Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at The Hockey News,
Logan Couture doesn't have to look far to be reminded of the San Jose Sharks' playoff collapse against the Los Angeles Kings.
His surgically repaired right hand still has scars from last month's surgery, and the recovery has been slow. He expects the hand, injured in a fight with Kings centre Mike Richards, to be OK by training camp.
And Couture works out with Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, who was set to have his day with the Stanley Cup on Friday. Doughty doesn't chirp his good friend, but that doesn't stop Couture from thinking about the painful first-round series loss.
"I think every time I see hockey on TV or read about it in the paper," he said.
The Sharks were in command of the series, up three games to none. But they proceeded to become the just the fourth team in NHL history to blow that lead. The Kings won the Cup, and the Sharks were left to wonder what went wrong.
Couture doesn't ponder what he and his teammates could've done differently. The thoughts are more simple than that.
from Jeff Eisenberg at PuckDaddy,
When the Phoenix Coyotes hired Canada native J.J. Straker as their ice maker last summer, the new job inspired more than just the usual congratulatory hugs and handshakes from his friends and family.
"There was a lot of excitement because people knew hockey's my passion, but they would ask, 'How are you going to do that there?'" Straker recalled with a chuckle. "Making ice in Arizona? It doesn't seem like that will work."
Cultivating a perfect sheet of ice is a challenge anywhere, but it's an especially difficult job in the National Hockey League's hottest city. The average annual high in the sun-baked Phoenix-Glendale area is more than 86 degrees and temperatures routinely soar past 100 by the start of the playoffs in late April, making it tougher for Straker to produce ice of the proper thickness and consistency than it is for peers who work in cooler climates.
“I really like our team now. We lost a pretty skilled guy with Jason, but I think once you get to see a guy like Alex Chiasson play for us . . . and then adding David Legwand with his experience and leadership.
“I don’t think we have the big name after Erik Karlsson, but if we bounce back, which we will, I like the way we’re going to play next year, we’re going to skate and play as a unit. I think we’re going to surprise quite a few people.”
-Pierre Dorion, assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators. More Senators talk from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen.
Let's take a look at one of the legends of our game, goaltender Glenn Hall who played 502 consecutive games in goal.
I can't imagine this record will ever be broken.
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today that the team has agreed to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller (2014-15 to 2017-18).
“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink. Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come”, said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
Eller was scheduled for arbitration tomorrow.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks are the Sedins’ team. They have the richest contracts, the most influence, the biggest names and the letters “C” and “A” emblazoned on their chests.
Yet, during their most miserably disappointing season in a decade, there weren’t a lot of scathing attacks directed toward the twins as they plummeted from 80-point players to 50-point players, taking the team down with them. It could be the other way around too, depending on your view.
Generally, the fans and the media laid off. Often, their right winger gets more heat than they do. Even when the Sedins kept saying they don’t need to score, people shrugged and said “They’re right.”
This is either a reflection of a sophisticated market where people realized the coach, injuries and bad luck all viciously conspired to work like lightning, striking down their point totals in an anomaly season. And that the underlying statistics show the season wasn’t nearly as catastrophic for the Sedins as it looked.
Or, and I think this is more likely, there is some survivor’s guilt going on.
Boston, MA - The Boston Bruins announced today, July 24, that the club has hired Joe Sacco as Assistant Coach.
A native of Medford, MA, Sacco spent the 2013-14 season as an Assistant Coach for the Buffalo Sabres. Prior to that position, the former NHL forward served as the Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2009-13) where he compiled a 130-134-40 record and was a Jack Adams finalist in 2010.
Sacco served two years as an Assistant Coach in the AHL (American Hockey League) for the Lowell Lock Monsters (2004-05) and the Albany River Rats (2006-07) before becoming a head coach for the Lake Erie Monsters (2007-09).
from John Matisz of Canoe,
In today’s NHL, where each player is media trained almost exclusively in cliches, it’s rare to come across an unplugged interview.
Nashville Predator Rich Clune’s recent Q&A with nofilterblog.com, however, is certainly an exception.
Among the highlights in this doozy is Clune’s insight into the “hottest wife in the NHL” (hint: she’s a country music singer) and an intriguing anecdote about Clune and James Neal butt-dialing a veteran player whom they insulted via voicemail by accident.
Below are a few candid answers from Clune, a 27-year-old enforcer who had seven points and 166 penalty minutes in 58 games for Nashville last season.
(To read the entire transcript, click here.)
[WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]
Who is your favorite person to fight in the league?
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Evgeni Malkin finally is ready to listen, so new Penguins coach Mike Johnston better say all the right words. The season could be at stake.
Johnston leaves this weekend for Moscow, where he will spend four days with his most important player.
Win over Malkin, and Johnston would take the biggest step toward turning the Penguins back into Stanley Cup contenders. Leaving Moscow without Malkin's support would prove disastrous.
The Penguins are captain Sidney Crosby's franchise, but they must become Malkin's team.
This is no knock on Crosby, the face of hockey in North America. He just can't do what Malkin can for the Penguins' dressing room dynamic. Crosby's calling is bigger, no matter what management might think. His responsibility is to help the Penguins win and the game grow.
Malkin never has done anything but play, and playtime is over because the Penguins need more from their other future Hall of Fame center.
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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