Kukla's Korner

New Energy In Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Last season, the Flyers' offense was led by Jake Voracek (81 points), Claude Giroux (73 points), and Wayne Simmonds (28 goals).

"Our core players really care, and the one thing I expect from our core players is to take another step in the leadership department," Hextall said. "Part of being a good leader is obviously working hard, showing up to camp in shape, and never taking a shift off, a practice off. I think the other part of it is that you have to kind of grow into helping your teammates. That's the part where some of our guys need to get better. We've obviously had discussions with them."

Hextall says he wants more secondary scoring. He could use improved play from Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, and Sean Couturier.

Perhaps Hakstol will get more out of the trio.

"Obviously, the coach brings new energy," Hextall said. "Everybody, for the most part, is going to have a clean slate with Hak, and I think that brings a new energy."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings, Perani’s team up for ‘learn-to-play’ hockey program

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings:

... Youth Hockey Initiative Returns Following Sold-Out First Year to Provide an Affordable Way for Children Between Five & Eight Years Old to Learn How to Play Hockey Throughout Metro Detroit …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today announced that registration is now open for the ‘Little Wings’ youth hockey initiative designed to create an affordable way for children between the ages of five and eight to learn how to play hockey and develop a life-long passion for the game. After selling out in its first season, ‘Little Wings’ returns for a second year effectively doubling its size from four to eight rinks in Metro Detroit to match the increased demand for the program.

Every participant will receive four, one-hour sessions of introductory practices at one of eight rinks across the Metro Detroit area in October and a full set of ‘Little Wings’ branded hockey equipment, courtesy of the Red Wings and Perani’s Hockey World.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Afternoon news: On Zetterbergs (dad and baby), video and prospect stuff

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among the news stories from today's informal Red Wings practice, and elsewhere:

WXYZ's Brad Galli penned an article about a certain new dad's son's name and fame...

Zetterberg skated with his teammates at Joe Louis Arena for an informal practice on Thursday. He explained naming his baby Love.

"I understand the confusion if you see the spelling in an American way," Zetterberg said with a smile.

He said the pronunciation in American is (Lou-vee). In Swedish, it's (Lou-vay).

"We knew if it was going to be a boy, that Love was going to be the name. It's an old Swedish name. It's kinda getting popular again."

While DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji discussed Zetterberg's take on the Wings' coaching changes:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Over the Boards’ answers three Red Wings-related questions

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among NHL.com's Dan Rosen's "Over the Boards" mailbag questions:

Which young goalie do you see having the best numbers if given a starting role this season? Martin Jones (San Jose Sharks)? Petr Mrazek (Detroit Red Wings)? Cam Talbot (Edmonton Oilers)? -- @purdstheword22

Mrazek, provided he starts over Jimmy Howard.

Mrazek, at least in my opinion, has the biggest upside of the three you mentioned. He is also going to be playing on the best team of the three you mentioned, although I do believe the San Jose Sharks will at least be in contention for most of the season.

Mrazek proved a lot last season, particularly in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had a strong regular season too, though I'd like to see his save percentage jump above .920. It was .918 last season (29 games) and .920 for his career (40 games).



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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Post-informal practice Tweets: Zetterberg, Nyquist, Ferraro address the media

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 2:23 PM: Henrik Zetterberg took part in the Red Wings' hour-and-a-half-long informal practice, and afterward, he addressed his son's name, he discussed the coaching transition from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill, Mike Green and Brad Richards' additions and the state of the team in general.

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji weighed in...

#RedWings Zetterberg admitted to being nervous about the birth of his son, Love, but everything went smoothly.


#RedWings Zetterberg: It's an old Swedish name and kind of getting popular again.

As did WXYZ's Brad Galli...

Henrik Zetterberg said he and his wife will have a steady stream of relatives coming over from Sweden to visit baby Love.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wings-Avs Stadium Series alumni game talk

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Take this from the Hockey News's Jared Clinton, via RedWingsFeed, for what you will:

Has there ever been a fight during an alumni game? Because if not, we might see the first.

