Kukla's Korner

Bruins Happy With Their Goaltender Rotation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the National Post,

It took some time, but Peter Chiarelli’s unconventional plan is finally starting to pay off.

When the Boston Bruins’ general manager acquired goaltender Manny Fernandez from Minnesota in July, 2007, he envisioned a goaltending tandem - Fernandez and Tim Thomas - that could lead his team to NHL supremacy.

Thomas set career bests in goals-against average (2.44) and save percentage last season - and the Bruins, eighth in the East, made the playoffs for the first time since the lockout - but a knee injury limited Fernandez to just four games.

This year, the goaltenders are making Chiarelli look like a genius.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Survival

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Georges Laraque at Sportsnet,

I want first to offer my condolences to Don Sanderson’s family. Don is the 21-year-old man who passed away on Friday after hitting his head on the ice in a hockey fight on Dec. 14….

So this incident brings the first subject that I wanted to talk about and that’s simply that fighting is not just the toughest job in hockey, but in all professional sports. Fighting is not easy, not easy physically nor mentally. During a fight, you pretty much fight for your life because as you know, many things can happen and on top of that, you are being watched by millions of people. And whether or not someone watches your game live, your fight will end up on YouTube forever.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Foote Out Indefinitely With Tricep Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Craig Stancher at ColoradoAvalance.com,

The Avalanche will be without a pair of veterans when the club faces Nashville tomorrow, as defenseman Adam Foote and forward Ian Laperriere will not make the trip to Tennessee.

Foote suffered a tricep injury during Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Wild. The blueliner played briefly in the second period before leaving the game. He did not take part in practice Monday and is out indefinitely.

The Avalanche also played the third period of last night’s game without the services of Laperriere. The winger, who has been playing center of late, skated for just 9:03 before leaving the contest with a back injury.

“Adam has a tricep injury and he’s going to be reevaluated in the next few days,” said Avalanche head coach Tony Granato. “Ian should be day-to-day. He’s got a stiff back but won’t make the trip.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote

Flyers Injury Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on Monday updated the team’s injury list.

“Joffrey Lupul has an abdominal pull, so he is probably out for at least 14 days. Right now, he is on I.R..:.

“Simon Gagne is actually doing better. We’ll still say he’s day-to-day, but we’re kind of hoping he’ll play tomorrow.”

“Antero Niittymaki actually feels a little bit better today, but we’re still probably looking at a week to 10 days before he’s able to play.”

Danny Briere also spoke to the media on Monday, and said that he may be a week or two away from returning to game action. Briere has missed the last 14 games with a groin strain.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Therrien Not The Big Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,

While Therrien has wielded his iron fist more judiciously than in the past, his tactical acumen remains inadequate and the coaching staff’s continued mangling of the power play is unforgivable. The staff should have been upgraded between seasons. Mike Yeo lacks experience, Andre Savard lacks a pulse and the staff as a whole lacks a communicator.

But Therrien didn’t ask for a roster caked with wings that lack both finishing and fury. Therrien left Saturday’s post-game press conference without answering the final question: “Can you win with these players?” Shero might not have wanted to hear Therrien’s answer.

Therrien isn’t responsible for the significant injuries that have dogged his team, either.

The end of Saturday’s second period typified the Penguins lately: Max Talbot and even Sidney Crosby fought in a transparent attempt to inject adrenaline into their lifeless teammates. But Nathan Horton extended Florida’s lead to 5-1 exactly 90 seconds after Crosby’s set-to.

Crosby should have punched one of his wingers. At least his rage would have been properly placed. Crosby’s attempt at inspiration was met with raging indifference.

more

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

Time To Beat The Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

As the old punch-line goes, “TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!”

And so it should be for the Rangers at The Garden this evening when the shaky Penguins come to town.

With apologies to the punch line (“Tonight’s The Night”), perhaps the theme should be simply to pick apart the Pens whose confidence appears to be leaking out of every pore.

Granted, the Rangers have not been playing in the manner of Boston nor San Jose, but on Saturday night, they gave the capricious Capitals a good run for their Ovechkin before losing by a mere goal. Considering that Washington virtually never loses at home, the Blueshirts played them hard and well.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watching The Performance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,

A lot of casual hockey fans presume that NHL executives and scouts congregate at the WJC in search of talents, with the hope of finding as-yet-undiscovered talent. I’m sure it’s happen at some point, just not at any of the ten tournaments I’ve worked.

It’s really about checking the progress of well-known entities, watching them under the stiffest tests and greatest pressure. Fact is, most players here have been on the radar for at least a couple of seasons. Most of the best here are already drafted, e.g. Sweden’s first-line centre Oscar Moller is L.A.‘s property, Cody Hodgson Vancouver’s. NHL scouting directors already have thick files on John Tavares, Victor Hedman and others who are eligible for the first time in June are already. They’re not be discovered, just measured.

continued & don’t forget, the WJC Finals are tonight and can be viewed on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN in Canada.  Pre-game starts at 7:00pm ET.

added 1:39pm, from the CP via NHL.com,

Steve Yzerman knew how Canada’s junior hockey team felt heading into the gold-medal game against Sweden at the world junior hockey championship Monday.

Yzerman, the executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic team for 2010, has played in and won Stanley Cup finals and Olympic finals. The 43-year-old visited the junior team’s dressing room after their pre-game skate Monday.

“I told them to keep cool, but I don’t know exactly how you do that though,” Yzerman said. “The big games, the key is to figure out a way to be calm and relaxed. The more times you go through it, the more ways you figure it out.

“It’s not an easy thing to do.”

continued

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

Whoa.  Have We Been Wrong All Along?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There are a few staples in our lives.  Things we rely on to be true, no matter what.  Facts we can just hang our hats on and move on to the next dilemma.

1.  If Rocky had thrown that big left while Appollo was against the ropes in the 15th round of the first fight?  He’d have been Heavyweight Champion fifteen seconds later.  The Master of Disaster was practically comatose, unable to raise his hands, ribs shattered.  Balboa had him, but hesitated. Why he did is one of the great unsolved mysteries in the history of the ring.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Trade Planning Begins In January

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Feaster at the Hockey News,

When I managed in Tampa Bay we typically held our mid-winter meetings in January. Our goal was to allow our scouts to get through the end of the calendar year and see each team in the NHL, American League, Canadian League and major European leagues at least twice; once at home and once on the road. We also wanted our scouts to see the World Junior Championship and the Spengler Cup prior to coming to our meetings. We wanted to get as much coverage as possible prior to bringing the entire group together….

The bottom line was the mid-winter meetings helped set the table for the rest of the season. With the NHL trade deadline less than 60 days away, it will be interesting to see which organization’s seeds will bear fruit and which fields will lie fallow down the stretch.

Let the trading begin!

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Jan. 5, 2009)—Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 4.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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