1993.
“I like the way Sam thinks the game mentally. I don’t know if there was one time in the pre-season where I had to talk to Sam when he came off the ice about where he should be (defensively),” said Oiler coach Craig MacTavish.
“You can tell he’s been well-coached by his dad. That’s invaluable.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
Physically Penner should be fine. It’s finding the chemistry with Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff on the first line which might take some time.
Hemsky and Horcoff know each other well. It’s a matter of Penner getting up to speed with them.
“It’s coming along,” Penner said. “I have to be a little more aware on the ice when I’m with him (Hemsky) because he can find you in the small seams. You have to be ready at all times with a guy like that because good things will happen.”
From the CP via TSN,
It wasn’t the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 pre-season victory over the Edmonton Oilers that will be remembered, but rather a scary third period hit.
And perhaps the coaches reaction to it.
The game itself was overshadowed by a wince-inducing incident five minutes into the third as Canuck Rick Rypien slammed Oiler defenceman Mathieu Roy into the boards behind the Edmonton net. Roy was briefly knocked unconscious and taken away on a stretcher, but does have movement in his extremities. Rypien was assessed a five minute major for charging.
From David Staples at the Edmonton Journal,
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe and head coach Craig MacTavish, now in their eighth season running the team, say that when the volume rises in the ever-increasing media coverage of the Oilers, they tune out.
“If we’re in a six-game losing streak, I don’t need to listen to the call-in shows to know what’s going on with the hockey team,” Lowe says.
If Edmonton Oilers hockey is a fishbowl, it’s never had more fighting fish in it, with far more sports coverage than ever on radio, TV and in print, not to mention the blogosphere, where every wannabe Oilers general manager can have his or her say.
from the CP,
“What we’re talking about is 5-on-5 ice for (Horcoff),” MacTavish said after the win over the Flames. “Maybe his role will be more important, more impactful for us if he is playing on a second or third line. The minutes will be there ... but maybe at the start of the game his name isn’t with Hemsky and with Penner.
“We need a dynamic scorer, and Horc, for all his strengths, is not an 100-point guy, so we’re going to entertain thoughts of looking at somebody else, at times, 5-on-5.”
Horcoff heard MacTavish loud and clear.
“It’s motivating,” he said. “There’s only a handful of 100-point guys in the league.
from the Calgary Sun,
“I had a tough time with how the city was being perceived,” said Souray, who suited up against the Flames last night in their pre-season encounter. “I could also understand because they went through a situation where their best player took them to the finals—(Chris) Pronger—and him wanting to leave sets the stage and people could ask, ‘Why would he want to leave after having that great year?’
“I could understand and see how some guys would think that way, but I would never put myself in that situation.”
Don’t underestimate what Souray’s signing did for the team and its psyche.
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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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