McKenna’s Mailbag: Answer Your Questions Every Saturday


Welcome to McKenna’s Mailbag. Answers to questions every Saturday: Be sure to use the hashtag #AskMcKenna on social media. The published questions have been edited for clarity.

My answer: The Hughes family is quite special. They are the first American family with three siblings all selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. Only two other families have had three or more siblings all taken in the first round of an NHL Draft: the Sutter family, who had four qualifying brothers, including Ron (No.4 in 1982), Rich (No.10 in 1982), Brent (n ° 17 in 1980) and Duane (n ° 17 in 1979) as well as the trio of the Staal family composed of Jordan (n ° 2 in 2006), Marc (n ° 12 in 2005) and Eric (n ° 2 in 2003). Jared Staal went to the second round (49th in 2008) and played two NHL games for Carolina.

The McGinn brothers – Brock, Jamie and Tye – have all spent a lot of time in the NHL. Gordie Howe performed alongside his sons Marty and Mark. The Dineen family have produced several NHL players. And I’m not sure any family had a bigger impact on the game than the Sutters. But overall the most talented? I think it’s the Stastny brothers: Peter, Anton and Marian. Imagine their point total in the NHL if they had left Czechoslovakia earlier.

My answer: Panic is never the answer. But I think there are a lot of reasons to be concerned. Having Stone, Pacioretty, Tuch, and Whitecloud for the long haul is a huge problem. And Martinez’s status remains unresolved. Taking all four games together, the Golden Knights have been terrible defensively. It’s been nearly 30 power-play chances since scoring a goal, including a long five-on-three against the Oilers on Friday night.

I think the Golden Knights have big problems if they can’t find a way to earn points when their star players are sidelined. Currently, the Misfit line from Marchessault, Karlsson and Smith is the only one to produce. The chemistry is lacking. And the Ds make bad decisions about when to step into the game. That said, the Golden Knights played better against a tired Oilers team and were able to keep up the pace for extended periods. But consistency is not where it needs to be and no one ends. I think the panic threshold is 20 games. If Vegas isn’t in a playoff spot – or at least a few points from one – by then, go ahead and hit the panic button.

My answer: It really depends on the goalie coach and the team situation. Usually, the first sessions on the ice are somewhat exploratory: discovering the personalities and work habits of each. This feeling process is easier at training camp when you have extra time. During the season it’s harder: there just isn’t enough training.

This is where video work comes in. Goalkeeper coaches all have a stash of video footage – a demo tape if you prefer – to review with new goaltenders. Some goalie coaches prefer these video sessions to be conversational while others will outline their expectations.

The best goalie coaches are able to take the natural skills of a goalkeeper and integrate them into their preferred systems. It takes communication. Ultimately, it’s about building trust. Goalkeepers and goaltender coaches have a special relationship.

My answer: You preach to the choir on this one. It’s great that we have former Guardians like the ones you mentioned doing full color commentary and occasional clerical work. All three are amazing. But I think TNT and ESPN need a goalie’s voice for pre / post / intermission analysis on the desktop. Gallagher’s no-goal is a prime example. Someone has to be there to explain why his presence in the enclosure and even the slightest contact with Andersen prevented the goalkeeper from playing his position. When the whole panel has never attached the pads – and admits not knowing the position well – the speech is inherently biased. If the goaltender is truly the most important player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, shouldn’t that voice be represented?

My answer: I shoot right handed as a goalie and in skating. It seems strange to most people because I catch a baseball with my left hand and a hockey puck with my right hand. But catching something is so much easier than pulling the opposite of your natural side. If I throw a tennis ball at you, you can probably catch it with either hand. Unfortunately, gear all the way to the right is incredibly hard to find, so it makes many kids catch on the left, regardless of their preference. I think that is holding back their growth as goaltenders and puck handlers. Grant Fuhr was forced to grab the left as a child until he finally got a pair of fully right gloves. He told me it was a huge relief when he was able to make the change.

My answer: Yes. Koskinen attacks the shot rather than accepting it. Withdrawing when the shot occurs has several negative effects on a goalkeeper (see below).

The first is that Koskinen’s eyes are moving. This makes tracking the puck more difficult. But the most important thing is that when pushing forward, most goalkeepers lock their arms, even for a fraction of a second. They end up blocking more than reacting. Koskinen is behind this shot because his brain subconsciously says he covered the angle due to the improved depth. But it is a mental mirage. Mayo still has room to shoot. If Koskinen had stayed put, he would have had a better read on the shot. And also had a fraction of a second longer to react. In other words: he needed to be patient. He forced the question when it wasn’t necessary.

My answer: Shesterkin didn’t revolutionize goalie skating at all levels, but he definitely continued to improve his own abilities in this area. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper, one of the best. He’s very good at making micro adjustments to stay on the right angle. He plays between his posts and uses them as a bumper when needed. His play is very deliberate – in a good way. It’s not rigid but there is a ton of structure.

I think the biggest difference from his early days in the league – in my eyes – is that he’s playing a little deeper. Shesterkin often played with his heels on the top of the crease when he first came to North America. Now I see him playing a little closer to the goal line – maybe six or eight inches. It’s not drastic but it’s enough to give him more time on shots and side plays. He learns and improves. Which is scary considering how good he already is.

My answer: So much. Outside of the rink we had a rookie party in Austin, TX and it was the best of my career. Amazing dinner, 6th Street shenanigans, mechanical bull races, arcade games, 3am street tacos… amazing. The practice was an absolute joke the next day. It was awesome.

On the ice… well… we didn’t have much to celebrate as a team. But personally, it was probably the weekend I played three games in two and a half days and was named AHL player of the week. Here is an excerpt from the AHL press release dated March 25, 2013:

McKenna made four starts last week and stopped 127 of 132 shots, going 3-1-0 and beating two division chiefs to keep the Rivermens in the thick of the conference playoff race. Where is.

McKenna started the week with 25 saves to help Peoria to a 4-1 win over Midwest division leaders Grand Rapids on Tuesday night. After stopping 33 shots, including a late penalty shot, and allowing just two goals in a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee on Friday, McKenna returned on Saturday with a 33-save effort in a 3-0 win over Chicago, his third shutout in nine games. And making his third start in less than 48 hours, McKenna made 36 stops in regulation and overtime and stopped four of five shootout attempts as the Rivermens edged out Toronto, the division’s first-place team. North, 3-2.

What the press release doesn’t say is that I had the flu this weekend and couldn’t eat anything. Between periods, I had to go and lie down in the weight room because I had zero energy. After Sunday’s game I went to our head coach Dave Allison and told him I needed two days off to recuperate and would see him on Wednesday. “Go ahead, my son. You deserved it, ”he replied.

My answer: Of course, I think Houston would be a viable NHL city. The Eros have drawn well for a long time in IHL / AHL and hockey dates back to the 70s with the WHA version of the team. There is history there. Would they crush him at the door? Maybe the first few years. After that, I don’t know how a team would make. But Houston is a big enough city that if the team were promoted properly I’m sure everything would be fine.

As for autographs: thousands. Several seasons, I signed a few hundred for collectible card companies. So extrapolate that and combine it with general researchers – I guess maybe two or three thousand? If you have one, I apologize. It is not worth much.

My answer: Egon Spengler. I am a huge fan of Harold Ramis (RIP). Certainly not Slimer.



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