Kukla's Korner

Malkin Can Stand On His Own

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jame Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen via TSN,

“He is overshadowed and I can never understand why,” says Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, who ranks Malkin among the most dangerous players he has ever faced.  “People always seem to just gravitate towards one or two players in a sport.  Malkin is like Dwayne Wade this year in the NBA, having an amazing season but everybody just talks about Kobe and LeBron.”

He’s right.  Sidney and Ovie have become the NHL’s Kobe and LeBron, at least in terms of popularity and hype.

Ever since they came into the league, “Crosby or Ovechkin?” has been the hockey equivalent of “Ginger or Mary-Anne?”  And Either-Or debates don’t usually have a 3rd option (Mrs. Howell?)  But you’d better make room for one now.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

GDT - Game #73: Red Wings at Flames (9:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Calgary tonight and Edmonton tomorrow night to end the Wings 3 game road trip.  The Wings are coming off a solid, 6-3 performance Friday night in Atlanta.  Babcock was pretty happy after the game, except for this comment about the Wings surrendering the 3rd G/A :  “I thought Ozzie had played so good, you owe him to take care of the puck better than that.”  Speaking of Ozzie, since giving up seven goals in a March 7 loss to Columbus, he has allowed only seven in four straight wins.  DET will try to recapture the 1 position in the W.C. tonight after SJS took over the position with their win over COL yesterday.

CGY have their own issues of late.  In losing five of their last seven, the Flames have seen their Northwest Division lead over Canucks cut to three points. CGY blew a one-goal lead in Friday night’s 3-2 loss to visiting STL, allowing the Blues to score twice in the third period.  Starting all but five games this season, Miikka Kiprusoff could be running on fumes, he has a 3.95 GAA in nine March starts. In his last 6 starts against DET, he is 2-3-0 with a 3.67 GAA.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Are We About To See The End Of Joe Sakic?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Months after undergoing back surgery and also suffering three broken fingers and tendon damage in a losing faceoff with a snowblower, Avalanche captain Joe Sakic has started skating again….

The goal, it seems, is for him to be back in the lineup for the final few games of the regular season — which in this case means the final few games of the Avalanche’s season, period.

This all begs the question: What the heck for?...

The only reason for him to try to play again this season, even if it’s only the back-to-back home games against St. Louis and Vancouver in the final weekend, on April 11 and 12, is to wave goodbye.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Winning Streak Keeps Ducks In The Playoff Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood of the OC Register,

An impressive 6-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center, marking the club’s first three-game winning streak since November, moved the Ducks into ninth place in the NHL’s Western Conference, one point behind Nashville, which holds the eighth and final postseason spot.

Next up for the Ducks (35-31-6) is a Tuesday night date with the Predators in Music City.

“We’re digging ourselves out of a hole, but we’re still in it,” Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. “The beauty of it is the teams that are ahead of us are the teams we’re playing right now.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Habs Owner Taking Stock Of His Holdings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,

Réjean Tremblay of La Presse reports this morning, confirmed by Canadiens president Pierre Boivin, that Habs majority owner George Gillett Jr. has engaged a number of financial firms, including North America’s BMO Capital Markets, to study all of his global holdings.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Quite A Career For Don Koharski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

He’s the last on-ice link to the WHA, worked nearly 2,000 NHL games, was stung by pucks in every part of his anatomy, watched Mario Lemieux’s Canada Cup winner up close, got a shout-out in Wayne’s World and turned down Jim Schoenfeld’s advice to consume another beignet on national TV.

Referee Don Koharski will have a relatively quiet exit in a couple of weeks, but this tough old zebra won’t leave the game entirely. League director of officiating Stephen Walkom says a supervisory or instructional position will be discussed with the 53-year-old during the summer….

