Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Travis Yost of TSN,
The National Hockey League’s scheduling process strikes me as a laborious task. The people responsible for creating the thirty team schedules have to take into account things like venue availability, travel burden, associated costs of travel, and competitive balance, all while trying to squeeze 2,460 games into a seven-month window.
One of the things I’ve always found most interesting is how the league attempts to mitigate the number of back-to-back situations (not so eloquently referred to as “schedule losses” in NHL and NBA circles), a considerable slice of the league’s larger fight with competitive balance. To the league’s credit, Dirk Hoag’s work suggests that the league does try to schedule a comparable number of back-to-back situations for every franchise.
Now, the eyeball test has long been damning of team performance on the second-half of back-to-backs, and I think that’s largely why the league has really made a concerted effort to balance the number of schedule losses around the league. The data substantiates what the eyeball test has told us for so long – teams on no rest struggle considerably relative to league norms, considerably so when those back-to-backs come on the road.
Seven years of available data substantiates what the eyeball test has told us for so long – teams on no rest struggle considerably relative to league norms.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is tossed around too often, but when it comes to expanded video review in the NHL, the goalie interference call assessed to Detroit’s Luke Glendening Wednesday night certainly qualifies. Thankfully, the spectacular botch job didn’t decide the game’s outcome, but the fact a call this bad could be agreed on between two referees should be deeply disconcerting to league officials and every team in the league....
And imagine what would happen if a similarly awful penalty/rescinded goal materialized in the final game of the regular season and the result of that game meant the difference between a team making or missing the playoffs. Imagine if a call like that went down during the playoffs – say, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final – and there were no option for the officials to skate over to the penalty box area, check a video monitor for a few brief minutes and make sure they got the call right. Fans and media of the team on the wrong end of such a predicament would go apoplectic, and rightfully so; any league unwilling to utilize technology readily available to assure the integrity of its game is a league painfully out of touch with what fans demand in return for their investments of time, money and emotion.
If it ever got to that point, the NHL would need to hold an IPO to raise its stock to laughing status.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Given Moore’s history, the five-game sentence is probably light by a few games. But a sentence of six games or more would qualify for an appeal to an independent arbiter. And a reduction of the suspension — which would surely be possible, if not likely, given precedent — would not exactly prove a ringing endorsement of Quintal in his first ruling after being named this summer as Brendan Shanahan’s successor as VP of the Department of Player Safety.
The NHL now has dealt with Moore twice in the last five months. That’s the stuff of Chris Simon and the some of the most notorious miscreants in NHL history. That’s the stuff of Chris (Mr. Justice) Pronger, who was suspended twice for a pair of headshots delivered within a five-game span of the 2007 playoffs.
Moore’s inexcusable lack of discipline is costing him and the Rangers, and what else is new? The 23-year-old has been among the team’s most disappointing players thus far. A tease with obvious talent who cannot seem to connect the dots from his skates to his hands to his heart to his head.
The entire hockey community is rallying around this. You can't find a more revered individual, he and Jean Beliveau are the gold standard for gentlemen off the ice and well, Gordie on the ice not so much a gentleman. Jean Beliveau probably was but just in terms of the way they carried themselves away from the game, everybody in the hockey community has thoughts for Gordie Howe right now.
-Bob McKenzie on NBCSN NHL Live pre-game show.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP,
Gordie Howe has a long way to go to recover from a stroke he suffered over the weekend, his son said Wednesday amid an outpouring of support from the hockey community....
"It's a difficult time for Dad," Mark Howe said in a phone interview from Lubbock. "It definitely impacted his life, so we're dealing with this, I think, as all families do and just trying to be there. The best thing we can do is just be here and be supportive and try to keep him in good spirits."...
Howe said his father would require "a lot of work in order to be able to recover." For now, the family is just enjoying spending time with him.
