Kukla's Korner Hockey
Patrick Burke with the explanation.
Whether Kane will be the centrepiece of an exciting rebuild in Buffalo; whether he’ll stay healthy; whether he’ll achieve that 50-goal season he says is in his future; whether his track suits will stay out of the shower. A lot of eyes will be on this new-look Sabres team, and on Kane, though No. 9 has never been one to avoid the spotlight. “That’s what sports is,” he says. “It’s an entertainment business.”
-Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet where you can read much more on Evander Kane.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Tanner Pearson to a two-year contract extension, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
The 22-year-old Pearson (born on Aug. 10, 1992) is a 6-1, 205-pound native of Kitchener, Ontario, who has appeared in 67 career NHL regular season games, all with the Kings, totaling 23 points (15-8=23), a plus-16 rating and 22 penalty minutes.
A first round (30th overall) selection of the Kings at the 2012 NHL Draft, Pearson has tallied 16 points (12-4=16), a plus-14 rating and 14 penalty minutes this season. He has missed 34 games this season due to a lower-body injury that he sustained on Jan. 10 vs. WPG.
Pearson was part of the 2014 Stanley Cup run with Los Angeles. He has played in 25 career postseason games, registering 12 points (4-8=12), a plus-10 rating and 8 penalty minutes.
Presented by Sportsnet,
from Travis Yost of TSN,
For the first time in a long time, I’m a bit worried about the Chicago Blackhawks.
Worry is, of course, a relative term. The Chicago Blackhawks are a team with Stanley Cup aspirations year after year. Making the playoffs is a real accomplishment in most cities. For Joel Quenneville’s club, it’s the equivalent of satisfying an expected quota.
It’s hard to really pin down what’s went wrong this season, especially so since the Blackhawks are cruising to another postseason berth. Depending on how things shake out, they’re likely going to finish 2nd or 3rd in the Central division, though falling behind Minnesota isn’t out of the picture just yet.
But, again, success for this team is really defined by how they push through the postseason. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the road isn’t nearly as maneuverable as it once was. Part of that is the improvement of the division altogether, and part of that is the reality that this Blackhawks team isn’t the one we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years.
from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,
Most NHL practices are far from perfect for goalies, and that can be a problem. In fact, a good chunk of practice can be counterproductive to good goaltending, leaving the goalie facing situations that can create bad habits.
It is the separate sessions with the goalie coach, before and after practice, that are important.
If that sounds like a stretch, consider the fact that a large portion of NHL practice time is spent on line rushes which are only occasionally defended, often in the loosest sense of that term. The result is wave after wave of players skating in with passing options and plenty of time to dish or hold and shoot from close range.
In practice, shooters repeatedly get time and space to shoot from spots, and in situations, they might be lucky to get once or twice a season. These opportunities come without the sense of urgency associated with the backchecking pressure of a game.
It can become tempting for a goaltender to cheat in practice. In many ways, practice resembles summer shinny sessions, which many NHL goalies avoid because the only way to consistently make saves in them is to play differently than they would during a regular season.
DUCKS WRAP UP PACIFIC DIVISION WITH WIN OVER OILERS
Five different players scored to lead the Ducks to a sweep of their four-game season series with the Oilers, helping the team clinch its third consecutive division title and fourth in franchise history (also 2006-07).
* The Ducks improved to 8-2-0 in their last 10 outings overall, including four straight victories. They also reached the 50-win milestone for the second time in franchise history and second consecutive season (2013-14: 54-20-8).
* The Ducks became the first team to post back-to-back 50-win seasons since the Canucks did so in 2010-11 (54-19-9) and 2011-12 (51-22-9).
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The good news for the Red Wings is that they should be a healthier team when they host the Bruins. On Tuesday, the Wings were without trade-deadline acquisition Erik Cole, Pavel Datsyuk and Riley Sheahan, and they lost Drew Miller early with that harrowing skate blade incident.
After the team's 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, Wings coach Mike Babcock said that he expects to have "more hands on deck" against the Bruins, so it's safe to assume that at least a few of those aforementioned players will return to the lineup. A critical two points are up for grabs.
And if Mrazek delivers another performance like he did on Tuesday, stopping 33 of 34 shots while under siege all night, it might be his job to lose heading into the playoffs.
read more hoickey topics with Burnside on Bruins/Wings, Custance on the Sharks and LeBrun on the Canadiens...
from Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
There are more than 4,000 kids playing amateur hockey in the area. There are some 140 teams, 25 of which play at the AAA or Central States level.
St. Louis now competes with Anywhere, USA, when it comes to developing hockey players. Programs are available at every rink in town, blue-collar people put in the hours and effort to make the game accessible, and kids make the sacrifice and commitment to pursue a dream.
Because the dream is real.
“I know the (Blues) alumni get a lot of credit,” said Al MacInnis, Blues senior adviser and Hall of Fame defenseman. “But there’s a lot of people and a lot of pieces involved for kids to move on to the next level, whether it’s playing junior hockey or it’s playing in college or pro hockey or in Europe.
“It starts with the youth hockey at the clubs; you need the participation level, the numbers.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers have a glaring need for a No. 1 defenseman, but because of salary-cap problems, Hextall said that player would have to come from within the organization. In other words, prospects such as Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, and Shayne Gostisbehere would have to develop into top blue-liners.
Hextall said that he would have to give "a half-dozen pieces away" to get a first-pair defenseman and that he wasn't going to do it. "We're going to build from within."
Hextall hinted that he would like the team to get younger.
"I can assure you, I'm not going to trade young players for 30-year-olds," he said. "Not happening."
Hextall said he does not foresee problems re-signing Michael Del Zotto, who is a restricted free agent.
"I don't think it should be difficult," he said, aware that another team could sign the 24-year-old defenseman to an offer sheet.
more on the Flyers...
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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