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Ron Hextall And Dave Nonis Talk The Fight Game

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

"The games are so close," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall told ESPN.com Wednesday. "I think we all weigh on our top players a lot, and at points I think too much, so I think giving your so-called fourth line a couple of extra minutes, or maybe an extra 3-4 minutes, is becoming bigger and bigger. The guys there have to be good hockey players. I'm not saying our guy [Rosehill] that we demoted wasn't a good hockey player, but we were just looking for a few more minutes from those fourth-line guys." ...

"Colton (Orr) worked hard and brought other elements besides fighting," Leafs GM Dave Nonis told ESPN.com Wednesday. "He did a good job for us, and did play in the playoffs when fighting wasn't part of the game. But the actual minutes that we’re trying to pull out of our fourth line and the combinations that we want available for the coaches has lent itself to a different style of player right now." 

more including Ken Holland on the topic...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Brett Hull Auction

from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,

When you play over 1200 games in the NHL spanning over nearly 20 seasons, win two Stanley Cups, and make a living scoring goals, you’re bound to pick up a few souvenirs along the way. Thanks to one of the most iconic goal-scorers in hockey history, now you can own a little piece of hockey history.

Brett Hull, he of over 700 NHL tallies and nearly 1400 points, has teamed up with Classic Auctions to put up for bidding a selection of incredible hockey memorabilia ranging from game-worn jerseys to trophies presented to Hull during his illustrious career. And for the next six days, hockey fans, collectors, and all interested parties can place bids on pieces from the incredible assortment of hockey mementos.

Of the 88 pieces up for auction, some of the most astounding include Hull’s trophies for reaching the 400- and 500-goal plateaus, including the silver stick he was given upon reaching the half-millennium mark.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+hull

A Look At Jack Eichel

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Jack Eichel is that classic -- often reported as extinct -- middle-class American kid. Oh, and as his BU head coach David Quinn said, "He's a physical freak with strength, vision and an NHL shot." That helps, too.

But, as we have seen many times in sports, those skills are not enough. No one does it alone.

A lava lamp's function is not to create light, but to create a mood. As your eyes fixate, the unpredictable, syrupy movements put you in a state of calmed focus. It's hard to take your eyes off it.

Boston University marked its lava lamp with a firetruck-red No. 9. There's a new kid in town.

I drove up to Boston last weekend to see and meet the kid in person. Jack Eichel is a 6-foot-1, 18-year-old buoyant blob of wax still cooling and congealing as he makes his purposeful strides toward the 2015 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida.

Eichel's name will be the first or second called next June 26. He will hold up an NHL jersey (Buffalo's? Carolina's? Winnipeg's? Arizona's? Florida's? Toronto's?), smile and begin his NHL career soon after.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+eichel

The 50% Win Rate

from Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey,

Long gone are the days that a .500 record meant a competitive team. That benchmark went the way of the dodo bird when the NHL in its infinite wisdom introduced the concept of a third point for some — but not all — games, back in 1999. After the lockout scrubbed the entire 2004-05 season, the further step was taken of initiating a shootout to ensure that a third point was awarded in every tied game. “No more ties!” promised Gary Bettman, while introducing a subversive system that rewarded 60-minute ties disproportionately more than wins. Critics of the league — and I am one of them — derisively refer to the league’s new accounting system as “Bettman math”, where 2 + 0 = 2, but 1 + 1 = 3.

NHL coaches are no dummies — well, most of them aren’t — so not surprisingly, the number of regulation ties proceeded to skyrocket. In the 9 full seasons (well, eight & 48/82 full seasons) from 2005-14, no fewer than 23.5% of all games wound up deadlocked through 60, in effect creating a third point that was not awarded in the 76.5% of games that were cleanly won. “Let;s make sure of the one point, and go after the second one in overtime” became a coaching maxim that all too often one could see being employed by both teams when the score was tied in regulation. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Growing Trend Of Bigger Goaltenders

from Jamie McLennan of TSN,

It's no secret that the league's been trending upwards in the size and strength of players - not to mention an all-time high with skill as well.

