Kukla's Korner Hockey
Now it’s one thing when a hit is dirty, but even when it’s clean, the result is often the same - a fight breaks out. And that could be a reason why fighting is up 25 percent over last season’s rate.
Sometimes it’s just plain obvious that a hit is dirty and sometimes it’s not. But if a hit in a game is within the rules and the referee doesn’t call a foul, why is it that players sometimes do?
“I think years ago the line was a lot clearer,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz told Vancouver’s Team 1040 on Wednesday. “You look at the old vintage games on the hockey channel and if you crossed the line, you knew you crossed the line. I think the line has moved more and more, there’s bigger hits, there’s guys wearing shields and helmets, and all that protective gear and people are coming at each other. I don’t think people in junior know where the line is, I don’t think people in the AHL know where the line is, and it’s starting to get gray in the NHL.”
from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,
Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality.
Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league.
This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either.
So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Left winger Simon Gagne yesterday pointed to a players-only meeting in October as a reason the Flyers turned around their season….
Gagne said that the meeting was “relaxed” and that players talked about taking responsibility for their specific positions.
“And from there, everybody has played better,” he said. “There was no panic. It might be better if [the losing streak] happened in the beginning of the season than the end of the season.”
Kimmo Timonen was extremely vocal at the meeting, and captain Mike Richards “kind of closed it,” Gagne said. “A couple of guys spoke up, and from there, things are going well. We didn’t have [another] meeting yet, so that’s a good sign.”
via NBCBayarea, Off the ice, Sharks forward Joe Thornton takes strategy to a whole new level with the computer version of the game Risk.
thanks to SanJoseSharks.com for the pointer…
from Aaron J. Lopez of the Rocky Mountain News,
Two guys hunched at the ready, sweat dripping, sticks drawn, eyes focused.
The puck drops, the hands move, the feet slide and the battle is won or lost in a split second.
Welcome to the faceoff, often taken for granted, but a subtle part of hockey that can go a long way during the course of 60 minutes.
“When you don’t have to chase the puck all the time, it’s a big thing,” Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere said. “It’s something that people don’t notice, but as players, we know how important it is.”
With an emphasis on speed and skill in the post-lockout NHL, “puck possession” has become the buzz phrase around the league during the past three seasons.
continued with some faceoff stats
from Dashiell Bennett of Deadspin,
...That three-day break was their only chance to get home before the holiday, and the team had arranged for a commerical flight to take the players back to Chicago right after their game against the Leafs on Saturday night. General Manager Dale Tallon was staying behind, to attend his father’s funeral in rural Ontario. Take it away, crazy anonymous emailer.
This plane departs on schedule, but without a single member of the hockey team. Back in the locker room a vote is taken after the game was complete, and a unanimous decision is made by this young team to skip this flight and stay one more day. They make arrangements to check back in the hotel and on a frozen Sunday morning charter two buses that have no heat and begin a journey two hours straight north into a sparsely inhabited Canada , but where hockey is its passion. They arrive at their destination to the surprise of the teams general manager who is there attending his fathers wake.
Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer and I did confirm with the Blackhawks the story is indeed true.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Several players took blows to the head in Wednesday’s game between the Blues and Anaheim Ducks, but none was more serious than the one on goalie Manny Legace….
On the play in which Legace was injured, George Parros buried a rebound for a 1-1 score, and skating by the front of the net, Carter lifted his knee into Legace’s head.
“I’m a little foggy,” Legace said. “All that I know is that the goal is in and he comes skating by and there’s nobody pushing him and there’s nobody on him. He could have avoided it. It’s something to look at.”
Blues coach Andy Murray said there should have been interference called on the play, but the officials told him they didn’t see the collision happen.
read on and watch the video of the goal/injury below…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“We had a players-only meeting on Monday in which we discussed the need for each individual to be prepared to play, because if we’re not prepared individually, we can’t succeed collectively,” Steve Valiquette told The Post following last night’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Thrashers on Scott Gomez ’ put-back at 0:18.
“We’ve had too many first periods in which we’ve had too many passengers who just haven’t been into it, and if there’s one passenger on the ice, then five players are messed up. We talked about how we needed to get back to basics, how each player had the responsibility to be prepared before coming to the rink.
“You can’t just show up and skate. Tiger Woods doesn’t just show up and hit off the first tee. He does put an immense amount to prepare himself before each round, and that’s the same mentality we have to have before each game,” said Valiquette. “We’d gotten away from what we’d been doing early in the year when we were winning so many games….”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Owner Len Barrie disputed former coach Barry Melrose’s assertion he was being told whom to play. He also called Melrose’s preparation before the season “total negligence.”
“I knew we were in trouble when we went to Prague,” Barrie said Wednesday of the season-opening trip with the Rangers, “and Barry wanted to play the (defensive) left wing lock.”
It was the latest salvo in the war of words between Melrose and the team. Barrie said he wants it to stop but added, “I wanted to respond for our organization and our guys.”
from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times,
A little advice for Barry Melrose.
Honestly, Barry. Give it a rest. At this point, the more you say, the worse you look.
We get it. You think you were hosed by the new Lightning owners. You were blown up after 16 games, and there were those in the front office who wanted you out by the time the team plane landed for the opener in Prague.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
• I know this topic comes up in every bar, coffee shop, and illegal massage parlor in the National Capital Region, but it needs to repeated…emphasized…SCREAMED! Alfredsson, Spezza, and Heatley have accounted for 53% of Ottawa’s goals this season. That’s the highest percentage for one team’s top three in the entire NHL. Secondary scoring is not a problem in Ottawa, it is THE problem. It has replaced goaltending as the team’s greatest crisis, and fatal flaw.
• You are the NHL guru of your office (or school), right? You know it all. You are the next Liam Maguire. Allrighty then, name the NHL team the following goalies play for (they’ve all appeared in games this 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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