Kukla's Korner Hockey
• 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…
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
“We’re not happy about losing three in a row,” said netminder Mathieu Garon. “But we’re not at a panic point right now.”
Sam Gagner agrees.
“We can’t be too negative,” he said. “We can’t worry about it too much, but at the time we need to learn from the mistakes we made in the last few games.
“The energy in here seems to be positive, guys are upbeat, guys are working hard in practice. That’s what we need to go forward. I don’t think any negativity or guys feeling bad for themselves is going to help us.”
from Gary Loewen of Sun Media,
Empty-net goals are for wimps - at least they are when they come in the waning seconds with the outcome of the game no longer in doubt….
The goal against isn’t charged to the goalie, it’s charged against the team. So why credit goals and assists for scoring into open nets? Simply award a team goal.
On the other hand, the NHL could use a fresh gimmick now that we’ve all become accustomed to the shootout. To challenge the shooter, put a cardboard cutout into the net after the real goalie vacates.
Or hang a cow bell from the crossbar. Ring it off the bell and collect a goal!
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Andy Moog was back on the ice again Sunday – and that could be a good sign for the Stars’ goaltending situation….
“He looks at it through a goaltender’s perspective,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “He knows the movements, he knows the idiosyncrasies of the goaltender’s position. He’s lived them, he’s studied them, he knows them.”
Moog worked before practice with Turco.
“I think we need to get back to the hard work part of the goalie business,” Moog said.
from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,
Q: We’re one month into the season and you’ve already reached your career high in goals. Did you find your scoring touch in the offseason?
Parros: I don’t know. I’ve been able to get some good shots on net. Some years they go in for you, some years they don’t. I usually don’t get too many shots, but I’ve gotten myself into some good position. I don’t think there’s any way to explain it. They’ve just gone in. Thank God for that and I hope they keep coming.
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that center Brandon Sutter suffered a concussion in the Hurricanes’ game on Saturday at the New York Islanders. Sutter, 19, has been discharged from a Long Island hospital and will return to Raleigh where he will be further reviewed by the Hurricanes’ medical staff later this week.
Rutherford also announced that Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen suffered a torn meniscus during Saturday’s game. Dr. Marty Isbell will perform surgery this week at Rex Hospital in Raleigh to repair Pitkanen’s knee. Pitkanen, 25, is expected to miss three to four weeks of action.
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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