Kukla's Korner

Kozlov Heads To Russia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Alessandro Seren Rosso of Russian Hockey Fans,

Vyacheslav Kozlo was officially signed today to a 1 year contract by CSKA Moscow.

The former component of the famous Russian Five joined the Red Army a couple of days ago and will depart with the team for their upcoming away trip. Kozlov will wear the #72 jersey.

Vyacheslav Kozlov was Stanley Cup Champion in 1997 and 1998 with the Detroit Red Wings. Kozlov played a total of 1182 NHL games, with 853 points.

It was reported that also Spartak Moscow offered Kozlov a contract, but Slava preferred the Red Army, with whom he played in 1991-92 and 1994-95.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, vyacheslav+kozlov

Will The Blue Jackets System Work?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Last season, Jackets general manager Scott Howson shucked his inherited coach, Ken Hitchcock, whose idea of transition is to douse it in gas and light a match. Over the summer, Howson passed on hiring Kevin Dineen - whose style has Hitch-ian aspects of confrontation and grit - and instead chose Scott Arniel to be the new coach. Arniel came in preaching an up-tempo style, one which is supposed to suit the Jackets’ personnel.

Will it work?

It is not advanced calculus. One of the Jackets defensemen will join rushes when the opportunity presents itself. Both defensemen have more freedom to pinch in from the blue line. The aim is to apply more pressure, which creates more passing opportunities, which might lead to more offense.

This is the way the NHL is going. The lockout wrought new rules that sped up the game and reintroduced the stretch pass. Stanley Cup winners - Carolina, Pittsburgh and Chicago, pointedly - got faster and more offensive. The game changed.


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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Marc Savard could not be a more pathetic figure during his Boston media meeting earlier this month, discussing post-concussion syndrome.

Without question, Savard’s future hockey-playing career is in grave doubt. His inability to fully suppress tears testified to the depression that engulfs a superior NHL talent. Meanwhile, a fully effective concussion cure remains as elusive as the culprit who thrust Savard into this unenviable state.

Matt Cooke remains a Penguins regular, a human torpedo on the ice, doing “his job.” The Pittsburgh agitator has paid his price in NHL justice while Savard questions whether he will ever have the luxury of taking another turn on a big-league rink.

One wonders if there could have been a better result for both victim and culprit.

-Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal, where you can read more hockey topics.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard, matt+cooke

Coyotes Can Be Better Than Last Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

It’d be easy to chalk up the Phoenix Coyotes’ rise from the ashes in 2009-10 as a one-year wonder.

Shane Doan, however, doesn’t hesitate when asked how his team can be even better.

No easy task when you consider the Desert Dogs went 50-25-7 and finished fourth in the Western Conference with the NHL’s fourth-best point total of 107.

“Really, other than (goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov), nobody really had a career year. A bunch of guys were pretty good, but no one was great,” said Doan. “I think there’s room for myself and a lot of the forwards to improve.

“We’ve got some young guys that I think have made some big steps. Keith Yandle is, I think, about to become one of the best defencemen in the league, and I think that’s gonna be huge.

“Obviously we need Bryzie to be good as he was. And Jason LaBarbera, too. Our goaltending was so great last year.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The State of Hockey in Finland

Blog: KK Hockey By Phil Davies

If there was ever a National team program historically greater than the sum of its parts, it would be Team Finland. Despite not having the offensive depth of many of their Elite Seven rivals, the Finnish National Team has repeatedly fared well in recent international best-on-best competition. After enduring many decades of lopsided defeats internationally at the hands of Canada, the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and longtime nemesis Sweden, the Finnish hockey program made great strides in the 1990’s, culminating with a World Championship in 1995. In addition, Finland has won more Olympic Hockey medals (1 silver, 2 bronze), than any other nation, since the introduction of NHL players to the Games in 1998.

