Kukla's Korner

Can The Leafs Continue To Improve

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Clement at NBC Sports,

Toronto is off to a surprisingly good start. Who would have figured the Leafs to get 14 of their first 26 possible points? Who would have figured that in the first week of November they would be eighth in the Eastern Conference standings after finishing 12th last season? Not many people, maybe not anyone.

Toronto coming out of the gate this impressively raises the very interesting question of can the Maple Leafs keep it up? Can they exceed expectations and most importantly to their faithful, can they end their playoff drought?

more

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The biggest thing I want the players to know is that it’s really not acceptable last night to come out with a point against that team.  I don’t know that it was in the past, but it definitely isn’t in the present. ... That was a team that was down, and we have to recognize that and develop more of a killer instinct. To their credit, they did what they had to do, but it shouldn’t sneak up on you.”

-Tampa GM Brian Lawton after the Bolts lost to New Jersey last night.  More at Lightning Strikes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+lawton

Therrien Responds To Semin Remarks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Kasan at PittsburghPenguins.com,

Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin has gotten a lot of attention from the media following his comments about Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

The drama continued today when Pittsburgh head coach Michel Therrien was asked about Semin’s comments. Therrien, who has never shied away from giving his opinion, laughed and then responded:

“Is he talking about the youngest guy to get 100 points in the history of the National Hockey League? Is he talking about the youngest guy to win the Hart Trophy and lead the league in scoring? Is he talking about the youngest captain in the National Hockey League to bring his team to the Stanley Cup Final? That’s all I have to say.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin, michel+therrien

Savard Can Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

In the pressbox at the Calgary Saddledome a week ago, longtime Flames followers were astonished by the play of Bruins [team stats] center Marc Savard, reacting with true incredulity.

“Did you see that?” one asked. “Marc Savard just hit someone.”

“He’s on the penalty-kill,” another said in amazement.

“He’s actually back-checking,” added a third.

The times they are a changin’ for Savard, who in his early 30s has evolved into a far more honest and complete player than he was in his first several seasons in the NHL.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

Brodeur Surgery Successful

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From TSN:

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur underwent surgery Thursday to repair the distal bicep in his left elbow.

“According to the doctors, his surgery was 100 percent successful,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. “The timetable for his return remains three to four months.”

continued…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: injuries, lou+lamoriello, martin+brodeur

Welcome Igor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

He stills remembers the Soviet system, which he calls “unacceptable,” and he’s outspoken in his praise of the people who allowed him to escape that system for the NHL.

The type of hockey that he and his teammates played was so effective that much of it was adopted by the NHL and for that, we all owe him our thanks. The game is a much more attractive spectacle today than it used to be and Larionov’s contributions in that regard would be hard to eclipse.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has no shortage of worthy inductees, but it’s hard to think of a guy who is more worthy — in a number of ways — than Igor Larionov.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof, igor+larionov

No Market In North America

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,

Q: ...As you show in your article, the Russian government considers the K.H.L. an instrument of foreign policy. Given the uncertain economic climate for Russia, are the league’s plans to expand beyond the old Soviet sphere still feasible? How about the newest talk from Slava Fetisov, on expanding into China, Korea and Japan?

Andrew Meier.: Europe remains the first target for growth. Above all, Fetisov, and others behind the founding of the K.H.L., fear that the N.H.L. is bent on a self-serving drive to preserve its market share. To Fetisov, the strategy is both myopic and ultimately detrimental to the game. “There’s no market there,” he told me. “North America’s too small. Europe is the future. That’s where the tradition, and the players, and the fans are.” Jagr, and a whole host of Europeans now playing in Russia, would tend to agree.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Forget The Blues Fast Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Remember how the Blues blew out of the gates this fall, looking very much like a playoff contender?

Forget about it. Now this hybrid team -– an interesting mix of kids and hardened veterans -– faces a season-defining challenge.

The Blues lost four of the last five games on a seven-game homestand, then opened a five-game trip by losing in Anaheim.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avalanche Recall Hensick

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that forward T.J. Hensick has been recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate. He will be available for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s Hensick’s first call-up of the season from Lake Erie where he leads the Monsters in scoring (6g/7a) and is tied for fifth among all AHL scorers. His three power play goals lead the Monsters.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: t.j.+hensick

Renaming The Trophies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

No offence to Dr. David Hart or Marie Evelyn Moreton (aka Lady Byng), but, when we vote for - and honour - the game’s best, shouldn’t we also recognize those who were the game’s best?

Hart to Howe: Wayne Gretzky won it more than anyone, but I have something else in mind for him. This one goes to Howe, as Mr. Hockey held the record - six - before Gretzky smashed it. He was the pre-eminent player during the Original Six, and deserves this.

Art Ross to Gretzky/Norris to Orr: These two are easy. Seriously, does anyone really need an explanation?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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