Kukla's Korner

Chicago Feeling Confident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,

With an 18-6-7 record, the Hawks aren’t just playoff contenders—they’re championship contenders. Defenseman James Wisniewski doesn’t think it’s too early to think that way.

‘‘We’re 31 games into the season now,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not like we played eight games and started 6-1-1. You look at some of the games we lost. We lost five in shootouts; if we won those, we’d be five points better and right there with [defending Stanley Cup champion] Detroit.’‘

Just making the playoffs would be a big improvement, given that the Hawks haven’t experienced postseason play since the 2001-02 season, but winning the Stanley Cup remains their goal.

‘‘I don’t think it’s too big a goal,’’ Wisniewski said. ‘‘I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but if we bear down in a couple games and shut down San Jose and Detroit, we’re right up there at No. 1 in the [Western Conference].’‘

more on the Blackhawks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gaborik To Sit Out Next Two Games As Rumors Swirl

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russo’s Rants,

After tonight’s game, assistant GM Tom Lynn announced that the Wild will hold out Marian Gaborik Sunday vs. Chicago and Monday vs. Calgary.

“Marian’s going to take the Christmas break off and it looks like we’re not going to play him in the two games back-to-back. We’re doing this, not him,” Lynn said. “When he played back-to-back the other day, he got very sore. We were thinking of playing him in one game and not the other, but [GM] Doug [Risebrough] made the decision that he’s going to make [Gaborik] rest for four days and hold him out. Hopefully he’ll be back full-time after that.”

This does seem awfully suspicious.

First of all, the Wild is clinging to eighth in the West. To sit its best scorer in back-to-back games against two quality teams seems a little strange.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Leafs Catch Schedule-Fatigue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star,

According to the coach, goalie Vesa Toskala played well, despite being yanked and booed off the ice after allowing his seventh goal midway through the second period.

“He didn’t have a chance on any of those goals,” Wilson said to a stunned media at his post-game briefing. “I don’t think it was fair that the fans got on him if that was their intention. Shot, rebound, shot, rebound and then someone puts it in the empty net. It certainly wasn’t Vesa’s fault, at all.”

Hmm. Wilson reiterated his feelings that the schedule-makers pretty much set the stage for his squad’s horrible contra-performance last night, as if nobody else had ever played back-to-back games within the same time zone in the history of the league. And yes, the goaltender had been sent home from Atlanta on Sunday to nurse his slightly pulled groin back to health – and rest up.

“It was more fatigue than anything,” Wilson argued. “We didn’t have our legs. We didn’t have our minds. Unfortunately it got ugly. It’s already behind me.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Be Fooled By The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

You know what the Rangers are? They’re the team that has allowed six more goals than they’ve scored this season.

You know what the Rangers really are? They’re the team that lost a 5-4 overtime game at the Garden last night to the decimated Capitals despite holding a 4-0 lead by the five-minute mark of the second period.

This was and is the one. This was and is the one that doesn’t allow the Rangers - management, coaching staff and players alike - to ignore glaring deficiencies in size, toughness, presence and discipline.

read on

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

Bad Night In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Looking down from high above in the press box, I half expected to see Gerard Gallant standing behind the Blue Jackets bench. Last night’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings was circa 2003-04 or 2005-06….

‘ll spare you the details. Here are the thumbprints of the disaster:

The most angered people in Nationwide Arena were the fans. They chanted “Wake Up, Jackets!” instead of “Let’s Go, Jackets!” When the NHL “War Room” confirmed a `no’ goal late in the game, the chants went “Toronto Sucks!” Very clever, very funny. Made an ugly night at the rink somehow memorable. But, then, the fans have never been the problem here in Columbus.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stastny Takes A Puck To The Forearm, Suffers Fracture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Sakic, Svatos, Salei, now Stastny. Last year, it was Sakic, Smyth, Stastny, Svatos, Sauer and Skrastins.

All of the above Avs S-Men have suffered some serious injuries in the past 12 months, but tonight was a real killer.

Thanks to Brett Clark’s penalty with 1:33 left in regulation (and I’m not throwing Clarkie under the bus for causing Stastny’s injury here, just stating a fact), Stastny had to do penalty-killing duty with the Coyotes on a 6-on-4, and because of that, he was in the way of Olli Jokinen’s big slap shot that fractured his forearm.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+stastny

Christmas Ham and A Side Of Weirdness

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, all anyone’s talking about is Tomas Holmstrom’s big ass.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

“We Got To Go Out And Play”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The words of Rangers coach Tom Renney after blowing a 4-0 lead and eventually losing 5-4 to the Capitals in OT.

Watch his post game press conference below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+renney

Kolzig Faces Autism Head-On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Christin Kolzig was trying to hold a conversation when son Carson climbed into her lap and whispered in her ear. “Can we do it now?” he asked. “I can’t now,” Christin said. But Carson, who turns 8 on Jan. 1, was persistent in his quest for help setting up a favorite video game on his laptop. Christin laughed like she was being tickled and called husband, Olie, to get their son settled. “You learn to appreciate these moments,” Christin said. “You just realize what a miracle it is to have happy kids. In our world, you forget about that stuff.”

The Kolzigs’ world changed forever when Carson, at 15 months, was diagnosed with autism. It was devastating, said Olie, the Lightning’s backup goaltender. And it took time for the family, which now includes daughters Kendall, 6, and Ashlyn, 5, to realize what it faced.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: olaf+kolzig

Feelin’ Real Low Down Today?  Well, Hell, How ‘Bout A Live Blog?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Dick Van Dyke, Big Fat Keith, Pop Rock ‘n Pepsi Manny?

Oh, the fun we’ll have with the BBBB.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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