Kukla's Korner

Seven Straight

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit

If you're reading this, you are a die hard Wings Fan, and, thank you for showing up. Even when we think we're prepared for a rocky season, there is just no way any of us saw this coming.

Seven straight losses.

Losing just plain sucks!

It's a Live Blog! 

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Saturday Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- William Nylander, with 16 goals in his past 51 games, wants to be paid more than David Pastrnak, same age, same draft, who has 16 goals in his past 21 games. For the record, I want to be paid more than J.K. Rowling.

- If you haven’t seen a lot of Sebastian Aho, the Hurricanes version, you’re missing something. He’s an emerging star … Hockey people are raving about the job Rod Brind’Amour is doing with the Carolina Hurricanes. A lifelong NHL scout told me he hasn’t seen a rookie coach like Brind’Amour before, using unconventional ways to get terrific results from an excited team.

- The same scout said not to worry about Phil Housley in Buffalo. “He’ll be all right,” the scout said. “It’s still a pretty thin team.” 

- Have to believe Mike Yeo is coaching on borrowed time in St. Louis. There is lots of talent there. The coach isn’t getting anywhere near the most out of them.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Would The LA Kings Be Interested In Alain Vigneault?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- As of late in the week, no team had contacted the Rangers for permission to speak to Alain Vigneault since he was dismissed within hours of delivering his valedictory address following the team’s final game of last season in Philadelphia.

But we wonder if that might change within the not-too-distant future. Specifically, we would suggest that Vigneault could become a person of interest in Los Angeles if president Luc Robitaille and general manager Rob Blake grow impatient with third-year man John Stevens behind the bench.

The Kings are a win-now team that hasn’t won enough or played nearly well enough these first couple of weeks of the season...

- Asking for a friend with the initials SY, but will the Red Wings make a change behind the bench in promoting assistant Dan Bylsma or will they allow Jeff Blashill to remain in place for the duration so as not to threaten the club’s hold on 31st-overall and thus the largest number of ping pong balls in the Jack Hughes sweepstakes?

- So I have typed “Presidents’ Trophy” hundreds of times and I guess I would like someone to please explain why the NHL awards a Presidents’ Trophy when the league hasn’t had a president since John Ziegler completed his term more than a quarter of a century ago?

more on the first topic plus other hockiey notes...

At the time of this post, the Kings are losing to the Sabres in LA 4-0 after 2.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Video- The Game Plan For Tonight

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

2 1/2 minutes of Jeff Blashill.



added 5:36pm, Below, Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com with the game notes.

Continue Reading »

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Discussing Blashill And Bylsma

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered some fan mail, this question regarding the coaching staff.

The back-to-back lopsided losses at Boston and Montreal were ugly, but let’s be realistic: this has been a team that’s had to field as many as four rookie defensemen, one of whom (Libor Sulak, since sent to Grand Rapids) had never played on the smaller North American ice sheet until last month. The team does not have an elite defenseman nor superstar scorers. My sense is management and ownership isn’t about to fire Blashill so long as the team looks competitive — asses how they play in a game more so than the result. Take the Tampa Bay game — the Wings lost but played well against an extremely talented opponent.

When Dan Bylsma was signed this past summer to a three-year contract, the optics made it look like he’s the successor if Blashill is fired. But I don’t sense that’s coming unless things really fall apart. Bear in mind, too, the ownership and management recognize how hard it’s been to start the season with as many as five veteran defensemen injured. The loss of Mike Green — arguably the team’s best defenseman last season — has been especially mitigating. 

more topics like Rasmussen and Yzerman's future...

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The Boston Bruins Should Have Interest In Artemi Panarin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

After plucking Taylor Hall, the reigning MVP, away from the Oilers in 2016, it’s a good bet Devils GM Ray Shero will be in the thick of the Panarin talks. Shero has the strongest roster of the three NYC-area clubs and he also is sitting on a $15.5 million pile of cap space, second only to the Dollar Store Hurricanes ($16.7 million).

Few clubs, if any, have the combination the Bruins can offer in the Panarin chase. Boston’s Russian population may be a little light, but it’s a first-class North American city, and the Bruins have abundant player equity to offer Kekalainen, be it in the form of young roster players and/or prospects.

Kekalainen’s target pool in a Boston swap no doubt would include the likes of Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Jake DeBrusk — the three kids GM Don Sweeney would be the most reluctant to surrender — and any number of others, including Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork on the varsity, and AHL stock such as Trent Frederic and Urho Vaakanainen.

more plus other topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: artemi+panarin

Brendan Smith Finds New Life Under David Quinn

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

It’s almost as if Brendan Smith were waiting and wanting to hear this question.

“Do you think this system fits your game better than last year?” he was asked, referring to the lost season he spent mostly in the minors.

“For sure I think it does,” the smiling Rangers defenseman told The Post after Friday’s practice in Tarrytown. “My biggest thing is I want to make good outlet passes; I want to be hard-nosed, strong in front of the net; I want to compete for pucks. I think that’s what I’ve done in the past, and to me, that’s winning hockey. When we get back to it, it works out.”...

“I think he’s really kept it simple,” said Quinn, whose team next plays Sunday night at the Garden against the Flames. “He’s a guy that has good skills, he’s not trying to do too much, he’s defended hard. He’s in great shape, so he’s able to play at a pace. His skating has always been elite. He’s in a whole different mindset.”


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  Tags: brendan+smith

Video- Before The Puck Drops Tonight

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

via the Wings' YouTube page,

Hear from Cholowski, Athanasiou, Ericsson, Rasmussen, and Blashill before their game against the Panthers in Florida.


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Real Wins Actually Needed

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press,

Everyone knows this is a rebuild. Sure. But this is looking bad even for that. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi have been the only bright spots among the young players who are supposed to be developing.

That’s on coach Jeff Blashill. In fact, it’s all on him. Yes, there have been injuries. Yes, the Wings put up good efforts in Southern California. Yes, they outplayed a sleepwalking Tampa Bay Lightning team — and still managed to lose.

But at some point, and maybe sooner rather than later, moral victories stop counting. The Wings need actual victories.

Their body language was bad while getting their Chiclets kicked in by the Habs and Bruins. The effort was much better in Tampa. But if you watched the dressing room interviews Thursday night, you could see the vacant, desperate look in players’ eyes, searching for something that wasn’t there. Possibly hope.

The popular notion is Blashill is safe in the final year of his contract. But his seat is suddenly warm and it could grow a lot hotter fast. If the Wings lose to the Panthers, they’re virtually guaranteed to go winless in their first 10 games, which would tie their franchise record (0-7-3) of 1975-76.

That would be a bad look. 


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Video- Pekka Rinne Leaves Game Shortly After A Collision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Pekka Rinne collides with teammate Kevin Fiala then exits the game a couple minutes after with an apparent injury.

No update from the Predators.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pekka+rinne

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