Kukla's Korner

Wings Need To Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They are 4-6-4 in their past 14 games and have little margin for error as they try to extend their playoff streak to 19 seasons.

The Red Wings have three games before the Olympic break, including Tuesday at St. Louis, when they hope the return of power forward Johan Franzen from a four-month absence because of a torn knee ligament will provide a boost.

“Every game for us from here until the end is an incredibly important two points,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We got to put a run together. Playing .500 the rest of the year isn’t going to do it.”

more

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

Struggling Olympic Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

* Team Canada’s Martin Brodeur of the Devils is just 2-3 the past two weeks, including the loss to Lundqvist’s Rangers on Saturday.

* Prior to leading his Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 shootout win in Boston on Saturday, Canada’s Roberto Luongo was pulled after allowing three first-period goals to the Maple Leafs on Jan. 30, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Habs in his hometown of Montreal on Feb. 2.

* The third Canadian goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, dropped a pair of games over the weekend. After being yanked in a 5-3 defeat to the Canadiens on Saturday, he was on the losing end of a 5-4 overtime decision to the high-flying Capitals on Sunday.

* Team USA’s Ryan Miller, the backbone of the Buffalo Sabres, is just 2-5 in his past seven appearances and is mired in a three-game losing streak.

more

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

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Still Dealing With Post-Concussion Symptoms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

Sidelined Wild playmaker Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who continues his long, frustrating struggle with a concussion, has returned to Minnesota after almost two weeks in Montreal, where he sought ulterior treatment plans.

Bouchard was examined by a neuropsychologist, an osteopath and his exercise kinesiologist, Paul Gagne.

“The [neuropsychologist]—the head doctor—did a bunch of tests and I should have the results pretty soon, but overall there doesn’t look like I have brain damage, which is a good thing,” Bouchard said. “At least my memory and reaction time and reflexes look good.

“Now it’s just a question of still getting rid of my symptoms—the pressure in my head that I still have.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre-marc+bouchard

Toskala Ready And Willing To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of the OC Register,

It looked awkward to see Vesa Toskala in his Toronto Maple Leafs goalie mask juxtaposed against his Ducks practice jersey when he took the ice Sunday.

Toskala had been idled for six days waiting for a work visa to join the team, but he still had his old mask.

He was eager to shed it for a new one.

“Hopefully soon,” Toskala said. “So I can wash that blue and white out of my gear.”

“I don’t think I’m a backup goalie,” he said. “I obviously want to play a lot, and I know how good I can play. But like I said earlier, there are lots of things you can’t control in this league. I just do whatever I have to do here to help the team make the playoffs.

“I’m not going to complain or anything. If it’s my call, I would play every game because I love to play. When I play a lot, I play my best.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vesa+toskala

Babcock Going Into The Olympics By Covering All The Bases

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

A great believer in leaving no stone unturned in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Mike Babcock has spent the past six months touching base with his various predecessors as coach of Canada’s men’s hockey team.

When Babcock approached Pat Quinn, who was at the helm in both 2002 and 2006, he wondered specifically about scrutiny and expectation. Surprisingly, Quinn told Babcock the most pressure he ever felt coaching internationally came in Ottawa just more than a year ago, when he was behind the bench for the 2009 world junior team in Canada.

To Babcock, the operative words were the last two - in Canada. Coaching a team in Canada will heighten every aspect of the experience, which can be both a good and a bad thing.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

A Battle With Milbury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil at Gunazin.com,

This afternoon I was at the Capitals vs. Penguins nationally televised game, covering it for CapitalsOutsider.com. Following the game, as I was waiting for the elevator, Mike Milbury of NBC walked up close to me. So I figured I could ask him about the comment he made during the 1st intermission, that upset many Capitals fans.

continue if you wish and Phil also had a video camera with him and started recording some of the action which you can watch below.

I don’t think this is going to turn out very good and may shine a bad light on the hockey blogging community, but I do hope it is looked upon as an incident and not reflective of hockey bloggers in general.

Again you can read Phil’s side of the story at the link above and I have my doubts that Milbury will even comment on it, which would be the right thing to do in my opinion.

added 02/08/10 at 9:30am, Note, the video has been removed by the user.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+milbury, nbc+sports

It Was Time For Ohlund To Move On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

...the Canucks certainly weren’t even on the same planet when it came to the $26.25-million, seven-year deal the Bolts threw at Ohlund the second his free agency set in.

“It was clearly time for me to move on, and for the organization as well,” Ohlund said.

Nothing exposed the weakness of his game more than last spring’s Stanley Cup series against Chicago, in which the Blackhawks’ young guns blew by him like he was a pinwheel.

A big pinwheel, mind you, but looking stationary by comparison.

By his own admission, Ohlund is having a subpar season with the Lightning, but when it comes to his strengths he’s as effective as ever, knocking Christopher Higgins head over heels on Saturday night, dislocating Henrik Zetterber’s shoulder with a crunching body check in December.

“He’s a guy that in close space is really good, like in the corners stopping the cycles,” Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. “And he’s a good guy in the locker room.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mattias+ohlund

Canes Trade Wallin To Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has traded defenseman Niclas Wallin to the San Jose Sharks. Along with Wallin, the Hurricanes send their own fifth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to San Jose for Buffalo’s second-round pick in the 2010 draft.

“We thank Nic for his time in Carolina,” said Rutherford. “He has been a key part of the Hurricanes for the past nine seasons, and we wish him and his family well.”

via the Sharks,

“Niclas is a playoff-hardened, veteran player with lots of postseason experience and a Stanley Cup ring,” said (Doug) Wilson.  “Good, solid character players are hard to come by and we think he will complement our existing group very well.  He has a history of playing his best when the games mean the most.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niclas+wallin

Ovechkin Comes Out Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Giles of CSNWashington,

During the first intermission of NBC’s marquee Sunday matchup of Capitals versus Penguins, announcer Mike Milbury declared that Canada’s favorite son, Sidney Crosby, had once again announced his dominance to the world.

“Listen, hey Ovie, I’m still you’re daddy,” Milbury said, imagining what Crosby was thinking.

Milbury spoke too soon, it would seem, as the Capitals rallied on Sunday to force overtime and overtake the Penguins, 5-4, extending their franchise record wins streak to 14.

Whether Crosby or Ovechkin proved the game’s better player? Let the box score decide.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

Crosby vs. Ovechkin Defensively

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I wrote that Alexander Ovechkin has become this year’s Hart Trophy leader, a debate started in the comments about the defensive merits of Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.  Neither of the two are defensive stars who are likely to be Selke Trophy nominees.  Both provide most of their value to their teams as offensive players.  More than likely any Hart Trophy race between the two of them (and this year’s race definitely has other strong candidates - I wouldn’t be picking Crosby as runner up at this point) would be decided upon offensive differences and not defensive ones.

Both Ovechkin and Crosby are the top offensive talents on their teams.  It would be a waste of their talents for either to be used regularly in top defensive situations.  Neither are frequent penalty killers on their teams.  Ovechkin has only spent about two minutes killing penalties so far this season.  Crosby is more frequently used in penalty killing situations, but is 12th on his team in terms of penalty kill time.  That is a choice on how to use players and little more.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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