Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News,
Try wrapping your brain around some of these absurdities:
• The Toronto Maple Leafs are a firing squad. Overall, the Leafs are averaging 34.1 shots per game, third-best in the league. But in its past five games, Toronto is putting an average of 40 pucks on goal, including a 48-shot effort Tuesday night against New Jersey.
There may be a dearth of talent among the Leafs forward group (hence the low goal total despite all the shots), but to borrow and alter the meaning of a phrase from Jay-Z, you can’t knock the hustle.
read on for more unexpected weirdness this NHL season
Watch out for S.J. Sharkie!
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Developing team chemistry always has been a priority for Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough, and his summer additions have fit in perfectly.
Minnesota’s two most important signings were left wing Andrew Brunette and right wing Antti Miettinen. They’ve been placed on a line with center Mikko Koivu, and voila! Instant chemistry.
Most guys don’t want to fight every night so they won’t take those cheap shots. It’s really like a big playground in middle school. Once you let the bully whose playing pick on one kid, he’s going to run around and keep picking on other kids until somebody stands up to him. Well, at our playground at the United Center, we don’t let bullies play very long….
-Adam Burish of the Chicago Blackhawks in his blog at the Chicago Sun-Times, where you can read more...
from Mike Hume of the Falls Church News-Press,
Theodore’s recent track record is nowhere near as consistent as Ovechkin’s, but he is through the hard part of the acclimation process now and the Caps are still leading the Southeast Division. From here on out, he’ll continue to build a rapport with the Caps defensemen when he plays pucks in his own zone. He’ll start to put the nerves behind him and start to eliminate those soft goals. And he’ll benefit from an improved defensive corps.
from Ben Wright Of Blueland Blog,
Here is your update on Zach Bogosian:
“Defenseman Zach Bogosian suffered a fractured fibula during the first period of Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia and will be sidelined indefinitely.”
I talked to Don Waddell and he said it isn’t a displaced fracture, which would be more severe. He should be able to make a full recovery and the goal is to get him healed, rehabbed, and back in the lineup.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Zherdev is older now than Kovalev was then. Wiser, too, one hopes, after four seasons of futility in Columbus. His plus/minus is a league- best +9, which says a little about his attention to detail in his own zone.
There’s another plus: He’s got teammates now who prefer to lead by example. Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan, who made his departure official Wednesday, were too far beyond their prime to be that kind of leader. Shanahan always knew the right thing to say, and Jagr played class clown well to Shanahan’s class president, but neither had the skills left to be the good example for a player like Zherdev.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
So, the wise-guy reporter suggested, perhaps Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf should have visited a dentist sooner.
“Seriously, eh?” Getzlaf responded after matching club single-game records for assists and points with five helpers in Wednesday night’s 5-4, overtime victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center.
In four games since he underwent unplanned dental treatment Oct. 21 in Toronto, Getzlaf has put up 10 points, including three goals. In six games before having a virus removed from his gum and missing a 3-2, shootout triumph over the Maple Leafs later that night,
continue for more on the Wings/Ducks game..
I know most KK readers know their hockey, but on occasion new hockey fans do read KK and this is for you.
A nice primer on how to prepare and watch a hockey game and it is Blackhawks specific, but you will get the idea.
from Eric Gwinn of the Chicago Tribune,
What just happened?
Every now and then, the crowd boos or cheers, or an official’s whistle stops everything.
“So much happens away from the puck,” Hurley said. “Football is the best sport to watch on TV, but hockey is the best sport to watch in person; you see the whole ice, who’s doing what to whom.”
Where to sit
The higher you sit at a hockey game, the more you can see. Sitting with the goal directly in front of you lets you see how hard players have to work to shoot at the goal.
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
The problem remains, though, that the easy answer isn’t the answer that is easy to sell at the pro level, meaning not everyone is convinced that an automatic penalty for a hit to the head, regardless of the intent, as they do in Ontario junior hockey, is the way to go.
Fact is, a year ago, the NHL’s general managers decided it wasn’t the way to go. When they debated the situation last winter, when there were several more injuries, all agreed they didn’t like to see players getting hurt, but that hockey is also a physical game.
The question was asked, because the league has taken away low hits. If it eliminated hits to the upper body, what would be left?
So, it was decided that as long as the hits to the head are accidental and not a head hunt, then it’s part of the game and players best keep their’s up.
added 8:50am, from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
In simpler times, Darryl (Sutter), 50, figures Weight would have held up for fear of the inevitable retribution coming his way.
Maybe not on the same shift. Maybe not in the same period. But, at some point, retribution would arrive.
“The game has changed a little bit,” he said. “That’s a legal hit. The player had his head down and he got hit. But would it have happened when we were all playing? Probably not.
“Because that player knew if he was going to do that, it was going to be a long night for him. That’s the difference.”
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