Kukla's Korner

Two-Goal Start for Sutter, Productive Youth (and No Injuries!) All Good Signs for Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

He’s not the youngest player on the roster, nor would he be considered a shocking contributor after last season’s 21-goal, 40-point showing but Brandon Sutter is most certainly a key piece to any Carolina Hurricanes success this year and his two-goal performance in Thursday’s season-opening, 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland is an excellent early sign for a club hoping for a lot to go their way in 2010-11.

For the Hurricanes, banking on both young guns and sustained health and rejuvenation for several veterans who were hobbled last year, a player like Sutter, at 21, serving as an alternate captain and coming off of a breakthrough season a year ago, will play a major role in determining their fortune. So far, so good for Sutter, who played just six seconds less yesterday than Carolina captain Eric Staal and so far, so good for the ‘Canes, who dressed six players 25-and-under in the game and got production from Sutter (two goals), Zac Dalpe (assist) and Jamie McBain (assist), as well as sparkling reviews for 18-year-old forward Jeff Skinner from that group.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+burmistrov, andrew+ladd, anton+babchuk, ben+eager, brandon+sutter, brent+sopel, cam+ward, chad+larose, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, erik+cole, evander+kane, guy+boucher, jamie+mcbain, jeff+skinner, joni+pitkanen, jussi+jokinen, khl, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, nhl+premiere, niclas+bergfors, semyon+varlamov, steve+yzerman, tim+gleason, tuomo+ruutu, zac+dalpe, zach+bogosian

Positive signs from Habs game one

Blog: KK Hockey By The Upper Canadien

The Canadiens may have lost to the Maple Leafs last night, but there were a lot of things to like about Montreal’s game. Carey Price looked good, if not very good, making a key save early on Phil Kessel and a highlight reel save late. Yes, he let in three goals, and yes, perhaps he went down a tad early on a few shots, but his lateral movement was excellent. I am buoyed by Price’s performance, and I urge people to be patient.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, jaroslav+spacek, maxime+lapierre

America’s Hockey Capital

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

I look forward to the season. I hope we achieve more than we did last season. I hope we have good fortune and we remain healthy. I hope to see you all on Saturday night. Let us build America’s Hockey Capital together. Thank you.

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

AHL & PHPA Agrees On New CBA

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

SPRINGFIELD, Mass./NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. … The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association today announced the ratification of a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The new CBA, which is effective through August 31, 2014, has been ratified by both the AHL’s Board of Governors and the overwhelming majority of AHL players.

The CBA has been modified to include significant enhancements to the health and welfare plan currently offered to AHL players and their families, to provide flexibility to the AHL in Calder Cup Playoff scheduling and financing, and to allow for increases to per-diem and minimum salary as well as modifications to housing and travel provisions.

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: ahl

GDT - Game #1 - Season Opener: Red Wings host Ducks (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The Chief has given orders that the GDT continue for another season. So, I’m back, back in the saddle again, Voox, gimme a drink.

Most of the “19” have probably read the prognosticators (including Detroit MSM) proclaiming, ad nauseum, that the Wings are too old.  Really?  Raise your hands if you’ve heard that once before,  Liars, all of you.  That absurd chorus has been repeated season, after season, after season. I’m a little bit older too, and maybe a little more jaded; so just toss me in HTT’s camp of the goal-tending and officiating scenario.  Barring any semblance of the obscene injury plague like last season (screw you Jobu), the Wings will match a franchise record 20th straight post-season berth, and will be hanging another banner in the rafters.

The GDT is a quite scant for game 1, you know, since there aren’t any season statistics to put in.  But you’ve gotta start somewhere, and the Quest for 12 starts tonight.  Game On, Bitches(!)  

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

An Avalanche Reunion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The 1996 Stanley Cup Champions gathered in Denver last night to celebrate their 15 year reunion.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Same Flames?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider,

Hands up if that game looked, you know, somewhat familiar.

Let’s see . . . .

Great work by the netminder (Miikka Kiprusoff). Enthusiastic defending by one man in particular (Mark Giordano).

Junk power play (oh-for-four). Paltry offence (zero goals).

The Flames had better hope that the season-opener, a desultory 4-0 loss Thursday night to the home-ice Edmonton Oilers, was an aberration — not a continuation.


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

The New Look Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

Interesting numbers from Thursday’s Blackhawks opener, a 4-3 loss to the Avalanche in overtime.

Defensemen John Scott and Jordan Hendry played only 6:58 and 5:33, respectively.

Viktor Stalberg played 6:10 and was minus-1.

Fernando Pisani played 11:38 and was minus-2.

Jack Skille played 7:15.

It’s only one game, but those are tough numbers for a few of the guys the Hawks are counting on replace those players who left.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Toni Lydman’s Eyesight Is Improving

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,

Now exactly a month removed from when it occurred while he was eating lunch, Lydman talked about the episode for the first time and revealed the seriousness in which the matter was treated in the initial days afterward.

“I guess it was,” he said. “Probably more because of what it could have been and what they were first looking for when it started. They searched for things like an aneurysm and a tumor. Those are the things they were looking for in the first CAT scan and the first MRI (exam). Obviously all the worst stuff you can imagine.

“You don’t want to hear that when you go in there. Once those were ruled out, it was a little bit easier. As the test results kept coming back and the blood work was analyzed, they kept ruling out other stuff too. It has been mentally very helpful.”

Lydman has been through a battery of tests to find the root cause of the double vision, which he said has yet to be fully pinned down. The closest thing to a possible cause is a severe migraine, which the veteran defender has dealt with in varying levels since he was a teen-ager.

But this was something that he’s never experienced among the symptoms he’s had with past migraines and he’s still unsure at how he incurred the episode.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: toni+lydman

Columbus On The Right Path

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

In 40 months, general manager Scott Howson has overhauled the roster and the coaching staff. His predecessor had 111 months and left a nine-year mess. Is it cleaned up? Not fully, not yet. But I am a believer in Howson. At the very least, the Jackets have evolved, and the roster is deeper in talent than it ever was.

A team has some depth when it has a checking line with Sammy Pahlsson in the middle and Ethan Moreau and R.J. Umberger on the wings. It is a team that can match up. And I like the top six, with Antoine Vermette centering Kristian Huselius and Nash, and Nikita Filatov and Jake Voracek on the flanks of Derick Brassard. The Jackets have never had a trio as skilled, promising and compelling as the kid line.

Does the need remain for a top center? Yes. Does Brassard have to live up to his promise, finally? Yes, but he doesn’t have to be an All-Star. Does Nash have to do better than 67 points? Yes. And he will, guaranteed. He is an All-Star.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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