Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette via Faceoff.com,
• Give New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella full marks for doing the right thing during his team’s 4-3 victory in Washington. When veteran defenceman Michal Rozsival struggled during the first half of the game, he found himself on the bench for the final 31:13. Tortorella’s explanation to reporters: “It’s my job as a coach to look at the game and see who’s going and who isn’t. We shortened up on defence because the other guys were better.”
• Anaheim was leading Boston 5-1 with one minute remaining in the game when Teemu Selanne turned to head coach Randy Carlyle with a question. “Why is Corey Perry out there killing penalties?” By the time Selanne looked back at the ice, Perry had scored. “That’s why Perry is out there killing penalties,” Selanne was told. Lovely!
Scott Burnside of ESPN with a preview of the games tonight.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Saturday is a big night for hockey fans. There are 13 games are on the schedule, with all but four teams spending their night on the ice.
The six games that start at 7 p.m. ET are highlighted by a rare visit to Detroit by the Washington Capitals. The Caps have been lighting up the scoreboard behind Nicklas Backstrom (a League-leading 10 points), Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin (9 each). But they’ve allowed 10 goals in their last two games, and coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in a sloppy 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.
continued and the full schedule for tonight can be seen below…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
‘‘We’re getting used to all the hoopla and off-ice shenanigans and stuff like that,’’ center Jonathan Toews said. ‘‘There’s always a lot going on around us.’‘
‘‘It’ll be nice to see what kind of suit [Adam] Burish has on, or if he wears a stupid hat to make a fool of himself,’’ Sharp said of his former road roommate who is recovering from knee surgery. Burish, who isn’t expected to play until March, was back at the United Center on Friday clamoring to be part of the opening night excitement.
‘‘It is pretty cool,’’ Toews said. ‘’[The red carpet] gives you the Hollywood feel. It’s as close as we get to being a [movie] star, and it’ll be good to set the stage for the season. I’ll wear my nicest suit, for sure.’‘
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
May on Friday said he called Chelios to ask if it was OK to wear the number and Chelios had no issues with it. May, however, said he hasn’t decided if he’ll ask the club for the number.
“(Chelios) was really cool,’’ May said. “I just figured it’s his (number). He’s such an icon, I figured I’d call him.’’
May wore No. 24 in Anaheim.
“I like the number—Chris Chelios, Bob Probert,’’ May said. “But I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I may ask, but now that I’m 20, who knows?’’
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The average life expectancy of an NHL coach is three weeks.
Yes, that’s a significant exaggeration, but you might be forgiven for believing changing NHL head coaches is like changing an oil filter if you lived somewhere like Chicago, where the Blackhawks have gone through nine head coaches since 1997, or Calgary, where the Flames have gone through seven during that same span.
The two glaring exceptions to the league’s frequent firing program over the past dozen years will be on display tonight at Sommet Center, when Lindy Ruff will lead the Buffalo Sabres against Barry Trotz and the Predators.
Both hired in summer 1997, Ruff and Trotz are the NHL’s longest-tenured coaches. And they’re miles ahead of the competition in that category, with 904 and 822 games worth of experience, respectively. (Trotz served as a scout during his first year under contract).
Next in line are Anaheim’s Randy Carlyle and Mike Babcock, both of whom have coached 331 games with their current clubs.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Flames, this year, will travel more than any other NHL team. The Flames will travel nearly 89,902 kilometres by plane according to a review of the league schedule conducted by the Star.
That’s over 3,000 kilometres more than the Edmonton Oilers (86,772), and more than twice the travel load of the Buffalo Sabres (43,357), the team with the least travel, some of which will be done by bus.
“It’s just one of those things,” Bouwmeester told the Star just moments before boarding a plane for his first road trip as a Flame. “You just do it. You don’t have any control over it. I guess with the time zone changes, it will be different for me this year. You just have to make sure you get some rest.”
Bouwmeester only had to ask another Team Canada hopeful, Francois Beauchemin, what it’s like. Beauchemin left the Anaheim Ducks – another high-mileage team – for the Leafs, who’ll travel 53,775 kms, the sixth fewest in the NHL.
“There’s a lot more travel in the West as far as time in the air, longer flights,” said Beauchemin. “With all the time changes, too, it makes it a little harder.
from Corey Pronman of Puck Prospectus,
The Phoenix Coyotes books were opened to the public’s eyes, and it wasn a fairly disturbing sight. Dozens of millions of dollars had been lost annually, with last season’s Net Operating Losses totalling over $53 million dollars. Not even five million dollars worth of local TV broadcast revenue were brought in and fewer than ten thousand viewers tuned in to the Coytoes on a nightly basis. Surely, the $6.5 million allocated to Gretzky’s coaching contract didn’t help either. The southwest franchise managed to collect $14 million dollars in revenue sharing as well, and still lost a massive amount of money. To illustrate the dire situation, if Phoenix hadn’t paid their players, coaches, trainers or hockey personnel any salary whatsoever with the revenue sharing, they would’ve simply broken even. Now that is what you call a terribly run fiscal entity.
These jaw-dropping numbers show a very extreme situation in the desert, which is no wonder why Reisendorf and Ice Edge Holdings backed off so quickly when things weren’t aligned perfectly for them with the lease, creditors and the numerous other factors. It’s also why Gretzky was forced to leave when it became apparent that nobody would want to take on a record expense for a coaching staff.
from David Staples Of The Cult of Hockey,
The plan is simple: Dustin Penner in the face of Miikka Kiprusoff. Ryan Stone in the the grill of Roberto Luongo. JF Jacques nose to nose with Niklas Backstrom. Zack Stortini right on top of JS Giguere.
The designated goal-crasher will be charged with screening the goalie, distracting the opposition, tipping shots and pounding in rebounds. In this way, the Oilers are looking to score several dozen more “greasy” goals this year, and win a few more games.
It’s not old-time. run-and-gun Oilers hockey, but it’s a sound strategy.
In fact, it’s the same strategy that is used by the Detroit Red Wings, a team known for its finesse, but a team defined by its fierce net-crashing. In Detroit, this isn’t just done by tough Tomas Holmstrom and tough and huge Johan Franzen, but also by smaller players, such as Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg.
via Jason Botchford of the White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
Daniel Sedin missed practice Friday because of a deep bruise on his heel. The bruising and swelling mean he’s not yet been able to get an MRI.
It’s premature to speculate whether there is a break or not. For that, the Canucks will have to wait until tomorrow or possibly Sunday. But a bone bruise is a sign the bone has been injured sufficiently to have inflammation within the bone itself. Some bone bruises may not require any treatment.
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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