Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Travis Yost of TSN,
... most interestingly are the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that’s been beating the doors off of everyone at even-strength this year. Recall that the Bolts currently sit second in Score-Adjusted Fenwick% at 53.9%, which is highly indicative of sound future performance, with two dominant lines. It’s not a team we would ever expect to struggle on the power-play or penalty kill, but they have struggled; mightily.
Make no mistake, this is an area of significant concern for Jon Cooper’s team. Their -35.7 per 60 shot differential at special teams would be the worst number of any playoff club in the analytics era, which stems back to the 2007-2008 season. In fact, only four teams – out of 112 who have made it during this ‘era’ – have posted negative shot differentials in the double digits. None were even close to Tampa Bay 2014-2015. And, it’s not as if either unit is worse than the other on this front – the power-play is ranked 30th in the league, the penalty kill 29th.
Tampa Bay’s even-strength dominance is very much a trump card, and the fact that Steven Stamkos and Ben Bishop are two fantastic special teams weapons is obviously notable. Still, their individual skill may not be able to cover what seems to be an obvious systemic flaw – especially when the competition stiffens.
Still the only woman to play in an NHL exhibition game, Hockey Unlimited catches up with Manon Rheaume and her hectic days training her two goalie sons.
SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov today formally announced his retirement from the game of hockey, completing 14 stellar seasons in the National Hockey League – ten of which he spent as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
Nabokov, 39, holds nearly every major San Jose Sharks franchise goaltending record, including: games played (563), wins (293) and shutouts (50).
“Growing up in Kazakhstan in the 1980’s, I never could have dreamed of making it to the NHL and playing against the best players in the world,” said Nabokov. “I’m really proud to be able to finish my career where I started in San Jose and where I had my best years. This is my home and this is where my heart is.”
Nabokov finishes his remarkable career ranked 18th on the NHL’s all-time wins list (353), 17th in shutouts (59) and 25th in games played by a goaltender (697).
SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has acquired goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for future considerations.
Originally drafted by San Jose in the ninth round (219th overall) of the 1994 NHL Draft, the 39-year old Nabokov holds nearly every San Jose Sharks franchise goaltending record, including: games played (563), wins (154) and shutouts (50).
Nabokov will make an announcement regarding the future of his hockey career on Wednesday, February 11 at SAP Center at Noon. More information to follow.
Matinez won't return to the game, upper-body injury.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
As backup goalie Evgeni Nabokov cleared waivers Monday, the Lightning started moving on without its veteran presence.
“It’s a somber feeling right now,” goalie Ben Bishop said after Monday’s practice at Amalie Arena....
Nabokov, 39, hasn’t yet announced whether he intends to retire or pursue other playing options now that he’s cleared waivers. He’s three games shy of reaching the 700-game milestone in the NHL.
“You dread things like that ever having to happen…” coach Jon Cooper said. “Sometimes the reality that this is a business comes out. It’s an extremely tough situation.”
from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
“This isn’t a one-year investment. It’s long term with (Jonathan),” Cooper said. “It’s a different game than what he came from in junior. But he’s gotten better and better and better. It’s clear when you watch the games now. There’s more command of the puck. He doesn’t rush plays anymore. He knows he has a little more time.”
“The comfort level is way higher,” Drouin said. “Just confidence-wise, system-wise, I think I’m playing a little bit better.”
“It’s definitely not easy,” Stamkos said. “You’re that go-to guy in junior and you come in here and you’re not necessarily given anything right away. It’s tough to put up the same kind of numbers and have the same kind of expectations.”
On to the second half of Drouin’s first NHL season. He has shown star flashes, that stick work, a move or two that faked defenders out of their skates, some pretty assists to set up goals. There are moments with Drouin when we wonder “How’d he do that?” There are more moments when we ask when he’s going to do more.
Did you remember that Jonathan Drouin doesn’t turn 20 until March?
Everyone wants things to happen right away.
Life doesn’t usually work that way. No matter how fast you skate.
The future of Steven Stamkos has become a hot topic as he approaches unrestricted free agency in 2016.
And during the media session for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Friday, Tampa Bay Lightning forward gave one of his strongest indications to date that he's leaning towards staying with the team that drafted him in 2008.
"Yeah I think that's exactly what the plan is," Stamkos told reporters. "Obviously, July 1 you can announce a deal and something hopefully similar to what (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews did, sometime after July 1. It's a long ways away. I'm not really focused on that. We haven't really talked about that at all.
“I want to be the team with the puck, and when you have the puck, it’s hard to hit guys. I don’t see physical teams or teams taking runs at us as an issue at all. This league is not about running guys anymore. And the word heavy — that’s the word of the day in the NHL, heavy and light. Our guys play hard. I’m more worried about our special teams, honestly, then about playing heavy teams.’’
-Steve Yzerman, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune has more from Yzerman regarding the Bolts season.
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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