Kukla's Korner Hockey
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The NHL games start again on Tuesday with 11 games on the schedule.
Hockey Night in Canada host George Stroumboulopoulos sits down with Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, New York Rangers forward Rick Nash and Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty to talk about their experience in the NHL.
Good way to spend nine minutes of your time today...
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Now is the time for the best players in the NHL to stand up the way they do when the Stanley Cup is on the line. Because if they don’t push the issue on Olympic participation, the NHL will be more than happy to trash the entire concept.
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced the details of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will be played in Toronto Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016. Both sides spoke of the event in glowing terms and there was much singing from the same songbook. That’s because both sides stand to gain a mother lode of money from a World Cup. The profits for the event are split 50-50 between the NHLPA and the league, meaning they will not be part of Hockey Related Revenues and will have no bearing on the salary cap. Each side is free to take its money and do with it whatever it wants.
So it comes as no surprise that Kumbaya will be used as the national anthem for the Young Stars under-23 team and We Are Family will be the anthem for the Pan-European team.
But make no mistake. When it comes to the Olympics, the two sides are completely opposed.
from John Vogl of The Buffalo News,
The lack of drama in the East was just one note from the first half. Here are others:
• Los Angeles hit the break outside of a playoff spot. Is a king-sized Stanley Cup hangover finally hitting L.A.?
Not really. The Kings certainly can play better, but they’d be in a postseason position if they could win when the games get past regulation. L.A. has a league-worst 12 overtime losses, including their 1-7 record in shootouts.
• The Toronto Maple Leafs are a mess. They’ve gone through one coach, and the team is struggling to adapt to the defense-first plan of interim coach Peter Horachek. The Leafs have lost six straight and 14 of the last 16.
“What do we have to do, slay a dragon?” exasperated forward Phil Kessel said.
• Detroit is second in the Atlantic Division, one point behind Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay. The Red Wings have won five straight and are 13 points better than were at this point last season. The surprising part is they’ve gotten better with little roster turnover.
NHL, NHLPA ANNOUNCE 2016 WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY . . .
The NHL and NHLPA announced that the World Cup of Hockey will return in September 2016 in Toronto, Canada, where eight teams, comprised of the world’s best hockey players, will compete in a best-on-best international hockey tournament.
The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHL and NHLPA, in cooperation with the IIHF. It is expected that more than 150 of the best players in the NHL will participate in the tournament.
The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four, with each competing in three tournament games (within their assigned group) in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in each group will advance to a single-game semifinal against a team from the other group. Winners of the semifinal games will advance to a best-of-three final round.
All tournament games (round-robin, semifinal and final) will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17 – Oct. 1, 2016.
Click here for complete details.
The NHL and Sportvision announced on Saturday a partnership to revolutionize the collection of data in the game of hockey.
With tracking chips implanted into pucks and the back of players' jerseys, Sportvision will be able to gather previously unattainable data from all over the ice by using a series of infrared cameras placed around the arena that will read the chips. The location of each player and the puck, as well as the speed of the puck and each player are among the data that can be collected at a rate of 30 times per second.
"Hockey is an incredibly hard sport to follow," said Hank Adams, the CEO of Sportvision. "It is very dynamic. It is very fast. Players change shifts dynamically during the game. You have guys coming on and off the ice, and fans at home can't see that. With this technology, we can very simply tell fans who has come on, who has come off, how long their shift was. It can be very simple storylines like that, or very complex storylines; when you collect this data over a long period of time, you can really start helping fans understand the game better and maybe even help coaches understand the game better. What happens with the penalty kill against a power play in certain formations. We can start mining this very deep data."
Below,watch Sportsvision in action at the NHL All-Star Skills Event last night..
from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In his third NHL season, the Russian right winger has become the Blues’ go-to player. His 24 goals, which rank fifth in the league, include four game-winners and five that were either scored in overtime or the last 10 minutes of the third period when the difference in the score was one goal or less.
The Blues have not seen the likes of Tarasenko since Brett Hull roamed the rink in St. Louis. Tarasenko is on pace for 42 goals, a far cry from Hull’s career-high 86, but gone are those high-scoring days in the NHL and plus, he’s just getting started.
“He is unselfish, has a very high hockey IQ and has a cannon for a shot,” Hull said. “He’s going to be a star because of his skills.”
In 46 games this season, Tarasenko has already set personal bests in goals and points (47), the type of production that will see him, at just 23 years old, play in his first All-Star Game Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Surveying everyone from fellow NHL stars to league scouts, Tarasenko’s trajectory is one that many believe will continue trending upward.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The smallness — you can call it quaint, if you’d like — of the National Hockey League became apparent once again with the naming of Nick Foligno as a captain for the NHL all-star game.
Like anyone really considers Foligno to be a star player?
And in keeping with this theme of small-time Foligno went on to choose fellow Blue Jacket Ryan Johansen with the first pick in the all-star draft.
The captain of the all-star game should be on the big names of the sport. Sidney Crosby (before he pulled out, which he always seems to do), Steven Stamkos. Patrick Kane. P.K. Subban — who somehow was left off the all-star roster.
Nope, it’s Foligno. Son of Mike. Decent guy. Decent player. Who gets the nod to be undeserved captain, thus turning an apparent signature event into a local event.
The NHL comes off as more house league than major league in the way all-star weekend began. One last point unrelated: This is Crosby’s 10th NHL season. He is the face of the game. He has played in one all-star game. Can anyone explain?
more hockey notes...
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
There has been no gloating by anyone on the Islanders. No finger-pointing at the many, many NHL media members who wrote off the team during last season's disappointment.
The closest that anyone, from general manager Garth Snow on down, will say publicly has been coach Jack Capuano's repeated line that "a lot of the people in this room didn't give us much of a chance to be where we are."
Despite being near or at the top of the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference for just about the entire season, the Isles seemingly would rather stay humble and hungry than remind people how mocked they've been in recent seasons.
It's the reason Snow has declined to speak about his team on numerous occasions when asked. All he would give is a response to one question: What do you want to see from your team in the final 36 games of the season and on into the playoffs?
"Wins," he said.
from Micael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Some All-Stars, such as Sidney Crosby, suddenly get injured. Others, such as Brian Elliott, have no problem leaving a Caribbean isle when the call comes. The vast majority show up, do their bit for the sponsors, fill up recycling bins with plastic cups at the player draft and generally make a good time of it.
And then there is Sergei Bobrovsky. This game meant more to him than the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, or all of Latvia.
Bobrovsky was to make his first All-Star appearance Sunday night at Nationwide Arena, his building. Rarely do stars align like this for any player, anywhere. Never will they again for Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky’s father flew in from Siberia to witness another crowning moment for a son whose first set of pads were homemade. It was all so perfect. And everyone knew how it would end, with Nick Foligno throwing a bear hug on Bob in front of a standing-room crowd and an international television audience.
It is not to be. A day before the All-Star break, Bobrovsky suffered an injured groin. He is a scratch — for another month, at least. There went the weekend.
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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