Kukla's Korner

John Tortorella And The Columbus Blue Jackets Agree To Part Ways

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella, whose contract expired at the end of the 2020-21 season, have mutually agreed to part ways, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

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Video- A Hearing Today For Pat Maroon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


 

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Connor McDavid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A headline is not needed, just see the words Connor McDavid and start reading.

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

“Honestly, it’s impressive. I don’t think my English is good enough to find another word for it right now,” said Leon Draisaitl, whose second goal of the evening -- a patented McDavid-to-Draisaitl one-timer -- marked Connor McDavid’s 100th point in just 53 games this season. “Everyone, the 20 people who were in the building, were all counting.”

It is a crime that such a moment -- such a season -- could occur before section after section of empty chairs. You know the fans would have been counting, even if McDavid didn’t let on to being overly excited about this chase.

“I was trying not to think about it,” he said. “I was trying to get myself ready to go in the playoffs and keep my game where it needs to be. Obviously when you’re sitting around 96, 97, 98 points and you get to 99, it’s in the back of your mind. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long to get there.”

On a night when he needed four points to reach triple figures, McDavid crushed it before the second intermission -- a clinical, dominant and utterly breathtaking performance. This was a man that hasn’t met a challenge in this game that he hasn’t whipped, who had suddenly found a new one to tackle.

Like a math prodigy who stumbles upon some erotic new equation, or a virtuoso with a crazy hard piece of music, McDavid found himself four points away from 100 points with four games to play and a Saturday night game on the schedule.

Why not, he likely thought?

“It’s a thrill, and a memory,” said his head coach, Dave Tippett. “It solidifies that he is one of the top players to ever play the game. The level that he played at this year, what he’s accomplished, when you look at Wayne or Mario, it’s one of those years where he’s taken his talents to another level. It’s just elite.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

The ‘Wednesday Boys’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Poulin at the Toronto Star,

Wednesday. In and of itself it doesn’t mean much. It’s not a favourite day, no one tells you they can’t wait for Wednesday, there is no acronym TGIW. The day doesn’t stand out. But it’s as important as any other day, connecting Tuesday to Thursday. It’s the glue in the middle of the week.

Which leads me to Wednesday Boys. I’m introducing the term to define a group of important players on a strong hockey team. These aren’t the superstars, the first-line guys or the headline-grabbers but they are good NHL players. They’re not the highest paid but they make a good living. They’re in the middle of your lineup, filling secondary roles as defensive specialists and penalty killers. But they can chip in a critical goal at a key time, almost like once in a while when Wednesday happens to have a big holiday fall on it.

The idea of attracting the spotlight is not part of the Wednesday Boys’ makeup. They are all about doing their job at a high level within the framework of the team. Quietly. They’re not the guys that the autograph seekers go after. The only time they’re really famous may be when they go back to their hometowns in the summer, and are recognized as NHL players. They quietly grow to learn and appreciate their importance to a team, and the others in the locker room recognize it as well.

I say this in a complimentary fashion.

continued

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Hockey Notes On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- What Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined for over a two-year period with the Edmonton Oilers is remarkably rare and historically improbable.

Last year, Draisaitl won the NHL scoring title and the Hart Trophy as most valuable player. McDavid finished second in scoring.

This season, McDavid is on his way to the breathtaking figure of 100 points or more in 56 games and will be the runaway winner of the Hart. Draisaitl, meanwhile, will finish second in the NHL in scoring.

At no time in NHL history have teammates gone 1-2, 2-1 in scoring, rotating the Hart Trophy in the process. Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito came close with the Boston Bruins in the late 1970s, but timing and voting didn’t necessarily work in their favour....

- What McDavid, Matthews and Marner have yet to accomplish — a playoff run of any kind with dominant scoring by them. McDavid has one career playoff series win. Matthews and Marner don’t have that much. And, really, one of the Oilers or Leafs should emerge from the Canadian division. And after that, who knows? What if you draw Colorado, which just went seven games with Vegas? Or what if you draw Washington, which somehow got through Boston and Pittsburgh? It’s impossible to figure in COVID times which teams are going to be whole and which will be struggling come playoff time.

