Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Talking Hockey On A Saturday Afternoon

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

- The Rangers had no choice but to re-sign Henrik Lundqvist on Dec. 4, 2013, seven months before he became an unrestricted free agent. Lundqvist, then as he is now, is one of the league’s elite goalies. The Rangers would have twirled down the Eastern Conference standings had they given the crease to backup Cam Talbot or acquired a cheaper goalie. Lundqvist’s window is not subject to immediate closure. But a seven-year extension through 2020 carries a lot of risk for any aging goalie, even if his future is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Lundqvist will be 38 and carrying an $8.5 million annual cap hit in the final year of his deal. Lundqvist plays deeper and turns to his reflexes more than younger goalies. As the pace of the game quickens and Lundqvist ages, it will become harder for the goalie to continue his sterling performance.

- Good teams utilize the ice below the goal line to make plays down low, open up the points, and stretch out defensive formations. They should also take more cracks at shooting from behind the line. Goalies aren’t expecting shots to arrive. They’re anticipating passes out front or jams in front of the net. Goalies are positioned awkwardly because they’re twisting their necks to track the puck. Once it arrives, the puck is hard to control for a goalie when it bounces off his back or shoulder. The shot might not necessarily go in, but it could create a dangerous rebound. Being unpredictable is critical.

Chatter around the league favors the Bruins retaining Claude Julien. However, management will keep Julien under watch. If things go sideways early next season, Julien will be out. Bruce Cassidy and Mike Milbury will be considered as replacements.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com