Finland’s success can be attributed to a strong emphasis on teamwork and the fact that unlike their European rivals, hockey is indisputably the number one sport in their homeland, which has led to the implementation of adequately funded development programs and a strong domestic league in SM-liiga. More than any other European team, Finland employs a fast skating, tight forechecking, North American style of play, augmented by strong defensive zone coverage and consistently elite goaltending. The rinks in Finland have been adjusted to enhance the tight forechecking style of play, by adopting a size that is halfway between the dimensions of NHL and IIHF standards. Furthermore, in an effort to aid the National Team’s development programs, numerous goaltending schools have been created, and often led, by the country’s top puck stoppers. This has led to the emergence of many elite young goalies in the NHL, such as Tuukka Rask, Pekke Rinne, Antti Niemi and perhaps Kari Lehtonen, if he can find health and consistency in a Dallas Stars uniform.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi, dallas+stars, espoo+blues, iihf, jere+lehtinen, kari+lehtonen, mikko+koivu, olli+jokinen, olympic+hockey, pekke+rinne, saku+koivu, sm-liiga, teemu+selanne, tuomo+ruutu, tuukka+rask

What Would You Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

It’s the age-old question: If offered a pill that would make you a multi-millionaire, but kill you in 10 years - would you take it?

For me, the answer is no. But, there are other, similar, scenarios where my answer would be yes.

Like Ian Laperriere’s.

Laperriere is the kind of player every fan can root for. He’s never taken the easy way out, fighting and scrapping his way through 1,083 games. He’ll throw his body in front of everything, one of the reasons his nose looks like a road map of the Don Valley Parkway.

Minutes before his Flyers eliminated New Jersey in the first round of last year’s playoffs, Laperriere suffered a brain contusion after blocking a Paul Martin shot. He missed 10 games, returning with a face shield.

On Tuesday, he admitted that shouldn’t have happened. Laperriere did have headaches, even though he passed all of the testing required by the team and the NHL


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+laperriere, ian+laperriere

Tick Tock’s Thinking #12 And FS Detroit’s Scraping The Barrel

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

But first…even for our Deep Diggers, it’s hard to believe a Detroit writer could be this bad.

Dana Wakiji/FS Detroit

Although some people still call them the New York Yankees of the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings are not the big spenders they used to be.



Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Seeking Perfection

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

So, there we were at Tampa Bay Lightning practice on Tuesday, when several players who, apparently, had not completed their task to the satisfaction of coach Guy Boucher dropped and did 10 push-ups. The scenario was repeated several times over the 60-plus minutes the team was on the ice.

Coach Guy Boucher said it is one way to remind the players to be better.

“I always believe there needs to be consequences to anything, to get that same competitive level in your practices,” he said. “So, sometimes it’s push-ups, sometimes it’s laps. It depends which day how I feel, but there’s always consequences to things. You do it right, great. You don’t, that’s to make sure you remember.”

Can’t help but think after that that Boucher has a little Tortorella in him in his quest for perfection. And that seems exactly what that quest is about.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Previewing The Inevitable: Why What’s Ours Will Wing Its Way Back To Hockeytown

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I may have tried a full season preview a few years ago. I think I did and I’m pretty sure it sucked, mainly because I attempted to look at all the teams and predict all sorts of dumbass stuff. Like who would win the Southeast.  This year, I’m gonna preview some stuff but I’m sticking with what I know and what I know is Red Wing hockey.  I’m not talking about who will win the Northwest because it’s completely irrelevant.  I’ve never cared about it and I’m not starting now.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Mottau Signs with Islanders

Blog: KK Hockey By Michael Smith

From the New York Islanders:

The New York Islanders announced today that they have agreed to terms on a two year contract with defenseman Mike Mottau.

Mottau, 32, spent the last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. Last season, the Quincy, MA, native scored a career high 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) and a +4 plus-minus rating in 79 games with New Jersey.

“Mike is a solid puck-moving defenseman who will bring more experience to our blueline,”” said General Manager Garth Snow.

It was only a matter of time before Mike Mottau found a home, but the injury to Mark Streit obviously created an opening the Islanders needed to address.

Good for Mike and good for the Islanders.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+mottau, new+jersey+devils, new+york+islanders

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