Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Mercury News,
Then (Ron) Wilson talked about Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom as a role model for what he would like to see from his players.
“He goes and stands in front of the net. And he gets punched and he gets whacked by the goalie, he gets knocked on his keister and he fights back and he maybe gets a penalty. The next shift, where’s Tomas Holmstrom? Back in front of the net. It might have taken him some time to get comfortable doing that, but because of what the reward is, you have to do that.
“That’s what I want to see. When you do get punched in the head, or they dump it in the corner and you get run on the very first shift of the game, does it affect your second and your third and your fourth shifts?
“Don’t allow anybody’s efforts to get you off your game. That’s what we’re working on.”
From Damian Cristodero at Tampa Bay.com,
The debate over visors in the NHL, believed to be the last major league in the world that doesn’t mandate some kind of facial protection, is not new. But it gained traction this season with several high-profile injuries of unprotected players.
Devils defenseman Colin White could be out for the season after a Sept. 19 practice incident in which a puck deflected into his right eye, broke his nose and blurred his vision.
Tampa Bay’s Chris Gratton is playing, now with a visor, but still has blurry vision in his right eye from being clipped in the cornea by an errant stick blade in a preseason game. Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier needed three stitches in his right eyelid when he was clipped.
This at a time visor manufacturers say their product has never been more sophisticated and addresses players’ main complaints of distorted vision and moisture buildup with “optically correct” designs and clear coating to reduce fog.
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Coming off two straight wins in which they generated nine goals, the Islanders would like nothing better than to keep the ball rolling to build on their 5-3-0 start. But it’s as if the NHL has scheduled a fall recess for them with only one game in the final 11 days of October and just four games in a 20-day span through Nov. 9.
Privately, several Islanders have complained about how tough it is to maintain not only game conditioning but also a game mentality with such long breaks between games. For instance, they got off to a slow start in Washington on Thursday after a four-day layoff before adjusting to the speed of the game. [...]
“We’re playing well,” goaltender Rick DiPietro said. “It’s kind of a weird schedule. We played six games in nine nights at the beginning, and now we play three in [16 nights]. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect us.
From Michael Russo at his blog on the Star-Tribune,
Pavol Demitra was injured nine minutes into the third when he strained his right hip on a shorthanded rush with Marian Gaborik. Demitra will be evaluated tomorrow and is day-to-day “for now,” said assistant GM Tom Lynn.
*At 7-0-1, the Wild is off to their best start in franchise history and remain the only team unbeaten in regulation this season.
From Eric Duhatschek in Monday’s Globe & Mail,
As for Smyth’s return on Tuesday, which figures to be an emotional night for both him and his former team, Staios said he hoped that Edmonton fans will take into consideration his years of service when deciding how to greet him.
“He did a lot of great things for this organization,” Staios said. “The business side of things is never really appreciated by the fans.”
“Hopefully, they’ll remember what he did on the ice and in the community and can show him that respect – like they did for Jason when he came back.”
more… (*looking at the new Oilers era)
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
Atlanta’s 0-6 start this season that led to Hartley’s firing followed, and perhaps a change had to be made. But the “Aw, he was too tough” malarkey that came out of Atlanta was so lamely clichéd and predictable, it makes anyone who went along with it look silly.
In any sport, if it works, it’s “restoring order”; if it doesn’t, it’s “pettiness.” I think they still teach that in Sportswriting 101.
Plus, this is the sport that more than any other gives players excuses to tune out coaches with the prevailing attitude that coaches’ effectiveness is a short-term proposition, and all they need is the ability to determine which side of that rationalization standard the coach falls on.
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Word out of One Panther Parkway is that all is well with the young Mr. Booth, and his scheduled MRI is now not needed.
According to spokesman Justin Copertino, Booth flew home with the team last night and met with team trainer Curtis Bell today. All seems fine. David is hurting a bit, understandable, and is wearing a precautionary neck brace.
Booth will not practice Monday at the Ice (10:30 a.m., open to public) and isn’t expected back until later in the week. So it’s good news: no permanent damage, just some soreness. “Kind of like he was in a car wreck,’’ Copertino said. Yep, that’s about what it looked like last night.
From the Calgary Flames,
Calgary Flames forward Owen Nolan will play in his 1000th regular season NHL game, making him the 220th NHL player to reach this prestigious milestone.
Nolan signed as a free agent this past summer with the Calgary Flames, and is one of the alternate captains for the club. He will be the third player to play his 1000th game as a Calgary Flame, joining Craig Berube and Martin Gelinas.
Nolan has played on six NHL clubs during his fifteen-year NHL career: Quebec, Colorado, San Jose, Toronto, Phoenix, and Calgary.
From CBC via Youtube. Features footage of Jonathan Toews big goal the other night, plus Don Cherry’s commentary—with associated video clips—on the instigator rule.
*Thanks to George for passing on the clip!
Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post,
Something’s got to give. Seriously. Here are some basic (but key) stats you need to know:
*Despite the addition of three power play specialists, the unit ranks 27th (4 for 35). That’s a measly 11.4 percent effectiveness rate. Forget about Motzko for a moment, 11.4 percent still isn’t acceptable with players named Ovechkin, Nylander, Kozlov and Poti out there. (The return of Alexander Semin this week should help a ton. But can one player single-handedly turn around the Caps’ pp woes? They had better hope so.)
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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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