Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Intriguing observations from the 'Hockey World' and 'Three Periods'

12/19/2014 at 12:37am EST

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:

- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.


- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?

- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.

This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:

-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.

Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:

— Daly confirmed NHL officials met with Bill Foley’s representatives this week to discuss the season-ticket drive in Las Vegas. “Good discussion fleshing out what they have planned,” Daly wrote in an email. “Still a work in progress.” Foley’s group, Hockey Vision Las Vegas, has put up a website: lasvegas-hockey.com. The drive is scheduled to start in February.

— Remain skeptical of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs entered Thursday night on a 10-1-1 run. But as we wrote last week, they set a goal of keeping their shots against at 25 or fewer. Their shots against the past nine games: 37, 38, 26, 46, 33, 42, 28, 36, 42. The Sabres are on a 10-3-0 run. But they have been outshot by more than 10 on average over that stretch. These are still two of the worst possession teams in the league.

— The Edmonton Oilers fired coach Dallas Eakins when they ranked 20th in Fenwick (percentage of unblocked shot attempts 5-on-5) and 30th in PDO (combined save and shooting percentage). The Calgary Flames extended coach Bob Hartley when they were 27th in Fenwick and ninth in PDO. In other words, the Oilers weren’t a great possession team but were better than the Flames. While the Oilers had the worst luck, the Flames had good luck. That’s not the whole story. But the standings aren’t, either.

And of course the meat of Cotsonika's column precedes said quips...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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