Kukla's Korner

Studying The Video

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Consider a simple dump-in. For a video coach, it’s far from simple.

A defenseman retrieves the puck while an opposing forward forechecks. The defenseman turns it over. The opponent gets a chance.

In this scenario, which takes seconds to unfold, there are multiple events to log: retrieval, pressure situation, turnover, defensive-zone coverage, scoring chance against.

A good video coach logs all those events and identifies the players involved. He grades the quality of the chance. He notes the locations where mistakes happened.

During intermission, an assistant can call up the play, identify what went wrong, and make the corrections. A bad video coach misses those events. What might have been a teaching clip between periods is lost.

The work continues after games and during offdays. Coaches can view clips and write comments on plays and players. They can rate players’ shift quality.

The point of all this is that when a staff can’t figure out why a 30-point player only has five after 20 games, they fire up their laptops. If the quality of the data is good, coaches can run a filter and compile, for example, every even-strength shift the player has taken that’s resulted in a chance.

more plus additional hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questioning Some Of The Signings Made By The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Apparently, hiring all of the hockey analytics people west of Toronto wasn’t enough to save the Oilers from signing Group II free agent Justin Schultz to the single most illogical contract of the summer and, by extension, to save every other NHL front office from Edmonton.

But what else is new from this dysfunctional operation that for year upon year has whined, whined and whined some more about the collective bargaining agreement, but apparently doesn’t have the barest insight as how to apply the NHL’s governing document?

The Oilers sign unrestricted free agents to contracts that appear cockamamie (Benoit Pouliot, five years for $20 million; Nikita Nikitin, two years for $9 million) because they have to pay players more in order to entice them to move to Edmonton. They’re not the only team in that situation, cough, cough, Charles Wang’s Islanders. Fair enough.

But for no discernible reason whatsoever, the Oilers under Kevin Lowe’s watch have doled out a flurry of questionable second contracts to players straight out of Entry Level lacking any leverage, including the twin seven-year, $42 million deals with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

continued plus more NHL topics....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings early overnight report: training camp day 2 video, photos, quips and quotes

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In the, "It's a Saturday night in Traverse City and I've been on my feet for 13 hours, so where the hell do you think I'd go on a Saturday night? Damn straight back to the blanket fort, I mean hotel" vein:

As a complement to this afternoon's MSM and Blog Takes entry, the audio and player analyses...I'm not a fan of making readers wait for anything, so this is your early overnight report. I will probably add some "morning" stories if there's not enough stuff out there for a second entry.

First, Red Wings TV's Dan Mannes did a fine job of summarizing Day 2 of training camp in visual form (and again, please remember, if you're going to the Red vs. White game, that's now really just a 3rd full day of training camp--Team Howe vs. Team Lindsay plus practices prior to and after the scrimmage; and yes this makes sense given that training camp used to be four days long and not three):

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Celebrity and Alumni Game Tweetcap

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I wish that Pointstreak had kept  a box score of the Red Wings Celebrity and Alumni game, but you're going to have to count the word of myself and all of the hockey types in attendance that the red team, a.k.a. Mike Babcock's team, won 12-10, and this guy played one of the two 25-minute halves...

I thought he looked like trouble--and I can assure you that on the radio, Ken Kal's game was fantastic...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

St. James: Good news, bad news for Mark Howe’s dad

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Mark Howe's spent the last 10 days in Traverse City, and he's going to be taking part in tonight's Celebrity and Alumni game at Centre Ice Arena. Ahead of said game, Howe delivered some "good news" of a sort regarding his father to the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Son Mark Howe spent part of Saturday afternoon searching for someone to fix his iPad, specifically, to get FaceTime up and running, because this is the only way he can communicate with his dad when the two are apart. Mark is in Traverse City in his role as scout for the Detroit Red Wings, while Gordie is in Lubbock, Texas, being taken care of by his daughter, Cathy, and her husband, Bob. Gordie, 86, suffers from dementia, and was in such poor shape that in late August, he had outpatient surgery to help with spinal stenosis (an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal), which had rendered him in debilitating pain.

​"He had a very bad summer," Mark said. "Weekly, I would send updates to my brothers and sister and my dad's friends, let them know.

​"It was pretty discouraging, pretty disheartening. If the surgery didn't help, and he didn't respond to it, then ... it wasn't good. There wasn't anything good going to come out of it."

This much is to be expected, however...

