Kukla's Korner

‘Roughly Translated’: Henrik Zetterberg skates with Rogle BK

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed, Henrik Zetterberg's skating with Rogle BK of the SHL in Angelholm, Sweden, and Kvallsposten's Martin Harderberger spoke with Zetterberg about his decision to skate with the team:

NHL star trains with Rogle: "Nice room"

Henrik Zetterberg is practicing with Rogle BK.

No, it's not a transition for the NHL star. He's in Angelholm to charge up before the World Cup.

"We spend a lot of time down here and I'm grateful that I get to train with Rogle. I think I've made it here the past six years except in the last year," said Zetterberg, whose wife Emma comes from Angelholm.

The World Cup kicks off in September. Then, Detroit star and Tre Kronor captain Henrik Zetterberg will need to be in top condition. To achieve this, he currently trains with Rogle BK.

"This was my first real practice on the ice, and I'm glad that the guys have been on the ice for 45 minutes before I went on so they were a little tired, says "Zata" to the team's website.

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Questions Facing The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Satriano of NHL.com,

How will Mika Zibanejad fit in?

The Senators traded Zibanejad and a second-round pick in the 2018 draft to the Rangers for Brassard on July 18. Zibanejad plays in all situations, takes faceoffs and likely will be the first-line center. But how he adjusts to wherever he plays is crucial.

"He's just scratching the surface at age 23," Gorton said. "There's not a lot of guys that have done what he's done as far as score 20 before that age. He kills penalties. He's really emerged on the draws. Since he's come in, he's got better every year, and I think we're just scratching the surface."...

How many games will Henrik Lundqvist play?

Lundqvist is second among active goalies in NHL wins (374) behind Roberto Luongo of the Panthers (436). One of the most durable goalies in the past decade, Lundqvist had the highest GAA of his NHL career (2.48) last season.

Lundqvist made 64 starts last season and has started 81 playoff games over the past five seasons. It would not be a stretch to say 27-year-old backup Antti Raanta, who went 11-6-2 last season, will start more games than he did last season. 

more

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Headed To The Playoffs This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Here are six teams that have the best shot to return to the playoffs in 2016-17, ranked in order from most to least likely.

Montreal Canadiens
2015-16 record: 38-38-6, 82 points
Points out of playoff spot: 11

No team will be more scrutinized in 2016-17 than the Habs. Can you trade away a Norris Trophy winner in his prime and become a better team?

Well, when you consider that 2015-16 was an unmitigated disaster and that 2015 Hart Trophy winner Carey Price is finally healthy and ready to go, the answer — in the near term, at least — is yes.

P.K. Subban has a new karaoke bar, but Montreal still owns one of the league's definitive No. 1 defencemen in Shea Weber, who's hot off a 20-goal season. Alex Galchenyuk busted out last season with 30 goals, and he's just 22. A healthy Brendan Gallagher (he missed 29 games last year) and the signing of free agent Alexander Radulov inject a needed scoring punch. And although Andrew Shaw might be overpaid at $23.4 million for the next six years, he should scratch, claw and bite for every penny.

Better goaltending, more offence and a nastier edge makes the Habs a contender in the relatively open Atlantic Division.

read on for five more teams...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning news: On Petr Mrazek’s ranking, Mike Green’s first season with Detroit and fundraising

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir ranks Petr Mrazek as the 13th-best starting netminder in the NHL:

13. Petr Mrazek, Red Wings: He was a legitimate Vezina Trophy candidate midway through last season, his first as the team's No. 1, and while he was less consistent down the stretch, Mrazek still made a strong impression. His .633 quality starts percentage ranked sixth, setting the table for a strong 2016-17.

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji frames Mike Green's 2015-16 campaign "By the Numbers":

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Morning Line- Kevin Bieksa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If you ask me, I’m going to play as long as I feel good and feel I can contribute. My body feels great right now. Training has gone really well. I don’t feel like I’m 35 years old physically.

“Who knows? If we had won a Stanley Cup back in 2011, maybe my perspective would have changed. I’m at the point in my career where I really want to win a Stanley Cup and I’ve wanted to win one for 30 years and I’ve dreamed about it for 30 years and I’ve been as close you can get.

“I’m going to keep playing for that. I’ll take whatever role it takes to help my team get there.”

-Kevin Bieksa of the Anaheim Ducks.  Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has more on Bieksa.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+bieksa

Signed, Frustrated In Detroit

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Many fans believe they're stuck in the mud, spinning their wheels while being bounced in the first round of the playoffs three years in a row.

They wanted significant changes in the off-season, or at least a change in philosophy by letting go of the recent past and fully embracing youth.

That could lead to years of pain for a team that hopes it doesn't have to get worse to get better.

Here is what M-Live readers are asking:

Q: Does Ken Holland do a good job managing the expectations of ownership? I feel like this team is drifting aimlessly at this point. I do not see us building towards anything meaningful and Holland has yet to articulate a plan for acquiring the truly high-end talent that we need to truly compete. This strikes me as a very dangerous brand of complacency.

