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Category: NHL-Teams

Mike Fisher- One Of The Top Second Line Centers

from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

The average second-line centre in the NHL had the following statistical line from 2009-10:

18 goals, 30 assists, 48 points

My guess is that most people would predict those numbers would have been a bit higher. But try to remember, this isn’t 1994 anymore.

Mike Fisher’s season total of 25-28-53 put him well ahead of the average second-line centre in goals. Fisher’s five-year average since the lockout has seen him produce an average of 21 goals and 45 points. (Numbers that would be higher if you removed his atypical 2008-09 season when he was an underachiever and suffered through an off-year. It’s safe to call him a fairly consistent 20-25 goal scorer in the NHL.)

Fisher’s offensive production put him alongside some of the best second-line centres in the NHL last season. He fits right in with the following list of players whom I feel are the best second-line centres in the game. (This includes players like Patrick Sharp and Daniel Briere, who often switch between centre and wing, but for the purposes of this piece, I considered them centres).

Ryan Kesler: 25 goals, 75 points ($5 million cap hit)


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+fisher

Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

The Best Players

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

When it comes to the best player in the league, it is a two-horse race.

Here is my top 30 for the coming season and the ranking is based on how they have played thus far in their careers as well as how they are projected to play this season:

1. Sidney Crosby: It’s all about winning and Sid the Kid has a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medal.

2. Alex Ovechkin: The most dynamic player in the world needs to find a way to lead his Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship.

3. Jonathan Toews: The Hawks’ young captain demonstrated last season at the Olympics and NHL playoffs why he is looked upon as one of the best young players and leaders in the game.

4. Evgeni Malkin: Look for big things from this powerful centre who played most of last season with a bum shoulder.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Still A Force In The West

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

It’s far too early in NHL training camp to get into the silliness of predictions and who will finish where, but I suspect the Detroit Red Wings are going to be a much better team this season than last.

Could they return to their halcyon days at the Best in the West? Perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me, even though there are bound to be many who think the aged Wings are more likely to be on the slide than the rise. 

Defending Cup champion Chicago is still a force in spite of the players it lost. The Hawks’ core is still very much in place. Vancouver should be better and many will see them as a legit contender this season. San Jose will still be a handful. But if the Wings can maintain some semblance of good health, they could be back in a big way.

One has to imagine that Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will revert to form after off-years, where Zetterberg and Datsyuk had only 70 points apiece.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Brendan Morrison Has To Prove His Worth Again

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

It’s not what he wanted and, for the longest time, he vowed he wouldn’t attend an NHL camp without an NHL deal. But, as a former linemate of Morrison’s was fond of saying, It is what it is, which is why the kid from Pitt Meadows, who’s now the 35-year-old man from Pitt Meadows, is grateful for this opportunity.

Sort of.

“I don’t know if disrespected is the right word but you feel slighted a bit,” Morrison said before Tuesday night’s preseason encounter with the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena. A time zone away, another version of the Canucks were facing another version of the Flames proving, in addition to being inherently evil, the NHL exhibition season alters the time-space continuum.

Where were we? Ah yes, Mr. Morrison.

“You think you’ve proven yourself. I understand this business is What have you done for me lately? but I thought I had a good year [42 points in 74 games with the Washington Capitals last season].


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+morrison

Islanders Staying Right Where They Are For The Next Five Years

from Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post,

Charles Wang has always been a man with a plan. It just happens that since he bought the Islanders 10 years ago, that plan has hardly gotten off the ground.

So after years of contemplating moving the franchise because a construction project for a new stadium complex has not been approved, Wang said yesterday the Islanders would stay put for the time being.

“We’re going to be here until 2015,” Wang said at the team’s media day. “We’re going to pursue every option, but we’re here. 2015 is the date when our lease is up.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Why Not Play The Trap Brian Burke?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

“It’s not entertaining,” harumphed Burke, a trap hater.

“You can dumb this game down and make it successful. We could have five guys stand in front of our net. But we’re in the entertainment business. I believe that our goals against can come down with improved goaltending and better defensive play.

“And yes, I care deeply about our (Leafs) history. But those two, Burns and Neilson, were defensive-oriented coaches. Both of those guys, I admire. Both guys I have or have had good relationships with. It’s just not my cup of tea (trapping).

“First and foremost, I’m in the entertainment business. I make no bones about that.

“We do not trap. We hit in all three zones. We trade chances. We fight. I like the style Ron plays.

“I need people to feel that the team is a good investment on nights we win and on nights we don’t.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Give The Leafs Some Time

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

Though the Maple Leafs left an ugly first impression on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre, I might give it until after tonight’s second exhibition tilt — or maybe even Thursday’s match-up with Philadelphia in London — before writing off the entire season. An e-mail arrived late last night from a distraught Leaf zealot wondering how much time Ron Wilson has to “turn this thing around.” Another message bemoaned a “typical Kaberle effort… how [Brian] Burke saw fit to keep this guy is beyond me.”

Such knee-jerk reactions, of course, are commonplace in this apprehensive hockey market, and the Nervous Nellies had plenty of ammunition after the 5-0 stinker against Ottawa.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stajan Out With Shoulder Injury

from Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

But the Flames lost centre Matt Stajan for an undetermined period of time with a shoulder injury.

“He hurt his shoulder,” said assistant general manager Jay Feaster. “He was examined here tonight. Obviously couldn’t come back. But we won’t know exactly the extent of it until he sees the doctors back in Calgary.”

Stajan suffered the injury near the Calgary bench in the first period when he was reaching for the puck.

“He’s going to miss some time,” Feaster said. “But we’ll wait until we see the doctors.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+stajan

Koivu Feeling Comfortable In Southern California

from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,

One aspect of life that was completely different for Koivu last year was the anonymity he enjoyed in Orange County. Suffice to say, it was a 180-degree change from Montreal, where he was the team captain the previous 10 years and was recognized and hounded everywhere he went.

“It was a really refreshing feeling last year,” Koivu said. “Montreal is a special place, but you can’t go anywhere, can’t hide from hockey or the fans. Last year, it felt good going with the wife and kids to the beach or to a restaurant and just being a regular guy, nobody knowing who you are and what you do.”

Not having the responsibilities of team captain also was different last year, a welcome respite for Koivu in the midst of so much change. But that also could be temporary.

With the retirement of captain Scott Niedermayer, Koivu is an obvious candidate to wear the “C” in Anaheim this season, as are Finnish countryman Teemu Selanne and emerging superstar Ryan Getzlaf. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says he will make that call, with input from his coaching staff and General Manager Bob Murray.

Carlyle said Monday he has written down some names of potential captains but wants to make sure his choice is committed to the responsibilities of the position.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

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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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