On Feb. 26, when the Colorado Avalanche take on the Detroit Red Wings at the Stadium Series’ alumni game in Denver this season, Claude Lemieux will be in the lineup for the Avalanche. Lemieux told Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater that he’s “looking forward” to suiting up for the alumni contest against Detroit, and it’s sure to be fun.

Looking forward to =/= confirmed participant, but I'd be stunned if Lemieux didn't play.

Outside of Lemieux, The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reported in August that a number of big name players would be taking part in the game. For the Avalanche, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake and Roy will all be in the lineup. The Red Wings roster will include Igor Larionov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan.

“We have had an outstanding rivalry with the Red Wings during those years,” Sakic said in a statement when the alumni game was announced. “We are looking forward to experiencing this grand outdoor setting and a special weekend of hockey in Denver.”

The only thing that could make the game better would be confirmation that McCarty will be suiting up for the Red Wings alumni. Talk about a must-see event.

Update: MLive's Ansar Khan points us toward this from WXYZ's Brad Galli:

His biggest foe, Darren McCarty, will be there too. The longtime Red Wings forward told fans gathered at an autograph signing Wednesday night he will play, as well. Detroit Sports 105.1 tweeted the news.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

All about Pat Holway, part 2

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Yesterday night, the Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus penned an article about Red Wings prospect Pat Holway, and today, MLive's Brendan Savage discussed Holway's "selling points" while speaking with Holway as well:

The Red Wings liked several things about Holway, who will play for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL this season after spending the last five years in the Boston Advantage junior program.

• He's got good size at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds.

• He's a right-handed shot, something the Red Wings have been lacking on the blue line for several years.

• And he's an offensive defenseman who is a strong skater for a big man and moves the puck well.

"He played at a lower level in Midget hockey in Boston, so he might need a little time," said Tyler Wright, the Red Wings director of amateur scouting. "But he's a big kid that can skate; he's got good hockey sense. He's kind of got the full package; he just hasn't played at a high level.

"We would have been devastated if we couldn't have gotten him in the seventh so we stepped up on him in the sixth."

Savage continues at significant length

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Forecasting Analytics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the big reasons hockey analytics have really exploded in recent years is their ability to forecast mean reversion well in advance of the rest of the industry.

The two most prominent examples of that were the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings and the 2012-13 Toronto Maple Leafs. That Kings team was marked as a sleeping giant by many who were paying attention to their underlying numbers, arguing that their middling performance in the standings wasn’t quite indicative of their true team talent. On the other side, you had the 2012-13 Maple Leafs – a team marked as unfathomably lucky and bound for long-term failure. 

Simple understanding of what is and isn’t repeatable talent can go a long way in forecasting future success/failure, and it’s one of the big reasons why so much attention is paid to stats like Corsi%. Controlling possession at even-strength correlates well with winning long-term and, most importantly, is a repeatable skill. Scoring on a high percentage of shots also correlates well with winning, but it’s prone to major fluctuations and exhibits very little repeatability over long samples.

Alternatively: a team with great Corsi% can bank on having a great Corsi% in a follow-up year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Informal practice Tweets: Zetterberg makes an appearance

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings and their Michigan-based NHL friends took to the ice around 10:30 this morning, and here's a breakdown of the Tweets related to today's informal practice--with the Tweets being a little lighter due to the start of college football season tonight:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Is Marian Hossa A Future Hall Of Famer?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Powers of ESPN,

The Case For

On the one hand, Hossa's offensive numbers are almost good enough to get him in. He's produced 486 goals and 570 assists for 1,056 points in 1,172 career regular-season games. He's had 13 seasons of 25-plus goals. In the playoffs, he’s had another 144 points in 194 career games. But Hossa is much more than just an offensive player. What makes him special is his defensive game. He’s one of the game’s premier two-ways forwards and is especially respected for his backchecking ability. He’s been in the top 10 in takeways six times since the 2005-06 season and was 11th this past season. On top of that, he’s a winner. He’s won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks.

The Case Against

One of the arguments against Hossa is he's deemed a good player, but not exactly a great one. He’s been in the discussion for awards, especially the Selke, but he has never won one.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

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