Kukla's Korner Hockey
PERRY, ANDERSEN KEEP DUCKS ROLLING
Corey Perry recorded his second hat trick of the season (and the seventh of his career) and Frederik Andersen made 22 saves to lead the Ducks to their sixth consecutive victory.
* At 6-1-0, the Ducks have matched their best seven-game start in franchise history in terms of both wins (6; 2013-14) and points (12; 2006-07 and 2013-14).
* Playing in his seventh game of the season, Perry became the fastest player in Ducks history to reach eight goals. He also moved into a tie for the League lead in both goals and points (10).
* Perry posted his first hat trick of 2014-15 in Anaheim’s first game of the season (Oct. 9 at PIT). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the sixth player in the past 29 years to register multiple hat tricks over his team’s first seven games of a season. The others: Boston’s Charlie Simmer (1985-86), Edmonton’s Glenn Anderson (1987-88), Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux (1988-89), Montreal’s Brian Savage (1999-00) and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk (2003-04).
Most of the Calder Trophy forecasts for this year landed on one of Drouin, the Los Angeles Kings’ Tanner Pearson, the Washington Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov or Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau. MacKinnon didn’t get off to the fastest start last year either, but started to roll after about 10 games. You can imagine the same thing happening with Drouin once he settles into a routine. The kid looks good already. In time, he may look great.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail on Jonathan Drouin of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Read more on Drouin from Duhatschek.
from John Gustafson of The Guardian,
Justin Williams, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy holder and three-time Stanley Cup champion, possesses a sort of serene confidence. Dressed in gray shorts, matching shirt and flip flops the day after the Los Angeles Kings first win of the new season, he seems totally at ease in what is now his fifth year in Southern California. He is by turns funny, self-deprecating, humble and thoughtful. It’s only when he finishes answering a question and fixes his hazel eyes on you in a look of almost baleful intensity that you catch a glimpse of what makes Williams one of the best right wings in the game.
“One of the special things in hockey is the handshake line at the end of a playoff series. I’ve been a part of a lot of wins in those lines but I’ve also been a part of some losses as well. When you look that guy in the eye and you shake his hand and you know they got the better of you it’s very frustrating for me. I never like knowing someone got the better of me.
“You know we won in 2012. We lost in 2013 you kind of felt cheated or slighted that you see someone else raise the Stanley Cup. I guess it’s kind of like seeing someone else with your wife. You get jealous. You know, why is he holding the Stanley Cup? That should be mine.”
continued, good read....
from Eric Wilbur of Boston.com,
As part of one of the worst moves the NHL has seen since Arizona hockey, Johnny Boychuk was traded to the New York Islanders for a pair of draft picks, in addition to a conditional 2015 third-round pick if the Islanders trade the defenseman to an Eastern Conference team this season.
Just throwing this out there: Does that include the Boston Bruins?
Less than three weeks ago, Thursday night’s game against the Islanders was little more than an early-season throwaway game for the Bruins. That was before Peter Chiarelli went and angered the masses by trading popular defenseman Boychuk to an NHL franchise that might as well be in Siberia for all the relevance they should muster this season.
Now, Thursday night is as much about Bruins fans welcoming Boychuk back to his old haunts as it is sticking it to Chiarelli, who created the very salary cap shambles that forced him to surrender a top-four defenseman on the eve of what might be another run at the Stanley Cup.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Let's take a more in-depth look at some of the problems, and how the Avs can turn things around.
1. Turnover City: The Avs can book their offseason plans right now after Game No. 82 if they don't take better care of the puck. In 82 games last season, Colorado recorded 535 official giveaways — sixth-fewest in the league. Critics will say "that's because they didn't have the puck enough," but that team took better care of the puck than this sloppy group in the first seven games.
Coach Patrick Roy constantly preached the value of "gap control" between the forwards and defensemen, and odd-man rushes against the Avs were fewer than previous years as a result. Not so much this time.
"Right now the way I look at it, is we want an easy game," Roy said after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. "Until we're where we want to compete at the level we were last year, we're going to struggle. We're not sharp mentally."
Reason for optimism: Nobody works harder than Roy when things aren't going well, so he already is scheming to find ways to tighten his team up again.
2. Big guys not scoring: Jarome Iginla, signed to a three-year, $16 million free-agent contract over the summer, has yet to score a goal. Nathan MacKinnon, the reigning NHL Calder Trophy winner, hasn't scored a goal either.
A little over two minutes of highlights...
Tonight we all stand on guard for thee, Canada.
Yes, I have been following on CBC today the tragic news out of Ottawa.
My heart plus thoughts and prayers go out to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton who was killed today guarding the National War Memorial.
Yes, we have hockey tonight but it won't be the same, sporting events are secondary when tragedy strikes like it did today.
May this world which seems to be closing in on us become a better place, one where we can go through our daily routines without fear of violence.
Meet John Ledecky and Scott Malkin.
from Jamie McLellan of TSN,
Right now, Quick is the best in the game at tracking pucks. A lot of times when we talk about a goalie who is 'seeing the puck well,' this is exactly what we mean. It's his ability to find pucks through bodies, arms and any other traffic jams that are going on in front of him. We all know of his flexibility, his lateral movement and his competitiveness. He's putting it to good use by finding pucks other goaltenders are unable to track consistently right now.
Coming into the season, we knew Anaheim was deep in goal. But all the talk was of John Gibson and his ability to be a No. 1 keeper. Lost in the shuffle was Frederik Andersen's ability and skill set. Not only did he show people what he's capable of, but Andersen also joined former Boston goalie Ross Brooks as the only two goalies in NHL history to win 25 of their first 30 career starts.
Andersen has started the year 5-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage, improving to 25-5 in his short career. And he already has a shutout to his credit, blanking the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 19....
Antti Niemi is always under fire as a weak link for the Sharks. He has a Stanley Cup from a season when people believed that Chicago outscored his issues in the playoffs. His stumbles in last year's playoffs - as well as in the 2011-12 postseason - didn't help his cause. But his regular season consistency is always there and it's hard to criticize someone who had 39 wins last year and has started the year 3-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and one shutout. He has put up regular season dominance behind a great regular season team.
more on each group...
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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