Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Wall Street Journal,
Face-offs, also known as “draws” or “drops,” open NHL games and restart play after pauses for goals, penalties and TV time-outs. A referee drops the puck between two opponents, and the one able to slide, kick, whack or shovel the puck to a teammate gets credit for winning the draw. NHL games count on average 50 to 60 face-offs, and the top face-off specialists win 55%-65% of the draws they take.
Aces at face-offs are essentially thieves. Some are like pickpockets, with sneaky hands that whisk the puck away before an opponent can react. Others are more like armed robbers who use size and strength to muscle the puck away. They’re secretive about their techniques and constantly seeking an edge, from analyzing film of opponents to studying how different referees drop the puck.
thanks to a KK member for providing the link this morning…
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The NHL wants YOU!
That is, if you are a graduating college or university hockey player and are interested in trying to climb the ladder to the big leagues – as an official.
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s senior vice-president and director of officiating, says the league has embarked on a recruiting program aimed at directing players into the world of officiating.
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
The majority of my time during the NHL season is spent talking hockey. So I thought to myself, why not talk hockey with you? Yes, I do mean talk.
I have always been interested in hearing the views of anyone who loves the game of hockey. It intrigues me what people in Seattle, Washington, or Orillia think of the game. Are they different than a fan in Stockholm? Do the European fans see the game differently than someone in Australia?
Do the players themselves want to talk about the game when they are not playing? How about team and League executives, do they talk hockey 24/7?
On Wednesday, April 2, everyone can let me know how you feel. You can call me crazy, but you can also call me. I am giving out my phone number to talk hockey with you.
from Jeff Marek at Upon Further Review at CBC,
As it’s getting close to trophy time in the NHL as writers fill our their ballots, perhaps it’s time to redefine what “sportsmanship and gentlemanly” conduct is and how the Professional Hockey Writers Association should decide on the Byng. Traditionally, the lazy man’s way to vote for the award was to look at the scoring leaders in the NHL and whomever had the least penalty minutes of the bunch got the nod.
But is there not another way to look at what being a Lady Byng winner should be? Should it always be the highest scorer with the softest touch? Or should we not look at the way players in the NHL talk about playing with respect for the game and respect for one another?
As hockey fans, all we ask for are consistent calls from the refs.
Read my blog at Hockey.com for more on this topic.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trophy ballots for the NHL awards were delivered to members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association Thursday — earlier than usual by historical standards.
In the early 1980s, or the days of the Original 21, there were three voters per NHL city and they filled out paper as opposed to electronic ballots. That number eventually dropped to two, as the league expanded (and finding enough qualified voters in some markets proved difficult). More recently, the voter pool was expanded to include its largest number ever — up to 160 ballots could be cast this year — for the five trophies voted on by the PHWA: Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng and Calder.
continued and other NHL topics too…
from Shawn Byrne at the Daily Miner,
In a recent discussion with my boss about the state of hockey, we arrived at a couple ways for the game to be improved, and maybe, bring us back into the fold.
Eliminating the center line would be a good start. Keep the two-line passing rule, but get rid of the middle line to allow for more fast breaks. More scoring would lead to more excitement….
Another rule that we decided would add some excitement would be a take-off from basketball’s three-seconds rule.
On power plays, a defensemen could only be in a predetermined area in front of the goal for five seconds. The defensemen would have to skate out of the area, opening up the inside for an attack by the team with the advantage.
These two simple changes would allow me (and maybe my boss) to watch the Coyotes’ last five games like a fanatic, and whether or not Phoenix made the postseason, I would tune into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
You see, baseball needs statistics. It’s a horribly boring game. If you didn’t spend your time debating the validity of pinch-hitting for that Dominican kid in the third inning, you’d realize you could have spent the afternoon reading the footnotes in the phone book.
Hockey’s not like that. The guys on the ice actually do something. This game moves so quick and is so enticing you shouldn’t even have the time to look up Josef Vasicek’s plus/minus rating on alternate Thursdays following a holiday.
Leave the stats to the only people that truly love and embrace them (in lieu of girlfriends).
The meek may indeed inherit the earth. They just can’t have hockey.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News,
Hollywood movies and human nature have conditioned most of us to hope, if not outright expect, our stories to have happy endings.
However, as a few NHL franchises just learned, reality doesn’t grant nearly that many wishes. More often than not, it specializes in the cruelest of lessons, crushed hopes and dashed dreams.
That was the unfortunate result for the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Florida Panthers, which all saw their Stanley Cup aspirations coldly cast into the proverbial latrine after losing must-win games this week. And soon, playoff bubble teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators – or perhaps the fast-sliding Vancouver Canucks – will set up shop with them on lottery lane.
“Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe, will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
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