Kukla's Korner

It’s Jagr’s Time In New Jersey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer has no plans for this to be his final season.

“I don’t think that way,” Jagr said today after taking his training camp physical. “I love the game. What I want to tell you is I don’t know if it’s going to be the last year in the NHL. If I stay healthy, it’s not going to be my last year in hockey. I want to play until 50, maybe more. But I want to play in the NHL if I’m good enough. I don’t want to just be here just to be here.

“But the longer you play in the NHL, the better challenge you get for yourself. You’re facing the best players in the world. So, if I’m good enough to play in this league, I want to do it. If I’m not, I’m going to play somewhere else. But you have to stay healthy and you have to stay motivated and you have to love the game. So, that’s what I do. That’s what I love.”

Jagr, who is tied for sixth in NHL history with 1,755  points, ranks seventh in goals with 705 and eighth with 1,050 assists in 1,473 regualar season games, sees no reason to stop playing simply because of his age.

“(Just) because I’m over 40, there’s no rules that you have to stop playing,” he said. “There’s no rules. It’s tougher because there’s a lot of young guys.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Wings’ Training Camp Tone Set By Babcock

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

When the Red Wings take the ice Friday for the first time in training camp, it's the first opportunity for players to make an impression in the five-day training camp — which then leads into an eight-game exhibition schedule. In other words, plenty of time for players show they belong in the NHL.

"When the music stops, there's not going to be enough chairs," Babcock said. "You have to make sure you have one of those chairs."

As with every training camp, Babcock wants to establish a tone and work ethic for the rest of the season.

"First thing is, you have to get back your work habits," Babcock said. "Second, you have to have a structure, an understanding of how to play. When you don't have to think anymore, you can go fast.

"Turn the light bulb back on and get everyone going. There's competition for spots."

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Will Alex Ovechkin “Grow His Game”?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

Trotz is the new coach of the Washington Capitals, which means first and foremost he is the coach of the immensely talented three-time league MVP whose individual accolades have yet to translate into substantial playoff success. Things will be plenty different for everyone when training camp opens Friday, but what arguably matters most is how No. 8 takes to yet another attempt to change the way he plays.

"Physically, he's a strong guy," Trotz said in an interview with The Associated Press. "But there's areas in his game he needs to grow in, and that's really my job, to help him grow his game."

Trotz is Washington's fifth coach since Ovechkin entered the league in 2005, but he's the first who has been a head coach elsewhere in the NHL. He led the Nashville Predators from inception to this year, with 1,246 regular season and playoff games under his belt. He has an established idea how he wants to run a team -- he's already rejigged the coaches' meeting room with more cutting-edge technology and made it more of a "war room." He has so much cache that he was able to give owner Ted Leonsis a frank assessment of the Capitals' deficiencies while interviewing for the job.

"It's the culture," Trotz said. "I just think a little bit of the inmates were running the asylum, that's No. 1. I think there's good talent, and I felt it needed some order."

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Network US Preseason Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK / TORONTO (September 18, 2014) – NHL Network™-U.S. will begin its 2014-15 preseason broadcast schedule with the Buffalo Sabres-Washington Capitals game on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Highlighted by rivalries, doubleheaders, player debuts, the Sept. 24 2014 Kraft Hockeyville game featuring the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames in Sylvan Lake, Alta., and the Oct. 4 Colorado Avalanche-Los Angeles Kings matchup at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NHL Network-U.S. will carry 22 live preseason game broadcasts heading into the 2014-15 regular season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, NHL Network, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking Hockey Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside of ESPN hedl an online chat today...

Realistic expectations for my Bolts this year? How far can they go, will Stamkos get 60 goals, is Drouin as good as they say, will Bishop have another great season, and finally how about some love for the most underrated Dman my man Victor Hedman. Thanks Scotty muah!!!

