Kukla's Korner

‘Two things’: on Babcock and a DeKeyser Q and A

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In lieu of a more formal mid-day news post, I find it ironic that even NHL.com's Dan Rosen's mailbag answer regarding a topic heating back up continues to ignore what Mike Babcock and Ken Holland suggested prior to the regular season--that it was more likely than not that Babcock would not sign a contract extension with Detroit after the regular season and playoff run are over so that the coach could focus on hockey instead of negotiating a salary...

How can these Mike Babcock "could" leave the Red Wings rumors continue? As rumors go, this feels incredibly daft? -- @Hoskinsauce

They can continue and will continue until Babcock signs a new contract to stay with the Detroit Red Wings or announces he is leaving Detroit to become a coaching free agent, which in my opinion would make him the most sought after free agent in the NHL this summer. Babcock hasn't discussed his future in Detroit beyond this season for quite some time. There might be quiet, behind-the-scenes negotiating going on between him and general manager Ken Holland, but it's more likely that they're focused on trying to win this season and will address the issue of his future at the end of the season. The longer it goes, the more the rumor will persist. Babcock will have plenty of options and a lot of money thrown at him if he decides to leave Detroit. The Toronto Maple Leafs certainly will court him, but would Babcock want to go into a rebuilding situation?


And MLive's Brendan Savage conducted a Q and A with Danny DeKeyser:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wings-Coyotes quick-and-late-take: What an incredibly frustrating game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Aside from Mike Smith's James Brown concert reenactment and Shane Doan attempting to smash opponents' knees into the boards and then twist/stomp to snap knee ligaments--and watching the officials sort of shrug the Smith-started-it-with-a-stick-to-Helm's-face, dude-humps-Helm's-stick and all the clutching and grabbing go--because the new "standard of officiating" is just hideously poor on all sides of the puck (and Mike Smith is nothing less than a disgusting actor who consists of 3-day-old human squaline)...

Taking in last night's Wings-Coyotes game as a fan was an incredibly frustrating experence, and that frustration didn't just stem from Jimmy Howard's crappy goaltending.

It was a game where the Wings simply played dumb hockey against a team that probably came into its road trip hoping to beat a Wings team it still despises (that was quite evident in the level of physicality last night, even if the personnel is different, the remaining Coyotes from the playoff series [plural] between the teams let the new guys know that this game was for all the marbles), it was a game in which the Wings took nearly 40 shots but refused to attack the net, it was a game where Niklas Kronwall's absence, Erik Cole having to duck out and Luke Glendening leaving for a short period of time seemed to paralyze the team...

And it was a game in which the Wings got the point they needed to make it very hard for the Senators or Bruins to gain ground, but in every other facet, the Wings laid several eggs on ice.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Latest On Ryan Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

The sight of Ryan Miller out early Tuesday in full equipment and working with goaltending coach Rollie Melanson was certainly encouraging — especially with the stopper going into the butterfly and pushing off to replicate reactions he would normally display in a game. However, it was just one of the obstacles Miller is facing before he’s ready to be battle tested after suffering a knee strain Feb. 22.

I asked former Canucks goaltender and current Sportsnet analyst Corey Hirsch what we should read into Miller skating and working on his movements. He suggested there is the initial testing of that inside knee ligament to see if Miller is enduring any pain and the process can also be a means to strengthen the ailment. If a defenceman or a forward suffers a similar injury, the rehab process can include wearing a brace upon returning to league play. Not goalies. The next step for Miller will be to practise with his club and that won’t occur until the second week of April because it’s doubtful he would travel on the upcoming four-game road trip with just one practice day scheduled.

Everybody has a theory about when Miller might be ready for prime time. The injury was significant because of the position he plays, putting tremendous strain on the knees through contact and groins through stretching and straining to make saves. And contact is going to be a huge issue because there’s going to be a tendency to be tentative and back up initially instead of playing aggressively.

more plus other Vancouver topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Sipple: Erik Cole to miss 3 games with ‘Upper-Body Injury’; Kronwall ‘day to day,’ Datsyuk ‘close’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 3 PM: Oh boy. Per the Free Press's George Sipple...


Update #2: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan confirm that Erik Cole will be out until Tuesday at the earliest and that Kronwall and Datsyuk are "closer":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Time For The Anaheim Ducks To Buckle Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

-- It is time to get boring.

