Kukla's Korner

Hockey Thoughts On A Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Don’t think, at the end of the day, Los Angeles was that close in the Mike Fisher sweepstakes. But Carolina sure was. It is believed the Hurricanes had the best offer for Fisher. The Senators did a solid, though, by sending their long-time centre where he wanted to go. Players will take notice of that.

• What happened yesterday in Buffalo is believed to be one indication of why Lindy Ruff has not signed a contract extension with the Sabres. He doesn’t have a backup he trusts—hasn’t had one in awhile—and, therefore won’t rest Ryan Miller.

• Doesn’t sound like the Kings will trade Brayden Schenn unless it’s total panic. They really like him. Sounds like Edmonton asked about him when LA poked around on Ales Hemsky, and were rebuffed.

more plus Elliotte’s thoughts on Mario’s statement…

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

Richards Out At Least One Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Reports out of the Stars practice today are that Brad Richards is not feeling well after Sunday’s game and will not accompany the team plane today in its flight to Edmonton. He is expected to miss the Tuesday game against the Oilers and then will be monitored to see if he can fly up for Wednesday’s game against Calgary or Saturday’s game against Vancouver.

Stars coach Marc Crawford would not define the injury, other than to say Richards was ``shook up,’’ on a hard hit in the neutral zone on the final shift of the game Sunday against Columbus.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

Finally Someone Speaks Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

The message should not be lost. Sadly, it might be.

A National Hockey League owner - that is, a member of that society of mutes that has remained stonily silent, Sphinx-like, while star player after star player has been hammered into unconsciousness - has actually spoken out against the stupidity. That is progress.

An NHL owner has actually rebelled against the lowest-common-denominator ethos of Gary Bettman’s desperate reign, in which the governing class seems to have concluded that hockey minus violence is unmarketable in the United States - a conclusion quietly endorsed by the overwhelming majority of league owners.

So before we get to what’s wrong with the source of Sunday’s complaint, let’s celebrate the fact that one of the commissioner’s sheep finally had enough of watching the no-talent bums set the on-ice agenda through what might be remembered as the saddest age in hockey’s history.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mario+lemieux

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (February 14, 2011)—New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner, Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 13.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just A Bad Oilers Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of Oil Spills at the Edmonton Journal,

They don’t have a defenceman with more than 15 points now that Ryan Whitney is out with his bad ankle. They are last on the penalty kill, last on the powerplay, last or close to it on face-offs. They have a goals for and goals against differential of minus 56. Only Ottawa at minus 60 is worse. Can’t win at home (only seven wins and only 58 goals in 28 games at Rexall Place, 51 in the last 26 after getting four, then three to open 2-0 at home with wins over Calgary and Florida back in 0ctober).

I know, I know, you have to lose before you win when you start over. But did you honestly think this year’s team would get fewer points than last year?...

There are so many holes on the current roster. They need a defensive centre to win 55 percent of his draws. They need a couple of Brenden Morrow type top 6 forwards who will not be moved from in front of the net, no way, no how. They need an 80-point first-line centre. They need a Robyn Regehr type, shutdown defenceman, acknowledging the try and the improvement of Theo Peckham in that regard and the obvious I hate to lose mentality of Ladislav Smid. Their special teams are anything but, obviously.

more

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

Monday Morning Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

• I understand what Mario is trying to express and I agree with him.  What I don’t agree with is the issuing of a statement.  He should have kept it private, waited for the NHL to react in a timely fashion, then go public if need be.

• How happy is Jiri Hudler playing with Pavel Datsyuk?  Of course, anyone playing with Datsyuk has to know the points will pile up.

• If Michael Grabner (stats) was playing in the MLB instead of the NHL, people would probably be accusing him of using some performance enhancing drug.  But at 6 feet, 170 pounds we know that is not the case.  His speed along with knowing how to finish has been a deadly combination this year.

• Rumor guys and those who make stuff up keep saying trades are coming, day after day.  One day soon they will be right.

• At one point this season, all five Central Division teams were within the top 8 in th Western Conference, now only two, Detroit and Nashville are playoff bound.

Now it is the Pacific Division, with all teams in the top 8 (LA Kings tied for 8th but has played one more game than Minnesota).

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bieksa Still In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

After all, when Ballard and Hamhuis were acquired, Bieksa looked like the sacrificial salary cap lamb before Sami Salo ruptured an Achilles’ tendon on July 22. Even though his name would surface again in trade debate, Bieksa resolved to remain calm and concentrate on his game. His teammates certainly noticed. Bieksa paired with Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome on Saturday in a 4-2 win over Calgary and has become the glue on a back end that’s trying to keep from coming unglued. Although not on pace to match his breakout 42-point season in 2006-07, Bieksa has 19 points (6-13) in 55 games and is a better all-round player.

“His high-percentage plays, work ethic and attitude have been team-oriented and he’s been a great model for the younger guys,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “When he was telling people he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on [trade rumours], I think he really meant it. That’s why he could focus.”...

“He’s dealt with a lot of crap the past couple of years with the trade rumours and he was probably not playing his best hockey,” said Kesler. “But he’s been one of our top D-men.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+bieksa

Time For An Attitude Adjustment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from pucksandbooks of On Frozen Blog,

The Caps once upon a time had a swagger that was merited; today they’ve a swagger premised on hubris.

Back in early January, before things got bleak again, I was on WTOP radio’s ‘Saturday Night Caps,’ and I issued a warning to my fellow pucksheads in the studio that night. It was back then that “Flip-switching” chatter was emerging as an in vogue way of explaining how things had so suddenly gone so sour.

“What exactly has this organization achieved — in its entire existence — to merit skating an entire regular season with on On-Off button,” I blurted out indignantly.

(The answer: Nothing. Ever.)

These Capitals are young, wealthy, happy and well-partied — oh so well-partied — expert at t-shirt design and making amusing television commercials.

And management seems to like it that way.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Have Options

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

“The last few weeks have made it a little more difficult to evaluate because first we had all those injuries and now with the guys coming back we’ve lost our rhythm,” GM Glen Sather told The Post after the match.

“I think we have enough depth in the organization where if a move would make sense we would probably do that now….

To translate, the Rangers will be on the lookout for a point man to rent who can bomb and/or quarterback the power play regardless of yesterday’s three-goal explosion with the man advantage, and the Blueshirts will investigate the lend-lease market for a center who could fit in with Marian Gaborik, but not at substantial cost.

In other words, you bet the Blueshirts will inquire about Florida’s Bryan McCabe, who may return this week from the broken jaw that has sidelined him for approximately a month, but they won’t yield a first-rounder and a top prospect, let alone a young roster player, for the privilege of getting him.

The same is true as it applies to the Maple Leafs’ Tomas Kaberle, who, like McCabe, has a no-move, and who, by the way, is a poor defender hardly worth the price it would cost to get him.

The Rangers won’t be in on Stephen Weiss or Jason Spezza, or any center with a contract that extends beyond this season, for that matter, given that there is every reason to believe they will sign Brad Richards as a free agent this summer.

read on

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

Red Wings overnight report: Chris Osgood’s 400th win ceremony, Kris Draper and sleeping Willie

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note on a Monday morning seemingly dominated by talk of concussions, fighting and who’s taking whose puck and going home if they don’t like it:

The Wings did something very, very nice on Sunday afternoon, honoring Chris Osgood for his 400th win before the Red Wings’ 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins (updated recap, yay!), but NBC chose not to air the ceremony. Thankfully, the Red Wings’ website posted clips of both their in-house scoreboard tribute to Osgood and the on-ice ceremony:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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