Kukla's Korner

Diggers Climb Aboard, Next Stop Woodward In June

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The Red Wing organ-I-zation has spoken and, by god, the Deep Diggers are listening.  They're listening, nodding, sipping and writing. As directed.  In the midst of an epic two-game winning streak, we've got ourselves a contender.

Last week, the Red Wings were a team considered to be on the verge of collapse, destined for an early offseason.

Tuesday, after having defeated Pittsburgh and Montreal, fans were thinking about the playoffs again.

That's Teddy Kulfan, defacto Digger captain and Voice of the Fan.  At press time, interns from Michigan Tech couldn't get a quote from Kulfan as to which fans he spoke with regarding our fervent, new-found optimism.


There is absolutely no reason to believe the team Ken Holland has built can't play .750 hockey the rest of the way, securing the Atlantic Division title, winning the East and defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in June to secure their 12th Stanley Cup.  This two-game winning streak should certainly silence the back-biting, whining, impetuous "fans" who bellow and wail every moment that Holland refuses to trade blue-chip prospects for legitimate, proven talent. You heard it here first...the Detroit Red Wings will lose no more than 5 games the rest of the way.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Jonas Brodin Out At Least A Month With A Fractured Finger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced that defenseman Jonas Brodin will miss a minimum of four weeks due to a fractured finger suffered in last night's 4-3 loss to New Jersey.

Brodin, 23 (7/12/93), has tallied 16 points (3-13=16) including five power-play points in 43 games with Minnesota this season. He has already surpassed his point and assist totals from last season and owns a career-high two game-winning goals. The 6-foot-1, 193-pound native of Karlstad, Sweden, ranks second on the team in blocked shots (68) and third in TOI/game at 19:46. Brodin has collected 70 points (18-52=70) and a plus-21 rating in 306 career NHL contests with the Wild.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+brodin

Ken Holland On A Few Topics

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

In a series of comments Tuesday before an audience of some 400 at Van Andel Arena, Holland shared insight into his thinking about the Red Wings as they hover near .500 (currently 19-19-6). They are six points out of a playoff spot heading into Wednesday's game against Boston....

Now, with Zetterberg and Kronwall age 36, the Red Wings must wait for their young players to emerge as talents, Holland said, and have the chance to grasp the mantle of leaders.

"That's why it's so important to have a Henrik Zetterberg sitting beside an Anthony Mantha or a (Thomas) Vanek and Franz Nielsen playing on a line with Athanasiou, and a Jonathan Ericssen playing (defense) with Xavier Ouellet," Holland said. "... That's where the culture is that can make a difference.

He added:

"The culture won't make the difference if you're not good enough. The culture is not going to make the difference if you're just going to be a superstar. The culture can make a difference on those players that need a little time, a little guidance and a little more maturity. That's where the organization and Grand Rapids can make a difference for where we're trying to get to, and that's to be a Cup contender."

Holland believes there are "five, six or seven players" on the Griffins who will be playing in Detroit "in two to three years."

more, including what Holland said earlier to Nick Cotsonika, 'not ready to trade yet'.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Team Needs And Wants

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

With six weeks to go until the NHL’s 2017 Trade Deadline, here’s an early look at each team’s needs, wants and wishes:


Top priority: Future assets
Scoop: GM Tim Murray has been one of the trade deadline’s biggest sellers over the past few years and he likely will be again this season. Buffalo has extra second and third-round picks this June to show for it. They can probably add to that total with pending UFAs Cody Franson and Brian Gionta. Maybe another team can rehab pending RFA Zemgus Girgensons into the 30-point scorer he was two seasons ago.


Top priority: Shed salary
Scoop: The lights are likely to go down at Joe Louis Arena for the final time this spring without a Stanley Cup playoff appearance for the first time since 1990. Detroit already has $68 million committed for next season, plus they need to re-sign RFAs Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou. Keeping Tomas Vanek not only doesn’t help for the long-term future but only complicates the cap crunch.


