Kukla's Korner

Oilers Show Off Their Skills

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmoton Sun,

The travelling crew that has produced the skills competition around the NHL for the last 18 years said they’d never seen a faster time produced than the 13.1 seconds it took Erik Cole to skate around Rexall Place yesterday.

But Cole was more impressed with the scene.

“They certainly don’t do this in Carolina. I don’t think anyone would show up,” the former Hurricane said.

“To see this building full with lots of excitement for this ... it’s amazing.”

What made it special was that the sellout crowd gave the players the kind of unconditional love they don’t otherwise get from crowds of critical customers in a city that specializes in tough love for its shinny stars.

continued

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

Niittymaki Hurting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The latest news concerns goalie Antero Niittymaki. According to Holmgren, Niittymaki suffered a groin injury in the shootout loss in Los Angeles on Saturday night. The injury was not disclosed right away and he did not leave the game, playing injured in the overtime and shootout.

But he is doubtful for tomorrow night in Washington and the team will not say anything more before today at the earliest. Scott Munroe will be called up from the Phantoms to take Niittymaki’s place on the bench, but for how long no one knows.

“The fact that he stayed in the game, played the overtime and participated in the shootout should mean that it’s not that serious,” Holmgren said. “I just hope it’s not his hip.”

more on the Flyers injury situation…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antero+niittymaki

Looking Back At The First Half

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Here is a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the opening half of the ‘08-09 campaign:...

BLUE LINE STUDS
Dan Boyle (Sharks): Showing he deserves to be on Canada’s Olympic blue line.

Shea Weber (Nashville): A leading Norris candidate.

Zdeno Chara (Boston): He’s healthy, he’s driven, he’s big.

Brian Campbell (Chicago): Skates like the wind in the Windy City.

Honourable Mention: Mark Streit (Islanders), Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit), Dion Phaneuf (Calgary).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Book It For 2009

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside & Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

What can we expect from the NHL in 2009? Here are 10 picks to ponder:

Scott Burnside
• 2009 will see the end of Nicklas Lidstrom’s stranglehold on the Norris Trophy for the NHL’s best defenseman….

• In spite of wishful thinking by BlackBerry mogul Jim Balsillie and many Canadian media and fans that pine for days of NHL hockey in Quebec and Winnipeg, no NHL franchise will fold, declare bankruptcy or relocate in the coming year….

Pierre LeBrun
• Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks will be the first Russian goaltender ever to win the Vezina Trophy….

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blue Jackets Hurting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Left winger Kristian Huselius and center Jiri Novotny will not play Tuesday in Detroit, The Dispatch has learned.

Huselius is a huge blow to the Blue Jackets, who are already low on top-six forwards. He sustained an apparent concussion on Saturday when he was cross-checked in the face by St. Louis Blues forward David Backes. He will not play Tuesday, but will be examined further later in the week.

Novotny might have a concussion, too. He was game-time decision in St. Louis, but was able to play. As the game wore on, he felt worse and worse. He’s the same as Huselius ... out for Tuesday, to be examined later in the week.

more on the Blue Jackets and if you missed the cross-check by Backes on Huselius, you can watch it below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+novotny, kristian+huselius

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’ve never been through it, I’ve coached him (in juniors with the Red Deer Rebels), but I’ve never coached against him. To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to feel and I’m not sure I’m going to like it that much.”

“The way I look at it, I’m excited for him, yhis is a dream of his and he’s living it and trying to fulfill it to the best of his capabilities. I happen to be his dad that’s going to be coaching against him. I don’t want him to worry about that at all. It’s just that his old man happens to be on the opposite side. He just needs to go out there and be a good player and play well to help his team and I’m going to do my job coaching to help ours.”

-Devils coach Brent Sutter on coaching against his son Brandon tomorrow when the Devils play the Hurricanes.  More on the Devils from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

Does Anyone Care In Atlanta?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

(Bryan) Little’s contused ribs weren’t just painful to him. With Little able to play only 5:44, the Tampa Bay Lightning drubbed the Thrashers 4-1 and sent them into last place in the NHL’s Southeast Division.

Thrashers coach John Anderson said he didn’t know how long Little would be out but that rib injuries typically take weeks not days to heal. Anderson was more concerned about the rest of his team’s lack of effort. The Thrashers supposedly were trying for their first two-game winning streak since the first half of November. But their coach wasn’t sure they were trying.

“Our give-a-crap level was like at zero,” Anderson said. “After we have a big win [Friday] against Vancouver, against a real good hockey team, we throw that game. I’ve got to question whether anybody cares in that locker room. That’s a joke.”

read on

added 9:51pm, from the Iceman BLOGGETH at the AJC,

10,750

That was the announced attendance at Sunday’s game. Yeah, that’s what they said…10,750.

Unless about 4,000 were all milling about in the concourse area all game…there is no way 10K-plus was in the building. The Spirit Clowns and Don Waddell should be nothing short of…embarrassed…at the sight of so many empty seats on a Sunday afternoon.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Forget The Bulletin Board Material

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

Kicking a soccer ball around in the bowels of Scotiabank Place, Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi hardly looks like the personification of evil that some diehard Team Canada fans now believe he is.

Last week, Svensson-Paajarvi told a Swedish Newspaper that (translated from Swedish):
“If we play Canada in the gold medal game again, we will win.”  He also made a comment that, depending on your Swedish translator, was either:  “If we go up 2-0, Canada will be s***ing their pants” or “If we go up 2-0, that will really change the game.”

I’ve heard it interpreted both ways.  He also says if Sweden falls behind 2-0, they’re in big trouble.  But nobody bothered to read that far.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wjc

Shafted?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

If the shoe was on the other foot…

That’s all I’m asking of you.  Just stay objective and keep in mind the fetal position we’d all still be in if it had been a Wild goal waved off, then given back—with some fairly shady “conclusive proof”—last night.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Sundin Wants To Get One Good Practice In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from VancouverCanucks.com,

Both Mats Sundin and Vigneault have indicated that he will not play tonight and while Sundin will debut in a Canucks sweater tonight for jersey off our backs fan appreciation night, neither have a confirmed date for his debut in a Canucks sweater on skates.

“I haven’t even thought about dates to be honest with you,” said Sundin. “I’ll play it by day.”

Sundin continued skating in solo sessions while the team travelled to Nashville and Atlanta and participated in two game-day skates but has yet to join the team in a full practice since arriving at GM Place December 30.

“I think I need to skate with the team just once,” he said. “I haven’t had one practice yet with the whole group so I think getting a good practice, with two days, tomorrow and the next day, and then we can evaluate how everything feels.”

more on the Canucks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

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