That said, goaltenders have gone from that short fat kid who couldn't skate (so they throw him in net) to the athletic monster who is not only lean and agile, but covers a ton of square footage even before he puts the gear on. 
The evolution of goaltending has been spectacular. Speaking from experience, there's no doubt the position has evolved skill-wise - to the point where it's the most improved position in the game over the last 20 years. But with that, the size of the goaltenders has also dramatically increased.
Back in 1994, I was just starting out in the league and always considered myself a taller goalie. I was six feet tall and playing a stand-up style like most goaltenders of that generation, so we tended to look taller in the net. 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Torey Krug Out 2-3 Weeks With Broken Finger

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, Wednesday, October 29, that the club has recalled defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence (American Hockey League).  Morrow and Warsofsky will join the team in Wilmington, MA on Wednesday for their 11:30 a.m. practice at Ristuccia Arena and will travel with the team to Buffalo.

Chiarelli also announced that defenseman Torey Krug will miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. The injury occurred during the Bruins/Wild game on Tuesday, October 28.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: torey+krug

A Fast Start To The Season Is Important

from Adam Gretz of CBS Sports,

I went back over the last three full 82-game seasons (I excluded the 48-game lockout shortened season of 2012-13) and looked at how every team did in their first 10 games of the season and whether or not they ended up making the playoffs.

Surprisingly, the first 10 games is a pretty solid barometer as to whether or not a team is going to succeed or not in that season. Let's break it down.

Over the past three full seasons...

- Teams that posted a points percentage of at least .700 over the first 10 games of the season made the playoffs 73 percent of the time and won two of the three Stanley Cups (the 2010-11 Boston Bruins and 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings).

- Teams that were between .600 and .699 over their first 10 games made the playoffs 60 percent and won the other Stanley Cup (the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings).


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Of the 12 games contested Tuesday:
* Eight were tied or within one goal entering the third period (WPG-NYI, LAK-PHI, OTT-CBJ, BUF-TOR, ANA-CHI, STL-DAL, SJS-COL, MTL-CGY).
* Seven resulted in one-goal margins, including four that required extra time (LAK-PHI, STL-DAL, SJS-COL, MTL-CGY).
* Seven teams overcame deficits – at any point in the game – to pick up victories (MIN, WPG, PIT, OTT, DAL, SJS, MTL).
* Three teams rallied from multi-goal deficits to at least tie their games (MIN, NYI, PIT). Of those three, both the Wild and Penguins went on to win.
* Seven teams posted three or more consecutive goals at some stretch of their games (MIN, WPG, PIT, OTT, TOR, TBL, VAN). That includes seven unanswered goals by the Penguins, who trailed 3-1 prior to their run.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Are the St. Louis Blues?

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Head coach Ken Hitchcock is at a bit of a loss to figure out just what he's got with his bacterially challenged, banged-up squad as the Blues try to scramble their way through the opening stages of this still-young season.

In spite of a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday that saw the Blues battle back three times from one-goal deficits, Hitchcock wondered aloud if this was going to be a season of challenges after last season saw the Blues go most of the season with a consistent lineup.

"We have no idea what type of team we have," Hitchcock said after Tuesday's win.

"This might be one of those years where we're just going to have to scramble to stay afloat. You don't know. We didn't have any adversity last year until the last two weeks and then we just got bombed with it. But this one is different. We've had nothing but an unsettled roster both at practice and games since the second game of the season." 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Nashville Predators Are Prepared For Six Game, Thirteen Day Road Trip

from Eric Strongren of The Tennessean,

Making road trips successful — beyond winning games — means a grinding schedule for Rogers and assistant equipment manager Jeff Camelio. Early mornings and late nights for the love of the game, often on consecutive days and in different cities hundreds of miles apart. And lots of gear — 1,800 pounds' worth.

Rogers and Camelio handle the Predators' equipment in a workshop-like setting at Centennial Sportsplex and Bridgestone Arena. There are tool chests, blow torches, a microwave oven used to mold thick plastic into skate guards and spare parts available for just about every possible hockey situation.

There are 25 bags containing protective equipment for each player. There are three bags with as many as 300 sticks. Each player also has backup equipment, skates and a pair of extra skate blades. There's also a sewing machine, skate sharpener, medical trunks, television broadcast equipment, two sets of jerseys and even a soccer ball.

"The biggest thing for us is all the extra stuff we have to pack," Rogers said.

On this road trip, the Predators will travel 5,500 miles and play games in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg before concluding against Dallas and St. Louis.

The logistics involved in moving the team through each city falls on Brandon Walker, the Predators' manager of hockey operations.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | 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





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