Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I don’t care if you’re the Red Wings, I don’t care if you’re San Jose, there’s question marks. Until you answer, there’s question marks on every team because there hasn’t been a game played this year. How are certain guys going to play? Are they going to play at the level they played at last year? Is Nick Lidstrom as good as he’s always been, which we expect him to be, but there’s always question marks. But you just don’t know. How healthy is your team going to stay? We just need to get answers.”
-Blues Coach Andy Murray. More on the Blues/Wings from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Q: Have you settled into a comfort zone as a NHL head coach?
A: What’s a comfort zone? How do you describe it? My comfort zone is the program that we provide. I’m never going to change the fact that it’s our responsibility as a coaching staff to provide an environment for our players to have success. That’ll be our statement. We cannot put people into situations or expect people to perform in unrealistic situations. And we have to continually develop and prod our players for more. That’s what we’re about.
Dan Rosen of NHL.com previews the game between the Blues and Wings.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Like a lot of NHL teams these days, the San Jose Sharks are mindful more than ever of the importance of the paying customer. To that end, the Sharks annually put staff and players into the community, to hand-deliver season-ticket renewals prior to the start of training camp.
For Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan, the exercise had a secondary value beyond its public-relations value. It helped him put the finger on the pulse of what the average Sharks fan was thinking. And yes – all that anti-Joe Thornton, anti-Patty Marleau sentiment that swept the NHL in the aftermath of their opening-round upset playoff loss to the Anaheim Ducks was also deeply rooted in San Jose, the anti-Phoenix, one of the few markets in the NHL’s U.S. expansion that has been a success story right from the beginning.
“My pain individually is one-year pain,” said McLellan, who began his second season behind the Sharks’ bench Thursday night, by absorbing a painful 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. “For the fans and other people in the organization, it’s longer. So when you go out in the community, you can sense a frustration level. I think the lightning rods – fairly or unfairly – are always Marleau and Thornton. They’re the two best players on our hockey club, so that comes with the territory.
continued plus many more NHL topics…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray has made a point during training camp of describing how good the Blues played last season without Paul Kariya.
Now, the question Kariya, Murray and the rest of the Blues are waiting to have answered is just how good they can be with the skilled winger back after missing almost all of last season to injury.
There was a time in the mid-to-late 1990s when you could scarcely have a conversation about the game’s elite players without referencing Kariya. Twice eclipsing 100 points, three times a 40-plus goal scorer and once a 50-goal scorer, Kariya’s ability to handle the puck and create offense was nothing short of magical.
Now, at 34, there are ample signs that the magic remains and he can be the kind of difference-maker the Blues will need to take another step forward after storming into the playoffs last season despite injuries to key players, including Kariya.
from Steve Keating of Reuters,
Following the lead of the NFL and NBA, the NHL said it was close to making recommendations that will prohibit players from using communicational devices for social media activity—including Twitter and Facebook—30 minutes before and after games, practices, meetings and media access periods.
The ban would extend to coaches, trainers and all game-related personnel.
“I looked at what the NBA was doing and what the NFL was doing and used those as a basis for my own recommendations,” NHL director of social media marketing Mike Dilorenzo told Reuters on Thursday.
via Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
Please. We are humble. I never said that. The headline writer did that. It is why I blog and talk directly to people. It is better to not have a filter so that people hear directly from you - no editor, no headline writers - like in these two articles.
Geesh. We haven’t won anything yet. We are hungry. We want to win for our fans.
John Lennon? Wow.
We did look pretty good though last night, didn’t we?
via Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out,
According to RDS, the injury to Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov could be serious. The sports network reports via Twitter that Markov spent the night in a Toronto hospital.
Sportsnet is reporting that Markov may require surgery and could have suffered tendon damage, which would be horrible news for the Canadiens if it is true.
Markov was cut on the ankle by Carey Price’s skate as the goaltender scrambled to get back into position seconds before the Maple Leafs scored their third goal of the game in the third period.
added 10:57am, via the Twitter of Dave Stubbs,
Various reports: Markov had surgery, is gone 2-3 months
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
The Colorado Avalanche had the best running start of any newly located franchise ever. They already possessed Sakic and Peter Forsberg when they got to Denver and, shortly after they arrived, added Patrick Roy. Put those greats in Phoenix, mix in two Stanley Cups and the story would be dramatically altered.
At any given moment, whether there are six teams in the league, 12, 21 or 30, there will be perennial losers who struggle. There’s only a very small handful of markets that can sustain long periods of failure and not be hurt financially.
Throw in a CBA that, despite promises, is flawed, and there’s no way we can have 30 healthy franchises – not all at the same time. Just ask the good people of Colorado.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
No matter how Lombardi elects to paint it, there will be some pressure on the Kings to take the next step this year. Los Angeles finished 14th in the Western Conference last season 12 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. As bad as that sounds, this is a young hockey team and its core players are just learning what it takes to be successful at the NHL level and they have shown signs of improvement.
For the most part Lombardi has resisted the temptation of chasing a quick fix, preferring instead to construct his team slowly and purposefully through the draft. This summer, however, he made two noteworthy additions in bringing to town veteran winger Ryan Smyth and defenceman Rob Scuderi who helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup last season.
“Scuderi is perfect for Jack Johnston and Smyth is perfect for Anze Kopitar,” Lombardi reckons.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com