- You don’t fire exceptional people; you’re lucky to have them. You don’t fire John Davidson. That’s just pointless. If a general manager adds Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller to his lineup in a relatively short time, he shouldn’t get fired the way Jeff Gorton was. He should get a raise.

- Turner Sports thinks it might be able to turn Wayne Gretzky into the Charles Barkley of hockey, which is admirable. I like Gretzky and have known him forever, but I don’t see him being Barkley outrageous. Thoughtful yes. Reasoned yes. Outrageous no. Chris Pronger, might be able to do that. Brett Hull, possibly. Glenn Healy, if you can explain who he is.

more on the first topic plus more notes...

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

The Work Begins

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Yzerman may take Sunday off to celebrate: It is his 56th birthday, and it is Mother’s Day. But business beckons.

First up

The coaching situation appears to be first on Yzerman’s list, given that last month he said he’d “sit down very quickly after the season and discuss that” with Jeff Blashill. The perception within the organization is that Blashill has done a good job with what he has been given. The work ethic and culture, of which the Wings are so protective, has been maintained, and it speaks well for Blashill how hard the Wings competed, even as Tyler Bertuzzi, Bobby Ryan, Robby Fabbri and captain Dylan Larkin all suffered season-ending injuries.

Yzerman’s second task includes exit meetings with players, many of which will be conducted virtually. Young players such as Filip Zadina, Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno will receive feedback on their performances and what they need to work on over the summer. Meanwhile, the veterans will find out if they fit into next season’s plans.

Who to retain

A number of players are eligible for unrestricted free agency, but it’s unlikely all hit the market. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier figures to top that group, given how well he has played in two straight seasons. There’s no one in the farm system ready to push for an NHL job, and signing Bernier for two years provides a degree of stability. (Thomas Greiss is under contract through next season, as well.)

Luke Glendening is another clear-cut candidate to bring back — he’s a reliable defensive forward who is one of the best faceoff guys in the NHL and a big part of the locker room culture.

Forwards Sam Gagner and Ryan are likely to figure into next season’s plans, too...

read on (paid)

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Happy Mother’s Day 2021

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Who else but my Mother would wake up with me at 6:00am ro play catch with me on a warm summer morning?

Wo else but my Mom would take me to my first Wings game when I was six yeas old?

Who else would take my friends and me to a Saturday ladies day ball  game at Tiger Stadium?  My Mom knew a bargain too, 75 cents back then to watch the Bengals.

Who else would drive me to the local bars to collect their bottle caps from pop bottles?  My Mom did, probably a hundred times, just so we could turn those caps in for a baseball or football.

My Mom treated me with kid gloves but on a few occasions, boxing gloves came in handy for her too.

I miss my Mom daily so give your mom a hug and one from me too.

If you are a mom, come here, allow me to tell you how great you are.  This day is yours, but know you are special every day of the year.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

THREE HARD LAPS 
  
Connor McDavid collected his fifth consecutive multi-point game, and fourth with at least three points over that span, to reach the 100-point mark in his 53rd contest of 2020-21.
 
* Only one playoff spot remains after the Predators defeated the Hurricanes to clinch the final berth in the Discover Central Division and set up a First Round series with Carolina.

* The Penguins (MassMutual East Division) and Maple Leafs (Scotia North Division) each locked up the No. 1 seed in their division. In the process, it was determined that the Capitals and Oilers would be the No. 2 seed in their respective divisions.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- 100 Points For Connor McDavid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In 53 games,  1 goal and 3 assists tonight.

 

 

added 11:59pm, another view below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid

Videos- Media Time After A Shootout Loss To Columbus

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

First we have Danny DeKeyser and Jeff Blashill in one video, below are the game highlights.  added 12:05am on 5/9/21, BSD did a 2 part season wrap and look ahead, Watch both parts below.  added 12:24am, below is Steve Yzerman with his thoughts on the year and the future.

 

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