Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We watched with interest during “Hockey Night in Canada’s” weekly Hotstove segment Saturday—and not just because our pal Pierre LeBrun was in his usual seat on the panel.
Veteran hockey writer Al Strachan reported that sources told him that during the Lightning’s season-opening weekend in Europe, co-owner and former NHLer Barrie was in the dressing room diagramming power-play and penalty-killing strategies. Strachan suggested the Bolts were “imploding” and that “the league over/under” on Melrose was mid-November.
On Sunday, Lightning co-owner Oren Koules, who was in Europe for those two opening games (both losses) versus the New York Rangers, told ESPN.com that the report was “a blatant lie. It never happened.”
continued with more hockey notes…
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Through the first 119 games played this season, an average of 1.47 fighting majors have been called per game. That’s up from just over one fighting major per game at the same point last season.
So is the NHL concerned? Nope.
“We haven’t really discussed fighting internally for quite some time,” said NHL vice-president Mike Murphy. “When we do talk about it we generally talk about the magnitude of today’s fighters; the size of them and how much power they have. We don’t really worry about the knockout punch; more about the fact a player could hit his head on the ice if he gets punched hard.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils coach Brent Sutter said his son, Brandon, is “improving” after the Carolina Hurricanes rookie center suffered a concussion and lost consciousness on a hit by the Islanders on Saturday night….
Brandon Sutter spent Sunday night at his father’s condo in New Jersey after being released from North Shore Hospital on Long Island earlier in the day. Brent Sutter said he spent Saturday night at the hospital with Brandon, who was held overnight in intensive care.
“They monitored him very closely,” Brent Sutter said.
Sutter said his son did not recognize him at first.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
...Meanwhile, Scott Gomez continues to fly, Lundqvist wins every Shootout and Fred Sjostrom keeps popping in Shootout goals. You have to wonder how the Rangers can possibly lose tonight.
I’ll tell you how: 1. Get cocky and believe the game is in the bag before it IS in the satchel 2; Find a hot goalie between the Islanders pipes; 3. Play less inspired than the undermanned home club.
more on the Rangers…
NEW YORK (October 27, 2008) – Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj and Detroit Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending October 26.
• The Detroit Red Wings have scored 30 goals this season, 27 have come from European players.
• Players have seemed to get the message this season, a lot less hitting from behind and driving the player into the boards.
• Do you like the boarderline hooking calls this season? In my mind, they are being made to get more offense into the game, but some calls need to be overlooked. The call that gets me is the one handed stick on the gloves penalty, players should be able to fight through that.
• The ‘no commercial’ after an icing is good for the game. But I am not sure if it has turned into more goals scored because of it.
• Is there any team(s) out of the playoff race yet?
• Who is your early candidate for MVP?
• Isn’t it about time Gary Bettman had some hockey bloggers on the NHL Hour?
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer last season, has returned to Moscow to be with his ailing grandfather and will miss the Washington Capitals game Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
from the Florida Panthers (reader submitted questions),
Beside yourself, who are some of the toughest fighters in the league?
Belak: “Probably (Derek) Boogaard, (Georges) Laraque, and (Donald) Brashear. Top three.”
Since you fight on skates, does it really help hockey players to take boxing lessons?
Belak: “I think so. It teaches you to take a punch and protect yourself. For balance you have to turn your skates sideways. You don’t want to come in straight on because they’ll easily knock you off balance…In the past guys would go in toe to toe, blow for blow. But guys are bigger and stronger.
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
The improved Leafs.
Well, actually, they’re not. Paul Maurice had the team 4-2-2 out of the gate last season, good enough for 10 points.
...Against a slumping Ottawa team on Saturday, the Leafs were first to the puck all night and outskated a Senators team that used to outskate the Leafs with ease.
But was that more of a measure of the Sens or the Leafs?
The Boston victory was impressive because it was a comeback win, and in three games last week, the Leafs allowed just six goals, certainly evidence of enhanced defensive play.
But two games in an 82-game slate don’t prove much, and Wilson’s dilemma, just as it was for Pat Quinn and Paul Maurice and those that came before, is that the city is as easily satisfied as the players.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
A popular question for hockey fans in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was who was a better player: Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux?
There were viable arguments to either side of that debate. Gretzky had all the records. Lemieux had lesser teammates to work with. Etc.
Either way, it was a simple argument that only had two choices.
Things are a little bit more complex in this day and age. There are three potential choices to that argument.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Alex Ovechkin.
continued with a statistical argument…
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.
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