Kukla's Korner

Making Ice In Arizona

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Eisenberg at PuckDaddy,

When the Phoenix Coyotes hired Canada native J.J. Straker as their ice maker last summer, the new job inspired more than just the usual congratulatory hugs and handshakes from his friends and family.

"There was a lot of excitement because people knew hockey's my passion, but they would ask, 'How are you going to do that there?'" Straker recalled with a chuckle. "Making ice in Arizona? It doesn't seem like that will work."

Cultivating a perfect sheet of ice is a challenge anywhere, but it's an especially difficult job in the National Hockey League's hottest city. The average annual high in the sun-baked Phoenix-Glendale area is more than 86 degrees and temperatures routinely soar past 100 by the start of the playoffs in late April, making it tougher for Straker to produce ice of the proper thickness and consistency than it is for peers who work in cooler climates.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What About Hockey With The Tension In Russia And Ukraine?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

There will be no Ukrainian team in the KHL next season as the hockey world begins to wonder about the effects of a long-term conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Donbass Donetsk — Ukraine’s only entry in the KHL — is on sabbatical for one season, a decision reached in June after the team’s arena was sacked, looted and set afire in May.

While most believe hockey will carry on as usual — or at least with blinders on — there is a belief that should tensions worsen, the KHL will suffer in terms of the level of play and from U.S. economic sanctions.

So far there has been no mass migration from the KHL, but it’s worth noting that the league’s signing season occurred largely before the current escalation that includes the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine.

“I don’t anticipate that as a cause and effect at this point,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly when asked about the possibility players would leave Russia. “I assume if the conflict is prolonged and/or worsens that may change, but I think it’s a fairly remote consideration for most players right now.”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I really like our team now. We lost a pretty skilled guy with Jason, but I think once you get to see a guy like Alex Chiasson play for us . . . and then adding David Legwand with his experience and leadership.

“I don’t think we have the big name after Erik Karlsson, but if we bounce back, which we will, I like the way we’re going to play next year, we’re going to skate and play as a unit. I think we’re going to surprise quite a few people.”

-Pierre Dorion, assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators.  More Senators talk from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings overnight report: on the state of the defense, and the proper level of tinkering

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Two days ago, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan offered an analysis of the Wings' forward corps via an article and attached photo gallery, and this morning, he looks at the Wings' defensemen in article and photo gallery form.

The article allows Wings GM Ken Holland to weigh in regarding the team's inability to land what's become a frickin' unicorn in an elite, right-shooting, free agent defenseman...

“We made offers to players,” general manager Ken Holland said. “They signed elsewhere. That’s going to happen with 30 teams trying to win and with the salary cap. We went in looking to add a right-hand defenseman and we felt we made very competitive offers.”

As well as the reality to which we're still becoming accustomed to--the concept that the team's probably going into the season with its blueline as-is--and unless a Mike Green or Tyler Myers becomes available between now and the trade deadline, that the Wings' "kids" will have to both unseat Kindl and Lashoff and provide an offensive boost:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- It’s Slow, So….

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Let's take a look at one of the legends of our game, goaltender Glenn Hall who played 502 consecutive games in goal.

I can't imagine this record will ever be broken.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glenn+hall

Top Offensive Zone Starters

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As I continue my summer sabermetrics and hockey series, today I am looking at the top offensive zone starters.  These are the players who most frequently are on the ice for faceoffs in the offensive zone as opposed to the defensive zone.  These players are ranked by offensive zone starts minus defensive ones.  This group of players are given a significant number of offensive chances and this will help them boost their offensive numbers.  Unless they succeed to post significant offensive numbers this is likely a failed opportunity.  These players may be weak defensively and are being protected from defensive responsibility or they may be strong offensive players given further chances to boost their offensive numbers.

This is useful in order to understand the context of how players are used in the NHL.  This context will be used to adjust Corsi ratings.  Players who start their shifts in the offensive zone are more likely to have positive Corsi events (attempted shots) in their favor than those who start their shifts in the defensive zone.  This is a necessary adjustment to Corsi ratings in order to make them an individualized ranking of puck possession. 

Here are the top 20 players in 2013/14 by excess offensive zone starts:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

A Four-Year Deal For Lars Eller In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today that the team has agreed to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller (2014-15 to 2017-18).

“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink. Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come”, said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.

Eller was scheduled for arbitration tomorrow.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lars+eller

Red Wings afternoon news: ‘All-time’ Wings, McKenzie on advanced stats and out-of-comfort-zone fun

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This afternoon's Red Wings-related stories are "ecclectic"--not exactly Mike Babcock's "analytics"-based chat with NHL.com's Dan Rosen--but there's enough here to keep you occupied.

Detroit is celebrating its 313rd birthday today, and as the Detroit Free Press led off its 53-image gallery of "Detroit's 10 Greatest Sports Figures" with Steve Yzerman (Gordie Howe and Nicklas Lidstrom also make their list, and the 97 and 2002 Wings are listed among the Freep's best Detroit sports teams), MLive's Brendan Savage asked readers to weign in as to what might constitute the Wings' all-time best starting lineup:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

More From Mike Babcock On Analytics

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

A basic element of the analytics movement happening in the NHL is possession-based stats featuring shot attempts-for versus shot attempts-against in 5-on-5 situations. Understanding the positive effects of possession and shooting the puck is not new to the hockey community, but stats found through possession metrics such as Corsi and Fenwick are relatively new and still are being examined for their usefulness and effectiveness.

Babcock said a key to using stats-based analytics, whether it's Corsi, Fenwick or another form, is making sure the numbers are accurate.

"The best analytic groups are getting the best information, so you have to make sure the stats you're using are correct," Babcock said. "When a guy tells you how good this player is stat-wise and you and your general manager don't agree with him, well, we better go back and assess it. Just because the analytics like the player and we don't, well, then we don't. We'll make the decision. But if you're wrong, go back and take a look at it so you know why."

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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