Top priority: Walking the tightrope
Scoop: The Blues gambled last year and let David Backes and Troy Brouwer walk for nothing on July 1. They need to get something before Kevin Shattenkirk does the same. The difficulty is in finding a fit that won’t do a disservice to the Blues’ current crop, even if they aren’t as strong as in years past.

the rest of the NHL teams...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Look At Tonight’s Game Between The Detroit Red Wings And Boston Bruins

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

The Boston Bruins are trying to hold onto a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings are trying to get to the playoffs for the 26th consecutive season. One team will come two points closer to its objective when the Original Six rivals play in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).

The Bruins (23-19-5) enter the game second in the Atlantic Division, though they've alternated wins and losses in their past six games and are coming off a 4-0 home loss to the New York Islanders on Monday. The Red Wings (19-19-6) are four points out of a playoff spot but are coming off back-to-back home wins against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens.

With a lot on the line for each team, here are 5 reasons to tune in:

Rebound for Rask

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is headed for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game but not because of his play Monday. He was lifted after allowing three second-period goals on 12 shots. Despite that, Rask is 22-10-3 with a 2.03 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts, including a 1-0 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 29. Rask hasn't lost more than two games in a row all season. There's no reason to think he won't bounce back with a Grade-A performance.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wednesday Hockey Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- When it comes to Paul Maurice, my thoughts are this: 2017–18 is the final year of his current contract and I do believe it was always Winnipeg’s plan to discuss an extension with him after the season. Sometimes, the ground shifts underneath our feet, throwing our best-laid plans out the window. In a perfect world, that’s what I think the Jets would still like to do. The organization is loyal and patient. They gave Claude Noel a longer rope than most other teams would have, and you always look for patterns in behaviour.

One of the reasons I think Winnipeg likes Maurice: He plays their young players. The Jets want to know what they have. It’s not always easy to find coaches comfortable with that, especially since being a bench boss is not exactly a stable profession.

- A year ago, it’s unlikely Shane Doan would have thought about waiving his no-move protection. Finishing his career with one franchise was very important to him (and I suspect still is). What changed? The Coyotes would like to see someone else grab the mantle of leadership, recognizing even he cannot play forever.

Monday in Edmonton, Arizona had five power plays. Doan did not get time on the first four. It’s not hard to see where this is going, and the team is losing. That’s why his outlook is different. He’ll have to accept a depth role, but I could see three of the California teams taking a look. As Doan said himself, “It’s going to have to be a perfect situation.”

more includes some trade talk too...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Chris Kreider Fined For Hitting Cody Eakin With His Helmet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+kreider

Trade Vanek Or Not

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

This one is going to be interesting. The Wings like Vanek, and they need somebody to score goals for them next season when their new arena opens. But the new contract would have to be right. And if you’re Vanek -- you've bounced around a few years, your family seems happy in Detroit -- why not try to make it happen?

more on Vanek, plus Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrick Sharp on players who could be traded...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Ken Holland Not Ready To Sell

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Ken Holland wants to be patient. He never has had to sell before the NHL Trade Deadline since becoming general manager of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, and he wants to wait until almost the last moment before deciding what to do this season.

The Red Wings have one game in the week leading to March 1. So if they're out the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the last week of February, Holland will have plenty of time to maneuver then.

"I want to give our team every opportunity to try to play our way into the mix," Holland said....

It is the first of four games in eight days that could have a significant impact on whether they give themselves a chance to make the playoffs for the 26th consecutive season and keep Holland from trading pending unrestricted free agents like forward Thomas Vanek before the deadline.

The Red Wings have 44 points, six behind the Ottawa Senators for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference and the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division; each team has two games in hand on the Red Wings. They are seven points behind the Bruins but have played three fewer games. 

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Detroit’s Morning Skate Before Facing Boston Tonight

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Ansar Khan tweets,

RedWings on ice for morning skate. Jared Coreau in starter's net. Face @NHLBruins at 8 p.m. NBCSN

Same lines for #RedWings:

Same defense pairs for #RedWings:

added 10:43am, Khan...

Same PP units for #RedWings:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Nielsen, Vanek, Green
Tatar/Larkin-Athanasiou-Mantha, Abdelkader, DeKeyser

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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