Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/20/13 at 09:45 AM ET
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- ... Under Holland and Babcock, the Swedes’ smarts have led to seamless integration. Holland believes the hockey brain develops at younger ages. If a player arrives in the NHL without smarts, he’s behind the curve, like an adult struggling with a foreign language when a child can learn it far quicker.
“We can make you stronger,” Holland said. “But I think a lot of the instincts of the game, you either have some of those instincts by the time you’re 12 or 14, or you don’t. If you don’t have hockey sense by the time you’re 14, you’re not going to get it when you’re 18. Something’s going on where these young players have hockey IQ.”...
- In the first month of the season, there have been few centers more offensively dynamic than Matt Duchene. Colorado’s No. 1 center scored five goals through seven games while winning 57.6 percent of his faceoffs. Duchene has always had great hands and wheels. But there were times, especially in his third year, when his shot and skating were not in synch. The Avalanche were nervous that Duchene’s 2011-12 season indicated a regression that couldn’t be fixed. “He was so bad,” said one executive of Duchene’s 14-14—28 output. Team Canada is loaded in the middle with Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Patrice Bergeron, and Eric Staal. But Duchene’s start may have the Canadians considering him for the Olympics as a left wing.
more on the Swedish topic plus other NHL notes...
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