Scott Burnside  No question the Lightning are the 'it' team in the east this year and with good reason. Love the additions including locking up Ryan Callahan, bringing in Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle. They appear built with the Bruins in mind in terms of grit and depth. Still, Bishop has to show last year was not a fluke. Stamkos if he stays healthy will be in the Hart/Art Ross discussion and love the steps Hedman has taken forward. Still really young up front but nothing wrong with that. I have the Bolts nipping at the Bs heels atop the Atlantic. After that? Pretty sure they're not going to get swept next spring.

Hi Scott, who do you think has the greatest potential Pacioretty or Landeskog?

Scott Burnside  Good question. Pacioretty is the real deal and he'll get even more chance to show his stuff this year but in terms of all-around game I think I'd go with Landeskog. Very poised, very smart. Tough to call but that's the way I'd lean.

Can Tarasenko be a 45+ goal scorer this year?

Scott Burnside  That would have put him in second place in the league last year. That's a lot to ask the kid even if he has one of the most dangerous shots in the league. I think 35 is more reasonable and if he gets that the Blues will, as expected, be in the mix for the Central Division crown. The fact he was coming off a hand injury at the start of the playoffs against Chicago last spring was a significant factor in the Blues losing four straight after taking a 2-0 series lead. He's going to be real good. Just maybe not 'that good' this season.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gain An Edge In Your Hockey Pool By Using Analytics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tyler Dellow of Sportsnet,

If you want to succeed in a hockey pool, you need to find players who put up more points than your competition expects. One way to go about that is to take advantage of the fact that people have a tendency to weight recent performance too heavily and fail to consider whether a player has benefited from unusually good or bad luck in achieving his results.

Hockey analytics has come up with a number of tools that can be employed to help determine just that—and whether a player’s most recent season causes him to be overvalued or undervalued come draft day. We’ll look at these tools in the context of forwards at even strength (5v5).

continued

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- ESPN Hockey Experts Talk Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The four hockey experts at ESPN discuss their choice of the best storyline of a team getting to the Stanley Cup Final.

Watch it below and no way to control autoplay which is set to on.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playing For A New Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Curry and Mark Drummond at the Toronto Star,

With a new NHL season around the corner, we’re bound to hear commentators talking about which players have contracts coming up next season and whether they’ll “step up their play” in order to get that big payday. But does this actually happen?

Martin LaPointe is the poster boy for this phenomenon. From 1996-’97 through 1999-2000, Lapointe was remarkably consistent. He scored 16, 15, 16, and 16 goals those years, and earned right around $1,000,000 per season for his solid productivity. The next season, 2000-’01, was his “contract year”: After that season Lapointe became an unrestricted free agent. Mr. Consistency somehow managed to score 27 that season, nearly double his career high in goals, and also managed a career high in assists. His 57 points was almost 40 per cent higher than his previous best of 41, and a point shy of double his production from two years previous.

Now before we start jumping to conclusions about players shamelessly playing their hardest only when they know their paychecks depend on it, let’s keep in mind that all players have year-to-year fluctuations in their productivity, which means if we look at enough guys, some are going to get lucky and have that big year when they most need it. So was LaPointe just lucky, or is his story representative of how players routinely up their game at just the right moment so they can cash in when free agency rolls around?

To find out, we looked at what every NHL forward who signed a new contract during the past seven seasons did in: (i) the two years before his contract year, (ii) his contract year, and (iii) the year after his contract year.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

From Minsk To Dallas For Derek Meech

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,

Having suited up for his hometown Jets for parts of their first two seasons back in Winnipeg, but limited by a string of injuries, Meech tried a new adventure last fall.

He signed with Dynamo Minsk of the KHL.

“In a different scenario I would have been there all year,” Meech said. “The city of Minsk was great. Obviously there’s things you’ve got to get used to — a different country, the language barrier, all that kind of thing. But it was a great experience for us.”

The hockey was something else, too, tailor-made, you’d think, for a smallish (5-foot-11), puck-moving defenceman.

“It’s a really good league. It’s a different style of game. But very skilled players. I played against some really good teams there.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick it out the whole year there, because of my little issue.”

Twenty-three games into his season, a heart problem Meech has had, on and off, for several years flared up.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+meech

Video- Anthony Mantha On His Injury

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Mantha met with the media earlier today.

 

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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