Kukla's Korner

Is Kaberle Playing His Last Home Game As A Leaf?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

It is, Tomas Kaberle says, the last thing on his mind to say good-bye to Toronto on Tuesday night.

After all, he has faced the “this-could-be-my-last-game-here” scenario often enough to shrug it off.

And when you are around the Maple Leafs as long as the 32-year-old defenceman has been, you must get used to shrugging things off.

But what if the game against the Philadelphia Flyers is it for Kaberle, what if it is his last home game as a Leaf? How will he be remembered?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Vancouver Hurting On Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

Nearly three months after the hit, Willie Mitchell still has a headache. Now, the Vancouver Canucks have one, too.

Christian Ehrhoff’s sprained knee is a potentially critical blow to the Canucks, who were able to survive the severe concussion suffered by Mitchell on Jan. 16 but are ill-equipped to handle another major injury on their defence. Not with the National Hockey League playoffs starting next Wednesday.

The good news is Ehrhoff did not appear to be limping Monday as he left General Motors Place for further, off-site medical tests, and the initial indications are the knee damage he sustained Sunday night during a puck battle with Colorado’s Andrew Brunette is minor enough for the Canucks’ top blue-liner to be ready for the Stanley Cup tournament.

The bad news is Mitchell, who made one of his periodic check-ins at GM Place later Monday, is nowhere near playing. Mitchell declined to speak on the record about his condition, but is still bothered by headaches and unable to undergo any rigorous exercise.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Calgary’s Season Just About Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Calgary’s Sunday afternoon defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks was a tough blow to the team’s flickering playoff hopes.

The Colorado Avalanche’s overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks later Sunday has those hopes very close to being fully extinguished.

It could happen as early as Tuesday night. It’s over if the Flames lose in regulation time to the San Jose Sharks and the Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks, who clinched the Northwest Division title Sunday night and have little chance of moving up or down the seeding bracket.

That combination is hardly far-fetched, and you can bet the players know it.

Being reminded, though, would only make the frustration worse. And certainly make their tension build further. It’s already choking them.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Explanation Expected

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It took a single member of the National Parole Board Ñ not a group decision, not a board debate — to pardon the disgraceful Graham James.

A single member named Pierre Dion.

A member who should explain to the Canadian public how it is he determined, under the Pardon and Clemency laws, that it was in the best interest of the public to pardon a sex-offending junior hockey coach.

A member who displayed a lack of regard for the Canadian public and for this country’s youth.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: graham+james

Many Of The Kings Anticipating Playoff Fever

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Over many dinners, Kings center Anze Kopitar has heard playoff tales from Rob Scuderi, who won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh last spring, and Justin Williams, a 2006 champion with Carolina, and soaked up every detail.

“The old stories come out,” Kopitar said. “They kind of walked me through it and I watch the NHL Network to see all the clips from a couple years ago. You see the atmosphere on TV but you definitely want to experience it when you’re on the ice.”

Next week Kopitar will get his wish, joining many teammates in an NHL playoff baptism.

Like Kopitar, Jack Johnson, Peter Harrold, Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds, team captain Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov, Raitis Ivanans, Davis Drewiske, Rich Clune, Scott Parse and goaltenders Erik Ersberg and Jonathan Quick have never known the rigors and rewards of NHL postseason play.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalchuk Contract Talks Probably On Hold Until The Playoffs Are Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

It is arguably the biggest issue in Devildom: On the eve of his homecoming, upcoming unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk told The Post yesterday that he does not intend to negotiate a new contract until after the Devils’ playoffs are complete.

“I don’t think anything is going to happen before we’re done,” Kovalchuk said. “I don’t want anything to interfere with the team. I’m still looking for my first win in the playoffs.”

Often, Devils who are not re-signed before the season ends sign elsewhere. In this case, Kovalchuk might be more likely to return to the Devils if they do not win the Stanley Cup this year, as his championship quest would continue. The Devils, however, might deem him to have not helped enough if they don’t win the Cup.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

No Issues In The Flyers Room

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette sharply criticized the two unnamed general mangers who took verbal shots at defenseman Chris Pronger in Sunday’s New York Post.  In a story written by the Post’s Larry Brooks, two GMs said Pronger was “a problem” in the Flyers’ locker room.

    “I don’t know where they sit in the standings or if they’re playoff teams or not,” Laviolette said of the general managers. “If they are, then they probably should focus on the playoffs. If they’re not, they should probably look at their own team.”

    Laviolette, talking to reporters after Monday’s practice in Voorhees, said he “didn’t agree with what was written” and added that he doesn’t believe there are locker-room issues.

continued

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

Watching The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Media release from Fox Sports Arizona,

According to Nielsen Media Research, last Saturday’s Phoenix Coyotes/Edmonton Oilers telecast generated the highest rating for a Coyotes game on FOX Sports Arizona since the 2003-04 season.

The April 3 telecast recorded a 1.34 rating/3 share, the best figure for the team on its television partner since a 1.68 rating/3 share against Minnesota on Jan, 9, 2004. That game featured Brian Boucher setting an NHL record with his fifth consecutive shutout.

The 1.34 rating on Saturday means that approximately 24,154 households in the Phoenix market were tuned into the sold-out game at Jobing.com Arena that was played in front of 17,143 fans. The game had a 1.86 peak rating (33,528 homes).

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

Top Ten Goals Of The NHL Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Second-Half Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

At this time every season, I make sure to take a close look at second-half records in order to give myself a better feel for the playoffs.

More often than not, the teams with the better second-half records have good playoff runs, which is why you should be wary, in some cases, of the final standings. Throw out the first half.

Case in point: Detroit and Pittsburgh were among the top teams in the second half last season en route to their Stanley Cup finals rematch.

So let’s dig in.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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