Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Here’s a look at some of the most interesting numbers from the first half of this season’s 1,230-game schedule:
0—Shorthanded goals by the Edmonton Oilers, the only team in the League that hasn’t scored while playing a man down. All 30 teams were scored on at least once while on the power play.
1—Games won by the Toronto Maple Leafs when the score was tied at the end of regulation. The Leafs were 1-9 in games decided after 60 minutes—including an 0-7 mark when the game was decided during the five-minute overtime period.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Theoretically, Kovalchuk could have an 11th-hour change of heart and sign with Atlanta before negotiations get past the point of no return, but if he doesn’t – and if the talks grind to a full stop – then the onus will be on general manager Don Waddell to maximize his return in a possible deal, in order to protect an organization that seems to be heading in the right direction.
So much of what the Thrashers have done in the past couple of years were steps taken to lure Kovalchuk into staying – making him captain, signing a couple of fellow Russians (Max Afinogenov, Nikolai Antropov) to play alongside him.
The fear in Atlanta is that Waddell will need to do with Kovalchuk what he did two years ago with Hossa, another player that Atlanta was obliged to deal at the deadline, once it became clear that he wasn’t going to sign an extension either.
more plus additional hockey talk…
Now you can watch it.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
This is what it takes to win championships: an indomitable will and a refusal to give in when adversity strikes again and again and again.
Someday, if the Kings are lucky, they will win as many Stanley Cup titles as the Red Wings have captured.
Until then, they can look at Detroit’s 2-1 triumph Thursday and marvel at how thin the difference can be between victory and defeat and how close they came to bridging that gap.
continue for game breakdown…
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
It doesn’t seem fair that any player — let alone one the quality of Doan — would have to endure two Twilight Zone seasons in their career but, this year, the 33-year-old native of Halkirk, Alta., again finds himself in circumstances you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
This offseason, as you are doubtlessly aware, the Coyotes declared bankruptcy and became wards of the NHL when Jim Balsillie’s attempt to purchase the team was thwarted by the league. That meant they were staying in Phoenix for one more season. But it also meant they started training camp without a coach and, more to the point, without any semblance of hope.
But, for all that bad news, the good news is Doan again finds himself in the middle of a remarkable story. The Coyotes — the team no one wanted, literally — have rallied around coach Dave Tippett, a steely group of veterans and their own sense of desperation and, against all odds, sat in fourth place in the West before last night.
I mean, before this season, you’d have got better odds on Tiger Woods being named Husband of the Year than the ‘Yotes making the playoffs.
If you can’t take the
(sight, duh) of blood, don’t watch.
from Chris Kerber of HockeyChats,
This was just too good to be true. His timing could not have been better. I’m writing a piece about coaches and how they should deal with the media and Toronto’s Ron Wilson brought it all home nicely today. Angry with his teams listless performance in a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia, Wilson lit into some of his players at practice, all within earshot of the on looking media. When asked about calling out Phil Kessel, Wilson took it out on the Media by saying they should not be allowed to watch practices.
While Wilson might have been intentionally redirecting the focus onto the media instead of Kessel, which I would not put past him, it is still what he did and those type of attitudes that have to change in hockey. Frankly they need to change in all sports but we’ll focus on hockey here. every coach, young or old should take a page out of former Blues Head Coach Andy Murray’s book when it comes to dealing with the media. Frankly, it should be required reading.
So you’re a coach and don’t like dealing with the media? Too bad. It does not matter if coaches don’t like it. It’s here. It’s not going away. It’s time to adjust to it or get out of coaching. A good degree of media savvy is part of the job requirement these days and if you don’t like it, don’t take the job. If you still want the job, deal with it and treat people right.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
That’s the question buzzing in the mind of Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, who suddenly has an unforeseen goaltending dilemma placed on his lap.
Goaltender Ray Emery, who lost his starting job to abdominal surgery in early December, says he’s ready to play Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Flyers. Brian Boucher, who lost his starting job to a sliced ring finger, has been cleared to play for a week now, but hasn’t because of Michael Leighton’s strong play.
And Leighton, who was plucked off waivers for insurance purposes on Dec. 15, is 6-0-1 in eight straight starts.
Logic tells you Leighton must get the start on Saturday night. He’s certainly earned it. But can a goalie lose his starting job to injury? Apparently, Laviolette thinks so.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Barrie Stafford is currently in his 29th season with the Edmonton Oilers’ organization and in his 28th as the team’s head equipment manager. Since joining the Edmonton training staff in 1982-83, “Staff” has contributed greatly to the success of the Oilers as a member of five Stanley Cup championship teams….
the former Vice President of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers is the logical choice to ask about the arduous process of moving an NHL team from city to city during a season.
NHL.com: When the Flyers played Dec. 30 in New York and then had to get to Boston for practice the next day, the Rangers gave them a truck to make the trip. Meanwhile, the players, coaching staff and team executives took a train. There’re different travel arrangements sometimes for the equipment staff than there is for the team. The equipment managers don’t always leave with the team?
Stafford: Our training staff works independent of the team and pretty much all teams in the NHL work that way. It’s a little different in the East Coast than it is in our conference because there’s a difference between cities. But, generally speaking, the home team supplies the vehicle that we use to go wherever we might need to go. The Toronto Maple Leafs came to Edmonton last week after playing the other day in Pittsburgh. Our truck driver, after their practice, packed up their gear and took them to Calgary….
“We had — particularly, our line — had five times when three guys were laying in the crease, and we couldn’t get the puck by everybody. Howard, he was playing good, no question about that, but there were just a couple lucky bounces here and there, and we could have won that game.”
-Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings and the play of Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard. More from Kopitar via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.
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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