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Category: NHL-Teams

Devils Back To Grinding

from Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal,

For now, however, it looks like the team has refocused its energy on being the same old Devils. The high-flying line of Mr. Kovalchuk, Mr. Zajac and Mr. Parise has been split up. In a 3-0 win against the Canadiens on Thursday night, the Devils looked like the Devils of old, relying heavily on defense. They took only 20 shots and coach John MacLean praised the team’s stick placement and puck management—buzz phrases that may have been borrowed from the glory days of neutral-zone traps.

“The first seven minutes of the season, we all thought ‘Geez, this is going to be quite a season,’” Mr. Zajac said with a laugh. “After that, we didn’t get away from that [offense], but we just haven’t found a solution for not scoring.”

Mr. Zajac said that some emphasis has been put on speeding up the game, but that the system hasn’t changed dramatically despite the personnel moves that seemed to ensure offense.

“We’d like to win where we make fancy plays, score a lot of goals, make nice moves and make it interesting,” forward Patrik Elias said. “But sometimes you’ve got to keep it simple and grind it out.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

“My opinion is that everyone has made a big issue out of this and I think there’s other things that are going on in our game that are much more severe, whether it’s headshots—and I keep going back to that—and the lack of action on that. It’s something we’ve seen the NFL start to do and hopefully our league follows suit. The game’s faster, guys are bigger, it would be nice to see if they protected the players a little more.”

-LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell on the Rick Rypien suspension.  More from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Tough Guy

from Shi Davidi of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

One way or another, the late Bob Probert figured his four children were going to come across the details of his often troubled, sometimes sordid, life….

The brutally frank memoir vividly catalogues his highs and lows, from snorting cocaine he initially dumped into a toilet amid his 1989 arrest for smuggling drugs across the Detroit-Windsor border, to ordering pizzas and cavorting with nurses and other patients during his many trips to rehabilitation centres.

Perhaps the most intimidating enforcer in NHL history, Probert also offers plenty of stories about his on-ice pugilism, using an expletive to describe high-profile rival Tie Domi, while praising Marty McSorley, Stu Grimson and Troy Crowder among others, as honourable fighters.

He also describes NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as “an *#$%@&, a frikkin’ *#$%@&” who has “ruined the game of hockey,” and is “supposed to speak for the good of the league, but in my opinion, he’s strictly behind the owners.” Probert adds how he fooled league-mandated drug testing by providing inspectors with clean urine samples he’d warmed in the microwave.

read on

Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge is available at Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+probert

How To Build A Hockey Team

from Ryan Poplichak of Puck Prospectus,

In order to gain some insight into this dilemma, I accumulated information for every team in the NHL over the last 3 seasons, which gives us 90 team seasons as data points. While this is still a small sample, at least it’s relevant in terms of today’s salary cap climate and represents the summation of 7,380 team games played.

For each team I combined wins, losses, overtime losses, total points, goal differential, +/- rates for even strength, 5-on-4, 4-on-5 and a variety of positional data.

The positional data used was the cap space allocated to each team’s top 6 forwards, top 4 defensemen and goaltenders. I also included the combined GVT for those top-paid positional players as well as a combined GVT for the best-performing players on that team. Obviously, the highest paid players aren’t always the best performers on the team, so I wanted to capture both.

First and foremost, I was hoping to understand if paying higher salaries at any position helps rack up points in the standings.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Rypien Aftermath

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Ultimately, what surprised me most in the aftermath of this matter was how Rypien’s conduct raised a separate, but parallel issue - that is, how much should boorish fan behaviour be factored in as a mitigating circumstance. For example, ESPN’s SportsNation conducted a poll and discovered that an astonishing 37 per cent of respondents believe there might be a legitimate reason for a player to attack a fan. More than one in three!

E-mail traffic was similarly provocative. While a lot of people saw it the way Bettman did - as a black-and-white issue - some wanted to use the incident as a forum on the conduct of fans at sporting games, and how sick and tired they were/are of having to tolerate the drunken musings of the loudmouth in the next row, who is constantly spilling beer; using profanity within earshot of their children; and generally acting in a way that makes them vow never to spend $100 or more to enjoy (!?) the live fan experience.

read on plus a few more NHL topics…


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+rypien

What Is Yahoo Thinking?

