Kukla's Korner

NHL GMs Keeping An Eye On Seattle Start Date

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

When the general managers met earlier this week in Toronto, they were told the timing of Seattle’s anticipated entrance into the league remains open. The NHL isn’t convinced the KeyArena revitalization can be completed in time for an October 2020 start, which would push it back to October 2021....

The NHL Seattle group is keeping a low profile in advance of the Dec. 3-4 Board of Governors meeting where they’ll officially be granted a franchise, but they did confirm via a statement that they remained focused on a launch 22 months from now:

“NHL Seattle recognizes that its ability to begin to play in 2020 is dependent on the Arena being finished on time. We are confident that we will have a completed arena in time for the 2020 season and we will work closely with the NHL to keep them informed of our progress.”

This of high interest to GMs because it will impact the timing of an expansion draft.

If Seattle starts in 2020, current rookies like Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson and Montreal’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be exempt from the process. Should it be delayed until 2021, those players will have to use up one of their team’s protection slots.

more topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Young Players For The Ottawa Senators Providing A Positive Influence

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

The question, a few days back, was specifically about whether Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher had seen an improvement in Thomas Chabot’s play without the puck.

The answer covered a lot more ground, providing an indication of how the young and dynamic club has managed to stay within breathing room of a playoff spot.

“We’re really pleased with (Chabot’s) development on both sides of the puck,” Boucher said. “He’s having to play against really good players on a consistent basis. If you look at (Max) Lajoie and him, they’re progressing really fast.

“We need that. That’s why we’re able to win games. Basically, right now, these kids are accelerating the normal process to a maximum. That’s as fast as I’ve seen players grow. Credit to them. They’re engaged. They’re paying attention to details.”

By ‘these kids’, Boucher was also including rookie forwards Colin White, Brady Tkachuk and — for the past two games — Drake Batherson.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Brian Burke On A Few Topics Including Brad Marchand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Brian Burke gets right to the point, discussing James Neal's struggles on the Flames, the difference of being a back-up goalie instead of starting, and why he takes issue with Brad Marchand's antics on the ice.

The Marchand talk starts at the 3:30 mark.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+marchand, brian+burke

Michael Rasmussen Establishing Himself As A Net-Front Presence

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

For a rookie, Rasmussen seems to be carving out a way to success in the NHL.

Saturday’s goal was his fifth of the season and he scored for the third consecutive game — all in the general vicinity of right in front of the opposing net.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound rookie is a dangerous net-front presence, with his hand-eye coordination being an effective attribute.

“He’s an excellent net-front guy, and he’s good player everywhere else,” Blashill said. “So where is a guy going to separate himself in the NHL? To me, it’s net-front for him.

“He’s going to score a lot of goals in this league because he knows how to go to the net, he knows how to tip pucks, screen, how to leverage his body.

“He’s going to be a good net-front guy for a long time.”

Said Rasmussen: "You guys always kind of ask me that (about net-front presence), and I just say the same thing. It’s kind of my game, my job.”

more topics on the Wings...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Uber Driver Who Posted The Video Of The Ottawa Senators Says He Is Sorry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at Sportsnet,

An Uber driver who posted footage of Ottawa Senators players disparaging one of their coaches and their team’s performance says he is sorry for sharing the video and has destroyed a second, unpublished clip.

James Sparklin, an Arizona father of six, told The Canadian Press he has not spoken to the players — Matt Duchene, Chris Wideman, Thomas Chabot, Colin White, Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo and Alex Formenton — featured in the footage he posted on YouTube, but received a thanks from a member of the team’s administration, when he reached out to offer apologies.

"I called the team…because I wanted to make sure they understood that I have destroyed the other tape. It will never ever see the light of day," he said, describing that video as showing the players entering his van and having a pre-ride discussion about the number of passengers. "I am extremely sorry for what happened and it is not right…I never meant harm on any of the players involved, the coaching staff involved, the owner involved, the town that was involved…I wasn’t thinking at all."

An Ottawa Senators spokesperson refuted Sparklin’s claim that he apologized, saying, "Based on our review, we have no reason to believe that any such conversation took place."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Bad Game For The Carolina Hurricanes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

So here, just short of a quarter of the way through the season, is a turning point. After doing all the right things and failing to be rewarded for most of the past several weeks, the Carolina Hurricanes did none of the right things Saturday night and were duly punished. Duly embarrassed. Duly booed by those fans still willing to put in the effort.

