Kukla's Korner

Winning Ways Again For Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler at Game On,

While the print media was oozing doom and gloom after Islanders edged New Jersey, Sutter steadfastly insisted that he saw many positives—and he was right.

Plus, his boss, Lou Lamoriello hardly was in a panic mode either.

It didn’t hurt that Jamie Langenbrunner had returned to the offense and Colin White soon would follow on the back line.

more on the Devils…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils

Report- Leafs Looking For A New GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

This could be John Ferguson’s last week as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Or possibly his last day.

A bevy of sources confirmed yesterday the Leafs are frantically searching for Ferguson’s replacement—either on an interim or permanent basis—as the team’s downward spiral continues.

It’s not clear which direction the Leafs are headed, but it is clear the climate for change has become desperate in the wake of a dreadful start that has seen the Leafs win just eight of 24 games to date.

continued

added 8:56am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Either combination – Healy-Messier or Campbell-Yzerman – would completely alter the public perception of the Leaf operation.

This much is clear. This situation isn’t just going to fix itself.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+ferguson+jr, toronto+maple+leafs

Hey Toronto….You Want Wings? We’ve Got a Few Suggestions

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Look.  We understand.  We know what a drought is. We know that one of the effects of said drought is a level of Lowe-like desperation that could prompt an organ-I-zation to execute plans many of us would consider to be less than savory.  We get it.

So we, the Wing fans, aren’t angry with Toronto for trying to steal away everyone from the janitors on up.  In fact, because the staffers here at A2Y appreciate the O6 and TO’s place within that legendary group, we’d like to help.  You can’t have Kenny, and you can’t have the Captain.  And, no, you can’t have Scotty either…even though you feel you’re owed a stop on the Bowman tour of hockey towns.

But there are plenty of other Wing icons to choose from.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

It Is A Team Thing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Funny, but when it was over no Rangers player stomped around the locker room complaining that his team lost 3-2 because it had been out-goaltended, although Lundqvist griped after Wednesday’s 2-1 victory in Tampa because he was unhappy with the players Tom Renney had on the ice when the Lightning scored at 19:43 of the third to spoil the shutout….

“I wasn’t questioning why any individual player was on the ice, but I had a conversation with Brendan about maybe having more defensive players on the ice,” Lundqvist told The Post yesterday. “I haven’t talked to Tom about it. I’m not going to.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, tom+renney

New Spots For NHL Network

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from BrandWeek,

The fledgling NHL Network, which last month launched in the U.S., will break a campaign targeting core fans who live and breathe hockey as well as fringe fans not yet aware that the 24/7 network is up and running.

The spots, the first for NHL Network from Cenergy Communications, East Aurora, N.Y., will juxtapose nonstop action from the 1950s and 1960s with that from the 2007-08 campaign. One spot begins with black-and-white footage of a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens purposely made to look as if it was being viewed on a TV screen with really bad reception.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, NHL Network, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marketing, media, nhl+network

Just Move The Whole Team to TO

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yes.  Multiple sources.  Multiple.  Credibility abounds. Take your pick. 

Sportsnet

As reported in Sunday’s Toronto Sun, word around the league suggests that the Leafs will only make a move in the GM position if they can land a star name such as Mark Messier, Ron Francis or Steve Yzerman.

“The Leafs need to have somebody with star power,” said an NHL executive to the Sun.

Star power?  Larry Brooks has a suggestion.

Dialogue has resumed between Scotty Bowman and the board of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment aimed at working out a deal so the nine-time Cup-winning coach and one-time player personnel director would become the Toronto club’s president and director of hockey operations, Slap Shots has been told.

Enjoy your Monday.

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comforts of Home? Grigorenko Struggling in Russia Too

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Matthew Wuest at RedwingsCentral.com reports that the disappointments seem to be continuing for Igor Grigorenko.  After five games in the Russian “elite” League, he has only one goal.  More encouraging is his write up on the next Swede, Joakim Andersson.

He’s a go-to player, and that’s a good sign.

“I hate to use the comparison, but he’s a (Henrik) Zetterberg type of player,” Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson said. “The upside isn’t as high (as Zetterberg’s), but he’s going to be a very dependable player. He might get 40 points in the NHL and give you very good defense and kill penalties.”

Read more...including an update on the Ryno return to Sweden and a disturbing start for Jimmy Howard in GR.

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Leafs Are Bad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post via Canada.com,

Reality being what it is, both Ferguson and Maurice are walking a tightrope.

Ferguson has clearly not provided his coach with adequate resources. The Leafs admitted they were looking for an adviser to abet their still-young GM last summer. Momentum towards making a change is growing. And, it’s implausible that the club could hire an accomplished replacement for Ferguson without allowing that man to name his own coach.

Management and coaching changes in mid-stream are not unusual - already, this season, Atlanta, Dallas and Washington have fired employees who were in place to begin the schedule. The Leafs will probably will do the same, barring a dramatic and quick reversal of fortune.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+ferguson+jr, paul+maurice, toronto+maple+leafs

Block Those Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

“You have to break the fear,” Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival said. “You try it once, it hits your shin pads and you say, O.K. We all played the game for so long. Nobody really thinks about it anymore. It’s like natural. I don’t think there’s any guy in the locker room who would be thinking, Oh, should I block it or not?”

The N.H.L. did not start keeping statistics for blocked shots until 1998. Since then, blocking shots has become an increasingly important — if still hard to fathom — part of the game. Coaches preach of them as a way to cut down scoring chances, to keep life easier for the goalies, and to turn defense into something practiced by the whole team, not just the defensemen.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michal+rozsival, new+york+rangers

Life Without Rivalries?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We, the even-keeled staffers here at A2Y, admit that the Dive no longer present us with the rivalry we enjoyed so much for nearly six years.  We’ve come to grips with the fact that a team who misses the playoffs doesn’t provide the level of competition required to sustain the sort of hate-fest that we thrived on up until Roy’s failed State of Liberty in ‘02.

And, yes, we’ve been searching for a replacement.  Last night may have given a glimpse into what could be a future rival. But, honestly, there is none.  Not now.

Greg Eno has more on this.

Looking around the NHL the other day, I couldn’t come up with a single team that elicits anything close to the hostility that the Red Wings mustered up against the Colorado Avalanche a decade ago. Thanks to the league’s ridiculous unbalanced schedule, you can forget about getting anything going with any of the teams from the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings hardly play those teams anymore. It should be noted that residing in the East are such Original Six teams as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, once fierce rivals with the team from Detroit. No longer, thanks to enforced separation.

Another reason to read?  A quote you may have forgotten from Patrick Roy that will remind you of what an ass he is and was.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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