Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He was supposed to be back a year ago, back from hip surgery, back to his old self. But then came an infection, another surgery, another rehab and the worst season of his NHL career. And then came something else, something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist with a seven-year, $49 million contract.
“You come back, and in your own head, you think you’re going to be the same player that you’ve always been and you’re going to start where you left,” Pekka Rinne said. “When it doesn’t happen, it’s mentally pretty demanding.”
Rinne is finally back now, for real. Among the reasons the Nashville Predators are off to one of the best starts in their history – new coach, new players, new up-tempo style, hot rookie, better 5-on-5 play – it’s important that they have a healthy, happy, elite goalie again. He entered Tuesday night tied for the lead in wins (13), second in goals-against average (1.92) and third in save percentage (.930).
“He’s invaluable,” said Predators captain Shea Weber. “You see when he’s in the lineup how good we are.”
from Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean.
Shots. Goals. Wins. Losses.
Those are just byproducts of what is simply known as 'the process' for Peter Laviolette's Nashville Predators.
"I think when you're in the regular season, you want to continually develop your game and work at it so you're game is good," he said. "Ultimately, I think that leads to wins."
It's hard to argue with the results with the Predators 13-5-2 record heading into Tuesday's game against Los Angeles - good for second in the Western Conference standings. The record through 20 games tied the 2006-07 team for the second-best start in team history.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
With every goal and assist, Filip Forsberg is helping the Nashville Predators continue their hot start, and making a 2013 deadline trade look more lopsided by the day.
The 20-year-old Forsberg is 10th in the NHL in scoring with 20 points on eight goals and 12 assists. He’s a big reason why Nashville is pushing Chicago for first place in the Central Division more than a month into the season.
“We knew he was going to be good; I don’t think we expected him to be this good this early,” defenceman Ryan Ellis said. “He’s got some unbelievable hands and his confidence is high right now, which goes a long way on the ice.”
Confident but not cocky, Forsberg has grown physically and mentally from the player the Washington Capitals somewhat reluctantly drafted 11th overall in 2012. Projected to go in the top three, the Swedish forward with the slick skill slipped down the board.
It's not going to be a good night in Toronto, the Leafs are down 8-0 to Nashville at home with about 12 minutes to play in the 3rd at the time of this post.
The Wings play in Winnipeg on Thursday night then head to Toronto for a Saturday night game.
Babcok may want to lay low until the puck drops.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet with the story.
The Flames confirmed earlier today that Ferland has a concussion.
You can watch the hit below while we wait for the NHL to catch up on videos explaining the suspensions today.
added 3:14pm, NHL suspension video is below.
You can review the hit in this TSN highlight package from the game last night, scroll to the :40 second mark.
added 1:07pm, .GIF is below...
added 3:31pm, watch the hit below...
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
The goal totals aren’t yet pushing Nashville into the upper echelon of the NHL’s offensive clubs, but for the first time in a long time, at least the Predators seem to be eagerly trying to score rather than simply preventing goals. Their defence pinches harder now than they ever did under Barry Trotz, and they’ll be a little more aggressive now on the forecheck....
So the Preds, after missing the playoffs the past two springs following that massive post-season disappointment in the 2012 Stanley Cup tournament, are trying to change their image, trying to put their most offensive skate forward. Poile says shoring up the team’s appeal in the Nashville market by making the style more entertaining wasn’t really part of the motivation.
The club averaged 16,600 in attendance last season, 20th in the NHL while operating out of a building that doesn’t have the capacity of many of the league’s larger rinks. Hosting the NHL All-Star Game in 2016 will bring some glitz to Music City.
“The people have been very loyal in Nashville. They understand what has happened,” he said. “But our goal is still to sell out the building, and we have a ways to go. That said, business has never been better.”
Detroit/Washington, not only was the goal waived off, but Luke Glendening received 2 minutes for interference...
Then in the Nashville/Edmonton game...
from Eric Strongren of The Tennessean,
Making road trips successful — beyond winning games — means a grinding schedule for Rogers and assistant equipment manager Jeff Camelio. Early mornings and late nights for the love of the game, often on consecutive days and in different cities hundreds of miles apart. And lots of gear — 1,800 pounds' worth.
Rogers and Camelio handle the Predators' equipment in a workshop-like setting at Centennial Sportsplex and Bridgestone Arena. There are tool chests, blow torches, a microwave oven used to mold thick plastic into skate guards and spare parts available for just about every possible hockey situation.
There are 25 bags containing protective equipment for each player. There are three bags with as many as 300 sticks. Each player also has backup equipment, skates and a pair of extra skate blades. There's also a sewing machine, skate sharpener, medical trunks, television broadcast equipment, two sets of jerseys and even a soccer ball.
"The biggest thing for us is all the extra stuff we have to pack," Rogers said.
On this road trip, the Predators will travel 5,500 miles and play games in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg before concluding against Dallas and St. Louis.
The logistics involved in moving the team through each city falls on Brandon Walker, the Predators' manager of hockey operations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org