As the Forechecker pointed out in a tweet,

It’s a sad week for sports writing. First, WaPo hooks up with Bleacher Report, now Yahoo features “Associated Content”

Want an example? 

The Red Wings fans are some of the least knowledgeable, obnoxious, arrogant group of wannabe hockey fans I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting. They are more interested in getting drunk at the games than to actually watch the game. I guess if my team was as boring as Detroit’s I would just drink instead too. When the fans are good and drunk and want to show their Red Wings some love, they throw Octopus out onto the ice. Sometimes the octopus is alive, sometimes it isn’t; either way, it’s just another stupid thing Detroit Red Wings fans do. I hate the Detroit Red Wings and their obnoxious fans. The Red Wings have the worst hockey fans and the worst hockey team

if you wish, you can read more....

added 5:03pm, A little about the author- a retired police officer and freelance wrtiter, plus she is looking for work.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: yahoo

Bettman Calls Fan Who Was Grabbed By Rypien

from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press,

James Engquist, 28, the Mendota Heights resident who was grabbed while in the stands by Vancouver Canucks player Rick Rypien during a game against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday, today received a telephone call from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman apologizing with an offer of dinner and tickets to another game.

Engquist said he appreciated what he called a “classy” gesture by Bettman, but is disappointed that Rypien received just a six-game suspension from the NHL and the Canucks at $25,000 fine.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+engquist, rick+rypien

Afternoon Line

“I was playing in Toronto and Gordie was playing in Hartford with the two boys (sons Marty and Mark).”  The boys told me beforehand ‘be careful because Gordie kind of runs things out there.’ I run Mark into the corner, knock him down and am heading back up the ice feeling pretty good about myself. All of a sudden ‘bam!’ Gordie drops me with an elbow and says, ‘don’t ever do that again. And I never did.”

-Lanny McDonald, retired NHL player.  Via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun at the Sudbury Star.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe, lanny+mcdonald

After a Loss, Boucher Doesn’t Disappoint

Last night’s tilt between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning won’t highlight any instructional hockey videos – it was ugly, all-around, really – and the finish was marred by what was probably the longest video review in the history of NHL hockey in October. But, though the 3-2 Islanders overtime victory serves as a shining example that, even in a slop fest like this one, there’s some good and bad to go with some serious ugly, I can’t bring myself to go full G, B & U today. (Tried – didn’t work – onward…)

Instead, some random observations:


It’s not as though I’m ever pulling for the Lightning to lose but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the first Guy Boucher post-loss press conference.

I’ve been impressed with Boucher, who seems to have the favorable blend of teacher, tactician and shrink attributes in his bag of coaching tricks, from the start. He’s been intense all the while but he’d led me to believe that after a loss – particularly a poorly-played loss – we’d see a different side and, last night, he didn’t disappoint.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, guy+boucher, matt+smaby, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, vincent+lecavalier

Six Games For Rypien & Canucks Fined

NEW YORK (October 22, 2010) – Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien has been suspended six games, without pay, for making physical contact with a spectator during NHL Game #76 at Xcel Energy Center Tuesday night.

The Canucks also were fined $25,000, as required by League policy. 

Including the game already served while Friday’s hearing was pending, Rypien will be eligible to return to play Nov. 6 against Detroit.

“Prior to each season, all clubs and players are advised that under no circumstances are club personnel permitted to have physical contact with fans, or enter, or attempt to enter the stands,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We hold NHL players to a high standard, and there simply is no excuse for conduct of this nature. Fortunately, this incident is not typical of the way NHL players conduct themselves and is not typical of the way Mr. Rypien had conducted himself during his career.”

The incident occurred at 13:38 of the second period as Rypien was leaving the ice following an altercation with Minnesota’s Brad Staubitz.

The last time a player was suspended for more than four games for making physical contact with a spectator was March 20, 1982, when defenseman Doug Halward of the Canucks was suspended seven games for an altercation with fans.

added 12:45pm,

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis released the following statement today regarding the National Hockey League suspension of forward Rick Rypien:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+rypien

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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