Kukla's Korner Hockey
Death, taxes and JJ’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly…
The alternative to the standard game recap became a staple of my Tampa Bay Lightning coverage last season and it was only a matter of time before it made its season debut here.
Sure, the title of the regular feature has now been copied by a second-rate Bolts blog as of this morning but the content can’t hold a candle to the original and, hell, you’re here with me and they’re, well… They’re sleeping, I’m sure, on Pacific Time and what not… (Lightning coverage from California? Now that’s insight!)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, andrei+kostitsyn, brett+clark, carey+price, dan+ellis, dustin+boyd, guy+boucher, jaroslav+halak, martin+st.+louis, matt+smaby, maxim+lapierre, michael+vernace, mike+green, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nicklas+backstrom, nino+niederreiter, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, tomas+plekanec, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier
Janssen wast taken to a local hospital for tests and observation.
added 1:39pm, via Jeremy Rutherford tweet,
Janssen out two weeks with concussion and sternum contusion.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
If the Blues are to return to the NHL postseason, these are at least five things that must happen:
Breakout seasons: I don’t care who it is; the Blues need ‘em from a lot of the players. Will Johnson’s development elevate him to a spot among the top 10 defensemen in the NHL this season? Can “Petro” settle down and help the Blues’ stagnant (last season) transition game with his passing and skating? Is Perron ready to hit the 25 or 30-goal level? What’s up with Patrik Berglund? Is his enormouls talent still on the layaway plan or will he display the necessary urgency this season? Does T.J. Oshie have a 25-goal season in him this season?
from the Mail Online (U.K.),
Michael Kim, host of ESPN America’s SportsCenter, looks ahead to the new NHL season
With another NHL season upon us, I recently had the chance to catch up with ESPN hockey analysts Barry Melrose and Matthew Barnaby.
We discussed some of the key topics heading into the season and gave them the opportunity to provide several predictions.
Q: A year ago, the Colorado Avalanche surprised many hockey fans and media with how well they played last season. Which team will surprise this season?
BM: Maybe the St. Louis Blues. Like the Colorado Avalanche, they can skate. They lost some players, like Keith Tkachuk, but you have others who can step up. They’ve got a lot of great, young players. They’ve got a great defence. They’ve got solid goaltending. I think St. Louis is going to open a lot of eyes. I liked them last year.
MB: And then, they went out and acquired the hottest goaltender in the playoffs, Jaroslav Halak from Montreal. I totally agree. I think St. Louis is going to make the playoffs. Halak was the story of the postseason last year.
more Q & A…
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys offer their conference forecasts, predicting teams 15 all the way to 1 for both the West and the East. Cramming details for all 30 teams into an hour show proved to be a formidable task, with those projected as non-playoff clubs getting far lengthier explanations than those the hosts see qualifying for postseason play. Spoiler alert: Obligatory Alex Tanguay cracks included, the Lightning make the playoffs and Jon’s orange-and-blue hallucinations return (sort of).
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: nhl+season+preview, predictions
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
Jaroslav Halak left Montreal as one of the most beloved athletes to play for the Canadiens. Even after the goalie was traded to the Blues this summer, fans in Montreal have continued to support him.
Part of the public frustration in Montreal already being shown to Canadiens goalie Carey Price is the inevitable comparison to Halak. Price was booed in his first action of the exhibition season when he allowed four goals on nine shots on Wednesday.
Halak thinks it’s way too early for any judgment of Carey Price in Montreal.
Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has high hopes for the development of his young team and wants to send every signal to prospects in the organization that a job is theirs to be had.
“We’re not looking at (veteran tryouts). We really want to give the opportunity to the players in our organization. I don’t want to muddy the waters,” Armstrong told Sporting News. “Right now, we’ve given them the opportunity to know they’re coming into training camp with spots to earn and I don’t want to take that away from them.”
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is ready to seize that opportunity.
Last week, Pietrangelo wrapped up his third prospects tournament in Traverse City. He did it in an impressive way, scoring a goal on a big shot from the point in what should be the 20-year-old’s final game as a prospect in northern Michigan.
Talk to enough people and consensus becomes clear that the 6-3 Pietrangelo is the most NHL-ready of any player in the tournament. And really, he should be.
from Darren Pang of Blues.com,
Here’s what I have learned over the years when it comes to streaky goal scorers (and I had a few guys on my teams that would go dry for weeks and then light it up for 2 months): Confidence. Reassurance. Tell them to have fun with the puck and let ‘er rip. You also reinforce the other details like backcheck hard, block a shot and take a hit to make a play.
For Brad Boyes, last season will prove to be his worst as a pro. It will never be like this again, I will guarantee you that. His hands, vision and care for the game are too strong for the disappointment he endured last season.
He lives in Toronto, a mecca of hockey passion, in the offseason. You think he wants to answer the same questions from family and friends next summer about the season? Not a chance.
Nothing like a little pressure to test your character.
more topics on the Blues…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
When the Blues arrive for training camp Friday, general manager Doug Armstrong says something will be missing. The team may not recognize it immediately, because this ‘something” has been invisible the past few seasons, but eventually the players will understand.
“We’ve taken away whatever perceived ‘glass ceiling’ might have been there,” Armstrong said.
The definition of a glass ceiling is “an invisible but real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached.”
In the business world, age, race and gender can prevent an employee from moving ahead. In Armstrong’s analogy, it was young players’ preference to defer to veterans that may have limited their progression. But on a roster that will average 25.9 years of age when it assembles this week, there will be “no excuses” not to stand taller than the ceiling that once existed.
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