Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/15/13 at 02:27 PM ET
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The team is 3-0-2, but many people would argue that its success is not sustainable because it is winning fewer than 45 percent of faceoffs, giving up 31 shots per game, more than three goals per game, and one goal for every three power-play opportunities. How do you respond to those issues and do you worry if they don't turn quickly they could rear their ugly heads when you go on this five-game road trip?
"We know that we have some very interesting challenges ahead of us, but at the same time, in our situation, the same as many teams, we take this one game at a time. We're looking at chances-for versus chances-against and in our first five games we out-chanced the other team by about 15 chances. So we're getting three more chances to score per game than the other team. Maybe we don't have a [Sidney] Crosby or an [Alex] Ovechkin on our team, but we're doing it by committee and right now it's working.
"But we're all aware that the pace of the League is going to pick up. I believe with my years in the NHL that in probably another five or seven games, the pace is going to pick up and some of the teams that are struggling now are going to start to turn it on.
"On our side, we're all aware of what has been written and said for us regarding expectations, where we should finish. We're all aware of this and that's OK. There's nothing that we can do about it from what was written or said. The only thing that we can do is control the way we work, the way we prepare and that's how I challenged the guys from Day 1 in training camp. I told them, 'If you read everything that is being said about us, No. 1 we're lucky to be in the NHL and No. 2 we may want to retire.' I said, 'If you want to use this as motivation that's fine, but I'd rather look at [president of hockey operations] Brian Burke, [general manager] Jay Feaster, our fans, our sponsors. We have a great hockey community over here and they're certainly behind us all the way.'
"Maybe the best way is to put a positive spin to all of that. We work for us, we work for those guys and let's see where that takes us. And right now we've been getting unbelievable contributions basically from everyone."
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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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