Kukla's Korner Hockey
“We’re not striving for mediocrity here. We’re striving to be the best, so I want my guys to focus on the process of getting better every day. I know it’s a cliche but I really feel like if we take care of our own business here, we can improve and have a real strong season where we can kind of earn that right to be proud and confident in our group and our organization and believe that we can be the best.
“I want guys that dictate the outcome and feel like if we play our game, we can win every night.”
-John Chayka, GM of the Arizona Coyotes. Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports has more on the Coyotes.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
“Honestly, Phil is a fun-loving guy. He likes to keep it loose. My job is to keep him on task,” Roberts said. “Is training a challenge for him? Yeah, it’s a challenge.”
To say it’s a challenge doesn’t mean Kessel isn’t absurdly good at it. When it comes to moving barbells and sleds and other heavy implements over short distances, Roberts said Kessel is a gifted marvel.
“Oh, buddy — his power and strength. I would put him up against my No. 1 guy, which is Stamkos,” Roberts said. “We did sled pulls one day. (Kessel) was in a group with McDavid and Stamkos. The first five sled pulls he beat everybody because he has so much power over 40 yards. But then the last five sled pulls, he was last.”
So, Kessel’s power is peerless. And his endurance?
“I say to him, ‘Phil, you’ve just got to put a little more time on the aerobic side,’ ” Roberts said. “That said, the fear is if you do too much of that, then you lose your power. It’s tough to be a really powerful guy and have a lot of endurance. It’s a tough balance. But my point is, if you want to play the rest of your contract (and Kessel has six seasons remaining on a deal that pays him about $8 million (U.S.) annually), then you’ve got to change some things in order to do that.”
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Much has changed since you last saw the Vancouver Canucks.
There’s hope Chris Tanev can be a key piece of the power play. The coach just may have flipped his view on Bo Horvat.
And the word “playoffs” is back in vogue at Rogers Arena. It’s nowhere else, by the way. Not when tied to the Canucks.
Mostly because five months ago, this was the third worst team in the NHL.
There’s just not a lot of confidence that additions like Erik Gudbranson and Loui Eriksson are enough to significantly move them up in the standings.
In fact, Team USA won more games at the World Cup of Hockey than there are analysts picking Vancouver to make it to the post-season.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Despite an influx of youth, and despite a handful of underachieving veterans still on the roster, Vigneault is confident in his club. In his first meeting with the press Thursday, after the players came in for their physicals, Vigneault made it clear that he thinks highly of his team — even if he is not entirely sure of what he has yet.
“We still believe that we’re a very strong hockey team,” Vigneault said at the Westchester practice facility. “We’ve got some very good experience, some guys that have played big games, important games, big minutes. And we have some younger guys that are developing, improving. And now we’re adding some younger guys and a couple old players that can help us on the penalty kill.
“I see good speed, which is something that I like. As you guys know, I like to play a fast, high-tempo game, and we’d like to continue that. And that’s why we’ve got training camp here, to get everyone on the same page.”
from Jamie Strashin ov CBC,
As thousands of children across Ontario prepare for another hockey season, their parents will be receiving some mandatory off-ice training. Before any player steps onto the ice this season, their parents are required to complete an online Respect in Sport course.
The program has already been rolled out in other provinces across Canada as organizations rally to combat bad parental behaviour. This is the first season for it in Ontario.
"Parents are a key component of the sports experience," said Wayne McNeil, co-founder of the Respect Group, the company providing the course. "They are the reason why referees and officials quit. In a lot of cases, they are the reason their own kid either quits or has a bad experience in sports."
The course costs $12 and lasts about an hour. It covers topics such as using guilt on your child, making "the bigs," losing perspective, achieving balance and avoiding burnout. Each section is supplemented with vignettes illustrating bad behaviour.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With all due respect to T.S. Eliot, when it was finally over, it ended not with a bang but a whimper, a long, mournful whimper.
Of course, Team USA had been emotionally, if not technically, gone long before the final whistle blew on a 4-3 loss to a Czech Republic team most had considered the weakest in the eight-team World Cup of Hockey.
Thursday's loss, naturally, put that debate to bed as the Americans finished a desultory 0-3, putting the final piece of punctuation on this most lamentable of international tournaments.
Three games, no wins, five goals scored, two by defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Zero goals for defending NHL scoring champ and MVP Patrick Kane.
Home Team in Caps
TEAM RUSSIA 3, Team Finland 0
TEAM CZECH REPUBLIC 4, Team USA 3
TEAM RUSSIA BLANKS FINNS, PUNCHES TICKET TO SEMIFINALS
A slick give-and-go between Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Ovechkin was all the offense Team Russia needed in a 3-0 win over Team Finland, sending the Russians to a Semifinal showdown with Team Canada Saturday night. Tarasenko's goal 3:42 into the second period broke a scoreless tie and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 21 Finland shots as Team Russia, needing a win to avoid elimination, edged idle Team North America for second place in Group B.
* Ovechkin led Team Russia in points during Round Robin play with 1-2---3 in three games, while Tarasenko topped the squad with two goals. The pair have scored a combined 90 goals in each of the past two NHL seasons (Ovechkin 50, Tarasenko 40 in 2015-16; Ovechkin 53, Tarasenko 37 in 2014-15).
* Saturday will mark the 13th meeting between a Russian/Soviet team and Team Canada in Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey history, with Canada owning a 7-3-2 edge. Their last clash in a Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey elimination game was the epic Game 3 of the 1987 Canada Cup, won by Canada 6-5 with a late goal by Mario Lemieux on a setup from Wayne Gretzky.
Team USA takes on Team Czech Republic at 8:00pm on ESPN2, Sportsnet and TVAS.
This will be the last game for both teams and the only thing on the line is pride.
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
This is where the defenseman has spent his NHL career — in the glare of the spotlight. It has followed him from Montreal to Nashville, where he was traded June 29 for former Predators captain Shea Weber.
The hockey world will be watching as Subban fully begins the process of adjusting to his new, significantly different surroundings.
"It's been a lot of ups and downs emotionally, for sure," Subban said of his frenzied offseason. "Playing in Montreal for six years, being drafted in 2007, a lot of great moments in that organization. The positive moments outweigh the negative ones, so it was a positive experience for me playing in Montreal, but now it's just time for me to turn the page. It's a new chapter. A swap was made and now I've got to look forward to the rest of my career here in Nashville.
"Coming into a new dressing room, it's exciting. Meeting new players, new management, new staff, it's an exciting time. For me, at 27 years old with no family or any children or anything like that, it's like you get a bunch of new brothers."
Finland against Russia at 3:00pm ET on ESPN, Sportsnet and TVAS.
Pavel Datsyuk out for the game with a "small injury".
THURSDAY'S CLINCHING SCENARIO
* Team Russia will clinch second place in Group B and a meeting with Team Canada in the Semifinals if it defeats Team Finland in any fashion. A loss to Finland in any fashion will eliminate Russia and send Team North America to the Semifinals against Canada as the second-place finisher in Group B.
CANADA, SWEDEN CLINCH GROUP TITLES; SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Team Canada clinched Group A and Team Sweden clinched Group B in Round Robin play Wednesday at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Following is the schedule for the Semifinals beginning Saturday
Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., ET
Team Canada (1st, Group A) vs. Team North America or Team Russia (2nd, Group B)
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m., ET
Team Sweden (1st, Group B) vs. Team Europe (2nd, Group A)
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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