Kukla's Korner

Not Much Has Changed In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

A lot of folks wanted to blame the Blues’ erratic play on coach Andy Murray, and eventually team management came to the side of Murray’s critics by firing him on Jan. 2.

But what has changed since Davis Payne took over?

The answer: not much, really.

This isn’t a knock on Payne. I like him. He’s tried to emphasize the right things. He’s done about as well as could be expected. But as I have been saying all along, and the point needs to be reinforced, so here I go again: this is about the Blues’ players.

continued

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

The Montreal Goalie Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

What’s also interesting in the goalie debate, which is all the rage in Montreal, is what impact a new sheriff will have. Gainey was a huge Price backer. Gauthier? It remains to be seen. I know Price was on the phone with his agent Gerry Johannson in the wake of Monday’s news. But as Johannson relayed to me Monday night, the kid was cool as a cucumber, as usual. He doesn’t get too rattled, and despite not playing much lately, he’s not in a snit over it.

“Carey is really happy in Montreal,” Johannson told me. “We respect that the Canadiens have smart guys running things and we know that there’s a time and a place for us to have a discussion, and that’s in the offseason. Right now, they’re doing what they think they need to do to win, and that’s OK.”

There have been no contract talks with the camps of either goalie. That will be a summer issue. And what a big one. They’re both in for raises. That’s when I think you’ll see a trade.

more plus Scott Burnside chimes in regarding all things Montreal…

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

Bob Gainey Steps Down As Habs GM

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced that he is stepping down as their general manager yesterday.  Assistant general manager Pierre Gauthier takes over the role.  The timing of the move is poor as the transition takes place just before the NHL trade deadline.  This was a move that Gainey had contemplated for a while.  It is the second time he has walked away from an NHL general manager position in mid-season.  He did the same with the Dallas Stars in 2002.

Gainey was a very successful Dallas GM.  He took over the team in 1992, while they were still playing in Minnesota.  He built the 1999 Stanley Cup champion team.  When the Stars were into their downslide from that success, he stepped down as GM in mid-season to let his assistant Doug Armstrong take over the role.  Gainey was quickly recruited to come back to Montreal, where he played his NHL career, and be the Habs GM.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Marc-Andre Bergeron Out With Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens got more bad news on the injury front on Tuesday, as RDS reports that defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron will be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a left knee injury.

Bergeron, 29, was signed as an unrestricted free agent last fall.

In 51 games with the Canadiens this season, he has 10 goals and 28 points.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+bergeron

Emery May Be Facing Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Michael Leighton started his third straight game in goal for the Flyers last night in place of Ray Emery, who underwent an MRI yesterday on his sore left hip.

A team source told the Daily News that Emery could have a torn labrum that may require surgery.

General manager Paul Holmgren said the results from the MRI were not immediately available yesterday.

“It seems to be an issue with a lot of goalies in the league and we’re hoping to learn from what Ray underwent today,” Holmgren said. “A lot of goalies have this issue because of the way they play, so I think it’s probably something like that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Capitals A Step Ahead Of Everyone Else When It Comes To Social Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Wang of the Washington Post,

The Washington Capitals in recent years have moved more aggressively than any other NHL team toward embracing social media Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook, targeting supporters who get their information from non-traditional outlets.

Now, with the team in the midst of a franchise-record winning streak led by one of the world’s most dynamic hockey players in Alex Ovechkin, owner Ted Leonsis is hoping the social media strategy will pay off in expanding the club’s popularity and engagement with fans.

“The team blew up, and the team got great with really young kids who were very identifiable by the same generation that used that technology,” Leonsis said last week from his office at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “So the co-mingling of this understanding of social media and technology and the team doing great, and the city wanting a winner, has really made this a very magical time for the franchise.”

continued

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

GDT - Game #59: Red Wings at Blues (8:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

STL are coming off a 5-3 loss last night to the Av’s.  Chris Mason’s boxscore was ugly, surrendering 5 GA on 15 shots, before getting pulled in the 2nd. Conklin stopped all 18 shots in relief.  Per the St. Louis Post -Dispatch:  Colorado’s three-goal second period chased Mason from the game and sent the Avalanche on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Blues, “

who looked lethargic considering their playoff lives are on the line

.”

DET fans must be pondering the same based on the Wings play of late.  3-5-2, is just unfathomable - - all while getting healthier. Playoffs?  Are you kidding me.  I just hope we can win another game.

Kronwall and Eaves are out.  Homer is questionable, and Mule is in.  Jimmy Howard will start for the 21st time in the last 23 games.  Asked why, coach Mike Babcock said with startling clarity, “Because I think it’s the right decision.’’  I’d have to agree, the Wings are rapidly approaching the point of no return; every game matters.  So says Holland:  “If we play .500 hockey the rest of the way, we’re not going to make it. We have to have some stretches where we go 8-2, 7-3. We just haven’t found ways to win games, and now we’ve got a huge week here with three games before the Olympic break.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

A Look Around The League

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Lighter stuff: one of the funniest players in the NHL, Shawn Thornton, had a weird moustache going Sunday as the Bruins ended their 10-game losing run in Montreal. He tried a beard to break the bad streak, but shaved it into a handlebar moustache when that failed. He trimmed down that version after another loss, leading to the victorious current version. “Can’t shave it now,” Thornton said afterwards. “It’s a winner.”

• I think the Ilya Kovalchuk decision for Peter Chiarelli came down to this: he wasn’t willing to trade Toronto’s top pick, so would he give up a piece like David Krejci? Smart call to say no. The Bruins, despite their best hopes, are not a Stanley Cup contender.

• Reason to be wary of Tim Thomas rumours: Will he waive his no-trade? He has one for the first three years of his new contract. And, one of the beat guys was telling me Thomas has moved his entire family to Boston.

much more from Elliotte including his take on Bob Gainey…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Predators Thinking Depth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

“We could use a tweak or two,” Preds Coach Barry Trotz said. “We’re actually scoring more goals than people thought we’d score, but we’re giving up a little more than what we want … So maybe a veteran penalty-killer or a real good faceoff guy, or maybe a guy that’s produced a little bit more (offensively).”

Who’s out there? Some of the forward names getting tossed around are those from teams that have nearly been eliminated from the playoff chase — Carolina’s Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen, Edmonton’s Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau, Toronto’s Alexei Ponika-rovsky, and Columbus’ Raffi Torres and Fredrik Modin.

As to whether the Preds might trade either Hamhuis or one of the goalies, Nashville General Manager David Poile at this point seems more inclined to hold on to those players.

more

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

The Return Of Franzen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The points-starved Detroit Red Wings aren’t expecting power forward Johan Franzen to be their savior when he returns to the lineup Tuesday in St. Louis after a four-month absence due to a torn knee ligament.

“We’ll give him one game before he can save us,” teammate Kris Draper said with a laugh. “No pressure.”

They joke, but they are excited to welcome back one of the NHL’s top goal-scorers the past couple of seasons. This injury-riddled team that has had trouble generating offense, both even-strength and on the power play, needs Franzen’s finishing touch.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen

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