Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jamie McLellan of TSN,
Right now, Quick is the best in the game at tracking pucks. A lot of times when we talk about a goalie who is 'seeing the puck well,' this is exactly what we mean. It's his ability to find pucks through bodies, arms and any other traffic jams that are going on in front of him. We all know of his flexibility, his lateral movement and his competitiveness. He's putting it to good use by finding pucks other goaltenders are unable to track consistently right now.
Coming into the season, we knew Anaheim was deep in goal. But all the talk was of John Gibson and his ability to be a No. 1 keeper. Lost in the shuffle was Frederik Andersen's ability and skill set. Not only did he show people what he's capable of, but Andersen also joined former Boston goalie Ross Brooks as the only two goalies in NHL history to win 25 of their first 30 career starts.
Andersen has started the year 5-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage, improving to 25-5 in his short career. And he already has a shutout to his credit, blanking the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 19....
Antti Niemi is always under fire as a weak link for the Sharks. He has a Stanley Cup from a season when people believed that Chicago outscored his issues in the playoffs. His stumbles in last year's playoffs - as well as in the 2011-12 postseason - didn't help his cause. But his regular season consistency is always there and it's hard to criticize someone who had 39 wins last year and has started the year 3-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and one shutout. He has put up regular season dominance behind a great regular season team.
more on each group...
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Ten random thoughts on the Sharks...
There hasn’t been a single player more noticeable from shift to shift than Brent Burns, and it sure seems like no one on the ice has their stick on the puck more than Burns through the first five games other than maybe Joe Thornton. He’s obviously done some good things so far with seven points, but he’s also gotten caught out of position several times, has had some nervous moments while defending in open ice, and is just so unpredictable out there. I know his transition back to D in a work in progress, and I noticed Burns having a long chat with Jim Johnson at the pregame skate in New Jersey, but the Sharks seem like a much more dangerous team with him at forward. Maybe they give it another couple weeks, but I bet the Sharks end up putting the “wrecking ball” back where he belongs – up front on Thornton’s right side.
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
The players say that any problems have been addressed and that they are united now. But a degree of stress still seems evident as the Sharks make an early-season swing through the metropolitan area, which ends Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. The players stiffen when they sense the inevitable questions coming with each city they visit.
“It made for good TV,” defenseman Scott Hannan said of the reports of internal friction. “That was last year. Everyone in here, everything’s great.”
Referring to the Sharks’ perennial playoff woes, forward Tommy Wingels said: “I don’t know why we haven’t cleared that hurdle. But unfortunately we’re not going to be given another opportunity for many months now, until the playoffs are to begin. We’d love to fast-forward there.”...
During the summer, McLellan relieved Thornton of the captaincy, with the responsibility delegated to a number of alternates. Wilson said the Sharks were “going young.”
Before Saturday’s game against the Devils, Thornton said: “It was disappointing, but life moves on. It hasn’t affected me as a guy or as a player.”
Wilson also said he gave Thornton the chance to leave the Sharks if he did not want to be part of the youth movement. Thornton, 35, said he chose to stay for a simple reason. “I had a three-year contract — that’s pretty much it,” he said, laughing.
Islanders report upper-body injury for Grabovski, will not return.
Sharks up 3-0 in the 1st.
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 9, 2014 – Last night’s NHL opening night doubleheader on NBCSN was the best on record, according to The Nielsen Company, generating record ratings and viewership, as well as digital consumption.
Wednesday Night Rivalry’s Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins matchup (7:27-10:06 p.m. ET) delivered 956,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating, making it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993) and the highest-rated NHL regular-season game ever on NBCSN. The game also set live streaming records for uniques and minutes consumed.
from John Grigg of Sportsnet,
Biggest story line to watch: There’s really only one thing people are waiting to find out: What happens with deposed captains Thornton and Marleau? (That’s right. Did you forget that Marleau wore the “C” from 2004 to ’09?) Will management get its way and be able to move them. And will Wilson and McLellan have the cojones to play their veterans less if it helps make that happen? If they do, San Jose is sunk, because while they’re on the downside, Jumbo Joe and Marsie (or whatever Marleau’s nickname in the room is) are still effective players who’d be top six on just about any team in the league.
A secondary story here is goaltending. If Stalock continues to push Niemi, who will end up the starter?
Finally, is Hertl the real deal? A possible Calder nomination was scuttled by injury last year, but he scored the fifth-most goals in the league per 60 5-on-5 minutes last season. Can the 20-year-old keep that kind of production up?
2014-15 prediction: Anaheim, Dallas, L.A., Minnesota and St. Louis will all be stronger this season, while Chicago remains a standard—that’s six Western teams better than San Jose. You do the math.
NEW YORK, NY (September 23, 2014) – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that they have formed a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part original series, debuting on EPIX in December 2014, that will bring hockey fans onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
Produced by 52-time Emmy award winner Ross Greenburg, the series will offer viewers an exclusive look inside the world of the NHL, with strategically placed cameras and microphones providing an all-access pass to players’ homes, locker rooms, training rooms, and the arena.
“The letter thing is I think overblown by people on the outside. Within this room, we’re confident going forward. If we have a captain, if we don’t have a captain, if someone else is the captain, we don’t really care. There’s enough leaders in here to do a good job.”
-Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. Much more on the Sharks from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo.
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Former Sharks captain Joe Thornton said Wednesday that he and his teammates went to Lake Tahoe for a bonding session last weekend to address whatever divide that might have developed in the locker room at the end of last season.
"We all have come together," said Thornton, who lost the captaincy last month as part of general manager Doug Wilson's call for a change in the team hierarchy and culture.
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