A team that has been able to take pride in its hustle, if not its goal-scoring or goaltending, couldn’t even claim that Saturday. After four days off, the Hurricanes took a fifth unscheduled, snoozing their way through a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their worst performance of the year and worst under Rod Brind’Amour, whose dogged stoicism finally shattered with a tongue-lashing of the entire bench during a second-period timeout....

This team has a decision to make now: Get back to playing the way it played to start the season, even in the absence of any positive reinforcement, or throw in the towel. By Sunday night, the answer will be clear.

“That’s the first game where I have not been happy with everything,” Brind’Amour said. “Do you give it a pass? Do you shuffle the deck? I don’t know. We’ll think about it. We’ll look through it again and make an assessment for tomorrow.”


Catch the game highlights below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Winning Streak For The Buffalo Sabres Hits Five

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News,

Word has circulated around the NHL about what Phil Housley is building in Buffalo. In only six weeks, the Sabres have developed a reputation of hanging around in games before their skill eventually takes over.

After completing a morning skate Saturday morning at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau cautioned reporters of that change. Buffalo is no longer a pushover, no matter the odds, he said. To his credit, and at his own team's expense, Boudreau was correct.

The Sabres, less than 24 hours after a victory over the Winnipeg Jets, roared back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Wild, 3-2, Saturday night, giving Buffalo its first five-game winning streak since 2012 and improving its record to 12-6-2.

Housley's players went into two of the most difficult road arenas in the league and escaped with two wins. Although there are question marks and red flags surrounding this team, the Sabres have finally established an identity.


Below, watch Craig Button of TSN on the improved Sabres.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goaltending Helped The Calgary Flames Defeat The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

Down 2-0 midway through the most heated episode of the Battle of Alberta in years, David Rittich looked up to see the third Oilers player of the night coming in on a breakaway.

This time it was a short-handed chance by Jujhar Khaira that could have salted things away for the visitors.

“When he’s coming in on me it’s a couple swear words,” smiled the Flames backup goaltender when asked what went through his mind.

Rittich punctuated his profanity with a kick save that turned the game on a dime.

Minutes after the save, and “another swear word” he screamed out to try motivating his bench, Derek Ryan shovelled in a power-play rebound late in the second to kick-start what would be four unanswered goals in a 4-2 Flames win.


Below, the game highlights and some of the rough stuff from the game...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Wings Are Finding Ways To Win

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Dylan Larkin threw his arms around Anthony Mantha, then threw his arms around other teammates as the Detroit Red Wings celebrated on Saturday.

The Wings have done a lot of that lately, playing with swagger as they’ve fought back after a miserable start to the season. They've won eight of their past 10 games, including Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils.  And though the schedule has been easier than it was in October, the Wings deserve credit for finding a way to turn things around.

“It’s awesome,” Larkin said. “It feels good coming in after games. We’re finding ways to win, instead of last year where it was going the opposite way and we were leading and we found ways to have nights where we’d fall apart. It feels good.”...

“I think everyone was counting us out,” Larkin said. “And here we are the last 10 games, we’ve shown not only the league and our fans, but we’ve shown ourselves we can play with every team on a nightly basis. We’re having fun and we’re rolling and we need to keep this going.” 

read on

Below, watch the extended game highlights.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Home Team in Caps

Detroit 3, NEW JERSEY 2 (OT)

Tampa Bay 6, PHILADELPHIA 5 (OT)

Buffalo 3, MINNESOTA 2

OTTAWA 6, Pittsburgh 4

NY RANGERS 4, Florida 2

Columbus 4, CAROLINA 1

Montreal 3, VANCOUVER 2

NASHVILLE 5, Los Angeles 3

Boston 2, ARIZONA 1

CALGARY 4, Edmonton 2

SAN JOSE 4, St. Louis 0


The Lightning jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third period, led by a pair of goals from Brayden Point (2-0—2), before the Flyers rallied for four consecutive third period tallies to force overtime. Anthony Cirelli notched his first career overtime goal in the extra frame to give Tampa Bay the win and catapult the club to first place in the Eastern Conference and a tie for the most points in the NHL (14-5-1, 29 points).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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