Kukla's Korner

Now We Wait For The Glendale City Council Vote

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carrie Watters of the Arizona Republic,

Don’t expect the Phoenix Coyotes’ future in Arizona to be decided this week.

The playoff-bound hockey franchise remains in ownership limbo, with the Glendale City Council not expected to vote on preliminary lease agreements with interested buyers until sometime in April.

Although Glendale does not decide who will own the Coyotes - that rests with the NHL - the city is a critical player. It must reach agreements with prospective owners on the team’s lease at the city-owned Jobing.com Arena.

The cause for delay is unclear.

continued

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

Ranking Team Defensive Units

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

The old axiom is that defence is what wins championships and while it’s certainly debatable, given the offensive impact of the league’s best teams, there is no denying that teams that expect to win in the postseason need to be able to count on their blueliners.

Breaking down each team’s defence corps, I’ve tried to go with the seven-man unit that they are most likely to have available to them. This means a ding against teams like Chicago (minus Brian Campbell) and Ottawa (without Filip Kuba), among others.

In any case, I’ve measured each unit of seven’s goals, goals per game, assists, assists per game, cumulative plus-minus, hits, hits per game, blocked shots, blocked shots per game, games played and both cumulative and average TSN.ca rating.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Fight For The 8th Spot In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

The intriguing race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference pits two teams that entered the season with completely different approaches and goals. The outcome will surely carry over into their 2010-11 campaigns.

The Calgary Flames made a big splash during the offseason by signing coveted unrestricted free agent defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. With him came lofty hopes for the team and season. The Colorado Avalanche, meanwhile, signed Bouwmeester’s former teammate Craig Anderson, who was unheralded as the Florida Panthers’ backup goaltender. They also elevated AHL coach Joe Sacco to their bench boss and opened the schedule with such a young and unproven lineup that expectations were, shall we say, tempered.

continued

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

Heavy Schedule Weighs On Predators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

They’ve played more games than any team in the NHL; more games in March — 17 — than every other team but one.

So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the Predators are starting to look a little leg-weary.

The offense looks to be running on fumes following Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in front of an announced crowd of 14,433 at Bridgestone Arena.

It was the second shutout loss in three games for the Predators, who have scored just 11 non-shootout goals in their past seven games.

“You go through some stretches where it comes easy and then you just get away from some slight fundamentals,’’ Predators forward Steve Sullivan said. “If you’re just going to shoot from 60 feet out, goaltenders in the NHL are going to make those saves. We have to find ways to create some traffic in front of the net, take (the goalie’s) eyes away from him and just take better shots.’‘

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

DVR Alert- Broad Street Bullies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,

The HBO Sports documentary Broad Street Bullies, a look at one of pro sports’ most polarizing teams, the legendary Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup championship squads of the 1970s, debuts on Tuesday, May 4 at 10 p.m. This exclusive presentation will tell the backstories of these engaging and colorful athletes, who won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 with a bold, aggressive style that sparked controversy and criticism.

continued

added 2:04pm, Duh, I thought the documentary debuted April 4th.  Sorry, but you can still set the DVR.

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

#1 & #2 Prospects Meet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

All season long, hockey people have debated the merits of Hall and Plymouth Whalers centre Tyler Seguin, rated to go1-2 in the draft.

Starting Thursday, these bird dogs will be offered the chance to see these two young men go head-to-head at the most important time of the year, as the Spitfires and Whalers open their best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Western Conference semifinal at the WFCU Centre.

Expect the rink to be populated with enough scouts to fill a jamboree.

“That would be something you’d like to see,” said Pat Quinn, coach of the Edmonton Oilers, who lost 5-4 at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday and figure to be the team with the first choice in the 2010 draft.

“I would like to see that.”

Word in hockey circles is that the Oilers, in dire need of strength down the middle, are leaning slightly toward Seguin.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tuukka Rask Or Tim Thomas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe,

Yesterday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, host Gary Tanguay suggested Bruins coach Claude Julien should be fired for starting Tim Thomas in net Monday night against Buffalo.

I’d comment, but the sheer inanity of such a statement sort of just speaks for itself.

Today though, he’s probably ready to award the man a new three-year contract extension for starting Tuukka Rask last night in Boston’s stellar 1-0 overtime win over the Devils, a victory that some feel means we’ll never see Thomas in between the pipes ever again.

Until, you know…this weekend maybe.

But didn’t you know, Thomas is washed up. Finished. It’s time for Rask to take the reins, and end the nonsense of flip-flopping them in net. Otherwise, Julien should be…nah, forget it.

But even the staunchest supporter of Thomas has to realize that this perceived goalie controversy is over.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Vancouver’s Goalie Was Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

Roberto Luongo haters, you’d rather have Ilya Bryzgalov in goal heading into the playoffs?

No one’s been better since the Olympics than Bryzgalov, but the Russian backup at the 2010 Games was beat by Alex Burrows from a bad angle at the top of the circle on the game’s first shot, then by Mason Raymond on a no-look whip-around along the ice on the game’s second shot Tuesday night.

And, just when his team had gotten back into the game with a power-play goal, Bryzgalov handed the puck to Henrik Sedin behind the Coyotes net and Sedin tucked it in short-handed to make it a two-goal Canucks’ lead again heading into the second period.

“My goalie was better than their goalie,” Alain Vigneault stated simply.

continued

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

You Can’t Call This Luck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

I received a very interesting email from a local sports fan today. It snarled that the Caps were good just because we were lucky that we got to draft Alex Ovechkin. I disagreed on the overall sentiment of the email but I do agree that luck has a lot to do with success. Not as much as having a plan, a strategy, a culture, and an infrastructure focused on excellence but luck is a key component. We did also draft Semin, Green, Backstrom, Carlson, Schultz, Varlamov, Nuervirth, Fehr, and Alzner too. Lucky bastards that we are grin. Malkin was the second pick in that draft that Ovechkin went number 1 too. Penguins got lucky too, I guess.

continued

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

Aaron Ward Nearing Retirement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,

And Ward, like Selanne, seems to be in the twilight of his career. An unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, Ward, 37, can’t help but think about his future.

“When you get to this stage of your career, you let the season end and then you let everything settle and you go from there,” Ward said.

“First off you have to generate interest and then you have to determine whether or not you’re ready to play. At this point I’m ready to play. I’m looking forward to next season.”

Whether that would be with the Ducks remains to be seen as a transition stage looms for the club. Selanne and captain Scott Niedermayer might retire, and the Ducks could use Ward as a mentor for their younger defensemen.

But if Ward retired no would blame him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward

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