Kukla's Korner

Dreger Talks BOG Meeting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The BOG meets next Tuesday and Wednesday and Darren discusses the agenda.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bog

What Has Gone Wrong In Carolina?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

A quick look at the standings shows that the Carolina Hurricanes have been the worst team in the league, by a significant margin, so far this season.  They have a 7-23 record (with five regulation tie points).  This leaves them in last place in the league by an eight point margin.  This is a team that made a semi-final appearance last season.  How did the Hurricanes fall so far so fast?

The Hurricanes have had no offensive stars so far this season.  Ray Whitney leads the team in scoring with 20 points.  This is the third lowest total for a top scorer on his team (Phoenix and St Louis have 19 point top scorers).  Carolina has the lowest goals per game total in the league.  They have dropped over half a goal per game from last season.  Three players have shouldered a large portion of this drop.  Eric Staal, Sergei Samsonov and Rod Brind’Amour have all had significant drops in their offensive output.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Talking Olympics Dmen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN at CTVOlympics,

Looking ahead to the 2010 Olympic Men’s Hockey Tournament, it’s worth checking out which players are performing well in the NHL so far this season. Throughout December, there will be weekly updates on different positions. Last week, we looked at the goaltenders. This week, it’s time to look at the defence.

As expected, Canada is very well-stocked on the blueline, with the top four ranked blueliners in the NHL so far season—Mike Green, Dan Boyle, Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty. All are fine skaters and productive offensive defencemen, but it could be difficult for all of them to make the squad, considering needs for size and more physical defensive defencemen.

Along those lines, the likes of Chris Pronger, Shea Weber and Brent Seabrook will earn consideration as will the Calgary Flames trio of Jay Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr.

continued

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

Will The Ducks Make The Playoffs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,

...here’s why the Ducks will make the playoffs:

1. They are typically a second-half club. The Ducks went 17-11-2 over their past 30 games last season and 20-8-2 in 2007-08. Granted, that first number was mostly because of their remarkable 10-3-1 season-ending finish, but a team with Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Jean-Sebastien Giguere can’t stay in the cellar much longer, can it?

...

...here’s why the Ducks won’t make the playoffs:

1. Numbers are stubborn things. The Ducks made the postseason with 91 points last season. Using that as criteria, they would need to squeeze 63 points out of their final 52 games. That would be something on the order of a 28-17-7 finish over those 52 games. And 30 of those 52 games are on the road. Yikes.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Trying To Survive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris McKosky of the Detroit News,

Survive the next eight games; that’s the immediate mission for the Red Wings.

“Hopefully we are getting all our bad luck out of the way early,” general manager Ken Holland said, after announcing Thursday that Danny Cleary will be lost for three to six weeks because of a separated shoulder. “We have eight games until Christmas. If we can survive this stretch and manage to grind out a few wins and stay attached to the pack, I think we’ll be OK. I think we’re going to get an extended Christmas present here in a couple of weeks.”

Here’s what he means by that:

• Valtteri Filppula, out because of a broken wrist, is expected back by Dec. 26.

• Niklas Kronwall, out because of a knee injury, is expected to return a week after that.

• And then Jason Williams, out because of a fractured leg, and Cleary could be back by the second week in January.

continued and one question- When did Dan Cleary become Danny Cleary?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Quick Whistle Or Not?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Last night, Pens vs. Habs.  No goal, the whistle had blown.  Habs lose 3-2.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Need Goals, Not Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

Sixteen scouts were at the Wachovia Center to watch Ottawa outlast the fading Flyers, 2-0, on Thursday night.

  That’s a stunningly high number of scouts, and, with Flyers starting goalie Ray Emery sidelined for at least six weeks, speculation is running rampant that the club is interested in a goaltender.

  But the fact is, Brian Boucher _ who had another strong performance Thursday _ is good enough to carry the load until Emery returns.

    It says here the Flyers need to add a sniper or two, because right now, this offense just isn’t producing.

    On Thursday, they were shut out for the third time in six games, and their power play was 0 for 7. It marked the second time since 1968 that they were blanked three times in six games or fewer….

Maybe Holmgren can turn the talks toward 22-year-old Anaheim right winger Bobby Ryan, the pride of Cherry Hill. Would you deal the soon-to-be-25-year-old Carter for Ryan and, say, a No. 1 pick?

more

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

The Rangers ‘Broken’ Roster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sather is responsible for a roster filled with players under contracts that are unmovable. Tortorella is fingered here not because of his uneven work behind the bench, but because of his hand in personnel decisions that seemed to be guided exclusively by his preference for speed and skill players at the expense of size and strength.

The Blueshirts can’t make a meaningful trade because they can’t afford to move the few assets other teams actually want. To wit: The Post has learned Sather recently offered young Hartford defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti to the Coyotes in exchange for young, talented and underachieving center Peter Mueller.

But Phoenix general manager Don Maloney, who had a hand in drafting Sanguinetti 21st overall in 2006 when serving as Sather’s assistant, didn’t bite. Maloney, we’re told, instead countered with a request for either Brandon Dubinsky or Ryan Callahan.

Of course he did. Of course the Rangers could not agree to the request. Of course no one wants anyone (or will return value) for anyone Sather is looking to deal.

read on

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

Kovalev Would Not Be Missed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,

If Kovalev was being paid to be a dipsy-doodle dandy putting on a show worthy of the Ice Escapades, he’d be worth all the gold in Fort Knox. Except he’s mostly being paid on a belief he can still score and score proficiently, but you can’t score if you don’t shoot at the net and that’s the real riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma of Alex Kovalev that’s causing Inspector Clouseau to scream in his sleep: “Alex. The NET. Shoot the (censored) puck. At the NET. Just SHOOT.”...

Alex Kovalev. Sometimes he shows up, most times he doesn’t. His heart needs to match his talent.

When he went back to Russia for a few days for the funeral of an in-law, the team didn’t miss him. One could be forgiven for suspecting he enjoyed the break. One could be forgiven for suspecting that if one of the questions on his site was, “Any more trips to Russia planned?” his answer would be, “Yes. Just found out an uncle has a head cold. I’m heading over for a month to be with him.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

It’s All About Making Kovalchuk Comfortable

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Which is why, in a roundabout way, the key to success in Atlanta may be the Max Factor, or more specifically, the Max Afinogenov Factor.

Think of it this way: Whatever Atlanta may accomplish this year can be quickly unraveled if Ilya Kovalchuk says bye-bye at year’s end. Kovalchuk is one of the NHL’s most dynamic players, a performer almost at Ovechkin’s level in terms of pure, raw scoring ability. But Kovalchuk has been with the Thrashers for eight not-so-great years and is starting to get itchy for success. A potential unrestricted free agent following the season, Kovalchuk is amendable to staying in Atlanta (where he has developed roots and a strong command of the English language), but only if he believes the Thrashers can mimic the Capitals’ success and evolve – sooner rather than later – into Stanley Cup contenders.

Understanding that the future of his team is now, general manager signed both Afinogenov and Nikolai Antropov as unrestricted free agents last summer, in much the same way that the Capitals once brought in Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov to make Ovechkin more comfortable.

more plus numerous NHL topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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