Kukla's Korner

Huge Audience Watched WJC In Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

How big is the world junior hockey championship?

  Let’s start with the gold medal game on Tuesday outdrawing the 2009 Grey Cup, which set an audience record of its own.

  And let’s add that the Canada-U.S. showdown ranks as the most watched telecast of any kind in Canada since 2005.

  The TSN audience is also the sixth largest for a Canadian telecast dating back to 1994.


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

Who To Blame In Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Tiller of Ice Man at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Personally, I put far more of the blame for the current predicament the Thrashers are in on the players than he or the current coaching staff. You can disagree with me if you wish…but I’ve seen what his system can do when players are where they are supposed to be and doing the things they are supposed to do. So, I’m not ready to give up on the good coach at this time.

However, if…IF…IF the Atlanta Spirit gang actually does decide that “enough is enough” and move to make a change, then they need to decide that simply changing just the coach… again… is not “enough”. They need to also give careful consideration to the notion that the man who has hired the first three head coaches in the franchise’s history should not be given the opportunity to hire the fourth.

In short, if a firing of any kind is in order here, this time it simply has to be Don Waddell that is shown the door…whether or whether not the coach is on his way out as well.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stand By For Heavy Rolls: It’s Howard Tomorrow In LA

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We’ve heard Chris Osgood express some dissatisfaction recently.  The best playoff goalie in hockey the last two years is none too pleased to be wearing a ballcap.  Well…if he was pissed before?


Coach Mike Babcock said Jimmy Howard will start in net—it will be his seventh consecutive start—because he’s playing well.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

No Worries With Sharks Sending Eight Players To The Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

...Joe Pavelski (USA), Joe Thornton (Canada), Patrick Marleau (Canada), Dany Heatley (Canada), Douglas Murray (Sweden), Thomas Greiss (Germany), Evgeni Nabokov (Russia) and Dan Boyle (Canada) represent the Sharks’ Olympic crew.

The question, of course, is whether a Stanley Cup contender like the Sharks wants to have that many core players at the Olympics, given the possible wear and tear, or even injury. But the answer from the Sharks’ organization is unequivocally, yes, it’s very much worth it.

“The positives far outweigh the negatives,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told ESPN.com this week.

The debate is an interesting one, and you get different answers from different people around the game. It’s been a conversation largely triggered by the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings, a powerhouse team that was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by underdog Edmonton. Looking back, many people wondered if having their Swedish contingent win it all at the 2006 Torino Games in any way wore them out in the second half. Wings GM Ken Holland still doesn’t buy it.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kovalchuk Should Give Atlanta A Home Team Discount

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Milbury at CBC,

Gifted indeed. Is he worth the dough? Maybe. Probably not. Definitely not. Most definitely not. That’s my answer and I am sticking with it.

Atlanta has made the playoffs once while Kovalchuk has been with the team. He gets his goals and what else? He backchecks occasionally? Oh, thank you.

Reports are that Kovalchuk has been offered about $10 million US per season for about the rest of his playing life and he still can’t accept. OK ... fair enough. He likes Atlanta but not the Thrashers’ chances of success and he has the right to go free agent. No problem, but can’t he give some relief to the franchise that has been more than fair to him for about a decade?

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Fanhouse Moves Base Of Operations To The Vatican

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Not sure who Greg Couch is.  Oh, I’m sure he’s probably a famous literary giant in sportswriting circles.  According to his bio he’s won a couple things.  Good for him.  What his bio doesn’t say is that he’s pristine. He is absolutely frigging perfect and he’s never done a single thing anyone could possibly point to as immoral, unethical, illegal or just plain naughty.  Chris Chelios?  Now that’s a different story, according to Fanhouse’s papal correspondent.

It’s amazing how fast a story can change. Just 48 days ago, Chris Chelios was an inspiration. Today, he’s pathetic.


Whew…seriously?  Frankly, I’m surprised—considering the crowd we’ve seen Chelios run with—that this is the first alcohol related incident we’ve heard of.  But…“pathetic”? 

Oh, there’s more.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Jagr Looking Forward To Playing On Small Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from RussiaToday,

After almost two decades in the NHL and a couple of seasons in Russia, Jaromir Jagr is fast approaching his final appearance for the Czech Republic just over a month from now at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Jagr will be one of the most experienced members of the squad, led by the legendary player and Olympic champion Vladimir Ruzicka.

He was actually Jagr’s teammate when the Czech Republic won their only Olympic gold at the Nagano games in 1998.

While Jagr’s mind is now on the Continental Hockey League, the upcoming Winter Olympics promise to become something special for the Czech.

continue for a video of Jagr talking abou the KHL and the upcoming Olympics…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr, winter+olympics

Watching Hitchcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The problem, when a coaching death watch begins, is that they often become self-fulfilling. The players start to hear rumblings about a possible change and it creeps into their collective psyche. They wonder about its implications, good and bad, for them as individuals. They stop playing on instinct; hesitation sets in.

Pretty soon, everybody is standing around, waiting for the other shoe to drop – and the frustrated general manager is there, watching the whole thing unfold, ready to tear out his hair because he doesn’t want to make a coaching change, but knows he may have to.

That, in a nutshell, is pretty much where the Columbus Blue Jackets stand at this moment, on the heels of a 7-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night, the first of three games in Western Canada that continues Thursday night in Edmonton.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Note To Ozzie: Time’s Running Out

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Pat Caputo is a remarkable man, a genius even.  Why? Because he agrees with me.

The Red Wings don’t have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to breaking Chris Osgood back into the lineup. That’s the difference from last season when the Red Wings were comfortably into the playoffs and could afford to give Osgood time to get his feet back underneath himself. Not this year. Every game counts. If Jimmy Howard gives the Red Wings a better chance to win, they must play him - period.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Capitals Extend Sloan & Steckel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed Tyler Sloan to a two-year contract extension and David Steckel to a three-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sloan, 28, is in his 10th professional season and second NHL campaign in 2009-10. A 6’4”, 204-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, Sloan has averaged 12:43 of ice time in 22 games. He has played both as a forward and a defenseman for the Capitals this season and registered four points (two goals, two assists).

Sloan was signed by the Capitals as a free agent on July 2, 2008, and made his NHL debut on Oct. 21, 2008, in his hometown of Calgary. He scored his first NHL goal on Oct. 25, 2008 in a 6-5 overtime victory at Dallas.

Steckel, 27, is in his sixth professional season and third full NHL campaign this year. A 6’5”, 217-pound native of West Bend, Wisc., Steckel leads the NHL with a 61.9% faceoff percentage. He also all Caps players in time on ice on the penalty kill (124:14) and is ninth among NHL forwards in that category. He has registered five points (two goals, three assists) on the season

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+steckel, tyler+sloan

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