Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: defense

Racing Back for the Puck

From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,

Experience and instincts are a large part of reading the situation. Knowing angles to avoid the hit, knowing where your defensive partner is to make a quick play on the puck, even putting on the brakes to minimize the damage, are all factors. Decisions are made in just a few seconds.

Many times, the option isn’t going to be pleasant.

“You are not scared, but you take a look to see who is breathing down your neck,” Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien said. “You know your job as a defenseman is to get to the puck first, but if he is right on you, sometimes you can slow down a little bit and let him get right on your back. That way he doesn’t have that stride-and-a-half to bury you.”

more… on all the strategies of being—and checking—a defenseman.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: defense, hitting

Not Wild for the Style

From Jim Souhan at the Star Tribune,

The NHL is about dumping the puck, taking the opponents’ stars out of the game, working a defensive system and waiting for a mistake that will create a scoring chance. If NFL coaches thought like NHL coaches, every team would punt on first down.

Take the Wild—please. They’re not just slumping—they’re boring. Because of the Wild’s style and the NHL’s emphasis on defensive systems, Marian Gaborik spends most of the game looking like a guy waiting for a bus.

Don’t repeat the popular argument that he needs to work harder, needs to be more of a two-way player, blah, blah, blah. Gaborik is a scorer. When he scores, the Wild almost always wins. Ergo: Gaborik should spend his ice time trying to score.

That would be good for the fans, the team, the league. Instead, we get to hear Jacques Lemaire chide him about defensive responsibility.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: defense, fighting, marian+gaborik

Canes Defense Needs To Stay Healthy

from the News & Observer,

...But the Canes have only seven NHL defensemen under contract, leaving the margin for error wafer-thin. On a team most assess as a Stanley Cup contender, this is the acknowledged weak spot.

“If our defense can stay healthy, there shouldn’t be any doubt of what we’re capable of doing or how well we’re capable of playing,” Canes forward Erik Cole said.

There’s a little depth in the system—only one defenseman, Wade Brookbank, has played in an NHL game—and no money left in the budget for reinforcements, so the Canes need their five healthy defensemen to stay stay that way and need Kaberle and Bret Hedican to be ready on opening night.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carolina+hurricanes, defense

Nashville Depending On Defense

from the Tennessean,

The Predators did lose quite a talent in Kimmo Timonen, who’d posted at least 40 points in five straight seasons. But the addition of experienced Greg de Vries, the steady improvement of Zanon, Suter, Weber and Dan Hamhuis, and the potential of Marek Zidlicky should make for a formidable blueline unit.

“Our defense is very strong and it will probably be the strength of our organization for a number of years,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “You’ve got the growth of the young guys and you’ve got the depth our organization has had in finding those type of players that are really strong.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: defense, nashville+predators

Vlasic Fits In Sharks “D”

from the Mercury News,

While Vlasic’s name now is chiseled onto the Sharks’ roster, he faces a different challenge: finding a defensive partner. The steady Scott Hannan is gone, having signed as a free agent with Colorado.

“I thought Scotty and I had a pretty good chemistry,” Vlasic said. “If I made a mistake, he was there to back me up. He showed me how to position myself on the ice. It was great to play with him.”

Actually, Wilson countered, it was the other way around.

“I think Mark helped Scotty more, to be honest,” he said. “Marc is the last guy I’m worried about. We just have to find him someone to play with now.”

read on... Is that a backhanded shot at Hannan from Wilson?

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: defense, marc-edouard+vlasic, san+jose+sharks

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