Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
It must be nice to have the problem the Atlanta Thrashers are facing right now – too many NHL goaltenders. It’s a much better quandary than ‘failed power play’ or ‘no team chemistry.’
Nevertheless, the fact the Dirty Birds have two shutouts over NHL royalty (Detroit and Philadelphia) in their past three games with two different netminders posting the goose eggs is something that will need to be addressed once Kari Lehtonen returns from injury.
from Ray Ferraro of TSN,
Things have gone from bad to worse in Edmonton with the recent loss for the season of Ales Hemsky. Bright spots have been few and far between for the Oilers, who enter Monday’s action with just four wins in their last 18 games. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for their problems, starting with an incredible run of the flu that sapped the club as they were off to a good start and injuries to defencemen Sheldon Souray, Denis Grebeshkov, Steve Staios and lately goalie Nikolai Khabibulin among others.
However, the problems run much deeper in Edmonton.
The biggest red flag for the non-playoff team last year was a group of forwards that were pretty much all the same size and the same skill set.
NEW YORK (November 30, 2009) —Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Niklas Hagman have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 29.
vis Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
Stevens is a classy man who is one of the NHL’s most dedicated coaches, but if the Flyers (13-10-1) are around .500 a month from now, I don’t think he will still be here.
Asked to evaluate Stevens’ job this season, GM Paul Holmgren, who is a staunch supporter of his coach, didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement Sunday.
“We’re ninth in the conference and I’d like to be in a better position,” he said, “but the coaches are working hard.”
“But it goes back to what I was saying about the players. The results need to be more positive.”
If they’re not, if this team doesn’t show marked improvement in the next month, you’ll probably see a new man behind the bench.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Examine Saturday’s victory at Colorado, and it might be impossible to come up with another game in which the Wild has spent more time in the opponent’s zone. The Wild probably spent three-quarters of the game forechecking the rubber off the puck.
Now, it’s safe to say the Wild is starting to get it. There’s a reason why the team has earned points in 10 of the past 13 games (7-3-3) and in each of the past four (3-0-1).
As coach Todd Richards loves to say, the Wild’s level of “compete” these days is off the charts. It has a lot to do with General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s ability to add motivated newcomers, such as Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Guillaume Latendresse.
But it also has to do with a bunch of veterans setting the tone.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
The more players they lose through injury, the better Lou Lamoriello’s team plays.
Jimmy Devellano, the Red Wings executive vice-president, was on the phone.
“How do they ever do it?” asks Jimmy D.
What can I tell him after watching this over-achieving hockey club since opening night?
An easy answer comes by way of Hockey Night Live analyst Butch Goring.
“It’s the culture developed by Lou (Lamoriello) and his winning teams over the years,” says Butch.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Tortorella joined the Rangers preaching, “It’s not about defense, it’s not about the defensive zone,” before amending his mantra. The problem is, his team has apparently taken him at his original word, for the Blueshirts enter tonight’s match ranked 24th in the NHL in goals-against average.
The Rangers have no presence in front of their own net—how exactly do we know that Lundqvist isn’t feeling the effect of being smashed down repeatedly by marauding forwards?—and no clue in their own end, where they habitually chase both the puck and opponents….
It is time for Tortorella to take ownership of that. It is time for Tortorella to take ownership of the Rangers. If he does not, he will never need to worry about having to acknowledge a Garden crowd giving him a standing ovation.
Folks, once again it has to be pointed out that the salary cap prohibits struggling teams from making any significant early season roster changes like trades. Forget about the nonsense floating around the internet about “big moves….”
-Spector (Lyle Richardson) of Spector’s Hockey.
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey players don’t often experience the luxury of getting a do-over in the midst of a rigorous season.
But Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek will, and he has no plans to waste the opportunity.
The Leafs’ big catch on the free-agent market last summer after he was lured from the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens with a five-year, $22.5-million US contract, Komisarek wants to erase from his memory his first 16 games in a Leafs uniform. His next Toronto chapter will begin tonight, when he is slated to return to the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres after a small quadriceps tear kept him out nearly three weeks.
“It was good to take a step back and re-evaluate,” Komisarek said. “You can’t change what has happened. It’s a fresh start, a clean sheet, and forget about what has happened.
“It doesn’t matter what it was. I don’t know—trying to make an impact, trying to make your presence felt, trying to do too much. I would not say it was one exact thing. I have to simplify my game and, most importantly, try to have some fun.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),
Ken Holland, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL’s most consistently successful team over the past 12 years, says you could argue a culture change that began in the early 1980s when Jim Devellano took over as GM and continued through a couple of regimes until Holland took over in 1997, took as long as 15 years.
“If you’re looking at the change to an elite team, it was probably 10 years,” Holland said. “But if you’re talking about going from what was the worst team in the world, as it was in 1985, to a playoff team, then you could say five years.”
In the case of the Red Wings, Holland said, there were three distinct stages to the change.
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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.
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