Kukla's Korner

Bryzgalov Trying To Get His Game Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Gintonio of Ice Chips at the Arizona Republic,

Ilya Bryzgalov says he is frustrated because he has been letting down his teammates.

  The Coyotes goaltender, who helped inspire a playoff bid a season ago, has lost his last six starts, and Saturday night allowed two goals on the first two shots he faced. He was pulled from the game by coach Wayne Gretzky about five minutes into the contest against the San Jose Sharks and replaced by Mikael Tellqvist.

  “You just work harder, and it’s gonna get better,” Bryzgalov said. “’I’m not mad, but I’m frustrated because I was brutal. I was terrible, and I have to pick up my game, and I’ve got to be better for the guys because they deserve much better goaltending from me than I did in the last game … Two shots, two goals is just horrific.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Kings Players Get Some ‘Face-Time’ In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

For the Eastern Canadian players on the Kings, tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center offers a rare chance to show off for friends and relatives. And they were eagerly looking forward to it.

“All my buddies and family and friends will be watching back home, so I know they’re pretty excited,” said rookie defenseman Drew Doughty, who’s from London, about a 120-mile drive from Toronto.

“It’s awesome. It’s always been a dream, in a way, growing up and watching the Leafs play. And so it’s going to be fun.”

read on

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

A look at Brian Burke’s probable moves before the trade deadline

Blog: KK Members Blog By Slasher98

During Saturday’s press conference to the Toronto media, Brian Burke all but confirmed that the Leafs are officially out of the Sundin sweepstakes. “I don’t think we fit his profile as a team,” said Burke. He referred to the 2-year $20 million offer from the Vancouver Canucks, putting the emphasis on the fact that Sundin’s comeback is not about money, but about playing for a contender.

Therefore, if Burke is not looking to add Sundin to his team, this means he will likely try to unload some veterans.

Look for Burke to start moving players in January as he will study his team in the next few weeks to see which players fit his style of players: physical, gritty, tough, hardworker, reliable defensively, etc.

Goaltenders: Curtis Joseph is having a tough season, posting a 3.95 GAA and a woeful .861 save percentage. He hasn’t won any game yet for the Leafs. The veteran goaltender might be asked to hang his skates to give some seasoning to Justin Pogge, the Leafs’ goaltender of the future.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: antropov, burke, kaberle, maple+leafs, ponikarovsky, toronto

Here’s How You Give Thanks…

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

...you put the Duck’s head on a block of wood.  Hold it down and flick the beak for a few minutes, just to torture it.  Do Ducks even have beaks?  Is that how “beak” is spelled?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Report- Oilers Ready To Make A Significant Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marty York at Metro News (Tuesday story),

NHL sources told Metro yesterday the Oilers are poised to complete a significant trade and/or fire coach Craig MacTavish, likely this week.

“They (the Oilers) have come nowhere close to what they expected to be this season and (club chief) Kevin Lowe is extremely annoyed,” an NHL source said. “Kevin’s just about ready to pull the trigger.”

The Oilers were supposed to be a contender this season. Oddsmakers reckoned they’d likely qualify for the playoffs. Yet they’ve turned out to be inconsistent, at best, and are below .500.

read on and if I recall previous stories from Mr. York, not many have come true.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alexei Kovalev on his early season slump…

I’m not worried about it.  I’m glad it happens early in the season because I know I’m going to recover, and once they start going in, they’ll go in in bunches.

“So you keep working on it. It’s happened in the past and it isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.”

more from Bill Beacon of the CP via Yahoo…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Who You Blaming?  Put The Pipe Down.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

First, this simple sentence rendered me fetal this afternoon.

But the Sharks, Habs, Ducks, Bruins, Pens…all of the teams we would consider to be competitive…we haven’t won a SINGLE GAME against what I would consider to be a top tier team.  That’s more than a hangover.  That suggests a failure at the front office.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Important Piece Of The Minnesota Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

Don’t view any investment as a safe investment. Don’t draw an inside straight. Don’t argue politics with someone who didn’t want change. And don’t ever, ever discount the Minnesota Wild’s chances of making the playoffs as long as Jacques Lemaire is coach.

I’m not even waiting for New Year’s Day to make my resolution. That’s now my philosophy after watching November unfold.

