Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Does +/- Even Count?

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

...Being the league’s statistician, it was a simple matter for Andrews to release these numbers to the media, and in 1967, the league made it official. Plus-minus became a recognized statistic.

But that was more than 40 years ago and the game has changed a lot since then. Now, we have specialists. We have coaches who have elevated the art of line-matching to a science.

As a result, certain defensemen will always be on the ice against the opposition’s top lines. So if you’re constantly going head to head against the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and so on, how can your plus-minus have any relevance whatsoever when compared to the defensemen on your team who only get off the bench to play against third and fourth lines?

more plus some Kelly/Lindros talk…

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

Canucks Need A Better Luongo

from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,

Given the struggles they endured in January, you would expect the Vancouver Canucks to be downright giddy over the three-game winning streak they carry into tonight’s game here against the Phoenix Coyotes.

But they’re not. Three wins can’t mask the fact that the team is still struggling in some key areas. The Canuck penalty-kill has been abysmal and goalie Roberto Luongo clearly hasn’t regained his form since returning from injury.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Breaking Down The PK

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN The Magazine,

Since the 2004-05 lockout, the NHL’s top priorities have been to improve game flow and boost scoring. On the flip side, slowing an opponent’s attack has become the No. 1 goal of coaches. Nowhere is that challenge more daunting than on penalty kills, thanks in part to rules changes that limit obstruction. It’s not just a question of giving up a goal in a close game—it’s what happens afterward. “It demoralizes your team,” says Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

Here are six ways coaches keep teams from getting down when they’re a man down.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Khabibulin Day-To-Day

from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Nikolai Khabibulin, who sparked the Blackhawks’ 3-1 victory at Atlanta on Wednesday night, suffered what the club termed a “lower body injury” in the late stages of that game and isn’t able to practice today….

The Hawks list Khabibulin as day-to-day and said that Cristobal Huet would start in goal on Friday when the Hawks visit the Blues to conclude at eight-game road trip. Whether Khabibulin will be available for Saturday’s home game against Dallas is uncertain.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Killing That Penalty

From E.J. Hradek at ESPN Magazine:

Since the 2004-05 lockout, the NHL’s top priorities have been to improve game flow and boost scoring. On the flip side, slowing an opponent’s attack has become the No. 1 goal of coaches. Nowhere is that challenge more daunting than on penalty kills, thanks in part to rules changes that limit obstruction. It’s not just a question of giving up a goal in a close game—it’s what happens afterward. “It demoralizes your team,” says Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

Here are six ways coaches keep teams from getting down when they’re a man down.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: penalty+killing, special+teams

You Don’t Leave New York for Kansas City

From Justin Kendall at The Pitch:

I called Neil deMause a couple of weeks ago. He’s the author of Field of Schemes, a Web site devoted to the ins and outs of stadium deals. He also lives in New York. deMause told me that “everybody’s freaking out” about the possibility of the Islanders skating to KC.

“The tabloids are in at least in 50 percent panic mode,” deMause said. “What are we going to do? This means we need to get an arena deal done. If that was the intent, then it’s working really well.”

But deMause added some clarity.

“You don’t leave New York for Kansas City,” deMause said. “Even in a down economy, there’s more opportunities to make money in New York.

“Maybe if Nassau Coliseum were literally falling down, and they felt like we’re not going to get anything, but they’re pretty close to getting deal in Long Island,” he added. “It’s just a matter of getting the local government to sign off on some of the approvals. It’s not like there was $300 million gap or something like there was in Seattle.”

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings in the Playoff Hunt

From Bill Witz at the LA Times:

“As a team, we never lost sight of the playoffs,” said defenseman Matt Greene, a veteran on the NHL’s youngest team. “I don’t think there’s any change in the attitude, but maybe we’re starting to find our groove a little bit more.”

Said Quick: “The biggest thing right now is the momentum of the team. Everyone is playing more confident and playing off each other. One guy has a good shift and that leads to the next guy having a good shift.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick, matt+green

The NHL Hour with Dave Ogrean of USA Hockey

USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Gary Bettman. From NHL.com:

Ogrean will discuss the second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, which begins Friday, Feb. 13 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 15. Hockey Weekend Across America celebrates hockey and those involved in the game at all levels and also seeks to expose the game to additional audiences to attract more players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans to the sport.

Ogrean’s booking on the NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman also coincides with the one-year countdown to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The Games represent the 30th anniversary of the U.S. ‘Miracle On Ice’ at Lake Placid and the 50th anniversary of the U.S. capturing the Olympic gold at Squaw Valley.

The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208). You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.

* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments to this email address: nhlhour@nhl.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+ogrean, gary+bettman, olympics, usa+hockey

Ottawa Blame Game

From TSN:

According to the Camden Courier-Post, [former coach John] Paddock feels general manager Bryan Murray should be in the crosshairs if Senators owner Eugene Melnyk hands out any more pink slips.

“I think now he’s next in line,” Paddock told the Courier-Post. “We were 14 games over .500 when I was fired. They’re seven under now. Somebody needs to take responsibility for that. Whether the coaches he hired and fired were good or not, they’re his players and they’re either not playing good or can’t play, one or the other.”

But Paddock, who is currently the head coach of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, doesn’t think coaching is the issue in the nation’s capital.

“The players are not very good, that’s the problem,” Paddock told the Courier-Post.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+murray, john+paddock

KHL President Talks Jagr & Emery

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

We had arranged to interview the KHL president and oil magnate through a league spokesman. We thought the timing was right given the Jaromir Jagr rumors, the Ray Emery situation, the world economic crisis, the nose-diving Russian ruble, falling oil prices and, well, the KHL’s survival.

An Edmonton Journal blog had the industry chirping Tuesday when it speculated the Oilers were taking another run at Jagr (they tried to sign him last July). The Oilers denied it. As we pointed out Tuesday, Jagr can’t leave his Russian contract with Omsk Avangard; and besides, if he did somehow sign with the Oilers, he’d have to clear NHL waivers first.

“Mr. Jagr played today for Avangard,” said Medvedev, who was in New York to take in the Capitals-Rangers game. “Legally, he has a contract. It would surprise me if it was really true that Edmonton tried to negotiate a deal with Mr. Jagr. I don’t like those rumors. But Edmonton publicly announced it wasn’t the case.”

Besides, continued Medvedev, Jagr is signed for “two years plus one [option].”

“And there is no-out clause [in the contract],” added Medvedev.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr, khl, ray+emery

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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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