Kukla's Korner

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
 

An Extreme Makeover From the Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Minnesota Wild,

Fans of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild are encouraged to tune into ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” this Sunday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. CST.  “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” can be found locally on Eyewitness News Channel 5 (KSTP). The special will air for two hours.

The episode will feature the Swenson-Lee Family of suburban Minneapolis. The Wild played an important part in the makeover.

The show airs tonight, November 25th, on ABC.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charity, media, minnesota+wild

Central Concern?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated 1400 EST:  Be sure and read Baroque’sanalysis of the Central.  The statistical ying to my reactionary yang.

You’re still reeling.  This whole damn season is some sort of wacked-out opposite of everything we’ve come to take for granted thing.  Eleven games against the Central and only ten points out of a possible 22?  A sweep in the far west for the first time, what, ever?  Blanked by Chicago?  Can’t sell out the Joe?  Hasek in the tank and Osgood on fire?  And then, finally, this…
Khan(!)

“Tonight—and I never, ever say this—was the first time in a long, long time we didn’t have enough people ready to play and ready to compete. That’s unacceptable and that’s not Red Wing-like.’‘

It’s rare that Uncle Mike calls his buddies out in public.  Unprecedented really.  But there it is, and, yep, it’s deserved.  What was a cute little aside—this temporary difficulty with our little Central sisters—has become an issue.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Pens Need To Make A Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

There is no aspect of the Penguins’ performance to date with which management should be particularly pleased.

Consequently, aside from the nucleus of players who are either elite young talents or have the potential to be there should be no untouchables when Shero is discussing potential trades.

That doesn’t mean a roster-wide purge is in order but sticking with the status quo will become more of a high-risk strategy with every point the Penguins surrender if they don’t start to string together some victories.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pittsburgh+penguins

Always The Uncertainty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,

This shameless cheering from the media stems from a story our U.S. college correspondent Andy Baggot wrote for The Hockey News in January, 2005. Dowell was in his sophomore season with the University of Wisconsin Badgers and was having to come to grips with devastating news that affected his father, his family and his future.

Jake’s father John, a former small college offensive linesman and a fitness buff, was diagnosed in 2003 with Huntington’s disease, an incurable genetic brain disorder that leads to a steady regression in mental and physical capabilities….

If that grim news wasn’t enough to deal with, Jake was confronted with another terrible reality. Children of a person with the disease have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks

Oilers Need An On-Ice Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean McCormick of Sportsnet,

But this young, impressionable Oiler ship needs a rudder right now, and Moreau’s leg is still in a cast. His return is still weeks, if not months away, and it’s time the Oilers considered appointing a deserving veteran to the post of interim team captain. That veteran is Shawn Horcoff, who, in all likelihood was the second best candidate for the job when the vacant C went to Moreau at the conclusion of training camp.

The concept of an interim captain is not unheard of around the NHL, nor is it unheard of on the Edmonton Oilers, who are lacking many things right now, not the least of which is a healthy leader in chief.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, shawn+horcoff

Hockey Or Football

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,

I can’t choose between the NFL and NHL.

I know you’re thinking that any sports fan would never be pressured to decide. Honestly, I thought it was a non-issue as well, until I had to deal with the Denver Broncos and Senators playing simultaneously on Monday night. The two teams I follow the most with respective opponents of their own (Tennessee and Montreal), yet I was forced to pit them against each other—eyeglasses perched on the tip of my nose as I feebly attempted to magnify the television’s picture-in-picture

more

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nfl, nhl

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