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Category: NHL-Teams

Power Play Looks

from Mat Porter of the Boston Globe,

Over the last decade, NHL power plays have become mostly standardized in alignment. Though motion and switches happen constantly, nearly all teams eventually settle into a 1-3-1 formation: a defenseman at the point, three forwards in line with the faceoff dots, and another in front of the net.

The umbrella setup, with two shoot-first defensemen and a forward at the top of the zone and two rebound-hunting forwards near the net, was popular for generations. But goalies have become too big, and too technically sound, to be beaten by point shots that aren’t deflected. The Kings of the early 2010s had success with the overload formation, which saw all five skaters focus on one side of the ice, but they were an outlier.

When coaching in New Jersey, former Bruins playmaker Adam Oates used a 1-3-1, with Ilya Kovalchuk as the main weapon. It took off when Oates brought it to Washington in 2012. He had Alex Ovechkin as a back-side, one-timer machine in the left circle. Nicklas Backstrom was his right-wall distributor. The Capitals created two-on-ones all over the ice, moving the puck for quick shots before the defense could set. They set the standard.

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Video- Recap Of The NHL Games Played Friday Night

2 1/2 minutes of your time.

 

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Mike Modano On Auston Matthews

from Chris Johnston at the Toronto Star,

The most prolific American-born scorer in NHL history has nearly three times as many goals on his resumé as Auston Matthews.

And already he’s hearing the footsteps coming out of Toronto.

“I can’t see anything stopping him from getting there,” Mike Modano said Friday night.

You still can’t call it a sure thing, not with all of the unknowns baked into every record that requires longevity. But it’s tough to look past the fact Matthews is going to reach the 200-goal milestone in 100 fewer games than it took Modano.

His next goal gets him there and it will come much faster than Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl reached that mark earlier this week, too.

It’s a reminder amid the noise of a new season of what Matthews has been building. He’s truly a unicorn. A centre that scores goals at a pace unmatched by any of his peers not named Alex Ovechkin.

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The Best Team In The NHL

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The best record in the National Hockey League. The best power play in the National Hockey League. The best player in the National Hockey League.

How on Earth could it get better for the Edmonton Oilers? How about the best weekend on tap on the National Hockey League, as the Oilers will play a round of golf in Las Vegas on Saturday and take in the Raiders-Philadelphia Eagles NFL game Sunday before flying back to Edmonton.

But for now they’ll savour their first statement game of the season, as the Oilers walked into Vegas on the back end of two games in two nights and glazed the Golden Knights 5-3. These are the two teams that will battle for first place in the Pacific Division, or so we would predict, and as the Oilers' weekend in Vegas begins they have 10 points (5-0) while the Golden Knights have just two after a sluggish 1-3 start.

What’s going right with Connor McDavid’s boys? Well, how about everything?

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Game highlights are below.

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NHL Short Notes

* Climate Pledge Arena will officially open its doors for hockey on Saturday when the Kraken host the Canucks in the first home game in franchise history.  
 
Connor McDavid has played five games this season and has multiple points in all of them. Only Wayne Gretzky has recorded more points through the first five games of a season in Oilers history.
 
Adin Hill made 30 saves, including a timely stop on an Auston Matthews one-timer with 1:20 remaining, to collect his third straight win and backstop the Sharks to a 4-0-0 start to 2021-22. 
 
KRAKEN HOME OPENER HIGHLIGHTS SATURDAY’S 13-GAME SLATE 
The second Saturday of the 2021-22 NHL season features 26 teams in action, including the Kraken welcoming the Canucks to Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle’s first-ever home opener. 

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Pointing Fingers In Toronto

from David Alter of The Hockey News,

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Ritchie was benched for the final eight minutes in the second period of the team's 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday. When he returned to the ice for the third period, he was replaced on the team's top unit and moved to the fourth line.

But Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe feels the criticism of the forward has been unfair. He deflected several questions about the Rtichie's benching before redirecting the blame at two of his core-four forwards.

"You should be asking as many questions about [Auston] Matthews and [Mitch] Marner as you are Ritch," Keefe said.

And he has a point.

Marner has no goals and one assist this season. If you go back to the previous campaign and include the playoffs, he has gone 13 games without lighting the lamp.

Matthews played his second game after recovering from offseason wrist surgery. Although he looked great in his season debut in a 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Monday, he didn't find the back of the net. Instead of building off that performance, he and the rest of his linemates were flat.

continued

Below are the game highlights.

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Video- Jani Hakanpaa Gets Five And A Game For Kneeing Drew Doughty

 

added 10:20pm, longer video is below...

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The Unveiling Of Climate Pledge Arena In Seattle

from Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times,

It’s finally here.

After years of political tension and city-wide debates, after exploding budgets and construction delays, after a pandemic that did whatever it could to halt the opening — Climate Pledge Arena is ready.

No doubt that the birth of the NHL’s Kraken has energized and galvanized a sports-obsessed city that finally has a pro team to cheer for in the winter. But you have to think this town is equally stoked about the arrival of a state-of-the-art arena.

After all, many probably felt like this day would never come. They saw Chris Hansen’s Sodo project repeatedly torpedoed and figured a shiny new building was nothing more than a pipe dream.

But with the renovation of the old KeyArena, customers can expect an experience commensurate with a world-class venue. At least that’s what Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke is selling.

“This building is going to change the industry,” Leiweke said. “This could be one of the top two or three buildings in the world.”

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  Tags: seattle+kraken

Wearing The ‘C’ In Toronto

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

It should be more obvious than it is, shouldn’t it?

The leader of the Edmonton Oilers is Connor McDavid. Blake Wheeler is the man in Winnipeg. Alex Ovechkin has been in charge in Washington for years. Ditto for Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh and Jonathan Toews in Chicago.

Patrice Bergeron succeeded Zdeno Chara in Boston. In Vegas, it’s Mark Stone. Even in Seattle, with the expansion Kraken, Mark Giordano is clearly the leader.

In Toronto, meanwhile, the leader is … who?

Officially, it’s John Tavares, the man with the C above his heart.

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The San Jose Sharks Win Again

from Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,

It perhaps says something about the Sharks and where they’re at right now as a team when they can play a decidedly less than perfect game and still come out with a victory.

That was the case Thursday as they gave up 24 shots in the final two periods and managed just one goal at even strength and still managed a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Kevin Labanc’s second-period power-play goal proved to be the difference as the Sharks improved to 3-0-0, their fastest start to a season since 2015-16 when they won their first four games.

continued

Below, watch the game highlights.

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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