Kukla's Korner Hockey
I usually do a semi-annual post on the ways to help out KK but this time it is a little different.
I have started a GoFundMe page which allows you to donate and improve KK.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The creative force behind the fake Sean Monahan Twitter account (Boring Sean Monahan) remains an unsolved mystery in the Calgary Flames dressing room, though the suspect list has generally been narrowed down to two possible candidates, both of them long gone from the team.
It might have been defenceman Chris Butler, now with the St. Louis Blues, because of his quiet sneaky sense of humour. Brian McGrattan, now in the minors, is the other option, a loud and boisterous dressing-room presence who took Monahan under his wing last year, when the latter was still an NHL rookie.
Whoever created – and still maintains – the account (@boringmonahan) follows just one player (McGrattan), which is either a too-obvious clue or a clever red herring.
Defenceman Dennis Wideman thinks it’s the latter.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Will the age of enhanced statistics one day change the way NHL Central Scouting goes about its business in evaluating the top players eligible for the NHL Draft?
There's no denying the fact enhanced stats have taken the NHL and its fans by storm. In February, the League announced a partnership with enterprise software company SAP to provide many new statistics via NHL.com. If this stats revolution changes the way people now analyze the game, what could it do for NHL scouts?
"If you add ingredients to help you evaluate someone, you have to use those ingredients," Central Scouting's David Gregory said. "But you can't go overboard; we've been baking a cake our whole life and now, if you put icing on the cake, it's better. But if it's all icing it's not a good cake, so I think if you take it too far it might not work.
"The eyeball test still has to be there, you still have to apply what analytics do. It could help you decide between one guy or the other, and I believe it is good for the game."
Chris Edwards, who does a majority of his scouting in the Ontario Hockey League, isn't completely sold on the enhanced stats revolution.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Once again, there’s a seismic shift going on in the hockey world.
The last major one, you could argue, came in the late 1980s and early 1990s when European players started coming overseas in large numbers to play in the NHL, minor pro, U.S. colleges and in the Canadian Hockey League.
At around the same time, the seeds were being planted in the southwestern United States for a harvest that would take more than two decades to be realized, but is now coming into plain view for anyone paying attention.
The indicators are all around. Since 1992, the registration of hockey players in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Texas) and southeastern U.S. has increased by 240 per cent, more than half of that has come over the past 10 years.
In the same time period, there have been NHL teams added in Florida, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Anaheim, San Jose and Nashville, joining the Los Angeles Kings, whose acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in 1988 undoubtedly accelerated interest in the sport in virgin territories.
Not surprisingly, all these NHL teams and registered skaters have started to produce more and more elite players.
from Brian Costello of The Hockey News,
If you’re Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche, for example, you’re now in a position to draft 10th overall in June, with a 3.5 percent chance of winning the McDavid lottery. If you can manage your roster in such a way as to get as few points as possible in your remaining eight games, maybe a few teams slip ahead of you in the standings and you move to seventh pick – with a 6.5 percent chance of getting McDavid.
Don’t you do that? It’s in the best interests of your organization.
Despite what some people think, there’s nothing nefarious about it. You’re gathering information on your players. Don’t you play Reto Berra for a good chunk of games down the stretch rather than Semyon Varlamov? You paid a second-round pick to get Berra a year ago, aren’t you trying to determine if he has what it takes to keep the job for next season? You’re trying to assess the development of 2010 first-rounder Joey Hishon and he’s averaged just under nine minutes in five recent games. Don’t you put him out there for 18-20 minutes and in key situations down the stretch?
And maybe in the process you double your odds of winning McDavid or move up a handful of very important spots in the order of selection for the most important draft in a decade.
You can make a similar case for Philadelphia. Or Florida soon enough. Or San Jose. Or several other teams. Let’s see Anthony Stolarz between the pipes in the NHL. Or Rocco Grimaldi on the power play. Or Konrad Abeltshauser killing penalties.
NEW YORK (March 27, 2015) – Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
Wilson was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 936 against Toronto on March 1. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1057 at Minnesota on March 19. Wilson received a minor penalty for embellishment on the play, at 14:45 of the second period.
You can see the play below...
The commissioner wanted parity in the league and he's got that whole-heartedly. There are 16 teams that get into the playoffs and legitimately any one of them could get out of their conference this year. That's what the league wanted and they did a nice job. But I don't know if they anticipated the parity of the top 8 or 9 top players, how similar and how valuable they all are to their own teams; how valuable a guy like Tavares is to the Islanders, Voracek to the Flyers, Crosby to the Penguins, and so on. I don't know if we've ever seen in hockey so many superstars that are so equally matched at this point in their careers. It's parity in teams, and it's parity with the superstars, that's pretty good for hockey."
-Wayne Gretzky. More from and on Gretzky from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com.
With eight games remaining in the regular season, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley isn't concerned about his poker face.
A critical five-game road trip facing the Flames, one that could have serious implications on their bid to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, instead has Hartley insisting Calgary's crew is all in.
"It seems that we always find a way to elevate our games in situations that we need to and right now we're all in," Hartley said. "The chips are all on the table right now. There's no bluffs. We have to come up with our best performances and it's fun. I'm enjoying the games. The players are on the job. This city is right behind us."
The Flames, who completed a five-game homestand with a 2-1-2 record following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, begin their final extended road trip of the season Friday against the Minnesota Wild. It continues against the Nashville Predators, Stars, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers.
Calgary will start the trip on the outside looking in.
In ninth place in the Western Conference, the Flames are one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division and three behind the Vancouver Canucks for second.
RANGERS SOLVE HAMMOND, ARE FIRST TO CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
Even at 1-1 midway through the first period, the Rangers scored four unanswered goals – highlighted by 2-1—3 from Chris Kreider – to improve to 9-2-1 in their last 12 games and become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* The Rangers clinched their fifth consecutive playoff berth, ninth in the past 10 seasons and 57th in franchise history.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
What follows is a very lightly edited transcript of our conversation that evening, from beginning to end. So join us now for dinner, but without the calories and the restaurant background noise.
• I get the sense there’s much more to the leadership that’s being asked of you than having had an A stitched on your jersey. And you’re taking French lessons.
Yes. I take this with so much more pride than ever before. Little things used to bother me. The best thing for me was to spend last summer in Florida. I didn’t think or talk about hockey once. I just let it all go and I came back with an open mind and I think that’s something I’ve needed to do for a long time: be more open-minded to different, I guess, environments and situations.
I never grew up in a place like Montreal. It was tough for me at first to realize that if I had a bad shift or didn’t score a goal, it affected another person’s life. That’s just the reality of the way it is in Montreal.
And I’ve grown to love it. Even just this year, I’ve learned to love it more than ever. It was tough for me to understand really at first, but now that I’m more open-minded to everything, Katia and I can’t see ourselves being anywhere else. It’s crazy how much you can change in a year, but it’s not bull, it’s 100 per cent true.
As for the French, I’ve told my teacher she’ll have to be a little slower with me at this time of the year, my mind isn’t always there and I can be a little tired. I can read French because I understand Spanish, but the accents — they’re tough. And she’ll be telling me, “il est” or “elle est.” (laughs) What makes an object male or female?
• The other night in Tampa Bay, without an A on your road jersey, you went to discuss a call with an official at the timekeeper’s bench. Without the A, that’s not often done.
Relationships with the referees is probably one of the biggest parts about being a leader. I’ve talked to Berge and Mike about that early on and they said, “It’s really important because everything goes through you, on the ice. We can’t be out there, you have to have a good relationship with the refs.”
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