Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
DO YOU REALIZE?
• that Ryan Malone leads the NHL in power play goals since Nov. 23 with 5?
• that Brandon Prust leads the NHL in shorthanded goals in the same amount of time with 3?
• that Henrik Zetterberg is averaging more shots on goal per game (4.8) than Alexander Ovechkin (4.6) this month?
• that in December Keith Yandle has more points per game (1.12) and shots on goal per game (3.7) than any blue liner in the league, including Dustin Byfuglien?
• that this month Marc Staal and Marc Giordano both have more points per game than Kris Letang, Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, Byfuglien and John-Michael Liles?
from Matt Cubeta of NHL.com,
• Blue Jackets defenseman Rostislav Klesla leads the NHL with a plus-14 rating—though this may not last long if history is any indication. Klesla, a minus-46 in his career over the course of 10 seasons in Columbus, has never posted a plus/minus higher than plus-7 in any single season. The 28-year-old defenseman has just 4 assists, 6 PIMs, no PPP and 10 SOG so far and is owned in just 1 percent of Yahoo!
• Two Pittsburgh Penguins lead NHL forwards in power-play ice time per game, and both of them are centers. Obviously, we’re talking about superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Malkin actually leads all players with 6:37 of PP ice time per game, with Sid averaging 6:14 (third among all players—Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski is second at 6:24). The interesting part about this statistic is that Sid has just seven power-play points and Malkin has only four!
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
What do the following players have in common?
Andrew Ladd, F, ATL
Dustin Byfuglien, D, ATL
Steve Montador, D, BUF
Hot starts, you say? Indeed, all have met and/or exceeded the expectations attached to them. They’ve been afforded purpose and responsibility and have, generally speaking, met the challenge. Their contributions on the ice and on the score sheet have been significant and well documented.
This is also a group of NHL professionals, with agents, in the business of playing hockey for a living and another thing they share is having 2010-11 be their contract season. UFA or RFA, these skaters are all playing for financial security.
I’m not suggesting that the business side of the game is the sole and prime motivator for a pro athlete, but it’s human to push yourself for an evaluation and to relax a little bit after you’ve made the grade.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Assuming the universe aligns logically - and that is a big assumption, given how injuries can compromise the scoring race - it is unlikely that anyone outside of the aforementioned two Russians, or Crosby, will be crowned NHL scoring champion. If anyone can pulls off a Sedin and unexpectedly jumps to the top, it would likely be Ovechkin’s Capitals’ teammate Nicklas Backstrom, who has developed into an exceptional player in his own right.
Even though there is a more open style of play in the new NHL, only 30 players managed 70 points last year and injuries ruined the years of a whole bunch of above-average talents, including two who suffered serious concussions, Marc Savard and David Booth. Thus far, Booth has been okay in camp, while Savard, normally a reliable point-per-game player, is out indefinitely.
Others coming off injury-filled years - such as Ales Hemsky and Johan Franzen were far off their usual numbers last as a result, but should rebound significantly, barring no further setbacks (like the charleyhorse Franzen suffered in the opening exhibition game). Don’t overlook either Jiri Hudler or Nikolai Zherdev, both back after one-year hiatuses in Russia. Hudler had 57 and Zherdev 58 in their last full NHL seasons and could probably fall into the “sleeper” class if someone is drafting strictly off last year’s stats.
I always try to point out advertisers who have decided to advertise on Kukla’s Korner.
Not only is the advertiser reaching millions of hockey fans, but it also helps out KK too and is greatly appreciated.
You’ve probably seen the Fantasy Hockey Scouts ads recently on KK and I decided to ask them this question.
How can fantasy hockey fans use Fantasy Hockey Scouts to their advantage?
A: Our motto is… “You’re the GM, we’re your Scouting Department”. We watch way too much hockey & do a lot of hockey research, mostly with an eye towards our fantasy teams, which is quite time consuming. So we figured if we’re chasing down information from all over the world for our own fantasy hockey teams, that we should consolidate it in one place for all the other fantasy GMs who might not have that kind of time on their hands.
