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Declining Goalies?

from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,

The belief that goaltending has never been better has been a near-constant refrain for the past dozen seasons. Save percentages in the NHL rose steadily throughout the decade from 2005-06 through 2015-16, starting at .901 and finishing at .915, thanks, in large part, to a revolution in the way the position was taught.

But that belief is undergoing a challenge now.

Save percentage dropped to .913 last season and is down to .911 through the first quarter of this season. If that trend continues, it would mark the first consecutive-season decline in save percentage since 1998-99 through 2000-01.

Does this save percentage regression mean the goaltenders are now getting worse?

Not necessarily, according to current goaltenders and experts on the subject.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard thinks the trend is more about shooters getting better, and a crackdown on slashing that allows them to get uncontested shots frequently. Shot volume is up dramatically this season; the 31.7 shots per team per game is the highest in more than 30 years. It was 30.2 last season.

continued with more goalie topics too

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The NHL Is Back In Action Today

14 NHL games today, the first game has a puck drop just after 1:00pm ET today.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Watch Your Language

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

“Nobody says bad things any more,” says Komarov.

“Everyone is a little more aware that the walls have ears,” adds teammate Nazem Kadri. “Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, guys get passionate, it’s going to happen. But not as much as it used to.”

NHL senior vice-president Colin Campbell confirmed to the Star that the league is trying to clean up the language “across the board.”

“And, giving the players credit, they are much more in touch with what they can and can’t say today. They know that they are being monitored in every possible way today,” said Campbell....

Greg Millen, the former goalie and now TV analyst who sits between the benches on telecasts, says he’s noticed a decline in trash talk.

“It seems like it’s down,” said Millen. “I haven’t heard as much bantering going on.”

Players receive sensitivity training as part of the NHL Players’ Association’s rookie orientation program and the league is using its on-ice officials to remind players about language.

“There are microphones everywhere,” says former player Steve Yzerman, now general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “We see it every day, whether it’s hockey or around the world. What was said 20 years ago isn’t acceptable. Not that it was acceptable then, it was tolerated.

“You have to watch what you say. That’s probably a good thing.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What You May Have Missed For Yesterday

from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,

The Los Angeles Kings have acquired veteran forward Torrey Mitchell from the Montreal Canadiens for a conditional draft pick, the teams announced Thursday. It’s the Kings’ fifth round pick that becomes the fourth rounder acquired for Dwight King last season if Los Angeles makes the playoffs, as noted by CapFriendly:


from Jonathan Wilis of Sportsnet,

Although it’s superficially easy to build a case that Eichel has been a disappointment this season, anything more than a cursory examination reveals that for the rubbish it is. He’s an awfully good player, and by and large he’s doing good things in a difficult situation. Buffalo’s problem isn’t that Eichel isn’t doing enough; it’s that they don’t have enough players like him.


from Josh Beneteau also of Sportsnet,

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was asked about how he picks who plays where on his forward lines and he dropped some hard truth.

It’s all bulls—.

Aaron Portzline from The Athletic has the full quote.

“It’s a bunch of bulls—. I get a kick out of us, as coaches… we talk about this, that and the other thing,” he said. “‘This is what I’m looking for.’ It’s a bunch of bulls—. We try things, and if it works, it works.”

Well whatever BS Torts is flinging, it seems to be working.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blackhawks’ Hayden fined for high-sticking

From the NHL:

NEW YORK (Nov. 23, 2017) – Chicago Blackhawks forward John Hayden has been fined $2,486.56, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for high-sticking Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown during NHL Game No. 328 in Tampa on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 5:49 of the first period. Hayden was assessed a double-minor penalty for high-sticking.

The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, j.t.+brown, tampa+bay+lightning

Video- I’ll Leave You With This - John Tavares Last Night

Work. Reward.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

Wayne Gretzky On ‘The NHL: 100 Years” Documentary

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Wayne Gretzky doesn’t think he would have been as great of a hockey player in the 1950s.

