Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Here’s a topic guaranteed to tick off a lot of present and former NHL players, not to mention many of those reading this: The 10 smartest NHL players I’ve seen.
With apologies to those omitted, I humbly submit for your consideration this list, arranged not in order but as a group. Goalies are not included.
10. Bryan Trottier
from Working the Corners,
Limit teams to only four skaters in their own defensive zone. That does two things — unclogs the scoring areas and legitimizes the cherry-picking scoring threat who never wanted to worry about defense anyway. Opposing coaches would have to decide whether to have someone hang with the cherry-picker or go for the man advantage in the offensive zone. Linesmen would have responsibility for whistling a new penalty — too many men inside the blue line.
Wilson acknowledges that he and his fellow coaches deserve some of the blame for the current drop in scoring since play resumed after the lockout.
from Wayne Fish of Philly Burbs,
Former Flyers player Mark Howe, now a scout with the Detroit Red Wings, sees about 100 NHL games per year.
He says he’s sat through some real yawners these past couple seasons and yearns for the days when hockey still offered robust competition.
“I do watch a lot of games where both teams are working, both teams are playing very sound hockey, but is the game entertaining for the people who paid their money?” Howe said. “In my opinion, no.’‘...
“I know some teams, their goal is to block 20, 25 shots a night. You didn’t see that years ago. You forechecked two guys to get pressure. I like watching Andy Murray’s teams (currently St. Louis) ... they play a high-pressure game. Tampa’s an entertaining team; same with Edmonton.’‘
Howe says you don’t have to have high scoring for an entertaining game.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Judging by a conversation late last week with new executive director Paul Kelly, it seems the PA finally has realized the obvious. Kelly, who met Thursday with the NHL’s Board of Governors in Pebble Beach, Calif., wants the union to be far more engaged in the supplemental disciplinary process. In his estimation, after meeting in recent weeks with the rank and file of 11 of the league’s 30 teams, the players feel the need to increase the on-ice respect factor and do what they can to decrease, ideally eliminate, “head shots.”
“There is a feeling among the players,” said Kelly, “there has been a greater number of these this year than in the past - and no one has an explanation for it. Some of these are hits by guys who are considered third- or fourth-liners, and perhaps they are sent out by a coach to play a certain style, or maybe they are trying to win a job, or keep a job, and maybe they feel they have to ratchet up the aggressiveness….”
more and numerous NHL bits…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Scoring has increased since the year before the lockout, but it’s down from the first season afterward. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, among the more progressive thinkers in the game, has suggested the ultimate answer would be four-on-four. Easy, Lindy. Before going radical, let’s examine five other options.
No Parole, No Icing: Players committing penalties should be given the full two minutes whether or not the opposition scores on the ensuing power play. Plus, penalty killers would not be allowed to ice the puck.
Could the NHL standings look like this in the next 10 years?
…….club (league)………………………..gp w/o d o/l pts pct rtng
..1. Salavat Yulaev Ufa (RUS)….32 25/0 x 3/4 78 .812 44.7
..2. HV71 Jonkoping (SWE)……..25 17/1 3 0/4 57.5 .767 42.2
..3. SC Bern (SUI)…………………….27 19/2 x 3/3 64 .790 41.9
..4t Slavia Prague (CZE)………….26 17/3 x 2/4 59 .756 40.8
..4t Slovan Bratislava (SVK)……30 20/3 x 2/5 68 .756 40.8
..6. Karpat Oulu (FIN)……………..28 16/5 x 2/5 60 .714 39.3
..7. Eisbären Berlin (GER)……….25 17/2 x 0/6 55 .733 38.9
..8. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)….26 15/3 x 2/6 53 .679 38.4
Nah, but it does introduce you to Slapshot, a hockey blog at the New York Times.
Oh yes, read on to find out what the rankings really mean.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But in the NHL, if enough small-market teams complain about something, by Gary, the league gets right on it. And so, beginning next season, the schedule will change again. Divisional opponents will meet six times all year, meaning that divisional games will account for under 30-percent of the schedule. Even then, though, not every city will get a glimpse of Crosby.
The problem with the schedule these last three years hasn’t been the format, it’s been the careless and senseless manner with which it’s been structured. Why would the Rangers and Islanders meet four times within the season’s first 25 games and then four times in the final 57 games?
via Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The schedule for teams in the Eastern Conference will get tougher next season when the NHL adopts a new schedule….
“It’s going to be tougher,” admitted Devils coach Brent Sutter, “but there’s nothing I can do about it. When you’re a coach, someone gives you the schedule and you play the games.”
“Regardless of whether it’s 1-0 or 5-4, you can have exciting hockey games,” said Yzerman. “We made dramatic changes to the game coming out of the lockout and some of them have been very positive and some of them have had a negative effect on the game. I wasn’t really in favour of making dramatic changes three or four years ago and I’m certainly not in favour in making any changes at the time being. Let’s just play the game and continue to develop good young players from all over the world. We cannot keep tinkering.’‘
more on the BOG meeting from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
Well said Steve and this is how I feel about the game. We have had 2-1 games that have been exciting and 7-2 games that put me to sleep.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
...Well, as far as I’m concerned, the verdict is in and removing the red line has been a failure.
None of us has anything more than anecdotal evidence on this one, but I believe that removing the center red line has stifled far more chances than it has created.
The long stretch passes that sprung talented forwards for breakaways are almost non-existent now. Instead, they’ve been replaced by a line of defenders in the neutral zone that has formed because teams are scared to death about giving up the breakaway pass.
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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