We post the fantasy relevant news every day of the year and keep our readers up-to-date on trending players, injuries, crease conflicts, prospects & more. We also offer one-of-a-kind products like our Breakout Bible, Fantasy Prospects DataBase and entry draft rankings from a fantasy perspective.
We strive to give fantasy hockey GMs the best info, analysis and opinions and let them make the decisions… just like the real GMs do.
ESPN releases their fantasy rankings…
20. Drew Doughty, LA Kings- The unofficial fantasy darling of 2009-10, Doughty wears his crown with a healthy dose of humility. Doughty is so good because, aside from talent, he has a great attitude and works his caboose off, a lovely combination for the L.A. Kings and anyone savvy enough to draft Doughty in fantasy play. Second to only forward Anze Kopitar in team scoring, Doughty is productive with the man advantage. And in his two seasons in the NHL, Doughty has missed only a single game.
I have two copies of the 2010-2011 Hockey Fantasy Index by Rob Higgins that soon could belong to you.
First off, you must be a KK member (join here,it takes about 20 seonds). Then I need to know why you want the book.
Did you have a bad fantasy year, maybe you are a novice and need some advice or you could be the fantasy hockey expert and want to stay at the top of the hill?
Whatever your reason, leave a comment below.
I will select the best response and award one book, then the other book recipient will be chosen via a random draw from the remaining comments.
Your comment must be submitted by noon ET on Tuesday, September 14th. Good luck.
note: original post time was 8:35am 9/13/10
from Mike Carraggi of Operation Sports,
It was the biggest year for the Boston Bruins in decades, and I honestly could not have cared any less. Me, a sports writer for a major Boston newspaper and “die-hard” fan of everything Boston, was more concerned about the state of the putrid New England Revolution (MLS) than I was the conference-leading B’s.
Like most (ex-)fans, you could blame the lockout. After that, hockey just did not have the same appeal to me. They just became grunts scooting around the ice while scoring less than a geeky high-school student.
Fast forward to today, and I am eagerly awaiting the day Tuukka Rask and the boys can redeem themselves after one of the ugliest choke jobs in NHL history.
What changed my opinion on the sport so drastically that I would ignore a record-breaking 2008 campaign just to salivate over a question-filled 2010 one? The answer is EA’s NHL series.
This may sound absolutely ludicrous, but the degree of difficulty and amount of strategy it took to score a goal in an NHL game was always lost on me until I began playing the series during the last two years.
If you are in a fantasy league and need some help, maybe the Higgins Hockey Fantasy Index: 2010-2011 by Rob Higgins could give you that one piece of advice you are searching for. And besides, I have a small blurb in the book.
The book will soon be available at Amazon.com and you can get it in Kindle format too.
I asked Rob “why a fantasy hockey book?”
Rob Higgins: I just wanted to create the book I have always wished existed. An annual hockey book that comes loaded with information that speaks directly to the tracking of player values. With tools that I can actually use. My stat - HFI - is a scouting tool that a hockey fan can utilize to evaluate players for the purpose of a fantasy league and it’s a much more telling and reliable resource than, say, a bunch of dudes predicting the future, with all due respect to the dudes whose job it is to write thousands and thousands of words about what’s GOING to happen.
from John Robinson of The Gamer at ESPN,
Ben Bishop has to be one of the busiest men in all of sports gaming. Jumping from his work on “MLB 2K10” into his main gig on the “NHL 2K” series, Bishop is also working heavily on “NBA 2K11 ” for the Wii.
Talk about dedication to his craft.
I recently had the chance to sit down with Bishop after an extremely bumpy ride in the “NHL 2K11” RV that 2K Sports is currently sending on tour throughout the country complete with flat-screen monitors and gaming stations in order to let fans get their hands on early builds of the game….
Jon Robinson: Why is “NHL 2K11” Wii-only?
Ben Bishop: With “NHL 2K10,” the Wii version was surprisingly successful. It was by far our best-selling version of the game, so we felt like it was a good opportunity for us to step back a little bit and see where we can take the series, while at the same time, continue the surprise we had last year on the Wii. This gives us the chance to see where we are and where we need to go moving forward.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org