Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Vladimir Sobotka fined for high-sticking

From the NHL:

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, patrick+sharp, st.+louis+blues, vladimir+sobotka

‘Early overreactions’

USA Today's Kevin Allen and Jimmy Hascup issue "early overreactions" to the NHL season thus far:

Nikita Kucherov could be the MVP: True. His seven-game goal scoring streak to start the season reflects a star entering his prime, not a player experiencing a hot streak. He netted 30 goals in 2015-16 and 40 goals last season. His wicked shot, experience and elusiveness give him 50-goal ability. He meshes well with Lightning linemates Steven Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov. He has a career 54.6% Corsi, which is an indication of puck possession. Kucherov could end up with monstrous statistics. If the Lightning continue to be among the NHL’s best teams, Kucherov will be in Hart conversation.

New York Rangers (1-5-1) are done: False. Regardless if the struggles cost coach Alain Vigneault his job, the Rangers still possess enough talent to be a playoff team. With Kevin Shattenkirk, the defense has been molded to transition the puck better, and it doesn’t seem likely the defense will be this bad all year. The forward group — even without a true star — has the pieces to be effective. Even if they don’t match the scoring rate of 9.3% at five-on-five from last season, they won’t shoot 5.2% all year. At 35, Henrik Lundqvist is still very good.

NHL’s increased crackdown on slashing will create a significant scoring increase: False. Teams are averaging 3.10 goals per game. If that would hold for an entire season, it would be the first time in 13 years teams have averaged three goals per game. But we’ve seen this before: The NHL changes how it officiates the game, and goals go up. We know it’s only temporary. Right now, the number of power play opportunities have increased and shots on goal are up by two shots per game (30.1 to 32.1). But history tells us NHL players will adapt quickly. Before long, we will be back below three goals per game.

Continued

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  Tags: alain+vigneault, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, nikita+kucherov, tampa+bay+lightning

Kings lose Jeff Carter

From TSN:

The Los Angeles Kings will be without Jeff Carter for multiple weeks after the two-time All-Star sustained a lower-body injury in his team's 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Carter was injured late in the first period after being hit into the boards by defenceman Jeff Petry. He left the game and did not return.

According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Carter's left leg was cut by Petry's skate blade.

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  Tags: jeff+carter, jeff+petry, los+angeles+kings, montreal+canadiens

Adrian Kempe scores a hat trick

Los Angeles Kings rookie Adrian Kempe scored a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens last night:

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  Tags: los+angeles+kings

Eddie Olczyk returns to the booth

Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk spoke about Olczyk's battle with colon cancer as Olczyk returned to the broadcast booth to cover the Blues-Blackhawks game on Wednesday night:

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, eddie+olczyk, pierre+mcguire, st.+louis+blues

Eddie O back in the booth

From NHL.com's Louie Korac:

Eddie Olczyk was sitting in a room talking with St. Louis Blues coach Mike Yeo on Wednesday, getting the nuances that normally aren't discussed with the media following a morning skate.

It's what the 51-year-old color analyst has missed most while being gone from the booth working with partner and NBC lead play-by-play voice Mike "Doc" Emrick.

But Olczyk will be part of the broadcast when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Blues at Scottrade Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV). After announcing that he was diagnosed with colon cancer on Aug. 8, he is six weeks into a 24-week chemotherapy regimen, and after recently taking the third of nine treatments, he called NBC to let them know he felt good enough to work.

"I feel it's going to be great for the soul," Olczyk said. "It's going to be probably one of the medicines I'm going to enjoy taking. Over the course of the last several months, I've been taking a lot."

Olczyk will be part of the WGN broadcast with partner Pat Foley for the Blackhawks game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHL.TV) and will work other games as his health allows.

Continued

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  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, eddie+olczyk, mike+yeo, pat+foley, st.+louis+blues

No news is no news regarding Tuukka Rask

From NHL.com:

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask had to be helped off the ice after rookie forward Anders Bjork collided with him in front of the net during practice Wednesday.

Rask did not return and there was no immediate word on his condition. The Bruins play the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, TVA Sports, NESN, NHL.TV).

"He left early obviously," coach Bruce Cassidy told the Bruins website. "We had a line-rush drill where there was some contact around the net. He'll get evaluated. I've got nothing right now; hopefully he's fine. Until he gets checked out, I don't know. That's where it's at right now."

