Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Connor McDavid, Steven Stamkos and Phil Kessel all push the heavy sled for Gary Roberts in the summer. And as a sprint, Kessel beats both of them. But when you extend the race, McDavid and Stamkos leave Kessel in their dust.
- Funny how all the shrieking about Shea Weber going to Montreal is suddenly quiet. Only took four games for Montreal to understand what a difference maker Weber can be.
- Why so much noise over the upcoming NHL expansion draft? Every team in the league loses one player. So the Leafs will lose someone like Peter Holland. Is that worth six months of discussion?
a few more hockey notes...
via RDS (tranlated),
Sad news. Our colleague and friend Jacques Demers suffered a second stroke within six months.
The former Canadiens coach was admitted to hospital earlier this afternoon.
We have no details about his condition at this time.
At Jacques and his family, the thoughts of the whole team of RDS with you.
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
The Los Angeles Kings’ goaltending health took another blow on Saturday as Jeff Zatkoff suffered a groin injury during the morning skate. A Kings public relations representative said that the goaltender is “questionable” for tonight’s game against Vancouver, but because the goalie needed assistance off the ice and towards the dressing room, it should be expected that Jack Campbell, who backstopped Ontario to a 6-5 overtime win last night at Citizens Business Bank Arena, would be brought in to back up Peter Budaj at Staples Center tonight.
“He stopped a shot, and his groin tightened up,” Darryl Sutter said. “We’ve seen it in a game, and now we’ve seen it in practice.”
There’s no word yet on the severity of the injury or whether Zatkoff will see a doctor today.
Reports are Jack Campbell has been recalled and will back-up Budaj in net tonight.
via Chris Botta tweets,
NHL source: Floor piping system at Barclays Center in Brooklyn does not meet NHL standard requirements for ice-making.
Barclays has PVC piping. All other NHL rinks have steel pipes. PVC cannot maintain ideal temp of 21 degrees for NHL play.
Only solution is to tear up Barclays Center floor and install proper piping. Not easy, but should have been done in offseason.
Arena mgt knows this and hasn't fixed it yet, which is inexcusable, brings down caliber of play and is potentially dangerous.
Barclays ice will be fine when weather is freezing. But (heaven forbid) there's a long Cup run someday...disastah.
New Islanders owners want to fix the ice problem. Likely another big reason they are looking at other arena deals.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
A hair before David Krejci pulled the puck into the offensive zone, Ryan Spooner, driving the middle at full roar, sprinted over the blue line. Driscoll and Meyer did not spot Spooner’s premature entry into the zone. Only the two cameras positioned at each side of the blue line concluded the play should be considered null and void.
It was the video provided by those cameras, initiated by Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice’s challenge, that scrubbed the goal and the 11 seconds of events — Krejci’s backdoor feed to Spooner, Spooner and Danton Heinen digging for the puck on the wall, Krejci’s heavy forecheck to force a Ben Chiarot turnover — before Chara’s shot went in the net.
“I get why it was put in there,” said Bruins president Cam Neely of the coach’s challenge. “But it’s such a fast game. There’s blatant offsides that happen. I don’t know. I’m a little ambivalent about the rule.”
Neely’s gripe is a common one. The coach’s challenge, introduced in 2015, was meant to overturn the slam-dunk whiff.
more pluse additional league-wide topics...
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Here are theories for why scoring is up in the early going:
Youth movement: Sixty-seven rookies have played this season. That’s 11.1% of all players. After watching the Pittsburgh Penguins soar in last spring's playoffs, teams aimed to replicate them in being younger and faster. Skillful youngsters, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner or the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski, boast elite scoring touches and quicken the game's pace. But less experienced players make mistakes, and mistakes lead to goals.
Goalies struggling: Jonathan Quick suffered a long-term injury, and Carey Price missed time with illness. Brian Elliott has slumped early in Calgary. Ben Bishop and Martin Jones are still searching for last season's level. The league save percentage of .903 is well below the .915 average of the past two seasons.
from Craing Morgan of Arizona Sports,
The excitement of a new season and a youth-injected roster has given way to the reality of all that implies. If you thought the Coyotes would jump out to a fast start, pat yourself on the back for unbridled optimism, but then buckle up for a decent dose of disappointment.
Arizona is asking five rookies and four sophomores to play major roles in its lineup, and the NHL didn’t do the team any favors by casting it out on a six-game road trip just after the official pucks were dropped.
The Coyotes showed character to battle back from an early two-goal deficit on the back end of back-to-back games on Friday in Brooklyn, but tired legs, an impotent power play and a soft goal in the third period led to a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, dropping Arizona to 0-3 on this road trip with three games still left to play.
“We competed hard but you’ve got to find ways to win in this league,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
“In hockey, we’re always about confidence,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said after the Blackhawks gave up another two power-play goals in a 3-2 loss to the previously winless Columbus Blue Jackets (1-2-0). “And when you see a lot of goals go in the net all the time on the PK, it kind of hits the confidence a little bit. … No excuses. It’s up to [us] and we just haven’t been good enough. That’s just how it’s been. We’ve just got to be better.”
The Hawks now have killed just eight of 19 opposing power plays, for a dreadful 42 percent success rate (a solid PK is usually in the 80s, and the Hawks have flirted with 90 percent as recently as two seasons ago). According to TSN, the Hawks are the first team since the 2010-11 Dallas Stars to allow 10 or more power-play goals in the first five games of the season.
“It’s the toughest stretch I’ve been a part of, by far,” Hjalmarsson said. “That’s been costing us a couple of games here. They might be really valuable points in the end in the standings. … We just have to hit the rest button and just bear down and find a way to get it done, because it’s losing us games right now.”
read on for more on the game...
HOME TEAMS SWEEP FRIDAY’S SLATE
The Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Islanders all earned home victories on Friday, helping home teams improve to 47-15-2 in the first 10 days of the 2016-17 NHL season.
* Zach Werenski and Nick Foligno each collected 1-1—2 to help the Blue Jackets pick up their first win of the season (1-2-0). Werenski, who posted his first multi-point outing, has registered at least one point in each of his first three career NHL games (2-2—4). Per Elias, Werenski is the first player in franchise history to begin his NHL career on a three-game point streak.
* Five different skaters scored to help the Red Wings pick up their third consecutive victory on the heels of a 0-2-0 start to the season. Detroit has won five straight games vs. NSH dating to Jan. 17, 2015 (NSH: 0-4-1), while Petr Mrazek (30 SV) – who made a highlight-reel stop in the third period – improved to 4-0-0 in four career appearances against the club (2.74 GAA, .913 SV%).
* The Coyotes scored twice in a span of 13 seconds to erase a 2-0 deficit, but Johnny Boychuk (1-1—2) notched the go-ahead marker while shorthanded to help the Islanders improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven home games vs. ARI dating to Dec. 13, 2007 (ARI: 1-6-0), including four straight wins. Brock Nelson notched the lone assist on the game-winning goal to stretch his season-opening point streak to five games (2-3—5).
Marty Turco, Brendan Morrison and Mike Legg were at Yost Arena as part of Friday night's celebration of the University of Michigan's 1996 NCAA championship-winning hockey team, and Turco, Morrison and Legg went 3-for-3 in Score-O...With Legg scoring a "Mike Legg goal" from half a rink away:
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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