Kukla's Korner

Coach Lalonde On A Few Players

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said he liked the pace of today’s annual Red and White scrimmage in Traverse City. He thought the players were putting emphasis on executing their defensive responsibilities. That’s important, given that last season the Red Wings ranked last in giving up dangerous scoring chances.

Lalonde is aiming to fix that immediately.

The Red Team beat the White Team 3-2. Givani Smith, Jakub Vrana and Cross Hanas scored for the Red Team while Dylan Larkin and Matt Luff scored for the White Team. Lalonde liked the game’s energy.

Here are five quotes from the Lalonde press conference after the game:

On Filip Zadina
“Assertive with his game. It probably started Day 2 of camp, Day 1 was fine. I think Day 2 you could see being assertive with the puck and some confidence and then it translated into today’s game. He was flying, puck was on his stick, skill in tight, he was getting shots off, obviously he created a ton of offense today. He looked like he’s playing with some confidence. So hopefully we can keep building that going forward.”

On Elmer Soderblom


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Video- Derek Lalonde And Dominik Kubalik After Today’s Red And White Game

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul


Watch coach Lalonde and Dominik Kubalik below.

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Video- Dominik Kubalik Today

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Dominik Kubalik with John Keating.


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Stream- Go Red, Go White

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

The annual Red & White game from Traverse City starts at noon today.

Stream begins at 11:50am and can be watched below.


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Sunday Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- It’s easy to talk about firing Kyle Dubas at the end of the season or, in the more demure way, not re-signing him as general manager. The better question: Who do you replace him with? And who would do a better job? Montreal fired Marc Bergevin after a long run as GM and replaced him with Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes. If there’s a Jeff Gorton out there and available, Toronto would be wise to investigate.

- I’ve never heard a bad word said about Zdeno Chara. Not by those playing with him. Not by those playing against him. It’s hard to find any player who was as universally respected as Chara was. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2022. Probably alongside Duncan Keith, who won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and also won two Norris Trophies and, maybe the most important award, one called the Conn Smythe.

- Not sure P.K. Subban, great as he was, electric as he was, so much the personality, did enough to make the Hall of Fame. He did win the Norris and that works in his favour. The only retired Norris winner not to make the Hall is Randy Carlyle. One day in history we’ll look back and see that Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Drew Doughty and Victor Hedman only won one Norris, and collectively we’ll shake our heads. And to think, Brad Park never won but he did finish second eight times, usually behind a guy named Bobby Orr.

- In 2004, Jaromir Jagr was the highest-paid player in the NHL at $11 million a season. There was no salary cap then. All these years later, Nathan MacKinnon is the highest-paid player at $12.6 million. No athletes in pro sports have been as underpaid, big picture, as NHL stars. The salary cap hasn’t done a thing for hockey stars but limit their value … By comparison, the highest-paid player in the NBA in 2004 was Shaquille O’Neal at $27 million a year. Steph Curry is the highest paid now at $48 million. Second highest-paid player in 2004 was Dikembe Mutombo at $19.4 million. The second-highest paid player in the NHL today is Connor McDavid at $12.5 million. The second highest-paid player in the NBA today is Russell Westbrook at $47 million.

a few more hockey topics...

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Petr Mrazek Employed A Physiotherapist Over The Summer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Powers of The Athletic,

Petr Mrazek knew he had to do something different this offseason.

His body hadn’t been holding up. He missed stretches of last season due to a groin injury and was limited to 20 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Plus, there was his age. He turned 30 in February.

Being a goalie, he knew those factors were only going to present more challenges in the future. If he was going to get ahead of it all, he had to treat this offseason differently

“I knew I need to change something,” Mrazek said after Blackhawks practice on Saturday. “With the age, it comes. I feel like the body gets a little sorer, a little tighter. That’s something I had to change, too. I had to change the things and get more flexible, feeling good about myself, feeling good about the body.”

So, he started seeing a physiotherapist back home in Czechia over the summer.

“I spent time with a physiotherapist 4-5 times a week for an hour or two hours working with them, stretching even more than I used to be,” Mrazek said. “Those were things I haven’t done before in the summers. That was something we changed. … I feel like I’m getting back to being flexible like I was younger. The parts of my body that were hurting before the summers and seasons are gone.”

continued ($$$)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Andrew Copp With A Health Update

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

via Bally Sports Detroit's YouTube page,

John Keating reports on Andrew Copp, who's recovering nicely from abdominal surgery and is expected to contribute on the power play this season.


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Zdeno Chara Changed The Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont Of The Boston Globe,

The most vivid memory of Zdeno Chara’s time with the Bruins undoubtedly will be the night of June 15, 2011, in Vancouver. The bearded Bruins captain, then 34, took the handoff from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and shook the glimmering Stanley Cup vigorously over his head, turning the trophy into an oversized salt shaker to sprinkle grains of joy.

In that one cathartic moment, the franchise’s 39-year championship drought finally came to an end. The days of the Big Bad Bruins, of Orr and Espo, of leather skates and wooden sticks and a dusty, fetid Garden, officially were relegated to a distant corner of the memory vault. All of it certified in that joyful moment some 3,200 miles west of Causeway Street by the towering Big Z.

More powerful and lasting, though, is the Chara legacy here of the last decade-plus, his combination of Herculean work ethic, athleticism, and professionalism that delivered a much-needed culture change that the organization prays can linger for many more years to come.

continued plus more topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Talk During Training Camps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. Apologies in advance: We’re still in preseason form.

1. Connor McDavid ($12.5 million AAV) will have held the title of most handsomely paid NHL player for five seasons, when Nathan MacKinnon’s new deal ($12.6 million AAV) knocks him off the peak next season.

MacKinnon’s reign on the top will be short like leprechauns.

Auston Matthews is destined to supplant him after just a one-year run. (And, while we’re playing this game, Connor McDavid should leapfrog Matthews after two seasons, by 2026-27.)...

2. Is it unusual for a cash-flush organization — the same one that doled out millions for Mike Babcock to not coach the team — to not at least give Dubas a short-term extension and save the GM from “lame duck” status?

Yes, it is.

Heck, the Dallas Stars went as brief as one year on Jim Nill’s security cushion.

But as consistent as the Maple Leafs’ regular seasons have been, the optics of rewarding four straight one-and-done postseasons under Dubas would’ve landed awkwardly....

more on the above topics and more notes too...

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Videos- The Talk After Today’s Practice

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Lucas Raymond first, Ville Husso below.

added 2:25pm, Filip Zadina and coach Lalonde are below.


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