Bjork appeared to be knocked off balance before the collision. Teammates immediately rushed to Rask's assistance and he was helped off the ice after a couple of minutes.

"It was incidental contact on a hard drill," Cassidy said. "We're trying to build in more net action and net drive. I guess that's the spillover from it sometimes."

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  Tags: boston+bruins, bruce+cassidy, tuukka+rask

Fans to vote on NHL’s ‘Greatest Moment from Past 100 Years’

From the NHL:

Fans to Select Greatest NHL Moment from Past 100 Years
Winning Moment to Be Revealed at 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic Outdoor Game

NEW YORK / TORONTO (Oct. 18, 2017) – Adding another fan-driven element to its year-long Centennial celebration, the National Hockey League announced today the launch of the Greatest NHL® Moments Presented by Coors Light and Pepsi Zero. This bracket-style, interactive, digital and mobile program will give fans the opportunity to select the Greatest NHL Moment of all time. Choosing from 64 of the NHL’s most memorable events, milestones and achievements – spanning from the League’s inaugural season in 1917-18 to present day – fans will have a chance to define history and vote for their favorite moment during the six-week period from Oct. 18 – Nov. 28.

Starting today, fans can visit http://NHL.com/GreatestMoments to begin Round 1 voting, and join the conversation using the hashtag #NHLGreatestMoments. The 64 moments, as determined by a Blue Ribbon panel consisting of broadcasters from NHL national rightsholders NBC Sports Group, NHL Network, Sportsnet and TVA Sports, have been placed into a bracket-style format, and are divided into four regions: Hart Region, Norris Region, Calder Region and Vezina Region (see below for voting schedule). From the Toronto Arenas becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup® Championship on March 30, 1918, to the Pittsburgh Penguins becoming the first team since 1998 to repeat as Stanley Cup® Champions on June 11, 2017, the site includes video vignettes for each moment, bringing each of the 64 stories to life.

The selection process includes six rounds of voting, with the Greatest NHL® Moment announced during the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™ on Saturday, Dec. 16, featuring the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa:

  •     Oct. 18-24 – Round 1 voting
  •     Oct. 25-31 – Round 2 voting
  •     Nov. 1-7 – Round 3 voting
  •     Nov. 8-14 – Round 4 voting
  •     Nov. 15-21 – Semifinals voting
  •     Nov. 22-28 – Final voting
  •     Dec. 16 – Greatest NHL Moment announced at 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic™

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Friedman on early-season jitters

Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts":

There’s a GM who has one of the best lines I’ve ever heard about life in sports: “There are only two moods — winning and hell.”

In conversations over the last week, one theme stood out: This league is tense.

“Well, it’s always tense,” one executive laughed. “But even more than normal for this early.”

Various coaches, players, execs and media said they could see it in places like Arizona (winless after some good summer moves), Boston (injuries and a slow start, despite talented young players), Minnesota (injuries and expectation), Montreal (losses and intense local pressure), New York Rangers (roster in transition), Vancouver (attendance), Washington (organizational pressure) and Winnipeg (rough start before three straight wins).

Watching the Rangers’ last two games, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Alain Vigneault look so stressed. Until their young prospects — Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil — are ready, they’ll be thin at centre. And in the Metropolitan division, it’s very hard to win like that as Pittsburgh proved on Tuesday night.

I’m sure it’s similar in other sports, but one of the biggest changes over the years is the decrease in early-season optimism. It used to last 10 games. Not anymore. I’m not one to complain about the stresses of my job; I always think of Hyman Roth in Godfather II: “This is the business we’ve chosen.”

But pro sports takes its toll, and you can already see it.

Friedman continues at length...

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  Tags: boston+bruins, minnesota+wild, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets

Olczyk Back In Booth Wednesday

Good news.  Eddie Olczyk, battling colon cancer, returns to the NBCSN broadcast booth tomorrow to call the game between the Blues and his decidedly favorite Hawks. 

Olczyk said Aug. 8 that he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He is six weeks into a 24-week chemotherapy regimen.
"Three treatments in. Nine to go," he told USA Today on Monday. "We are a quarter of the way into the race and we are grinding it out."
Olczyk said he also will be part of the WGN broadcast for the Blackhawks game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NHL.TV) and will work other games as his health allows.

More and nice to hear.  Not all of us may appreciate his approach, or his biases, but it's good to see him, or anyone, battling back against a wicked opponent. 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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