In October, my prediction was that the Minnesota Wild wouldn’t make the playoffs. Today, they have the third-best winning percentage in the Western Conference and they are leading the NHL in goals-against average.

Looking at Minnesota’s roster and reviewing how the Wild have performed this season, my conclusion is that as respected as Lemaire is around the NHL, we might still be underestimating his importance.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Fantastically: Take That Lundy!

Blog: KK Members Blog By ThinkinPink

Henrik Lundqvist has now played 23 games without a shutout. By this time last year, he had 4. So what’s the deal? Despite his lack of shutouts, I believe he is playing better hockey this year than last. He is making more saves, handling the puck better and waiting out players’ moves in the shootout. He is still top 10 in the league in Goals Against Average and Save Percentage, even with his 5 goals against vs Vancouver and 3 quick ones yesterday vs the Panthers. Meanwhile, Craig Anderson, backup goalie for the Panthers got his second shut out of the season… Take that Lundy.
Fantastically, Lundqvist‘s ability to keep the Rangers in the game is essential to get those goalie wins. Even though he isn’t shutting teams out, he is only letting it a limited amount of goals per game. He is a must start in every situation and don’t let his recent slide discourage you from playing him. Lundqvist faces a tough test this Thursday in Montreal, should be an interesting match up barring a melt down from either goalie.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Memories From the Turkey Tournament

Blog: KK Members Blog By Alanah McGinley

This post was submitted for Happy Hockey Day by Suzanne Hebert, Head Coach of the Dover Stars Girls, U12

____________________________

It was the second round robin game of the Turkey Tournament. One of I’m sure many youth hockey tournaments surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday across the US this past weekend.

The girls U12 team was playing a known team, one we had beaten, shut out actually, earlier in the season. What made this game different was the fact that it was a tournament game - a first tournament game for a few of the younger players on the team. My pre-game locker room spiel started with, “anything can happen in a tournament.” After skating to a 0-0 tie for 2 periods against a team they thought they could easily beat, they were learning what I meant when I said, “teams that have never beaten you before, can beat you in a tournament.” Although we were not officially losing, we weren’t winning either.

Emotions were high on the bench. If you’ve never seen a U12 age girl’s hockey bench, it’s an experience. The line up includes 12 year old players that are 5’5” tall to 10 year olds who don’t even reach 4’10” with their skates on. Pony tails hang down from helmets, pink laces, pink gloves, green laces, green ribbons woven into helmets, pink sticks with purple polka dots, even some mascara and eye liner.

We were keeping the puck in the offensive zone, getting as many shots on net as by the net but their goalie had kept even our strongest shooters scoreless. There were shots from the point that hit the opponent’s shin pads two feet in front of the shot, rebounds that didn’t connect with a stick, and passes that went through the crease untouched.

The third period started and we were getting a bit panicky. Finally, a beautiful pass from our winger, to the center who got off a good shot, a rebound that the other winger got her stick on and slide it past the goalie. Danielle is a first year travel player who I’ve moved around all season. She’s played defense, she’s been a winger. Today she was our right winger and she was the one who put the puck in the net for us.

Another highlight moment for the tournament came a few minutes later. We had managed to hold onto our 1-0 lead and were feeling good. The other team, in a desperate move, pulled their goalie. At the face off, we controlled the puck and got it down to their end. Now, it’s not as easy to score an empty net as one would think. A couple of our stronger shooters had chances they were unable to capitalize on. With just over a minute left in the game, Avery, my youngest, smallest, least experienced player on the team got the puck on her stick, evaded the D and pushed the puck into the empty net giving us the insurance we needed. All 65 pounds of her came straight up off the ice eight inches into the air. I can still picture her –surrounded by her teammates, hugging her, patting her on the helmet. I can still hear their shouts of joy. I remember jumping on the bench, my hands thrown up in the air, at the same time her gloves were raised high on the ice. I can feel the emotions of a game clinching goal for nine-year old.

We went onto the championship game, finished second in the tournament. But what remains the best part of the entire tournament for me is having my two youngest, least experienced players put the puck in the net in their very first tournament. I hope they carry the joy and the confidence of the moment with them for a long time. I know I will.

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: happy+hockey+day

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