Kukla's Korner

Goalies Under Fire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

If you’re a Calgary Flames fan and you see the way Miikka Kiprusoff flailed and ailed against the Americans in the semifinal, are you going to reach for the Maalox when the playoffs roll around, or would you prefer any drug whose side effects include temporary blindness?

Same goes for San Jose Sharks supporters and that team’s No. 1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov, as well as New Jersey boosters and surefire Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. Both of those guys looked horrendous at times and deserved their respective Olympic fates.

I know all three netminders will be playing on drastically different teams with no discernable connection to their Olympic squads. Nevertheless, it can’t make Darryl Sutter, Doug Wilson or Lou Lamoriello feel good to see key components of their post-season hopes look so lost in high-stake showdowns.

More than a few hockey observers thought some pre-trade-deadline deals would be made directly as a result of what NHL GMs saw at the Vancouver Games. If any of those deals involve a goalie joining the Flames, Sharks or Devils, we’ll have a good idea as to the reason why.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Dan Hamhuis Want To Stay In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

As of Tuesday morning, it appears as if Nashville general manager David Poile hasn’t been impressed enough to move defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers or anyone else.

The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Three teams have made offers on Hamhuis, and they have not been accepted,” said a source close to the situation. “Dan wants to stay in Nashville. At this point, it looks like the Predators are going to keep him.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+hamhuis

I NOW Consider Jarome Iginla A Hall Of Famer

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One question I find very interesting is exactly when I think a player is worthy of Hall of Fame induction based on their career to date, with no projection into the future. 

I think Jarome Iginla has recently met that standard.  Iginla has had considerable individual success.  He is a three time First Team All Star on right wing.  He is a two time Maurice Richard Trophy winner as top goal scorer in the league (once he tied for the award).  He is a onetime Art Ross Trophy winner, Pearson Award winner and a very close Hart Trophy runner up.  He was the top goal scorer in the 2004 playoffs and recently the top goal scorer in the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament.  All of that individual success is enough to cement a Hall of Fame induction.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Preparing For The Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What else was I going to write about at NHL.com today?

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time To Give Ryan Miller Some Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

Ryan Miller has made his statement. Powerful and assertive, it resounds through the hockey world, two days after the close of the Olympics. Gold medal or not, Miller showed he is one of the world’s elite goaltenders, capable of leading a team on a seemingly unimaginable ride.

The next move belongs to Darcy Regier, the Sabres’ general manager. The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday. It’s time for Regier to show his belief in his hockey team and let the world know he’s serious about making a run at the Stanley Cup this year.

How close are they, really? The Sabres are only two points out of second place in the East. But they blew a 13-point lead in the Northeast Division in a month. They had three regulation wins in 17 games before the break. Outside the goalie crease, there’s something missing in the competitive soul of this team.

But Miller’s Olympic performance raises the stakes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will A Gold Medal Have an Effect On Rick Nash’s Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch,

A painting of Rick Nash hangs in the office of Blue Jackets interim coach Claude Noel, an abstract piece of art in which one would struggle to identify the player within the frame.

The picture perfectly captures Nash’s career. Seven seasons in Columbus and Jackets fans still are not exactly sure what to make of the team’s best player. He is an enigma wrapped in a CBJ sweater.

Is Nash a top-15 player in the league? Sometimes. Is the Blue Jackets’ captain an effective leader? Maybe. This much is clear: Nash is a nice guy and ever-improving playmaker who might simply need a healthy dose of big-time success to finally bring his work into focus.

Winning Olympic gold as a member of Team Canada may well be that dose.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Time For Lecavalier The Leader To Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,

The Lightning are coming off the Olympic break, the one they went into reeling. Vinny Lecavalier led the way, reeling right along. It’s time for No. 4 to get off his butt, or his contract, and be a captain and lead a playoff charge, score like a shooting star, perform like the highest-paid player in the National Hockey League.

Don’t hold your breath.

That Vinny doesn’t play here anymore.

Vincent Lecavalier is making $10 million this season, more than Sidney Crosby, more than Alex Ovechkin, more than anyone. Did you know that? Some nights it’s like common thievery. Vinny is shortchanging his team - and his own talent.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Possible Trade Targets For The Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,

If Gillis does go looking for a third-line centre, a possible name he might be considering is Florida’s Steven Reinprecht. Gillis kicked the tires on Reinprecht last season when he was a member of the Phoenix Coyotes and available as a rental.

Reinprecht, who has 13 goals and 33 points in 61 games this season with the Panthers, would not be a rental this season. He has another year, at $2.175 million, left on his contract. However, the Panthers are already without injured centre Nathan Horton and may be reluctant to move Reinprecht.

Rental centres with expiring contracts who could possibly be on the market include Eric Belanger (Minnesota), Doug Weight (New York Islanders) and Jeff Halpern (Tampa Bay). Of those four, only Belanger is having a good season. But the Wild are only five points out of a playoff spot and likely aren’t ready to surrender the season.

With Willie Mitchell’s status uncertain, the Canucks could also be in the market for a stay-at-home defenceman. There have been rumours posted on the Internet about the Canucks having interest in Carolina’s Aaron Ward and Andy Sutton of the New York Islanders.

more

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

DiPietro’s Knee Issue Not Serious

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Martin of the NY Post,

Want to sum up the last few years for Rick DiPietro and the Islanders?

The goalie entered the NHL’s two-week Olympic break with his surgically repaired knee in good shape and not having missed a practice due to injury since returning on Jan. 6. And now, on the eve of the team’s return to the ice tonight against Chicago at the Coliseum, he’s out indefinitely with swelling in the knee.

Still, the 28-year-old was not terribly discouraged by the news, saying tests showed yesterday that everything is fine structurally with the knee.

“It’s precautionary,” DiPietro said after returning to the team’s practice facility after practice, where he worked out. “After seven or eight days off, to kick it back into full gear might have irritated it a little bit. There’s nothing major to report, just the stuff that goes along with the territory of coming back from a serious injury.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+dipietro

No Trade Talk In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun at the Toronto Sun,

Darryl Sutter says he’s standing pat.

As the clock ticks towards Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, though, nobody is nailing their name tags to their stalls in the Calgary Flames’ locker-room….

“You’re not nervous, but you know that it’s just around the corner and anything can happen,” said Flames centre Dustin Boyd. “It’s out of your control, so you’ve just gotta go play hockey.

“You just never know, right? Anything can happen, so you’ve just gotta make sure you’re ready to play, and whatever happens, happens.”

Twice over the past five days, the Flames GM has faced reporters and insisted not much will happen over the next two days.

Flames fans have heard that one before.

read on

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

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