The Ducks’ penchant for one-goal games and comebacks might make them the entertaining bunch but the capacity for great theater doesn’t bring home a Stanley Cup. Strict, unyielding play (here’s looking at you, defending champion Kings), strong goaltending and timely scoring is the recipe that usually makes for a long playoff run.

In other words, they’ve got to win 2-1 or 3-2 games. Or 1-0. The Ducks have to get serious about playing a disciplined brand of hockey, not in the sense of staying completely away from the penalty box but sticking to their system, supporting each other on the ice and playing a simple, if unglamorous game.

They’re not doing that right now. An undermanned lottery-bound Columbus team repeatedly got prime scoring chances in the second period and cashed them in, turning around a 2-1 deficit after the first 20 minutes. And this came after the 7-2 shellacking by the Rangers on Sunday.

“I think that’s when it comes to the playoffs, when you play against good teams, it’s really who makes more mistakes and who’s going to win from that,” winger Andrew Cogliano said. “We’re beating ourselves. It’s pretty obvious what we’re doing.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Your New HHOF Chairman Of The Board

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (March 25, 2015) – Jim Gregory, Vice-Chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced today that one of hockey’s most renowned team leaders, Lanny McDonald, will become the next Chair of the Board effective July 1, 2015.  This appointment to fill the vacancy left by the untimely passing of Pat Quinn on November 23, 2014, was confirmed at the Board of Directors meeting held this morning in Toronto with the effective date to occur following McDonald’s final meeting as a member of the Selection Committee in June.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lanny+mcdonald

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Montreal Canadiens (46-20-8, 100 points) secured a point on Tuesday with an overtime loss to the Nashville Predators to become the first team to reach the 100-point plateau this season. In the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks all sit one back of the Canadiens with 99 points. Overall, the top 12 teams in the League are separated by just 10 points.

Leading 2-0 before the eight-minute mark, the Lightning surrendered three goals in a span of 1:58 but scored twice in the final frame, including Ryan Callahan’s winning tally with 2:28 on the clock, to pick up their fourth straight victory.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jared Boll Will Be Meeting With The Department Of Player Safety

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul



added 10:16am, Another view of the hit below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jared+boll

Time For A New GM In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Villani of WEEI,

Wasted first-round draft picks, an overpaid core and a couple of disastrous trades. It's a recipe for a mediocre hockey team in a bad salary cap situation and the concoction that should have the Bruins cutting ties with general manager Peter Chiarelli at the end of the season....

When you trade a player like Seguin, it's the kind of deal that will make or break you as a GM. Couple that with the Johnny Boychuk trade at the beginning of this season. Full disclosure, I was more supportive of the deal than most at the time ... but that support hinged on the "second piece" of the deal I assumed would be coming down the pipeline. We're all still waiting for that, and no question Boychuk has been missed on what's been a mess of a blue line beset by injuries and ineffective play.

Turning this roster over won't be easy, and the outlook isn't completely bleak. A goaltender like Rask and a two-way player like Bergeron are pretty nice cogs around which to build, and Hamilton and David Pastrnak show promise. But the core needs to be broken up and the proverbial deck reshuffled.

That reshuffling has to start at the top.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+chiarelli

Goalie Issues In Detroit And Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

So little time left in the NHL's regular season, and so much unknown vis-à-vis goaltending around the league.

Jimmy Howard did little but muddy the goaltending waters in Detroit, allowing five goals on 22 shots as the Red Wings were beaten by the sad-sack Arizona Coyotes, 5-4 in overtime at home Tuesday night. The win was the first in nine games for the woeful Coyotes. It was hardly the performance that inspires confidence in a coaching staff or teammates, especially with backup Petr Mrazek playing well when he's had the chance, going 6-3 in his past nine decisions. Howard, meanwhile, has just two wins in his last seven decisions. 

The goalie decision confronting Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau didn't get any easier, either. The Ducks also blew a 2-0 lead against a non-playoff team, losing 5-3 on the road to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Anaheim's ohn Gibson allowed four goals on 26 shots to take the loss, one game after the Ducks were shelled 7-2 by the Rangers in New York. Frederik Andersen, the Ducks' other young netminder, lasted less than eight minutes in that game.

read more hockey topics which include Strang on the Kings, Custance on Tomas Vanek and LeBrun on the Canucks...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

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