The encouragement is measured, though, because there was a seizure 10 days ago, and "he's had little mini strokes," Mark said. "There are days he's totally out of it mentally, and then he'd start getting back into it. Things are progressively getting worse for him, but I can live with that, that's part of life."

And St. James continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings evening news: MSM and blog takes from the second day of Red Wings training camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 6:13 PM: I did things a little backwards today, posting audio and "player takes" first, so pardon my slight tardiness in offering the mainstream media folks' stories from today's training camp sessions (reminder: tomorrow includes "bonus" practices from 9:45-11:15 AM and 1:20-2 PM).

MLive's Mike Mulholland, the Detroit News's David Guralnick and the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindneau have already posted photo galleries, and MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Daniel Cleary's comments...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Quick player takes’ from the second day of Red Wings training camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Having spent the better part of the last two days on my feet, and having spent most of that time (waiting for interviews like today's excluded) watching Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and company (in addition to assistant coaches Jim Hiller, Tony Granato and Kevin Baker, the entire Grand Rapids Griffins' stafff [Jeff Blashill, Dave Noel-Bernier and Pat Ferschweiler], the Toledo Walleye's coach [Derek Lalonde] and Jiri Fischer, Chris Chelios and goalie coaches Jim Bedard and Pat Salajko all take part in drills) reinforce and to some extent reintroduce the fundamentals of Babcockian Red Wings hockey...

To the average person, I think Day 1 (entries, o-zone, spots facing right up) and Day 2's themes (today's were "OZ forecheck, NZ forechecking, line change forecheck, set b.o. [breakout]) would've looked much the same. Lots of dumping the puck into the defensive zone and lugging it up ice, then either tagging up at the far blueline and turning back toward the end from which the drill started or going "full ice"; lots of 5-on-5 and 5-on-4 positional play, lots of line changes while teams were dumping the puck in or clearing the zone.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

One final plug for the Red Wings’ ‘Celebrity and Alumni Game’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm going to be spending thirteen hours at Centre Ice Arena today because I cannot in good conscience miss the, Red Wings' Alumni and Celebrity game, whose roster got a little bigger, per MLive's Brendan Savage...

Hall of Fame defensemen Chris Chelios and Mark Howe, coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland headline the rosters for tonight's Detroit Red Wings training camp celebrity/alumni at Centre I.C.E. Arena.

Chelios, Howe and Holland will play on a team that also includes Chris Osgood, TV broadcaster Ken Daniels, Dallas Drake, scout Hakan Andersson and assistant coaches Andrew Brewer and Tony Granato.

Babcock's team includes Jiri Fischer, Kris Draper, Joey Kocur, Kirk Maltby, assistant G.M. Ryan Martin, Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill and radio broadcaster Ken Kal.

The full roster is available on The Left Wing Lock, and if you can get tickets to tonight's game, it's really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all of the Wings' executives and scouts play against each other and see their personalities come out on ice, from Ryan Martin's relentless tenacity to Hakan Andersson's subtle playmaking. It's a helluva lot of fun, and the jerseys from the players' backs are auctioned off for charity, photo opportunity as you get the jersey included.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Audio from the second day of Red Wings training camp: Franzen, Cleary, Babcock, Howard, Nyquist etc.

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' players just wrapped up a hard seond day at training camp in Travserse City, most certainly working on all the topics outlined in the "lesson plan"--offensive zone forechecking, neutral zone forechecking, forechecking while changing lines and the "set B.O.," which actually means "set breakout"--and Team Delvecchio defeated Team Lindsay 4-0, with Danny DeKeyser registering 2 assists and Joe Hicketts scoring yet another clutch goal (and injury-wise there were no surprises; Brennan Evans and Andy Miele aren't taking part in the camp thus far, but everyone else is here).

I'm going to try to stick it out for the Celebrity and Alumni game that takes place tonight at 7 (Babcock told me he's going to take part in it), and as tomorrow's training camp schedule was tweaked so that there's a full third day of practices going from 9:45 AM until 2:15, let's just say that it's entirely possible that tomorrow's coverage may be a little lighter (and the C & A game recap will be brief) as I'm trying to not completely drive myself into the ground here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL Officials Still Without A CBA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Renaud Lavoie tweets,

Pre-season games will start tomorrow with the regular on ice officials even if they don't have a new CBA yet.

The on ice officials have no intention to go on strike and as of right now they will be their for the start of the regular season.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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