Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

All Peter DeBoer

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

What have you noticed lately from your veteran guys? Scoring is down [two goals in the past three games], but otherwise have you seen a jump in them, something different in the last little while, or are they kind of by the book, day by day, grinding through?

"No, I think there is a definite rise in play and in production and, really, everything. These guys are big-game players. They always have been. Until you go through a season after a Stanley Cup Final loss, knowing what it's like to go that deep and lose, and then compound it with the World Cup, you don't realize the extent of the fatigue, mental and physical. What I've seen here in the last month or two has been all our big guys seeing the finish line and playoffs coming and really raising their level."

Have you see a season like Brent Burns is having before, considering the position he plays and the fact that he leads the League in shots and he's right up there in points too? But on top of that, is he showing any frustration that he hasn't scored a goal in [13 games]?

"He's playing through it. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't frustrated. He expects to score and he wants to score, and there is always frustration when you do that and it's not going in. But I think he's smart enough to recognize he's doing all the same things he was before and it's just not going in. It is exceptional what he's doing when you consider the age of shot-blocking and the attention paid to getting in lanes. For a guy that is shooting a lot of nights from the blue line, not from 10 or 15 feet out, it's an incredible stat [to lead the League in shots on goal]. The other thing you have to realize too is I would say at least half his shots he's shooting for a stick or a tip, he's not even aiming for the net. I think his shot totals could be even higher on net if he wasn't so unselfish.

"I can remember [Alex] Ovechkin coming into Florida when I was coaching there still, my second or third year, and one night he had 11 or 12 shots on net, five or six hits. It was just fantastic stuff, like this guy is better than anybody we've seen this year. It's that type of reaction other coaches have had in their coaches room after we've played them because he's been that dominant.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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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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