KK Members Blog
Remember back in the late 80s when players like Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Hull, and Yzerman were racking up points; and Brendan Shanahan was racking up fights and PIMs? My how things have changed. Lemieux, having made his millions after freely roaming the ice for years protected by the likes of Troy Loney, Grant Jennings and Jay Caufield is now an owner. One that is more content bashing tough guys instead of respecting them. Shanahan, who first made his mark in the league because of his fists, is now dishing out suspensions at a torrid pace, as the league’s head disciplinarian.
The late 80s gave us a multidimensional game, full of both individual displays of scoring feats and enforcers who were actually allowed to enforce the game in the moment. Was the correlation a simple coincidence? Or did opposing players know that if they touched Wayne, Marty was coming for them? Or if Steve was touched, Bob wasn’t going to be far behind? Don’t even look at Brett cross-eyed… the Twister was watching your every move.
After a tweet by NHL.com`s Brian Metzer about James Neal`s stats in October(s), I joked that perhaps Mr. Neal is the new Mr. Savage. Thus far, Neal has 5 points in 5 games to start the season.
Is there something to this comparison?
Let`s look at Neal`s career month-by-month splits (Apologies for the formatting)
GP G A Pts PPG +/- Pct
October 40 19 16 35 0.875 7 0.178
November 29 12 10 22 0.759 1 0.146
December 42 16 11 27 0.643 -2 0.137
January 38 13 7 20 0.526 -7 0.143
February 31 7 7 14 0.452 -5 0.101
March 46 8 11 19 0.413 -6 0.075
April 13 2 3 5 0.385 2 0.067
Hmm, very good totals in October and November, and an obvious, steady, decline as the season wears on. This does look suspiciously like Brian Savage`s career, with a very clear trend.
Still, I think the reasons must be quite different. Neal plays a much more rambunctious style than Savage ever did, perhaps leading Neal to wear down as the season progresses. Also, Neal`s shots-per-game totals are consistent, while his shooting percentage declines. It`s not as if he`s not getting chances, he`s just not scoring.
Anybody going to the game? I will be taking the train into STL from my home in KC. I have done this the last few years and had a great time. The Blues fans are pretty good. I always wear my Gordie Howe jersey and when they see it has the number 9 on the back, they always say something nice about him.
These are exciting times to be a hockey fan in Winnipeg, heat wave be damned – from the announcement of True North’s purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers to the draft party at the MTS Centre and the naming of the team, there has been no shortage of exciting developments in regards to Winnipeg’s return to the NHL.
I went to my fair share of Jets games in my time, and like almost every aging hockey fan in town was a huge fan of the team. I was upset when the original Jets were relocated to Phoenix back in 1996, but couldn’t deny the reasons the team left – no local owner, no new arena, etc.
Fast forward fifteen years and the Jets are back – sort of. There’s a new arena and owner (thank goodness), and the team, once again, is called the Jets (to the absolute delight of most). But until the team skates out on to home ice, I think I’ll continue having a hard time calling them “my” team.
Last season was interesting for Sens fans. There were the lows from the injuries, constant reports the coach and players wanted to kill each other, and another season wondering how many games Pascal Leclaire would miss after getting hit by the Higgs Boson particle (Google it, it’s a tiny particle and it is essentially harmless).
I went into this offseason with some sense of optimism sprinkled with a sense of hope that this season was going to be better then everyone was predicting.
On Friday night during the Wings/Flames game, Brad Stuart sustained a broken jaw that will require surgery. He will be out indefinitely. The injury resulted from a blindsided, vicious hit to the head with a deliberate intent to injure by Tom Kostopoulos. Unbelievably, Kostopoulos only received a two minute minor for roughing. Stuart left the game hunched over and bleeding. How did four on ice officials miss the severity of this deliberate intent to injure?
Well, now it’s up to Colin Campbell. If we want to get blindsided hits to the head out of the game, here is your clear textbook opportunity to do so. This action deserves a ten game suspension. Maybe that will wake up the players to knock it it off. Someday, I hope that the discipline becomes that you are out as long as the injured player is out. That will hit them hard on games lost and in the pocketbook.
