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Category: NHL-Teams

Surprises So Far

from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,

We’re two-plus weeks into the new NHL season and, not surprisingly, there have been plenty of early surprises. Here are five of the most eye-opening.


Letestu? Bickell?? Taormina??? Names like Hall and Seguin were good bets to sit securely in the top 10 of freshman point producers, but Taylor’s still searching for his first goal to go along with his single assist, while Tyler has managed only a goal and two helpers. Meanwhile, the No. 1 spot in both goals (four) and points (seven) belongs to Pittsburgh center Mark Letestu, a 25-year-old undrafted late-bloomer who the Pens inked to a free agent deal in 2007. Hawks left winger Bryan Bickell, who never showed much scoring punch in four American League seasons, and New Jersey D-man Matt Taormina, another undrafted NCAA alum, are similarly head-scratchers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Habs-Sens redux, Saturday notes

Tonight, the Canadiens take on the Senators in Ottawa, perhaps still recovering from their 3-0 loss at the hands of New Jersey on Thursday. The Canadiens looked terrible against the Devils, going long stretches without a shot as New Jersey invoked pre-lockout hockey to shut down any offence the Habs could muster. Sure, the Devils were helped by the inane refereeing of Stéphane Auger, but the Canadiens themselves were to fault on Thursday as they failed to put forth the effort needed to beat Martin Brodeur.

As an aside, Brodeur did make some fantastic saves, but so did Carey Price. With an average goaltender, the Habs may have lost 6-0. It was that one sided at times.

So, while the Habs prepare for the Sens, a few questions linger from Thursday:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov, kevin+bieksa, power+play, yanick+weber

Mind Coach

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

One of the main selling points for rookie Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher is his master degree in sports psychology – the 39-year-old also studied biosystems engineering and history at McGill University.

John Brophy, he ain’t.

Boucher likes to say that he coaches 23 individuals, not a team – he researches his players in minute detail and tailors his approach to their profiles.

“Everything he says, he’s thought about,” Lightning centre Steven Stamkos said.

Unlike many old-school coaches, Boucher is big on individual meetings, and renovated the Lightning locker room to make it all but impossible for players to enter and leave without passing by his office.

Tampa’s players have clearly bought in to Boucher’s novel ways. Veteran forward Simon Gagné went so far last week as to suggest his innovations and high-voltage intensity could launch a revolution in NHL coaching.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blue Jackets Lose Ugly Again

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

Final score: Flames 6, Jackets 2. And the four-goal margin doesn’t do justice to the domination.

“We got it handed to us,” Arniel said. “That was as big a meat and potatoes game as you could see from another hockey team. Calgary came out and it was real simple, get pucks in and go bang as much as they could.

“Some of our guys took a step back. We had guys who competed, but we had other guys who, I don’t know if they really wanted a part of that.”

It’s the second time in a week—and second time at home—the Jackets were hammered on home ice.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be all roses here early on,” Arniel said. “Of the six games, two of them have been ugly. I mean, rock bottom ugly.”


Also in the game last night, Rick Nash took a two-minute highsticking penalty and a few reports state the league will take a look at it.  I tried to find video, but have been unsuccessful.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

When ‘Toe’ Attacks

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

The Canadiens fell behind early, and Cournoyer sat on the bench ... and sat ... and sat. The Forum crowd was unhappy and eventually voiced its displeasure with a chant of “On veut Cournoyer” over and over again.

Eventually, Blake sent Cournoyer onto the ice, and Eric Nesterenko -who Cournoyer was supposed to be checking -quickly scored.

You could see the smoke coming out of Blake’s ears. At the end of the period, Blake walked up to the standing room area and headed directly to a fan whose voice calling for the coach to put Cournoyer on the ice had been heard above all others. Blake wrapped his ham-sized hands around the fan’s throat and started squeezing. It required the combined strength of several Forum ushers to separate the fuming Blake from the fan.

Blake, as it turned out, wasn’t disciplined by the league.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jeer The Cheerleaders?

from Jana G. Pruden of the Edmonton Journal,

For hockey fans, it’s either the “the most hideous idea that has come to hockey yet” or a reason to “praise the hockey gods.”

News of an Edmonton Oilers cheerleading team has generated debate around the province, with fans weighing in on whether the team will be a welcome addition to games or an annoying distraction to the action on the ice.

An online petition and Facebook page have been created in opposition to the cheerleading team, which was announced Thursday by the Oilers. The team will perform around Rexall Place before games and during breaks in game play, as well as make community appearances.

Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge has said the team will be a source of entertainment for all fans, and will add “a little extra spice and sparkle” to games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Danica Patrick Drops The Puck In St. Louis

Plus Danica with a between the period interview.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: danica+patrick

Devils Back To Grinding

from Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal,

For now, however, it looks like the team has refocused its energy on being the same old Devils. The high-flying line of Mr. Kovalchuk, Mr. Zajac and Mr. Parise has been split up. In a 3-0 win against the Canadiens on Thursday night, the Devils looked like the Devils of old, relying heavily on defense. They took only 20 shots and coach John MacLean praised the team’s stick placement and puck management—buzz phrases that may have been borrowed from the glory days of neutral-zone traps.

“The first seven minutes of the season, we all thought ‘Geez, this is going to be quite a season,’” Mr. Zajac said with a laugh. “After that, we didn’t get away from that [offense], but we just haven’t found a solution for not scoring.”

Mr. Zajac said that some emphasis has been put on speeding up the game, but that the system hasn’t changed dramatically despite the personnel moves that seemed to ensure offense.

“We’d like to win where we make fancy plays, score a lot of goals, make nice moves and make it interesting,” forward Patrik Elias said. “But sometimes you’ve got to keep it simple and grind it out.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

“My opinion is that everyone has made a big issue out of this and I think there’s other things that are going on in our game that are much more severe, whether it’s headshots—and I keep going back to that—and the lack of action on that. It’s something we’ve seen the NFL start to do and hopefully our league follows suit. The game’s faster, guys are bigger, it would be nice to see if they protected the players a little more.”

-LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell on the Rick Rypien suspension.  More from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Tough Guy

from Shi Davidi of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

One way or another, the late Bob Probert figured his four children were going to come across the details of his often troubled, sometimes sordid, life….

The brutally frank memoir vividly catalogues his highs and lows, from snorting cocaine he initially dumped into a toilet amid his 1989 arrest for smuggling drugs across the Detroit-Windsor border, to ordering pizzas and cavorting with nurses and other patients during his many trips to rehabilitation centres.

Perhaps the most intimidating enforcer in NHL history, Probert also offers plenty of stories about his on-ice pugilism, using an expletive to describe high-profile rival Tie Domi, while praising Marty McSorley, Stu Grimson and Troy Crowder among others, as honourable fighters.

He also describes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as “an *#$%@&, a frikkin’ *#$%@&” who has “ruined the game of hockey,” and is “supposed to speak for the good of the league, but in my opinion, he’s strictly behind the owners.” Probert adds how he fooled league-mandated drug testing by providing inspectors with clean urine samples he’d warmed in the microwave.

read on

Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge is available at Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+probert

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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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