Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/16/11 at 06:28 PM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Vacation time is almost over. With teams less than a month from heading to training camp, here’s a look at a player from each of the 15 teams in the Western Conference who’ll be under pressure to perform as soon as the puck drops:
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary—Kiprusoff has played at least 71 games and won at least 35 of them in each of the last six seasons. But his save percentage last season dropped to .906 after he was at .920 in 2009-10—and he’s been at .906 or below in three of the last four seasons. Kiprusoff will have to be better this season if the Flames hope to end a two-year playoff drought.
Duncan Keith, Chicago—Keith went from Norris Trophy winner in 2009-10 to nothing special last season, mirroring the Hawks’ fall from Stanley Cup champs to a team lucky to finish eighth in the West. Keith fell from 14 goals and 69 points to 7-38-45, and went from plus-21 to minus-1. He looked sharper in the Hawks’ seven-game loss to Vancouver in the opening round of the playoffs, and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t bounce back with another big season.
note 8:41pm, link is now dead, maybe they meant the East, see my comment below…continued
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