With his first game on Oct. 14, 1977 (the Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Flames were still in the 18-team NHL), Koharski embarked on an eventful career. He’s recognized not only for his longevity, but working so many big games, such as the multiple Stanley Cup finals and at the Russians’ request, Game 3 of the ‘87 Canada Cup final.

read on and of course, whenever you hear ‘Koharski’, you think of the ‘donut incident’ which you can watch below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+koharski

The Story Goes Unwritten

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

The last call came less than two weeks ago. It was from former NHL player Walt Poddubny and he left a message saying he was eager to get started on the story.

“Let’s do this,” he said. “I think it’s important because I know there are guys out there like me who could use some help. Okay? So let’s talk soon. Bye.”

The plan had always been to sit down with Poddubny in his hometown of Thunder Bay and write about his life and the hardships that had befallen him since he left the NHL.

It would be a cautionary tale, he had said over a handful of conversations. He would talk at length about the highs - being a Toronto Maple Leaf and a 40-goal scorer with the New York Rangers - to the lows: being out of the game, too hobbled to hold a regular job, too broke to undergo surgery; a guy who was living in the basement of his sister’s home.

And then the news came crashing Saturday that Walt Poddubny had passed away suddenly. Cause of death: unknown. He was 49.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: walt+poddubny

Mikko Koivu Suffers Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Stensaas of the Star Tribune,

The Wild likely took a direct hit on its hopes for postseason action when forward Mikko Koivu left the game because of a knee injury.

After exiting the penalty box midway through the first period following what replays showed to be a phantom interference call, Koivu’s next move was into the Edmonton zone, where he got tangled up with Ales Kotalik. Koivu fell backward as the two battled for position. Koivu twisted awkwardly and his right knee appeared to buckle.

Koivu, who leads the team with 62 points this season, will be re-evaluated today. But there wasn’t much optimism being thrown around by Wild personnel after the game.

“Mikko’s been our best player game in and game out,” coach Jacques Lemaire said. “He hasn’t had too many days off this year. Losing him, it’s a huge loss for our team. But, you know, as I always say, if you’re going to lose players—and sometimes you lose your top players—somebody’s gotta step up and do some of his work.”

more on the Wild…

added 1:53pm, from the CP via TSN,

Assistant general manager Tom Lynn says Koivu had an MRI and saw team doctors on Monday and will be out at least seven days. Lynn also said Koivu could miss all 10 games through Minnesota’s regular-season finale on April 11.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

Something Cooking In Hossa Camp?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We’ve all seen how contract negotiations go in Tick Tock’s world.  The order of things has become almost standard by now.  A little chatter…followed by a period of silence…then a few surprise quotes from an agent or the player himself…a few hints dropped to an eager Digger.  Then all of a sudden a Wing press conference is called and the next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire in red and white for 8 years at 6.5 mil/per.

And here we go.  Hossa’s talking and he’s not being too subtle about it.

St. James

“To be able to stay as a Red Wing, I am prepared to take less money, but a fair deal, so both sides are happy. That’s what I’m looking for. I know if I go somewhere else, I could have more, but I’m willing to take less to stay here. Hopefully things work out.”

“I could be somewhere else, you know, but I came here because I like everything and I want to be a part of it,” Hossa said. “And that’s why I want to still be a Red Wing and stay here.”

Dave Dye’s got a little on it too and expands the discussion a bit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Sabres Dropping Out Of Playoff Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Buffalo Sabres have been are a playoff bubble team for a couple years.  If they were to make the playoffs, they would take one of the lower playoff seeds and if they were to miss the playoffs, they would be one of the top teams to miss the playoffs.  For much of the season, they were well within the playoff race looking to improve on last season’s 90 point year that left them four points out of the playoffs.  The hope was that the younger forwards Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville would take a step forward and bring the Sabres with them.

For the most part the Sabres have not taken a step forward.  They haven’t taken a step backwards either.  None of the young players truly had a breakout season.  The Sabres remained a playoff bubble team.  It took their loss of goaltending to close the door to the playoffs this season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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