He’s not being humble. More like fearful.

Yes, the greatest goal scorer who ever played the game would no doubt have had an easier time putting the puck past goalies who didn’t wear masks and rarely left their feet to make a save. But that’s assuming he could make it up the ice in one piece.

“The (Gordie) Howes and (Maurice) Richards typically had to fight for themselves,” Gretzky said in a phone interview. “That was the game back then. When you’re 150 pounds, that would have been more difficult for me. I’m always the first guy to sit here and say I came around at the right time. It was a different game.”

The topic of the sport’s so-called good old days has come up because on Thursday the NHL is releasing a feature-length documentary on the rich and storied history of the league.


Information on the documentary is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Nathan MacKinnon Continues To Lead The Colorado Avalanche

freom Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Behind a penalty-free effort through two periods and another outstanding play-making performance by center Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche rolled past the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center.

In a festive environment on the night before Thanksgiving Day, MacKinnon had three assists to extend his scoring spree to 20 points in 10 games and Colorado improved to 7-1-1 at home and 11-8-1 overall. The Avs won just 13 times in 41 home games last season en route to a league-low 48 points. They have now scored three goals in every home game.

“I liked our game tonight. We had a really good start, good energy at the start. We were jumping,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “I liked our disclipline and our decision making throughout the whole night and especially the third period. That was a real mature third period from our guys. Good decisions. No risky pucks in the middle of the ice.”


Mike Chambers has more on the Avs, like this..

Nathan MacKinnon is a superstar in the making. Just 22, the fifth-year NHL centerman is becoming the player we all thought he would become since he was selected No. 1 overall in 2013. He assisted on all three goals Wednesday and has now has amassed 20 points (14 assists) in his last 10 games and is averaging more than two points per-game on the season (25 points in 19 games).

Per the Avalanche, MacKinnon is the first Avs player to record 20 points in a span of 10 team games since Joe Sakic from March 20 to April 9, 2006 (7-13–20), and MacKinnon’s 17 points in November is tied for second in the league in scoring during the month and he’s pacing all skaters with 13 assists in that span. Being compared to Sakic is what we ultimately expected from young Great Nate.

Below are the game highlights...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+mackinnon

The Vancouver Canucks ‘Silence’ The Pittsburgh Penguins

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Patric Hornqvist declined to talk. Said his number wasn’t on the board indicating who should be available to media – and he was right.

Phil Kessel’s number was on the board, but he grabbed his stuff and left anyway, telling those asking for his comments to “get someone else.”

Sidney Crosby, who talks after pretty much every loss but got a night off, remained silent as he shoved equipment into a bag, sporting a dejected look that told the story of the Penguins’ 5-2 loss to the Canucks at PPG Paints Arena.

On Nov. 4, the Penguins lost to Vancouver, and the common theme was that they were cool with it because the process was there. Same deal Wednesday, really. The Penguins (11-9-3) did a bunch of good things but left with a bad taste in their mouths.

“We just have to keep working at it,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We can’t get frustrated. We’ve just got to get more determined.”

more on the Pens 5-2 loss to the Canucks

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Road Win For The Vegas Golden Knights

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

The Ducks kept asking John Gibson to come to the rescue. He did it again Wednesday night, doing so for a long while but no goalie can withstand the amount of pressure and shots that teams are bringing at them on a nightly basis.

And the expansion Vegas Golden Knights continue to show they’re no ordinary first-year NHL team. They’re a first-place Pacific Division team now as three third-period goals turned around a second-period deficit and created a 4-2 win before a sellout crowd at Honda Center, stopping the Ducks’ three-game win streak....

“You can’t rely on the guy in the net to stand on his head and he did that tonight,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “The score was 4-2 and it could have been 10-2. That’s how good he played. What we were doing out there was not anywhere near what we’re capable of doing as far as a hockey club.

“So we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us right now.”

read on

Below, catch the game highlights...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

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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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