Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...What they found — with only one or two dissenting views — was all good.
That the so-called “new NHL”, minus most of the hooking, holding and obstruction of the pre-lockout era, was a far better product than what they had before; that hockey-related revenues will establish record highs again this year, meaning the salary-cap will go up for next season; and that even the decline in goal-scoring (almost a full goal per game over the same period two years ago) was not enough to raise alarm bells at hockey operations.
“We need not be revolutionary, we need not be impatient,” said commissioner Gary Bettman. “We need to see how it evolves and how it all settles in and if we need to make tweaks, we shouldn’t be afraid, if we’re convinced they’re necessary.”
added 5:48pm, from the CP via TSN,
But a model that’s already gaining steam possibly in time for the 2009-10 season is the 84-game concept put forward by the Detroit Red Wings. It features 30 games against teams from the other conference - a home-and-home. It’s a proposal that has also caught the eye of new NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly.
more on the proposed schedule…
from Allen St. John at the Wall Street Journal,
What’s seems to be at work here is nothing less than Darwinism on ice. Under the old rules, a team’s defense could do more to protect the goalie, and plays would develop more slowly. Over 2½ seasons of wide-open hockey, the goalie’s world has changed. He’s facing more and better shots. (In 2005-06, Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers set the league record for shots faced, with 2,488.) The greater number of quality scoring chances puts a premium on a goalie’s skills….
What does the future hold for NHL netminders? The league has considered increasing the size of the crease, and the rate at which goalies have adjusted to the recent rule changes may hasten this development. If it does come to pass, expect the league’s top goalies to grumble—and then figure out a way to keep those flying pucks in front of them.
read on... and I hope maybe it was a typo with “increasing the size of the crease”. The size of the nets, yes, increasing the size of the crease would mean even less goals…
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
“Shots from the perimeter,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson was saying on Wednesday, “they’re no longer dangerous.”
He could have said that 10 years ago, and likely did.
So the NHL is now officially chasing its tail. The major plank of the lockout rebuild—an effort to increase offence—is the most worrisome bit of regression.
Through Tuesday’s games, the average NHL game featured 5.4 goals. It was 6.2 per game at this point of the first post-lockout season,
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.
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