Kukla's Korner

Hurricanes Roll Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

While top contenders like Boston and Washington struggle down the stretch, the Hurricanes finally discovered that extra gear, setting themselves up to be a team no one really wants to face in the first round.

No one should compare this group to the one that won the Stanley Cup in 2006, at least not yet, but there’s reason to believe it could enjoy a productive spring. For one, Cam Ward’s been magnificent, starting 22 straight and putting up the best numbers of his career.

“He was always technically sound, but I really like the way he battles,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “You can see his lateral movement has improved . . . [and so has] his rebound control. He’s not looked on as one of the real elite goalies because there’s nothing spectacular about his game. But, you know, he’s won it all before. That tells you all you need to know about his ability to compete.”

more and other hockey notes…

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

Hope For Non-Playoff Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Our weekly “Faceoff” features ESPN.com NHL writers Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Pierre LeBrun (based in Toronto), who duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!

This week’s topic: Which teams out of this season’s playoff hunt have a shot in 2010?

Scott Burnside: Bonjour, Pierre. Ouvrez la fenêtre, fermez la porte. That’s French for “open the window, close the door.” Or something like that. Well, we’ll be talking playoffs almost nonstop leading up to the end of the regular season two weeks from Sunday. But I think it’s good to take a brief look at the teams that won’t be taking part in the tournament and which ones might be capable of taking a step forward next year as we’ve seen Columbus and Chicago do this year. Can the Islanders get up off the mat? Is Colorado really as bad as it looks? I know we’ve spent a lot of time this year talking about the Kings and how close they are. I think it will be a huge disappointment if the Kings aren’t in a playoff spot next year,

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Forget Doughty For The Calder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

At this point, with Steve Mason carrying the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first playoff berth, it would be a shock if the stellar netminder didn’t win the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.

And we’re not here to dispel that. He’s the obvious choice. But we are here today to make a case with our fellow members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, who vote for the Calder Trophy, not to forget a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings who may not have caught the attention of most fans, but definitely the rest of the league.

“Drew Doughty is a special, special player,” an NHL coach told ESPN.com. “To me, he’s a young Scott Niedermayer.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty

Defending Osgood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

A few days ago, Chris Osgood had dinner with an old friend and former teammate Mike Vernon. Their get-together - for food, beverage and conversation - is pertinent on many levels, as the Detroit Red Wings gear up to defend the Stanley Cup they won in comparatively easy fashion last spring.

Osgood recently passed Vernon for 11th place on the all-time goaltender wins list. Much was made of the fact that Martin Brodeur just moved past Patrick Roy at the top earlier in March, but Osgood, at age 36, with almost 300 fewer starts under his belt, is the only active goalie with even an outside chance to win 500 games. He could reel in another former teammate, Dominik Hasek, for 10th all-time before the end of the year, which would leave a former idol, Grant Fuhr, next in his sights at ninth overall with 403 career wins.

continued and other topics include the Predators, Gaborik and Afinogenov.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

Can a Stanley Cup Get Them in the HHOF?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News:

For a number of veteran players, that elusive Lord Stanley is the one piece of the puzzle left in what could be a Hall of Fame career. Let’s look at the candidates.

Mats Sundin, Vancouver – As my colleague Brian Costello has posited in the past, Sundin is not quite a Hall of Famer just yet. But the way I see it, clinching a championship would put him in. The big Swede’s next goal will put him past former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk for 20th all-time in NHL history (Teemu Selanne passed both of them and Mike Bossy this year) and he also ranks 33rd overall in assists (passing Jean Ratelle, but getting passed by Mike Modano) and 25th all-time in points.

Stats aside, I really get the sense the Hall of Fame wants him in.

continued…

And while you’re at THN, you can check out Risto Pakarinen’s piece on Jonas Gustavsson, the netminder in the Swedish Elitserien finals, and on a record shutout streak which currently resides at 240 minutes and 25 seconds.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof, jonas+gustavsson, mats+sundin

It’s Tough Being An Islanders Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Twenty-five years after the club’s last appearance in the Stanley Cup finals, the Islanders have been a study in mediocrity and are no closer at the end of this decade to being a playoff contender than they were at the start of it.

Players, head coaches and general managers have come and gone, with the only constant being the Charles Wang, who purchased the club as a co-owner in 2000 and took over full ownership in 2004.

Islanders fans keep looking to the future and hoping management will land the kind of quality talent the Isles desperately need to finally put the futility and frustration behind them.

Despite a modicum of promise earlier in the decade the Islanders have continued to stumble along, facing what seems an increasing litany of woes

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

O-SHIE

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues took control in the third period, and the crowd took over the building.

“O-SHIE! O-SHIE!”

“That’s unreal,” he said. “It’s one of those things, when you’re younger, you imagine the crowd screaming your name. For it to happen my first year, it’s something else.”

more on the Blues victory over Vancouver last night and watch the video below why the fans where chanting for Oshie.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: t.j.+oshie

Emery Back In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

The former Senators goaltender was allegedly involved in yet another traffic violation Sunday night while driving his Hummer on Highway 416.

Grenville County OPP pulled over a vehicle around 10:30 p.m. when an officer spotted it going well in excess of the speed limit. The Hummer was impounded in Kemptville and Emery’s licence was suspended for one week.

Emery was charged under the stunt driving provisions of the Highway Traffic Act. Under Ontario law, police have the authority to seize a vehicle going faster than 50 km/h above the speed limit, however they would not confirm how fast the vehicle was going.

read on

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Predicting The 1st Round Of The 2009 NHL Entry Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

NHL Central Scouting will meet next weekend to compile its final rankings for the 2009 Entry Draft, giving NHL front offices and fans a first look at how things might shake out come late June in Montreal.

NHL.com decided to beat the scouts to the punch, tasking three of its draft experts to come up with their own thoughts on how the first round of the draft might play out.

Adam Kimelman, Brad Holland and Shawn P. Roarke all took the challenge, consulted their notes, called their contacts, and came up with their thoughts on the first 30 picks come June 25 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

continued and check out their mock draft on the right sidebar.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NCAA Hockey Tournament TV Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from College Hockey News,

All NCAA tournament games will be televised exclusively by ESPN and its sister stations this season, unless the games conflict and cannot be carried live.

ESPN is emphasizing its college sports channel, ESPNU, now.

continue for the schedule which starts today.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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