Kukla's Korner

What Has Burke Done?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Burke has traded away one of the early picks in June’s entry draft. And it’s one thing to trade away a first-round pick, it’s another when that pick could be converted into Taylor Hall or someone of that ability.

And the more the Leafs lose, the more focus there will be on Kessel to make certain the deal is not the embarrassment that it’s starting to look to be.

Yes, the draft watch already has begun in earnest, and yes, with 76 games still to play, with almost everything about this Leafs team looking wrong, there is little even an optimist can believe after a promising pre-season.

This team can’t score, can’t defend, can’t kill penalties, can’t stop pucks, and can’t pick first in the draft.

more

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

Shootout Musts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

GOALTENDER

• Grab your water bottle and enjoy a refreshing celebratory swig of H2-Oh am I sick at this!

• Take a moment to wink at irate fan banging on glass behind net if on the road. Give a knowing nod to elated fan behind net when at home.

CHOSEN SHOOTER

• Shoot it where the goaltender is not.

• Look back at the just schooled goalie to remind him who owns who.

• Do a tight fly-by the opposing teams bench with a cock-sure grin on your face (add a verbal or physical taunt if your name is Ribeiro or Kovalchuk) then glove punch glide along your own bench.

read on for some serious tips…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals & Their Season Ticket Holders Taken For A Ride

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Rucki of On Frozen Blog,

For the second year running, the Washington Capitals hosted their annual Season Ticket Holder “Meet the Caps” party at Six Flags America. Once again, the team provided fans with a night of fun for all ages.

The timing of the event was impeccable—a perfect Autumn evening, perhaps our last before a spate of rain and cold arriving tomorrow. The crowd was large and enthusiastic, though the autograph lines were far longer than those for the many rides. It’s easy to forget how exhilarating a good rollercoaster can be when one doesn’t wait in an hour-plus queue, melting on an August afternoon. Waiting two minutes to fly 20 stories high at 75 mph? Sign me up!

continued

The Capitals sure do an awful lot for their fans.  What other NHL teams go the the extra-mile with their fan group?

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

Blue Jackets Lose Jan Hejda To Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Blue Jackets defenseman Jan Hejda is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a sprained left knee, The Dispatch has learned.

Hejda was injured with 1:24 remaining in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Calgary in Nationwide Arena, when he and Flames winger Curtis Glencross inadvertantly collided—left knee on left knee—as they crossed through the slot in the Flames’ end….

It’s a huge blow for the Blue Jackets, who already are without defenseman Mike Commodore because of a groin injury. Hejda and Commodore formed the Blue Jackets No. 1 defensive pair last season.

Hejda has a plus-8 rating in five games this season, tied with Dallas Nicklas Grossman for tops in the NHL.

a bit more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jan+hejda

Shaky Starts For Huet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

It’s way too early to give up on Cristobal Huet less than two weeks into the season.

But the clock is ticking.

Huet has made four starts and been shaky in all of them. His exit seven minutes into Monday’s game against Calgary after he allowed 3 goals on 5 shots was the right move by Hawks coach Joel Quenneville even if the defensive play in front of the goalie was shoddy.

It’s a goalie’s job to come up with big saves after defensive breakdowns, especially the goalie on a team that’s supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet

Mike Komisarek With A ‘Head Shot’ Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

The Re-Birth Of Wade Redden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If Wade Redden looks like a different player in his second season with the Rangers, and he does, much of the improvement can be credited to the fact that he is now playing in a system that maximizes his skills as a skater and puck mover while minimizing his deficiencies in defensive zone coverage and reading the rush.

Redden might as well have been on an island last year, so lost was he playing coach Tom Renney’s safety-first system, in which the defense invariably seemed to be backing up or battling for survival in its own end of the ice.

But now, six games into Year Two on Broadway, which continues tonight at the Garden against the Kings, Redden appears liberated by the puck-pressure system installed by head coach John Tortorella.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wade+redden

Leafs Have Numerous Problems

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

Here’s the thing about the Maple Leafs’ close-to-historically – and for some of you no doubt hysterically – lousy start to the season. Forget about the Phil Kessel trade, at least until the guy takes a shift. Kessel? Draft picks? Lottery picks? The Leafs’ crisis is much more immediate than that.

Mike Komisarek, who started to hear the boos Tuesday night before the rest of the Leafs, said it was a matter of “winning 1-on-1 battles and making five-foot passes.”

Still, it’s tough to see where individual battles will be won with this group. The only professional, non-panicky game they’ve received from a goalie this year came from Jonas Gustavsson and he’s hurt. He is the only one who can save this thing from becoming even more pear-shaped and, considering his lack of track record, ought to scare the crap out of you.

The Leafs have forwards who think truculence means taking a holding or hooking penalty in the offensive end – the Avalanche’s first power-play goal came with Alexei Ponikarovsky in the penalty box for a holding call behind the Avalanche goal. They have lots of guys who can fight – but that’s kind of a non-starter when the other team is kicking your butt playing within the rules, no?

more

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

Welcome Back Enemy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

...But you sure don’t go out of your way to comfort the enemy, right?

Well, apparently, if you’re the Leafs, you do.

Mired in a depressing five-game winless streak to start the season, the game operations staff thought that with the Colorado Avalanche in town Tuesday night it was a perfect time to pay tribute to Darcy (Sideshow Bob) Tucker, one of the feistier, most popular and more publicity-conscious Leafs to play in Toronto in recent years.

First came a generous video collage 10 minutes into the game and then a loud ovation, to which Tucker responded by standing at the Colorado bench and waving to the Air Canada Centre faithful.

All that was missing was a bouquet of roses.

While the fans clapped and the Avs players tapped their sticks, the players who currently skate for the Leafs sat stonefaced on the bench or stood motionless on the ice.

“No impact on us as players at all,” insisted veteran winger Jamal Mayers.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+tucker

Vanek Out With Upper Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Thomas Vanek left for good with 7:14 to play in the second period after scoring his second goal in the 6-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Lindy Ruff revealed Vanek will miss several weeks with an undisclosed upper body injury.

Vanek slid hard into the end boards after scoring the goal on Derek Roy’s third assist in a 4½-minute span, but Ruff said the injury actually occurred before that play. Television shots of Vanek on the bench before the shift showed Vanek grimacing while moving his neck/shoulder area.

Vanek’s shoulder was not in a sling when he left the locker room about 40 minutes after the game was over, and he was believed to have undergone X-rays on his ribs.

“It was before the goal, when I collided with [former Sabre Brad] May,” Vanek told The Buffalo News. “I went to hit him, and it happened there. I just finished the shift and felt it after. I knew right away and just tried to tough it out. After the shift, I just got it checked out.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

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