Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of The Hockey News,
Can the goaltending tandem of Frederik Andersen and Jhonas Enroth get the Toronto Maple Leafs into the playoffs?
Certainly not on their own. While Andersen is coming off a season in which he (along with John Gibson) shared the William Jennings trophy for lowest goals-against average with the Anaheim Ducks, and is expected to play the bulk of the games for Toronto, the Maple Leafs remain a work in progress with lots of prospects and a thin blue line.
Can Alexander Ovechkin get the Washington Capitals beyond the second round of the playoffs?
It is one of the most baffling things in hockey, the fact that Ovechkin has not made it out of the second round of the playoffs in his otherwise sterling 11-year career. While that is not all on Ovechkin, he is the face of the organization and must shoulder a lot of the responsibility. Ovechkin and the Capitals are simply too good to be denied once again. The streak stops at 11.
Will the Detroit Red Wings streak of 25 consecutive years in the playoffs be extended?
It is going to be extremely difficult. The Red Wings have lost Pavel Datsyuk, who wasn’t entirely effective last season by the way, and while they added veterans Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott in the off-season, they may have trouble finding the net.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The rebooted World Cup of Hockey has plenty to overcome to prove it’s a relevant sporting tournament in an already crowded local sports calendar.
Still, 184 of hockey’s best forwards, defencemen and goaltenders in the world begin assembling this week in training camps in Canada, the United States and Europe.
“Every tournament has a different taste and a different prestige to it,” said Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk, who skated twice for Team USA at the Olympics and will be making his World Cup debut. “I remember watching those World Cups growing up. It’s best-on-best, and any time you have best players in the world playing against each other, that sense of pride you have playing for your country definitely resonates.”
Training camps open Monday in Ottawa (Canada), Montreal (North American players 23-and-under as of Oct. 1), Columbus (USA), Prague (Czech), Helsinki (Finland), Gothenburg (Sweden), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Quebec City (for European players not from Sweden, Finland, Russia or Czech).
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Steve Moses, proud son of Leominster, started this new hockey season on his club’s No. 1 power-play unit, setting up the likes of former NHL stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.
For a kid yet to give up the dream of one day playing in the NHL, that’s pretty good company.
“We really have a pretty unbelievable roster,’’ Moses, 27, noted last week, reached by telephone at his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I mean, I watched those guys growing up and have a huge amount of respect for them. It’s a little different when you are out there with two legends. You sort of listen to them and go where they tell you to go.’’
It’s a fair bet, if your lens on the pro hockey world is strictly the NHL, that you haven’t heard much of Moses. He played four seasons with the Boston Jr. Bruins, then four more at the University of New Hampshire (class of 2012), and his two best shots at the NHL thus far have been short-lived stays with Connecticut and Milwaukee of the AHL.
continued plus more hockey talk...
from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
Now, as the eight World Cup teams prepare to assemble and open training camp around the world next week, it’s time to shake aside the oddities and face reality: When the NHL-sanctioned event, alive for the first time in 12 years, begins Sept. 17 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, the so-called Young Guns should be considered true contenders. The lack of expectations just makes them more dangerous.
“I believe there’s some true pressure on some teams to win this,” coach Todd McLellan says. “I think we have pressure on us to upset… We’re the biggest wild card out of anybody.”
Talent unquestionably exists in abundance. Team NA, as its black-and-red jerseys will read, boasts more former top-10 selections (14) and No. 1 overall picks (5) than any World Cup club. Center Connor McDavid (1.07) of the Oilers (right, in photo above) and winger Johnny Gaudreau (0.99) of the Calgary Flames ranked fifth and 15th, respectively, in points per game last season. Forward Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets led the league in scoring after Feb. 16. Forwards Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning have won the past two Fastest Skater competitions at the NHL All-Star game. Even the most inexperienced member — No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who turns 19 years old the same day that round-robin play starts — was arguably the United States’ best player at this May’s world championships.
“Obviously I’m very grateful to get this opportunity. I realize it’s probably my last shot, with where I am in my career. I’m grateful, I’m thankful and I’m excited.
“People are going to say what they’re going to say. I have not helped myself. You sleep in the bed you make. I accept that, I believe I had paid my dues and I have dealt with what I had to deal with. I think I can change the way I play.”
-Raffi Torres, who is on a PTO with the Carolina Hurricanes. Chip Alexander of the News & Observer has more.
The regular season hasn’t started yet and the Maple Leafs may already be without a No. 1 goalie.
Frederik Andersen, who the Leafs acquired in a trade from Anaheim this summer, was pulled from an Olympic qualifying game on Friday. He was in net for Denmark as they took on Slovenia and the incident occurred in the final five minutes of regulation.
The 26-year-old Andersen was accidentally run into by his own teammate and reportedly stayed down on the ice for a few minutes before leaving the game. Denmark lost the game 3-0.
Watch the collision below...
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Based on correspondence, Carter suffered a lower-body injury while training. I have a preliminary sense that this isn’t a major injury – one source told LA Kings Insider the injury is “week-to-week” – though in all likelihood he won’t be able to participate at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, where he would have joined Los Angeles teammates Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin on Team Canada.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
But it will be a new challenge for the 28-year-old headed into this season as it’s the final year of his contract with the Bruins ahead of unrestricted free agency. Marchand is coming off a career year where he scored 37 goals and really took a step forward for the Black and Gold. As the Nose Face Killah himself admitted, “it’s a high bar” to reach headed into a season where a lot of pressure could be on his shoulders individually and team-wise....
Given his age and his production, Marchand should easily expect to top the six-year, $36 million contract given to Loui Eriksson by the Vancouver Canucks on July 1. Another season for Marchand similar to last season – if the Bruins allow it to get to that point without a long-term contract extension -- could make the left winger one of the top salaried players on the roster.
An argument could easily be made that Marchand should be paid in the neighborhood of top wingers Bobby Ryan and Zach Parise, and that would put No. 63’s price tag in the $7 million to $7.5 million-per-season range without even taking the natural inflation of salaries year-to-year into account.
Beyond the numbers and his comprables around the NHL, it’s about the attitude and competitiveness that Marchand brings to the table for a Bruins team that’s gone alarmingly soft in the past two seasons while missing the playoffs. He’s one of the few players still retaining some bite from the Cup team of the recent past. That’s a key ingredient for success and keeping the old-time hockey fans happy around Boston.
from Eric Engels of Sportsnet,
1. McDavid wins the scoring race
Move over Patrick Kane, McDavid is primed to become the first sophomore to lead the NHL in scoring since Sidney Crosby
A broken clavicle limited McDavid to 45 games last season, but he still managed 48 points—many of them scored on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov.
Now McDavid could have Milan Lucic riding shotgun on his line. He could also have the fourth overall pick in 2016, Jesse Puljujarvi, with him.
We all expect McDavid to be on the highlight reels on a nightly basis, but it would be beyond impressive for him to out-score the likes of Kane, Jamie Benn, Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
McDavid is far from the odds-on favourite, but I’m boldly predicting he’ll win the Art Ross Trophy.
9 more predictions...
NEW YORK, September 2, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has promoted Chris Drury to Assistant General Manager.
In his expanded role, Drury, 40, will assist Gorton on all player transactions and contract negotiations, and he will continue to assist in overseeing and evaluating all players at the collegiate level. Drury, who rejoined the Rangers organization as Director of Player Development on September 4, 2015, will continue to assist in the development of Rangers prospects, both on and off the ice, and serve as a liaison between the hockey operations department and prospects in the organization.
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.
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