"It's a beautiful, sunny day," he said. "If dad hadn't been through this, he'd probably be outside going for a little walk or something."
from Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey,
Long gone are the days that a .500 record meant a competitive team. That benchmark went the way of the dodo bird when the NHL in its infinite wisdom introduced the concept of a third point for some — but not all — games, back in 1999. After the lockout scrubbed the entire 2004-05 season, the further step was taken of initiating a shootout to ensure that a third point was awarded in every tied game. “No more ties!” promised Gary Bettman, while introducing a subversive system that rewarded 60-minute ties disproportionately more than wins. Critics of the league — and I am one of them — derisively refer to the league’s new accounting system as “Bettman math”, where 2 + 0 = 2, but 1 + 1 = 3.
NHL coaches are no dummies — well, most of them aren’t — so not surprisingly, the number of regulation ties proceeded to skyrocket. In the 9 full seasons (well, eight & 48/82 full seasons) from 2005-14, no fewer than 23.5% of all games wound up deadlocked through 60, in effect creating a third point that was not awarded in the 76.5% of games that were cleanly won. “Let;s make sure of the one point, and go after the second one in overtime” became a coaching maxim that all too often one could see being employed by both teams when the score was tied in regulation.
You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave - win or lose. -You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time.
Thoughts and prayers are with you Gordie.
from Mike Botticello of FoxSports,
FOX Sports Live caught up with Hanks as he recently dropped the ceremonial first puck at Staples Center and cheered on his beloved defending Stanley Cup champs.
FSL: Given your time there, you had plenty of exposure to it ... what is the main difference in the sports culture of Canada compared to the U.S.?
HANKS: Well the hockey coverage ... yeah there's a lot more of it. It's the first 15 minutes on "SportsCentre." Coming from the U.S., it's kind of like walking into a "Twilight Zone," where everything is oddly familiar but yet strikingly different. So it was very nice for me to basically talk hockey with pretty much anyone I ran into. I enjoyed that.
Living in LA, there's only a select few (hockey fans), and it's more of like a secret club. Everyone thinks Los Angeles is not a hockey town. And that is absolutely not true. It is just an underground hockey town. It's like Fight Club. We all break the first rule, though.
Kings fans in LA definitely know their stuff. Hockey fans in LA definitely know their stuff. You just have to find each other, and then it's like a secret bond that you have.
FSL: You've been a Kings fan since '87, and you know how things were before these two banners were up in the rafters. What has it been like to witness?
HANKS: It's incredible really. You know, a huge first step was this building (Staples Center). Once the organization moved to Staples, you knew, OK, things are really going to be different....
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
National Hockey League security personnel were at the MasterCard Centre on Monday as part of their team-by-team talk on player safety away from the rink.
Years ago, a big part of the lecture had to do with avoiding narcotics, seedy characters and the like, but there has been a shift in recent years to proper protocol on social media, particularly what information a player lets out and avoiding the release of any potentially damaging images.
"When I first came in there was no social media or anything like that," 37-year-old defenceman Stephane Robidas said. "That was a big thing today. When I broke in, there were no cellphones. I got my first one during my first year, but there was no camera on it, no Facebook, no e-mail on your phone. But this is a new era."
The players usually are briefed in these meetings on what to do in any difficult off-ice situation. Where once the league had few brushes with the law compared to other pro sports, that's no longer the case.
read on for some notes on the Leafs...
Begin the regular season no latter than Sept. 20, which would ensure the Stanley Cup finals to be over no later than May 31. The kids are back in school in September, vacation is over, let's drop the puck already. And who likes hockey games in June? Just silly. There would be resistance to this for sure, heck, one southern team governor once pondered at an owners' meeting the merits of starting the NHL season in late November so as to not conflict with the baseball playoffs and the start of the NFL season. I'm sorry, but you're either a hockey fan or you're not. Drop the puck Sept. 20 and don't worry about what the other sports are doing. No games in June!
-Pierre LeBrun of ESN on what he would do if in charge of the NHL. Read on for more ideas...
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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