Kukla's Korner Hockey
From E.J. Hradek at ESPN Magazine:
Since the 2004-05 lockout, the NHL’s top priorities have been to improve game flow and boost scoring. On the flip side, slowing an opponent’s attack has become the No. 1 goal of coaches. Nowhere is that challenge more daunting than on penalty kills, thanks in part to rules changes that limit obstruction. It’s not just a question of giving up a goal in a close game—it’s what happens afterward. “It demoralizes your team,” says Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Here are six ways coaches keep teams from getting down when they’re a man down.
USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Gary Bettman. From NHL.com:
Ogrean will discuss the second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, which begins Friday, Feb. 13 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15. Hockey Weekend Across America celebrates hockey and those involved in the game at all levels and also seeks to expose the game to additional audiences to attract more players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans to the sport.
Ogrean’s booking on the NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman also coincides with the one-year countdown to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The Games represent the 30th anniversary of the U.S. ‘Miracle On Ice’ at Lake Placid and the 50th anniversary of the U.S. capturing the Olympic gold at Squaw Valley.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208). You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments to this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News (h/t MSNBC):
There just isn’t a night off playing in the West.
“You look at the teams out there, even L.A. is playing good right now,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane told SportingNews.com. “They’re competing for a playoff spot. All those teams out there are pretty good, especially when you go to Canada, too, and you see those hostile environments. ... You have to be on your game and mentally focused.”
With help from SportsClubStats.com, which uses a formula to predict playoff probabilities, and a little inside information from Chicago winger Adam Burish, whose Blackhawks are wrapping up a road trip that took them to half the Western cities, we break down the bubble teams.
Games played: 52
Probability of making the playoffs: 71.4 percent
read on to find out everyone’s chances
From Kevin Glew at The Hockey News,
If anyone has a right to be bitter about the way their NHL career concluded, it’s Glen Sharpley.
The former Minnesota North Star and Chicago Blackhawk had his six-year NHL tenure all but end after a stick slammed into his left eye during a game against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 19, 1981.
“It was basically a dead pupil,” said Sharpley, who was just 25 years old at the time of the injury. “It stopped working and I couldn’t see.”
And if that wasn’t devastating enough, Sharpley’s agent, Alan Eagleson, embezzled a reported $15,000 of the resulting disability insurance benefit. Eagleson’s actions would prompt Sharpley to testify against his former rep in front of a grand jury in Boston in 1992.
continued with an interview with Sharpley on his career and life after hockey
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
Back to Weber. Nashville’s coach, Barry Trotz, recently commented on his slump, saying “They’re aware of him, not letting him get the shot off as much. He’s also been battling some bumps and bruises for the past month, which probably takes a little edge off his game. But he’s starting to get healthy again, so I think you’ll see him coming back.”
Brilliant. Right from the source. Once the media, the National Hockey League AND its players get their heads around just how powerfully this type of insight resonates with a considerable portion of the fans of this game we will experience a degree of interactivity that the NHL has never known. As it stands, the media, generally speaking, ask lame questions of players and coaches in one-on-one opportunities. And, generally speaking, most hockey people oblige with lame, run-of-the-mill answers. We all know the cliches.
Look, I’ve said it a thousand times and I’m going to say it again. Fantasy hockey is the most cost-effective marketing solution the league has at its disposal.
more fantasy talk…
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
In my many years of covering the NHL, one of the questions I most frequently hear after a game is:
“Gee, who picked the three stars?”
In some NHL cities, the choices are put to a vote of all media members in the press box. Most places, a single selector is designated before the game. At the Pepsi Center, the choices usually are made by a writer or by one of the four announcers on the “in-house” Altitude radio and television broadcasts.
Even when Denver Post colleague Adrian Dater or I make the official choices at an Avalanche home game, the “Post’s three stars” in the paper might be slightly different. Here’s why: Whoever is making the official choices at the game is gently asked to submit them with about five minutes remaining in the third period.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Flyers, who will have to shed around $2 million of cap space in order to reinstate Daniel Briere from long-term injury reserve once he recovers from groin surgery, are somehow positioning themselves as in on Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester while also having substantial interest in Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer ($6.75 million), should he become available as a rental.
We’re told that Philadelphia is prepared to move Mike Knuble ($2.8 million, unrestricted on July 1) and Joffrey Lupul ($2.312M this year, $4.25M the next four years) in order to help the blue line.
The Ducks will be seeking young defensemen in any deals for Niedermayer or Chris Pronger, who seems on his way out with another year at $6.25 million remaining on his deal.
The Devils are interested in bringing Niedermayer back for their Grateful Dead Reunion Tour, but will not move Paul Martin to get it done.
more trade talk plus Olympics and suspension talk too…
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings:
Your e-mails and comments are ALWAYS welcomed, but I’m going to end up muttering to myself and wearing a bathrobe if I get any more ``Is there a Jason Spezza trade coming?’’ e-mails.
There’s NOTHING happening on that front right now, at all. Not unless I’m being massively deceived, when in this case I’m fairly certain there’s zero reason for deception. Could it come up in the future? Perhaps, but I seriously, seriously doubt it.
My serious question is, why do people buy this stuff? Is it just sugary fun?
From Frank Seravalli at NHL.com:
Since his playing career ended in 1997—after playing for the Devils, Kings, and Stars all in one season—the native son of Minnesota hasn’t stayed very close to the game. He doesn’t often grant interview requests and he doesn’t always have much to say.
Burnout can hit players who spent 19 grueling seasons at the top levels of the game. But it’s not that Broten doesn’t love the game anymore. It just doesn’t play the same day-to-day roles. Broten has since retired to River Falls, Wis., where he helps his wife breed quarter horses on a farm that they run together.
“I just got done cleaning out six horse stalls,” Broten said. “Things are pretty different. But it is peaceful. It is something that I can hang my hat on.”
Check out the Inside Hockey Radio Show with hosts James Murphy and Todd Carroll and their guests today: Michel Goulet (NHL Hall of Famer and Avalanche Asst. GM), Bob Harwood (Versus), Louis Jean (Sportsnet), Jim Cummins (former NHLer), and Patrick King (Junior hockey insider, Sportsnet.ca.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org