Kukla's Korner

Recovering From Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

“It stinks to tell you the truth,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who had shoulder surgery in April. “It hurts, it slows you down, it just makes your whole summer seem a whole lot longer. The thing is you hope when you fight through it, you’ll be better for all of the work.”

In addition to Daley’s surgery, Stephane Robidas had surgery on both his shoulder and his hip and Brad Richards had surgery on his hip. The surgeries were to repair wear and tear that had caused inflammation and slippage in the joints. All three players played with the pain last season, and played pretty well. Richards logged 80 games and tied his career best of 91 points. Robidas played all 82 games and set a career best of 41 points. And Daley played in 77 games and had 22 points.

“If you stay on top of it and monitor it and get the rest, you can play through it,” said Richards. “But, at the end of the day, you’re better off if you don’t have to do that. If you can skate pain-free, well that’s one less thing to worry about.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Next Great Goaltender In Philadelphia May Be Sergei Bobrovsky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The statistics are far from surprising.

Last month, in a survey conducted on Philly.com, 75 percent of Flyers fans listed goaltending as their biggest area of concern for the upcoming season - not the forwards, defense, or even the usual suspects like management and coaching.

Flyers fans have been clamoring for a goaltender since, well, Ron Hextall. Or even Pelle Lindbergh, who tragically passed away almost 25 years ago.

Sergei Bobrovsky, a 22-year-old Russian, is poised to be the next big name.

“Could Bobrovsky make this team out of training camp? Without a doubt,” one Flyers team source told the Daily News. “He has a lot of work to do. But I can guarantee he will be competitive.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+bobrovsky

Are The Rangers Good Enough?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

At the moment, the Rangers seem to be a collection of interchangeable second- and third-tier parts, nearly all of whom are coming off bad seasons. Nearly every addition, from free agent Alexander Frolov to trade acquisitions Steve Eminger and Todd White to tryout invitees Ruslan Fedotenko and Garnet Exelby, is at a career nadir.

This means that each one has something to prove, but with important Rangers incumbents—such as Chris Drury, Sean Avery and Michal Rozsival—seeking to re-establish themselves as impact players, it’s far better to have fewer question marks and more declarative punctuation to the organization.

But that’s not reality. It’s one thing to have interchangeable parts if the names attached are Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin or Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov, quite another if you’re citing Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen and Todd White.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Carey Price Ready For The #1 Tag

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

The lows gnawed at the goalie during an ugly playoff sweep two seasons ago and again during his uneven results last year.

“It’s a tough town to grow up in,” Price said needlessly of Montreal. “You’re going to grow up real quick. If you don’t, you’re out. Lows are a part of sports. Hopefully, they don’t last long. You just have to work harder and not pout.

“Any goalie who tells you he’s not felt (times of despair) is lying. You go through periods when you feel helpless. But you get over it. This is better than working out in the bush ... it’s one of the greatest jobs on Earth. We’re very fortunate people to be able to do what we do. ...

“They say you can’t buy experience, and that’s true. In three years, I’ve pretty much seen everything the NHL could dish at me. That’s going to help me in the next few years.”

Famously impatient Canadiens fans won’t merely hope for Price to play well from Game 1, they’ll demand that he does.


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

Training Camp Starts And Ron Wilson Is On The Clock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Wilson likes his team and now has to find his footing. He’s on the clock. More than any one of his players, this is a season in which he has to demonstrate he can make a difference.

He knows it. It’s why you’re going to see the Leafs get down to under 30 players from 68 quickly, and why the final four exhibition games will feature more veterans than the first five.

Wilson has had five months to doodle lineups on his ever-present iPad — when he’s not using it to play tic-tac-toe with his grand-daughter — and imagine how to use the players he now has at his disposal.

It was his influence that led to Dion Phaneuf becoming captain. They don’t know each other perfectly yet, but Wilson likes Phaneuf’s positive exuberance and rapid-fire verbosity, an outgoing demeanor completely at odds with that which Phaneuf presents to the media and public.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

Top 20 Players By Goals Versus Threshold

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Recently I have written several sabermetrics and hockey posts about Tom Awad’s goals versus threshold system.  I have explained the offensive, defensive goaltending and shootout portions of the system.  I have also listed the top players in each of these portions of the system and discussed some of the more sabermetrically interesting player cases.

Although not mentioned in Tom Awad’s writings on the puck prospectus system, when the results are tabulated by Gabe Desjardins at behind the net, he includes a defensive portion for goalies which I reject.

Here are the top 20 players in 2009/10 by goals versus threshold neglecting goaltenders defensive portions.  It is merely the sume of the totals from the earlier described portions:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Ovechkin Discusses A Few Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

“I feel the same way [as he did a year ago],” Ovechkin said, “but it’s four years until Sochi. Let’s wait and let’s don’t think about it right now. You never know what’s going to happen. Right now, they say one thing. After four years, [maybe] they’re going to say different thing. Let’s just wait and see.”

Fair enough. Ovechkin has been around long enough that he’s learning to use all the key hockey clichés. The Caps, according to their captain, will be working harder this year, and trying to play better defence without undermining their go-for-broke offensive style, which is what turned Washington into that most unlikely of hockey towns.

“When you lose, you have to forget the bad things and remember the good things,” Ovechkin pronounced. “When you lose, it’s always bad, but that’s life. This year, I hope we’re going to play better playoff hockey.

“We have to realize it’s time to move forward.”


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

Report- Patrick O’Sullivan Close To Signing With Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bob McKenzie tweet,

UFA winger Patrick O’Sullivan is on verge of signing one year, two-way contract with Carolina Hurricanes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+o'sullivan

2010 European Trophy Championships

Blog: KK Hockey By Phil Davies

The hockey season is here again!

Free agent signings are almost complete, as NHL teams finalize their rosters for training camp. The rookie training camps are currently underway, with players such as Taylor Hall and Nazem Khadri lighting it up for their respective teams, curious fans and diligent poolies who are looking for a jump on their competition. Hockey is also in full swing in Europe, where Germany’s DEL league team; Eisbaren Berlin, upset some rival powerhouse European clubs to win the inaugural European Trophy Championship. Previously called the Nordic Trophy (featuring teams from Sweden and Finland only), the eighteen team tournament has been expanded to include other European domestic leagues, with Russia’s KHL being the notable exception. The breakdown of teams by country is as follows:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Look At George McPhee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post,

“He has the respect of his peers, there’s no question,” said New Jersey Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello, one of McPhee’s mentors.

There is also a complexity to McPhee that goes beyond having a job and doing it well. He has deep roots in his sport, a passion that belies his normally staid countenance: clenched jaw, uneasy smiles, all-business-all-the-time attitude. In his 52 years, McPhee has been a scorer, a student, a brawler, a builder. He might be tight as a sailor’s knot on game nights now, but only because he knows that once the puck drops he can no longer affect the outcome.

That tension has only increased this year. The Capitals had the best regular season record in the NHL last season, only to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs. With the team again among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the pressure on McPhee and the team he has assembled to deliver a championship is enormous.

How McPhee got to this point is a product not only of who he is, but of how he got there, a series of hockey experiences that might have broken other men.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+mcphee

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