Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/24/14 at 07:04 AM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
It will take understanding how they can be more effective and less susceptible to injury. It will take a puck-possession and attacking philosophy that will entertain and allow them to play at their best. After all, the Sedins turn 34 on Sept. 26 and are in the first year of four-year, $28-million-US contract extensions. Desjardins will have to display the proper tact to ensure his four-year contract as a rookie NHL head coach plays out the right way because the Sedins are still the straw that stirs the drink. It’s why president of hockey operations Trevor Linden and Desjardins will eventually travel to Sweden to meet with the Sedins.
A system where the Sedins aren’t played to death, told to kill penalties and block shots will help. At one point last season, Ryan Kesler led all NHL forwards in ice time while Daniel was fourth and Henrik sixth. Henrik would average 20:40 and Daniel 20:36 to finish 10th and 12th respectively, but they often averaged 22-24 minutes and some nights even logged 25 minutes. Getting them back to the 19 minutes they averaged in their Art Ross Trophy years would be a step in the right direction. Daniel slumped to 16 goals this past season, Henrik laboured through injury to manage 11 and the power play was ranked 26th and the offence 28th.
“They’re key guys and want to play their best so we just have to find out what that is and do it,” said Desjardins. “They’re smart guys. They know. They’re elite players. You have to read it a little bit first but there is one style I like playing. You have to see what players are there and what you have to do. One thing I know is that it doesn’t matter how things start or how they work — you have to win. I know I have to win. I know I have to find a way.
“It’s about habits. They take some time to create and that’s something I’ll have to work on. You just have to respect the players. We all have the same goals and I just didn’t take the job without doing research on the team. I know the skill level. It’s how can we get there working together.”
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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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