Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
“We want to be very aggressive,” Tippett said. “The times we’ve had success as a team is when we’re pushing and moving. The times we don’t have success is when we’re chasing the game.”
The problem with the philosophy is that being aggressive can lead to a team chasing the game. There’s a reason NHL coaches choose to be conservative – because it works. If you chip and chase, set up a wall in the neutral zone and simply look for a mistake from the opposition, you can get on the counter-attack. Many scoring chances in the NHL come when conservative teams force turnovers by aggressive teams….
“We can’t just abandon defense, but we have to be able to sustain an aggressive attack for 60 minutes. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to do this and make any kind of run at the playoffs,” winger Steve Ott said.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
This is not a slump, folks. Not a bad stretch. It’s a collapse, pure and simple. A team-wide, catastrophic reversal of play over a stretch which encompasses more than a third of the season and which cannot be explained away by the loss of Robert Lang on Feb. 1….
But the really critical problem is with Carey Price. Price is flopping around like a seal that is a couple of flippers short of making the circus. Price was weak on the second and fourth goals against Ottawa Thursday, but his reaction on the second goal the Rangers scored Tuesday was downright frightening.
He threw both hands to his head, covering up like a guy who has just learned that he’s under a falling piano.
Like all sports, hockey is a game of confidence, and Price’s confidence is somewhere down around his ankles.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
“Going into the game, we knew we were going to be seeing a lot of him (Chara), our line was,” Parise said. “A few times, we were able to get in there, but I think we’ve got to do a better job against him. We have played well against him before in the last couple of games, but tonight we couldn’t get much going.”
Devils coach Brent Sutter said it’s up to Parise to fight through that sort of thing and not his teammates to protect him.
“Every time someone gets touched, it’s a big deal because someone gets touched,” Sutter said. “Your best players have to play through some things too. This time of the season and come playoffs, you’re going to have to take punches to the head for the benefit of the team. Did he intimidate us? He certainly didn’t intimidate us out there. He’s a competitor and Zach has to learn to play through stuff too. That’s part of being a good player. You’ve got to play through some things maybe you don’t like. You have to fight through it. I’m not saying he doesn’t. I’m just saying that every time someone gets hit in a game doesn’t mean you have to respond or a positive or negative way either. We know how to handle that. It’s not like we don’t know how to handle these things.”
“I think first and foremost, I want to win the Cup and whichever team is going to give me the best chance to do that is the team I want to be with,. I love Vancouver, it’s a great city with great fans. So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time there. Obviously, this year and next year are going to be a key role in my decision.”
-Roberto Luongo on ‘After Hours’ on HNIC last night. More from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Patrick Roy begat Martin Brodeur who begat Roberto Luongo. All goalies from Quebec, all the best at their trade. But who is going to take the torch from them?
Who is the next great one? Is there anybody out there who could win 500 games? Even Luongo, as good as he is, only had 224 going into Saturday’s play.
Have we run the course with goalies from Quebec? Is it going to be a European? Like Finn Pekka Rinne? Or maybe an unassuming kid from Ontario, Steve Mason, who wasn’t even the best goalie on his junior team when drafted?
continued and more hockey discussion…
from Steven Stamkos at the Tampa Tribune,
I can just tell, myself, coming to the rink everyday now, I feel more confident, whether it’s in practice or in a game. You have that quiet self-confidence or the swagger that all good players need to be successful and you realize that I have that ability to go out there and be a guy who can make in impact on this game. To have some other players from other teams come and say that to me helps with that part of the game.
Curtis Joseph came over and talked to me after Tuesday’s game against Toronto, which I thought was pretty cool because I idolized him growing up in Toronto….
The last time we played New Jersey, Brendan Shanahan stopped me after the game in the hall and kind of said some of the same things about watching me progress as a player. It’s pretty special that players who are potentially hall of famers, including Gary Roberts, for them to take time to stop and talk to a young guy like me and say those nice things is special.
Scott Morrison did a great interview with Pat Burns that aired last night in the ‘Inside Hockey’ portion of HNIC.
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
The Red Wings’ success with Lidstrom is one of the best runs in league history.
If you do a quickie study of the won-lost record of NHL teams with individual players — estimating won-lost record using individual games played and leveling all seasons to 82 games — Lidstrom ranks third all-time in team wins over losses. In fact, the Red Wings have won approximately 402 more games than they’ve lost since Lidstrom joined the club.
That puts Lidstrom in the midst of 11 former Montreal Canadiens in the top 13 all-time in this statistic. First is Larry Robinson followed by Henri Richard. Then comes Lidstrom followed by Bob Gainey, Serge Savard, Yvon Cournoyer and Jacques Lemaire.
from Doug Fischer of the Ottawa Citizen,
By the time he arrived in New York last fall, however, Redden was only a shadow of that player. Everyone has a theory about why. The most popular suggests he’s never trained hard enough, relying instead on skills that eroded rapidly with age.
Whatever the reason, New Yorkers weren’t interested in anything except results. There is nothing they love more than a sports hero except, perhaps, the chance to excoriate a well-paid sports hero who is underachieving.
And that was Redden, whose Rangers play the Senators in New York tonight….
So when the team began to sputter in late November and New Yorkers went looking for a target, Redden was an easy bull’s-eye.
Led by (Larry) Brooks, said to be the most-read hockey writer in New York, the media began almost to delight in cataloguing his errors. By Feb. 15, and without a goal in 57 games, Redden was being referred to on radio and in print as GSF—Glen Sather’s Folly, Brooks’ shot at the general manager who signed him.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
These are the ones that get you in the end, the outcomes that keep you up at night and keep you from climbing the conference ladder.
On a night when you expected the Vancouver Canucks to grab the toothless Phoenix Coyotes by the neck, toss them to the ice and stomp the also-rans into submission, they come up with a clunker against the playoff pretenders, who had won just one of their last seven games.
A 5-1 loss on Saturday to end a four-game win streak isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a concerning look into the Canucks’ window of opportunity missed.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Canucks winger Alex Burrows, who foiled Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout bid by banging home a rebound with 1:45 remaining. “Too many penalties and we couldn’t get any momentum going. We say all the right things before the game, but we can’t sit back and see what’s going to happen.”
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.
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