Paul recently posted about a speculative trade of Versteeg for Filppula. Although interesting, I think Filppula offers far more to the organization over time. Versteeg could boost the Red Wings’ offense and offer some scrappy, physical play on the wing, but I think Versteeg’s potential is at best a second-line winger on a poor offensive team.
Filppula, on the other hand, is a center that is being given a growing role as the team’s number two centerman. He is slowly filling into that role, being given a regular opportunity on the power play and playing on the second line. He began last season on the third line with Leino and Jason Williams, an unproven NHL rookie and a gamble forced on Holland by Hudler’s departure. When he returned from his hand injury, he was soon given an opportunity to play on the first and second line wing and now started the season as our second line center, alongside proven NHL veterans Franzen and Bertuzzi. Babcock’s belief in Filppula is reflected not only in the line combinations but his post-game comments. Everyone knows Filppula is always being encourage to shoot the puck more often, and we’ve heard that he is like a mini-Datsyuk. To be compared to one of the star forwards is no small compliment.
Chris Osgood won his 400th game tonight with a 4-3 overtime win versus the Colorado Avalanche in Colorado. Osgood was the #1 star of the game turning away 46 of 49 Avalanche shots. Osgood was stellar during the second period.
Tonight, Osgood became only the 10th goalie to ever win 400 games.
Ozzie has won three Stanley Cups, of which in two of them (1998 and 2008), he was the starting goalie.
Of the other nine to win 400 games, seven are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Only two, Curtis Joseph and Marty Broudure (still active) are not in the HHOF.
Is hockey’s Rodney Dangerfield (I get no respect! ) Hall worthy? Is 400 wins equal to 500 or 600 goals? Should three cups and 400 wins make him automatic entry to the HHOF?
Roberto Luongo has for a long time has been discussed as one of the premier goalies of the game. He has a gold metal to his name backstopping Team Canada in the Olympics earlier this year. He also is the #1 goalie for one of the best teams in the NHL, the Vancouver Canacks. On the flip side of the coin, he has not been able to lead his team over the Blackhawks the last two years in the Stanley Cup playoffs and his play can be inconsistent.
Last night in Detroit, the Canucks lost 5-4 to the Red Wings in overtime. Two of the Wings goals, including the game winner in overtime, were shots that any NHL goalie should make. The first ugly goal was a backhand shot from Zetterberg from the side of the net from an impossible angle that went in past Luongo. The second bad goal was a Zetterberg slap shot from the top of the circle with no screen in front. Rubbing salt in the wounds was the fact just moments before, Jimmy Howard made a game saving save in overtime stopping Sedine from the top of the slot.
I recognize anyone can have a bad game. However, I have long thought that Luongo was overrated. Do you think the Canucks are happy they have a big, long term contract with him?
Do you think he is overrated or do you think I’m full of fxxxxxx xxxx as the Washington Capitals coach might say?
On Friday night, an original six match-up occurred between the Habs and Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Hockeytown.
This battled featured a battle of two of the best young goalies in the game, Cary Price and Jimmy Howard.
The Red Wings won the game 4-2. The Canadians were down 3-1 after two periods, yet put on a strong push in the third period and outshot the Wings 20-3 and cut the lead to 3-2 late in the third. An empty net goal by Patrick Eaves sealed the win for the Wings 4-2.
Jimmy Howard was the first star of the game and stood on his head, especially in the third period.
The Canadians played shorthanded most of the first period. They were leading 1-0 and nearly fought off a 5-3PK until Nick Lidstrom scored with a little more than a second left in the first period.
Nick Kronwall and Paval Datsyuk scored for the Wings in the second period. Datsyuk’s goal was another highlight reel goal as he broke in on Cary Price and put a backhand shot past Cary Price on the short side.
The Wings literally held on in the third period as the Canadian dominated the play. Jimmy Howard stole this game for the Wings.
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