Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
I thought of things I’d like to see once training camp opens on Wednesday. Here are 10 conclusions:
- Pull the goalie. It took Patrick Roy, of all people, to decide that not playing a useless goalie late in a game is wise. According to the Denver Post, the Avalanche scored in four regular-season games after Roy pulled his goalie with more than two minutes left in regulation. The Avalanche went 2-1-1. Every statistical analysis concludes the risk of allowing an empty-net goal is worth the advantage of having an extra attacker. What’s the difference between losing by two goals instead of one? It’s not easy to clear the zone, to say nothing of gaining control of the puck, when you’re outmanned. At 19:00, when most coaches wave their goalies to the bench, it’s too late.
- Practice occasionally at night. The puck drops on the average NHL practice at 10:30 a.m. Of the 1,230 games last year, just one started before noon Eastern time: Winnipeg at Philadelphia at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 29. Research would be required, but common sense dictates that players would perform better if they played at the same time as they practiced.
- Hire full-time chefs. After games in Buffalo, road teams usually snack on wings in the dressing room. Even us gluttons know this is not health food. It’s critical for athletes to refuel with good, nutritious meals after maximum effort. My team would have a chef and an assistant preparing healthy meals during the game to be ready for consumption in the room and on the plane.
more plus additonal hockey topics...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- What some Leafs executive should say publicly but won’t: “Shut the $%^*# up, Tim Leiweke. If you have something to say about our hockey team, how about saying it in private.”
- A thoughtful NHL executive on the current gushing over hockey analytics: “The numbers can tell you why. They can’t tell you how.” ... And I do like Dallas Eakins’ take on individual Corsi stats: He believes it’s more a reflection of the five players on the ice, or a forward line, than it is on any singular player. So if a coach didn’t know a line wasn’t working — which any quality coach should know — he now has the statistics to demonstrate that.
a few more hockey notes...
from David Isaac of the Courier-Post,
The team's founder doesn't usually show up until midway through training camp and Saturday he was at the team's practice facility in a bright orange windbreaker with a Flyers emblem on the left side of his chest ready for the first day of rookie camp.
Snider, 81, found out earlier this year that he had cancer, but after radiation and chemotherapy, it's "all gone." He feels full of life and ready to start another campaign hoping to re-create the magic of 39 years ago, the last time the Flyers won a Stanley Cup....
Snider says he's constantly reminded the Flyers haven't won a Cup since 1975. The almosts and close calls over the years have haunted him.
"The bottom line is that's success," Snider said. "To get to the finals and then something always (expletive) happens to us in the finals."...
Don't mention the Stanley Cup Finals in 1976 when the Montreal Canadiens won the first of four straight Cups and swept the Flyers, although the first three games were won by one goal.
"They barely beat us!" an animated Snider said. "That team would have won four or so in a row. I just feel like somehow we're snakebit and somebody's putting pins in a doll."
Yawn. That’s my prediction for the 2014-15 Jets. Yawn. The young players will continue developing, and they’ll show promise. But the goalie is weak. And unless they fix that, the most interesting thing about this team is whether or not they’ll finally set Kane free to play some meaningful hockey somewhere that appreciates him. Oh: And they’ll miss the playoffs. The West is stacked.
-Jordan Heath-Rawlings of Sportsnet where you can read more on the preview of the Winnipeg Jets.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Forwards Jordin Tootoo and Ruslan Fedotenko also will attend training camp with the Devils as tryouts, general manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning.
Tootoo's camp tryout was first reorted by Sportsnet’s Josh Rimer.
Fedotenko, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, and Tootoo join forward Scott Gomez, the former Devil, and defenseman Tomas Kaberle as Devils' training camp tryouts. Lamoriello said he is not expecting to make any other tryout invites.
Lamoriello said this was a case of these players/their agents approaching the Devils about coming to camp as tryouts.. There are “no promises, no guarantees” as far the tryouts even playing in preseason games.
“I’m sure that some will get in (preseason games), but there’s no promises,” Lamoriello said. “There’s no promises, no guarantees. They’ve approached us and they want to be here. It’s not a case of trying (to get them to get come to camp.)."
Johnny Gaudreau with a deek then the backhand goes top-shelf, far corner.
A TSN promo...
Paul Stastny talks after his first infomal skate with the St. Louis Blues...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Welcome to the seventh edition of the PMT, arguably the single most important promotional event on the league’s 2014-15 marketing calendar. Many of the intermission features and public-service announcements that will show up on your television screens during the coming hockey season were recorded in a crammed two-day period last Monday and Tuesday in New York.
The players spend one day mostly sequestered at NHL headquarters in downtown Manhattan; the other day is spent across the river in New Jersey, where on-ice action is filmed at the Prudential Center, the home of the Devils.
The attraction on the media side is clear: a chance to get one-on-one face time with a who’s who of NHL stars and up-and-comers, a rare and unique opportunity in an era of pack journalism. But it is equally valuable for the players, especially the star players, who can find the demands on their time so great that it can act as a distraction when training camps for the 2014-15 season officially open next week.
Pat Brisson, the Los Angeles-based co-head of the Creative Artists Agency’s hockey division, has 14 clients in attendance, including Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. Brisson believes the PMT is a godsend, especially to his high-end clients, because it helps them knock off about 80 per cent of their training-camp media responsibilities in a concentrated period of time.
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel,
As Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad dug the puck out of the corner during a half-ice drill during the first prospects practice Friday morning at the team facility, all eyes were on him, particularly an interested set owned by NHL legend Denis Potvin.
The comparisons are obvious. Potvin, who's back for a second stint as Panthers television analyst, was also the overall No. 1 draft pick, albeit 31 years earlier in 1973. Both are from Ontario and considered offensive-defensemen. Both wore No. 5 on their backs and both were expected to make an immediate impact in the NHL as teenagers.
Potvin did. The Panthers are hoping Ekblad will....
"[Ekblad's] not as good-looking as I was,'' joked Potvin, who had 54 points his first year and 310 career goals to go with a career plus-minus of 460, sixth best all-time. "The first thing I saw was great hands. When they were battling he protected the puck well and passed the puck well, which is important. He got a puck on the boards and made a saucer pass all the way to the blue line, which is nice!
"But the most important aspect of his development is how closely he gets to his coach, who will have the ultimate decision; that's where you're going to grow.''
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.
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