Kukla's Korner Hockey
Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have more on the NHL keeping a close eye on the rematch between the Maple Leafs and Canucks, the Coyotes offering the Flames Anthony Duclair for Dougie Hamilton, the Senators exploring the market for a versatile winger and the possibility of the Canucks and Kings playing an exhibition game in China.
everyone can watch here...
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
In the salary cap era there have been 48 mid-season coaching changes. The average stint of those coaches behind the bench was 207 games. Just 207 games! That’s about two and-a-half seasons.
So why in the name of God’s green earth would someone want to coach in the NHL? It certainly never appears that any of them are enjoying themselves.
As one coach told me, “It’s like chewing glass sometimes.”
Said another: “You have to be comfortable with being hated.”
Beyond the money (and let’s face it, the money can be good, very good), why would anyone want to go through the rigours, the scrutiny of ownership, management, fans and media, and the embarrassment of being fired?
With that in mind, I talked to 12 current and former NHL bench bosses.
By Time Dolan,
The 2016-17 NHL season has reached the quarter pole, and several marquee games are on tap through the month of December. Interestingly enough, the Nashville Predators will host two of the five priciest games in December despite their middling play in the Central division. The Rangers, Maple Leafs and Blackhawks also make the cut when they return home for games later in the month against the Senators, Penguins and Jets, respectively.
Check out a complete price breakdown of the most expensive games in December below, according to TicketIQ:
Just south of 3 minutes long, via Sportsnet YouTube channel.
Call your shot...
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2016) – Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavidhave been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of November.
... Isn't it time, now that we have true parity with the talent base forcibly spread among 30 rosters, to allow at least some of the cream to rise to the top? It seems fair to me that teams that actually win games more handily, in 60 minutes, and don't rely as much on extra time to collect points, should be rewarded.
It would also allow some teams to rally late in the season. As it stands now, it's difficult to make a charge up the standings because teams in front of you are picking up points almost every night. But if a team were to get on a regulation-time victory surge, that would make a difference.
-Pierre LeBrun of TSN where you can read more on this topic.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In October, the Blues acquired Yakupov for forward prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick, hoping that a change of scenery would help the 23-year-old, who floundered during four seasons in Edmonton.
Yakupov had a decent start with the Blues, with four points in his first six games, but soon his ice time diminished and he was dropped to the fourth line before becoming a healthy scratch for the first time Nov. 5. He’s sat out seven of the Blues’ past 12 games and isn’t expected to be in the lineup when they host Tampa Bay on Thursday at Scottrade Center. But apparently that doesn’t have the club second-guessing the deal.
“We felt it was a worthwhile gamble,” Armstrong said. “We gave up a third-round draft pick and he’s come in, and quite honestly, someone like Dmitrij Jaskin is really playing great hockey right now and he’s taken away his ice time. That’s just the nature of competition. You’ve got to push and prod and find your way in, and other guys are trying to do it.
“I have a lot of confidence in Yak that he’s going to keep his nose to the grindstone and when he gets his opportunity, he’s just got to make the most of it. We look at it from how our team is doing, not how each individual player is doing, and our team is doing well. He’s part of our team.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
As the Avalanche practiced Wednesday morning at Family Sports Center, only the New York Islanders, with 18, had fewer points than Colorado’s 19. And later, when the Isles knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 in Brooklyn, it left Colorado and the Arizona Coyotes tied for the lowest total in the NHL.
That’s how damaging an 0-2-1 start to a five-game homestand that continues against Columbus on Thursday has been for the Avalanche. The latest stumble was a 5-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday, and the struggles again raise the question of whether the Avalanche’s much-cited faith and commitment to its “core” — generally conceded to be six players — has been misguided, and whether that core should be broken up.
Defenseman Erik Johnson, one of the six, acknowledged the core group needs to kick its game up a notch.
“It doesn’t matter how many points you have or how much you’re playing, it’s the record that indicates how you’re playing,” Johnson said. “Clearly, the record is not good enough. … Nobody can look in the mirror and say we’re playing good enough because our record doesn’t indicate it. As a group of individuals who feels a lot of responsibility for the team, I think you go out and do your best every game and you realize there are consequences no matter what.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The power play is pathetic, the Oilers are back to being a mess defensively and if you break their season into eight game segments, after their 7-1 start they’ve gone 2-5-1 and 3-4-1.
That’s five wins in their last 16 games
Is it time to panic? Or is it just some strange temporary malfunction at the junction happening here as a team with a 7-4-2 away record struggles with a 5-6 record while trying to get comfortable at home in their new digs?
Waking up and not seeing themselves in first place in the Pacific Division alone might have the desired effect with the individuals who have looked like passengers in losing twice to Arizona and then to the Maple Leafs in a stretch where they could have banked points in the standings.
“We kind of had a chance to extend our lead in first place,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, one of the Oilers who has been AWOL lately, although he created a whale of a chance early against Toronto only to ring it off a post.
“The good news is that we’re still there and still playing for that first-place spot. We’ve given ourselves a chance to be in this position so we can’t take our foot off the gas.
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