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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Mike Babcock Pushing His Team To Be Better

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

“We’re through two-thirds of the season and we’re in a good spot right now, but the league gets better and better,” said Babcock. “So if we want to continue to be in a good spot we have to get better.

“We haven’t been as good night in, night out as we’re capable of being so let’s find a way to get a little better.”

The NHL’s highest-paid coach remains, above all, a student.

He is constantly reading up on leadership and successful figures in sports – looking to glean inspiration from wherever he can find it. The 53-year-old takes pleasure in the daily grind of trying to get better and makes no secret of the fact that the biggest goal laying in front of his young team is finding its way into the playoffs this spring.

“April 12 is when the real season starts and you want to have an opportunity to be in that,” said Babcock.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The NHL On Wes McCauley’s Call

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

I was curious the morning after if the NHL would share everyone else's enthusiasm with McCauley's emotional call, complete with his "put up your dukes" gesture. I mean, the days of NHL on-ice officials showing a lot of flair or personality or individualism appear to be long gone. No one is suggesting the guys in stripes should become the show, but there's no reason they can't genuinely contribute to it either.

So it was gratifying to hear NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom say he had no issue with it, since McCauley's call was an accurate and true reflection of who he is and how he officiates a game. He has a passion and a feel for it; that's who Wes McCauley is.

More importantly, at least in terms of the "put up your dukes" fight signal, McCauley was actually following a directive from his superior.

"I loved that part because I used to do that and I've been telling the guys if they're signalling a fight, use it," Walkom said. "The funny thing is there has never been an actual signal for fighting in the NHL. We have always had an official signal for every other infraction but we have never had one for fighting.

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If you haven't seen it, you can watch McCauley's call below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wes+mccauley

Keep It In The Room Boys

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

What is said in the locker room should stay there.

That was a message Blue Jackets' players delivered Monday morning in wake of a weekend report on Hockey Night In Canada that players had asked coach John Tortorella to tone down his criticism in recent weeks.

"We had another (meeting among player) today to make sure we button our mouths and keep everything in house," veteran winger Scott Hartnell told the Dispatch.

Captain Nick Foligno hopes the Saturday night report from Sportsnet Insiders Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman serves as a valuable lesson of what can happen when team information gets out of the room.

"It's a good learning curve for a lot of guys on how we are going to move forward as a team," Foligno said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Coming This Saturday, Hockey Day In Canada

TORONTO (February 13, 2017) Sportsnet is heading to the shores of the Lake of the Woods this Saturday to celebrate the 17th annual Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada – Canada’s biggest single-day hockey celebration. Hosted live from Kenora, ON, the 13.5-hour marathon broadcast features four must-see matchups with all seven of Canada’s NHL teams in action, beginning at Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT on SportsnetCBCRogers NHL GameCentre LIVE and Sportsnet NOW.

Celebrating the spirit of tradition and history, Ron MacLean will be on the ground in Kenora to host the day’s festivities alongside several guests, including Don Cherry and NHL alumni Wendel Clark, Lanny McDonald, Mark Napier, Mike Richards, Rick St. Croix, Bryan Trottier and Darcy Tucker. Winnipeg Jets chairman Mark Chipman, two-time Olympic gold medallist Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Sportsnet Central’s Ken Reid will also make appearances throughout the day.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Standings Remain Jammed Due To Loser Point

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

There’s a moment in nearly every third period of every close game, usually about halfway through but sometimes even earlier, when frantic suddenly becomes tedious, when aggression yields to passivity, when high-octane becomes low-key.

Breakouts are slower. Defense is tighter. Point-men stop pinching. High-skill forwards make only low-risk passes. Both teams are playing for overtime, and it’s a strategy that renders too many third periods dull when they should be dramatic.
“Maybe not early in the third, but definitely as the game wears on and you get in the last 10 minutes of the third, it’s impossible not to think that, ‘Hey, we’ll take the point and take our chances in overtime,’” said San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. “I think everybody does that.”

The so-called “loser point” — the standings point given to teams that lose in overtime or shootouts, has created unprecedented parity in the league. Barely two weeks before the March 1 trade deadline, all 16 Eastern Conference teams are either in a playoff spot or within seven points of one. And 12 of the 14 Western Conference teams were in, or within six points.

It’s created such a logjam in the standings that general managers can’t even make trades, because of the 30 teams in the NHL, only the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche are truly sellers at this point.

continued

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

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (Feb. 13, 2017) – Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Pominville, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen and Nashville Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 12.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Slowing Down The NHL Action

Slow motion action from the last week in the NHL.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Highlights From Sunday’s NHL Games

Almost 2 1/2 minutes of action...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Jamie Benn

"You go into a third period with a 3-1 lead with your lives on the line, and that's the effort and the result that we get? It's unacceptable. We're fighting for our lives, and that's what we put out there for 20 minutes."

-Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars after a 5-3 loss to the Nashville Predators.  Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has more.

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn

Bob Murray’s Phone Has Started Ringing

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

“The phone has started to ring, not specifically about the young defensemen but more about teams preparing for the deadline,” said Murray, who recently returned from Europe on a scouting trip.

Cam Fowler, once a hot subject of trade rumors, is still coveted – Buffalo and Detroit have long imagined him in their defense corps – but his play in 2016-17 has been so good that he is essential to the Ducks’ playoff push and belief in a lengthy postseason run.

Hampus Lindholm is their best defender and locked into a new, lucrative six-year contract. He is a cornerstone piece. But the Ducks have other pieces that teams inquire about. Pieces that could upgrade their forward lineup and add depth – the kind needed to go up against Minnesota, Chicago and San Jose.

The Ducks signed Sami Vatanen to a four-year extension for nearly $20 million. They’ve also got physical Josh Manson under contract through next season. Two other youngsters, Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour, are with the club now and looking to establish themselves as NHL regulars.

Murray also has prospect Jacob Larsson stashed in Sweden. All the defenders, including Fowler, are 25 years and younger. Pieces that will have other general managers checking in often and inquiring what will it take to acquire one.

One could be used to get the Ducks another quality forward. They’re 19th in the NHL in scoring offense, 18th in goals and 24th in shots on goal. And the 94 goals generated during five-on-five play puts them behind 23 teams.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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