Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Jonathan Bernier should wait no longer than the back-to-back games against Winnipeg and Minnesota next week to make his next start.
"I'm excited to get back in," the goaltender said Tuesday. "I don't know when, but when the time comes I've thought I've been ready. The ankle (an injury that first landed him on the bench and opened the door for James Reimer) is getting better and that's the bottom line.
"I feel it a little bit. I think it will last a little bit longer, but that's part of hockey. I don't think anyone plays at 100%. I just have to start fresh, play like it's a new season."
Coach Mike Babcock remains convinced Bernier will work his way back.
"Bottom line, when it's not going the way you want, you've got to get to work and fix it. Confidence is always the biggest thing. You have to earn the right to feel good about yourself by how well you practice. He's been a good goaltender and I'm sure he will be again. So when his next opportunity comes, he has to be ready for it."
continue for more on the Leafs...
“(Babcock) is a hard ass, it’s a good thing though, that’s something I thrive on. I’m in his office almost daily, trying to understand how I can get better and how I can be a leader. We’ve definitely come a long way in establishing what I need to do.”
-Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs on head coach Mike Babcock. More on Babcock by Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.
NEW YORK (Nov. 18, 2015) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the passing of Hockey Hall of Famer Bert Olmstead:
“The National Hockey League family mourns the passing of Bert Olmstead – a fierce competitor and a five-time champion who played in the Stanley Cup Final 11 times in his 14-season career with Chicago, Montreal and Toronto. Bert’s passion for the game earned unwavering respect from his teammates; his knowledge of the game once earned him a role as a playing assistant coach; and his skill led to what then was an NHL single-season record for assists: 56 in 1955-56. We send heartfelt condolences and comfort to Bert’s family and friends.”
from Jonas Siegel of TSN,
Like a military unit, solidarity is established everywhere possible. Obvious are the changes in appearance of Leafs players. The beard of Roman Polak is gone. The longish locks of P.A. Parenteau have been trimmed. Any personal grooming details that separate the individual from the team (save for Movember moustaches) are no longer permissible.
Individuality has been dashed otherwise. Lupe's Troops, the game-night tribute to members of the Canadian military once presented by Joffrey Lupul (and Luke Schenn before that) became Leafs Troops when the regular season began. Phaneuf's Friends in the Captain's Corner – a charitable establishment from team captain Dion Phaneuf – was vanquished from the game-night presentation.
Other NHL clubs don't operate quite like this.
In Nashville, placards hung in the rafters of Bridgestone Arena for the charities of Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, Mike Ribeiro, Mike Fisher and Eric Nystrom. In Dallas, glossy cut-outs of Tyler Seguin sat on seats in the lower bowl before a game against the Leafs. The Stars winger was being celebrated and singled out.
Not so in Toronto under Lamoriello. The team, and not the individual, is the sole focus.
"I know one thing, teams will always win championships, but individual players will win games for you," said Lamoriello, a three-time Stanley Cup champion. "And I think what we're trying to establish here is to set a path toward the ability to win championships."
Ron MacLean of Sportsnet discusses the Toronto goaltending situation plus other topics....
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
“I lost it for a second and it sneaked through me,” Bernier said of Stepan’s goal. “It doesn’t matter if the ice is bad or not (a complaint after the basketball Knicks played earlier Sunday afternoon), I’ve got to have that. I gave a bad rebound at the end and I cost my team two points.”
more on the game...
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Sure, it’s just a modest two gamer, but with points in five of the past six games, the Leafs no longer are pointed towards the bottom of the NHL standings.
Released from the dead zone of being a healthy scratch just two days earlier, Toronto forward Peter Holland scored the lone goal through five rounds of a shootout here Thursday night to give the Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators....
“When you have success, you feel like you’ve earned it and you feel better about yourself,” Babcock said. “Two nights in a row we were down one in the third and found ways to win games. To me, we’ve got points in five of our past six games and you’ve got to start feeling better about yourself.”
The teacher in Babcock will certainly have a more captive audience now that points are starting to result from the effort and buy-in to the structured system he has advocated. With 12 points in 16 games, suddenly the Leafs aren’t so far off the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference.
The recent success doesn’t mean the Leafs coaching staff will stray from the patient learning curve it has mapped out. In fact, earlier Thursday Babcock outlined how he meticulously plans to develop offensively talented defencemen such as Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner.
“What my theory is and what I’m doing right now are two totally different things,” a candid Babcock said when asked what he expects from his defence as it continues to develop. “When we learn how to play, I want my left D to be like my left winger and my right D to be like the right winger. But we’re going to learn how to play first and then cut them loose.”
Watch the game highlights below...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Mike Babcock says he'd never say no to Hockey Canada when the sport's national governing body comes asking for his help.
That's too bad. He should have said no this time. He should be devoting his time to the Maple Leafs.
The World Cup of Hockey is not the Olympics and it's not even a true World Cup. There are two teams that don't belong: That team of under-23s and a pan-European all-star squad.
Can you imagine soccer, rugby or cricket -- all with huge world cup tournaments -- operating like that? Telling, say, Asian countries you don't have a chance so let's put an all-star team of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans together. And instead of countries like Canada or Australia trying out, we'll invited the best Europeans under 23?
How ridiculous. Hockey's World Cup format is an embarrassment. No more than a cash-grab.
And winning it? It won't feel like the Olympics.
Check this out as Nazem Kadri gets stood up big time by Dustin Byfuglien, but the Maple Leafs forward lived to joke about it after the game.
The Leafs need more talent and prospects need to pan out...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
If you’re just watching the standings or not really watching the Leafs at all, you’ll look at their record and think not a whole lot has changed since Peter Horachek was helpless to stop the club driving into the ditch last season.
And you would be wrong.
Much is changing. Just not things you can detect by looking at a simple scoresheet.
When this Leaf team loses the puck, for example, it now chases it down like a group of irritated worker bees. And everyone does it. Nobody’s on a special program, allowed to leave the difficult chores to others.
The team’s breakout is improved. People are more often than not in their correct places, the puck is moved crisply, the zone is exited.
As a group, the team is much better at shielding opposing players from the net, although it needs to get better yet. In other words, while defending, there’s a whole lot less puck watching going on.
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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