Kukla's Korner

The Time Bomb in Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Shiv

There is a time bomb ticking away in Toronto. And its inevitability is…well, inevitable.

The Leafs’ Cup drought is going to extend beyond 50 years. How could it not?

The Leafs exist in a world with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews. Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf. Mike Richards and Steven Stamkos.

Datsyuk is the only player above not drafted in the first-round. But ask any GM in the NHL about which forward they would pick first to win the Stanley Cup today and Datsyuk would surely chalk up a few votes, regardless of how obvious a choice Crosby or Ovechkin may seem.

Tonight the Leafs head into GM Place in Vancouver to take on a team that has 10 former 1st Rounders in their line up. Ironically, two of those 1st Rounders happen to be Henrik and Daniel Sedin, a duo that Brian Burke went out of his way to secure in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, ron+wilson

Winning The Draw

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

It’s an accepted fact that all the best ones cheat.

This should be no small matter when talking about something that happens roughly twice as often in a typical NHL game as a shot on goal.

We speak, of course, of faceoffs, hockey’s primal test of wills and an underappreciated element of today’s game.

There are stylistic differences: You have your spin-and-kickers, the pitchfork tie-up guys, the low backhand sweepers (perfected by former Montreal Canadien Guy Carbonneau, one of the best draw takers in NHL history).


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Closure Reached On The Death Of Brittanie Cecil

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Wagner of the Columbus Dispatch,

An endless stream of faces passed by Jody Naudascher at her daughter’s funeral, but the one she was privately hoping to see, the hockey player with the long, sandy-blond hair, didn’t walk through the door.

Yesterday, almost nine years after 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil died after being struck by a hockey puck, Naudascher finally met the man who had been carrying around his own anguish for the loss of her little girl.

Espen Knutsen, the former Columbus Blue Jackets player who shot the puck that struck Brittanie, embraced the trembling mother the moment he saw her, and the two began the closure that had escaped them both.

“I don’t hold you responsible; I never did,” Naudascher told Knutsen at Nationwide Arena during a private, one-hour meeting. “It was an accident, and you should never have blamed yourself for anything. I wanted to tell you all this back then.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brittanie+cecil, espen+knutsen

Happy Holidays From The Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sharkspage breaks down the video.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Your New NHLPA Executive Director

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO, ON (December 18, 2010) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that the full membership of the NHLPA has voted overwhelmingly to appoint Don Fehr as the new NHLPA Executive Director, following the Executive Board’s endorsement.

Fehr, 62, is the former Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) where he worked for the players for 33 years, serving as Executive Director from 1983 until 2009.

“I am both humbled and honored by the expression of confidence that the players’ vote reflects,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the membership and the Executive Board.”

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Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

Colorado Playing At The Top Of Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

But even without Paul Stastny, I thought the Avs would make short work of what I consider to be a dog team, the Senators. However…

The Avs did everything they could to give Ottawa a great road win to finish up their Western swing. They turned pucks over with regularity, came out flat as a tortilla and watched Craig Anderson give up five goals for the second time in three nights.

And yet, they got away with it. A team missing its top center and two top right wingers scored six more goals. They lead the league in goals, despite a raft of injuries to their TOP GUYS. Is it OK to call these guys the Amazin’ Avs now? I think it’s getting close….

Teams can NOT keep up with these guys. The Avs’ team speed is totally wreaking havoc on the opposition. The opposing defenses have to hang back a lot, and when the forwards turn the puck over to an Av, they are caught flat-footed as the Avs come racing in on the D, often in an odd-man rush.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Not A Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Call this Jan. 1 game a classic. Call it whatever you want, but when a game depends on the weather, it’s not one. If it snows, prepare yourselves for an unending series of interruptions in the action. Don’t look for hitting if the temperature goes south. Don’t expect the kind of competition you see during the season. It’s not going to happen.

The shame is that one team will leave with two points, another with either zero or one following what is nothing more than a money grab.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Could Use Goals From Gaborik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers are the fourth-highest scoring team in the conference as they head into today’s showdown with the Eastern leading Flyers, the Blueshirts’ production of 3.0 goals per game (discounting shootout winners) exceeded by only Philadelphia (3.39), Pittsburgh (3.09) and Tampa Bay (3.06).

That’s surprising enough on its face, but it’s almost a shock given the relatively quiet start of the face of the offense, Marian Gaborik, who does have nine goals in his 21 games, but has scored in just five of those matches, with hat tricks in two.

Some of that, as coach John Tortorella has taken to reminding the press on an almost daily basis, is on Gaborik, who doesn’t seem to be finding holes and open ice to the same degree he did last year. Last season, he scored in 28 of his first 57 games and 34 of 76 overall en route to 42 goals, fifth in the NHL.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Where’s The Mom Trip?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Tis the season of the dads’ road trip.

It has become an annual ritual for many NHL teams; the sons swirling about the ice while their fathers sit watching as a group, looking eerily like an old-timers team that will take to the ice once the beer bottles and stands empty.

It can be heartwarming, as when the dads of the Ottawa Senators high-fived each other Thursday night following their boys’ 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

And yet, at the risk of tossing a little bah-humbug into such a festive scene, it is also out of balance.

Where, dare we ask, are the mothers? When does the moms’ road trip take off?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Giguere Concerned About His Groin Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

When it comes right down to it, Giguere isn’t just concerned about the games he might miss in the coming days or weeks. His fears have more to do with the long-term impact the injury could have on his career.

While the Leafs are calling Giguere “day-to-day,” the veteran goalie suspects there might be more to this injury than just the so-called minor tweak that already has kept him out of the lineup on a couple of occasions this season.

“It’s more than a matter of resting it,” said Giguere, who has missed eight games in the past six weeks when the injury flared up. “We have to find out what it is. We have brought it back to 100% before, then I start playing and it gets tired and weak.

“When I started playing this time, there was a sharp pain.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

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