A: I imagine the first expectation of ownership is to make the playoffs. Keeping intact the streak, now at 25 seasons, is important to the organization, even if it is not crucial to some fans.

Unlike their two-decade stretch starting in the early '90s, when it was a given they would qualify, they've had little margin for error the past four seasons, barely making it in during the final week.

When it's that tight, I think you have a tendency to be conservative with moves, not wanting to risk a potentially bad trade that could jeopardize your postseason chances.

They're in a tough spot of trying to retool on the fly, adding a few pieces through free agency, counting on growth from some of the younger roster players and hoping a prospect or two steps up each year.

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Mike Harrington On The Jimmy Vesey Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vesey’s summer league games were often attended by NHL GMs, with Chicago’s Stan Bowman a regular attendee. Coach Joel Quenneville hit the Wednesday night circuit in Foxborough, Mass., once too. Yes, the games were open to the public and anyone can say they were there to watch anyone. But come on. The optics aren’t good for the Hawks in this one at all. Repeating: You were watching a player who was someone else’s property and just waiting to pounce. Not cool.

Meanwhile, the Boston media fawned over the hometown boy ad nauseum. But Vesey was probably spooked by the tough treatment given to Bostonian Jimmy Hayes, whose subpar play was worthy of scrutiny, and decided he didn’t want to deal with it.

-Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News where you can read more on The Jimmy Vesey Watch...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+vesey

The Season Outlook For Tomas Tatar

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

2016-17 outlook: After leading the team with 29 goals in 2014-15, Tatar seemed poised to become the first Red Wings to reach the 30-goal mark since 2008-09 (Marian Hossa 40, Johan Franzen 34, Pavel Datsyuk 32, Henrik Zetterberg 31). But, like most of his teammates, he regressed.

Part of the problem was less ice time and different lines (he didn't play as much with Datsyuk). He also had a shoulder issue late in the season. But Tatar expressed disappointment in his performance, saying he was "squeezing the stick" almost all season.

Tatar has talked of his desire to be a two-way forward in the mold of Zetterberg. But for now, a team that ranked 23rd in the league in goals per game needs more offense from him.

He must improve his puck management. He has a knack for committing turnovers in the offensive and neutral zones by holding onto the puck too long, trying to make a skilled play instead of a simple play.

It's a contract year for Tatar, who'll likely be seeking a salary similar to Gustav Nyquist ($4.75 million a year). Tatar remains one of the team's most viable trading chips in its pursuit for a top-three defenseman. But it would be sacrificing a good chunk of offense.

Key question: Will more ice time lead to a significant bump in production for Tatar?

more

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Tavares on the Islanders’ changes

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From Newsday's Arthur Staple:

John Tavares knows how much his Islander team has changed this summer. Even though longtime teammates and friends Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin departed July 1 in free agency and Tavares knew long before then that there was a chance all three could leave, it’s still hard for the Isles captain to believe.

“It hasn’t even really sunk in, maybe until you don’t see them at training camp or during the season and that hasn’t happened yet,” Tavares told Newsday earlier this week. “I don’t think people realize how much I lean on Kyle and Frans, as well as guys like Travis , Clutter [Cal Clutterbuck], Johnny Boychuk. Having those different perspectives is a huge help. And personally for me, you go through a lot of ups and downs and you’re trying to manage a lot of things. When you have people you can rely on, especially with those friendships I have with Kyle and Frans are deep.”

The challenge now, with a little over a month until the Islanders open training camp, is how to handle the loss of three such deeply ingrained players in the fabric of this organization — Okposo and Nielsen were Tavares’ alternate captains the past three seasons — while integrating three veterans in Andrew Ladd, Jason Chimera and PA Parenteau.

Oh, and there’s another wrinkle: When players come to Long Island for physicals on Sept. 21, the captain, the coach and the two most experienced goaltenders won’t be around.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ladd, frans+nielsen, jason+chimera, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, new+york+islanders, pa+parenteau

Evening news: Abdelkader flies over the dream cruise; Holmstrom out another month; Datsyuk stuff

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Justin Abdelkader kicked off the Woodward Dream Cruise in style, flying in a B-24 Liberator B-17 Flying Fortress as the Breitling Jet Team flew alongside:

2. In Sweden, Expressen's Mattias Ek has confirmed that Axel Holmstrom will miss the start of the SHL season (on September 23rd) as he continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL, and Skelleftea AIK's doctor isn't quite sure when Holmstrom will return. Skelleftea played in Champions Hockey League action today, defeating KalPa Kuopio 2-1;

3. And Championat's Victoria Shmelev posted a picture story chronicling the opening of Datsyuk Arena yesterday in Yekaterinburg. Datsyuk was officially named SKA St. Petersburg's captain today, and he took part in a ceremonial cannon-firing on St. Peterburg's Zayachy Island today. Some of you might enjoy the fact that online translators = the event read as "Datsyuk shot out of a cannon."

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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