Kukla's Korner

Gerber Facing Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to lean on Curtis Joseph between the pipes for the next three games after Martin Gerber was tossed for pushing referee Mike Leggo and shooting a puck in his direction following Washington’s controversial tying goal Tuesday night.

For his act, Gerber faces a minimum three-game suspension for category three abuse of the officials - a violation of rule 41.

‘‘I’m sorry for me, for losing my cool there,’’ said Gerber. ‘‘I got shoved in the net. That’s why (the puck) went in. I was upset, shot the puck against the boards and after that he tossed me out for I don’t know what.

‘‘I shouldn’t have done it. That’s obvious. But there’s not much you can do now.’‘

If you missed the incident, you can view it here...

Updated 4:47pm ET: Note from TSN’s SMS updates—“Martin Gerber receives automatic 3 game suspension for abuse of officials.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+gerber

Players Taking CBA Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province via the National Post,

Paul Kelly knows that soon enough the Gary Bettman-led NHL owners will be back for more goodies now that they’ve run over the players with a steamroller in the 2004-05 lockout when they established the salary cap.

At the moment, Kelly, the National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director, is just trying to gauge what sort of backbone the players might be able to grow over the next two years, when negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement will be underway. And he made clear the one thing that has galvanized the players’ thinking recently is the massive escrow payments, which are take a big chunk out of their paycheques this season….

“We’re finding every time we meet with the players there is more and more interest in the issues facing us and the league. They want to know more and more, and the thing that’s really got their notice is the high deductions from their cheques this season.”

The more the players learn about the issues and how the CBA affects their lives, the better able they might be to resist the owners’ next attempt, which likely will come in the form of trying to whittle down payments to players they wish to buy out - in other words, to chip away at guaranteed contracts.

more

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

Stastny Out Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that center Paul Stastny will miss 2-4 weeks due to a broken foot. 

“A CT scan taken yesterday (March 24) revealed the fracture in his foot,” said Avalanche team physician Dr. Andrew Parker.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+stastny

The Russian Cooking Show

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alyonka Larionov and Mr. Malkin try their hands at some Russian cuisine and Kris Letang does the food testing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alyonka+larionov, evgeni+malkin, kris+letang

Foster Back On the Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster goes through a rigorous rehab to get back on the ice.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kurtis+foster

Predicting The Playoff Matchups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

Here’s my quick bloggie look at the playoff races in both conferences.

Eastern Conference
The Bruins, Devils, Capitals and Flyers are good to go. These four teams have been a given for a while now. What order? I say B’s, Devils, Caps and Flyers.

After that, I think the Hurricanes, Rangers and Penguins will be there, too. Those three teams have been pretty good over their last 10-15 games. They’ve been able to put a sliver of room between themselves and the rest of the pack. For no particular reason, I’m going to say they’ll finish 5-6-7, Penguins, Hurricanes, Rangers, respectively.

That leaves one spot.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Down The Stretch They Come

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Montgomery at USA TODAY,

As the 2008-09 NHL regular season winds down, the intrigue surrounding potential first-round matchups increases. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting storylines that are unfolding in the season’s final weeks.

• The battle for the Presidents’ Trophy between San Jose and Detroit should go down to the wire. San Jose has the advantage with a couple of games in hand, but the Sharks have struggled a bit in the last while. An interesting scenario could develop if the Sharks and Wings go all out to capture the top spot. Will the energy and urgency both teams expend in the final weeks affect their performance in the first round of the playoffs?...

• Vancouver might not catch Calgary for the Northwest Division crown, but at this point, the Canucks stand a better chance to go deeper in the playoffs than the Flames, simply because Roberto Luongo is a better goaltender than Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames have some defensive issues; only four other teams in the Western Conference have surrendered more goals than Calgary….

more with other bullet points…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Norris Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com answers some email questions…

Q: Who do you think will win the Norris Trophy? What are newcomer Mike Green’s chances over a six-time winner like Nicklas Lidstrom?

A: It’s a wide-open race this year. The incomparable Lidstrom, 38, who has six wins and three second-place finishes, has been playing with a sore elbow this year. His minutes have been cut back to 24:49 a game, several minutes below his average. He went into Tuesday’s game with the Oilers with 50 points, tied for fifth in defencemen with the Sharks’ Dan Boyle, but he was plus 29. That’s a better plus/minus than Green (64 points, plus 23) and Wings’ teammate Brian Rafalski (55 points, plus 19).

Personally, I think you have to knock the heavyweight champ out to get his crown, but there’s also a feeling the voters would like to give it to somebody new….

read on and a few more questions regarding the Sharks and Steve Mason…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best-Case Scenario For Canadiens Owner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN Soccernet,

Gillett’s best-case scenario would include both the lucrative sale of the Canadiens and a debt restructuring agreement with Liverpool’s creditors. Failing that, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he combined portions of his interest in both clubs and packaged them off to investors. He has been mulling the idea for some time, telling reporters in December that such a strategy “might enable fans or interested parties in investing in one or more of our sports properties.”

Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie could very well be one of the “parties” Gillett referred to. The co-CEO of Research in Motion revealed Gillett’s intention to sell the Canadiens in November 2008, telling Montreal daily La Presse that the 24-time Stanley Cup champions were on the block. Gillett vehemently denied the speculation, although Balsillie’s remarks were validated less than four months later.

If Gillett opts to hang on to the Canadiens and offers combined Liverpool-Montreal investment packages - what he calls “investment strips” - to new investors, he will no doubt damage his already battered reputation in the eyes of many Liverpool supporters who opposed the American takeover of the club in the first place.

more and thanks to a KK member for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+gillett

Dan Bylsma Wakes-Up the Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

“This day and age, it’s like the old Yogi-ism, 90 percent of the game is half mental, and a lot of that is true,” said Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton after another of Bylsma’s upbeat practices. “A month ago this was a pretty fragile hockey team with a timid attitude. Now it’s like we feel there’s nothing we can’t do. We can get behind, come back and win, but it was a long time coming.

“I think everyone knew the team had this kind of potential. Going back to the beginning of the year, we knew this team was capable of playing this kind of hockey.”...

“At times before he got here,” Sidney Crosby said yesterday, “we could all look around the room and see guys who could give more than they were giving. It wasn’t easy for him. It’s been a combination of things, but part of it was we had to face up to the fact that we weren’t doing everything we could do.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

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