Kukla's Korner

Your Average Flyers Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

Having marked the end of the season’s first half with a sloppy 7-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Flyers find themselves with a .500 record.

The difference is that 22 other NHL teams have been better, leaving the Flyers—once projected as a Stanley Cup contender—bobbing with a 19-19-3 record, last in the Atlantic Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference and 23rd in the NHL.

The Flyers are just as ordinary at home, where they are 9-9-2, as they are on the road, where they are 10-10-1.

And they haven’t been any better under coach Peter Laviolette (6-8-2) than they were under coach John Stevens (13-11-1).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s All About Luongo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Brough of Orland Kurtenblog,

The Vancouver Canucks passed the halfway point of the schedule with Saturday’s 3-1 victory in Dallas. With 40 games to go, this week’s list features our keys to the rest of the regular season.

Roberto Luongo

In October, Luongo’s save percentage was .902 and the Canucks went 7-7-0.

In December, Luongo’s save percentage was .932 and the Canucks went 10-4-1.

This is called a correlation.

Still, there remains a sense that Luongo hasn’t been the winning factor enough. Vancouver is just 12-13-1 in games decided by two goals or fewer and 13-3-0 in those decided by three or more. Naturally, goaltending comes under closer scrutiny in tight affairs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Commodore Pulls Himself Out Of The Lineup, Even Though He Wasn’t In It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock won’t get the chance to scratch Mike Commodore for tonight’s game.

The club’s highest-paid defenseman has told the coaching staff he won’t play until he feels “100 percent.”

It’s yet another twist in Commodore’s bizarre season, one filled with injury, poor play and conditioning issues.

On Sunday, he notified Hitchcock of his intent on the team’s flight to Vancouver. The coach had benched Commodore for the past three games but was thinking of playing him tonight, pending a meeting with the player and several assistants, including strength coach Barry Brennan.

“The whole year has been a disaster, but I’m looking to move forward,” Commodore said. “Unless I have to, I’m not playing until I’m ready, until I’m 100 percent. When is that going to be? I don’t know. I thought it was going to be a month ago.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+commodore

“The Gretzky Effect”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It’s become fashionable for Canadians to suggest hockey has failed as a sport in the southern United States.

The pathetic plight of the Phoenix Coyotes, on top of the troubles experienced by teams in Florida, Atlanta and Nashville, have made it easy to make that argument.

Problem is, it’s only partially correct. The sport itself, you see, has deeper roots in those regions than ever.

When Canada takes on the U.S. in Tuesday night’s much anticipated gold medal game at the 2010 world junior hockey championship, there will be evidence on both teams that areas once regarded as non-hockey territories are now producing world-class players.

You’ll be witnessing, to some degree, the Gretzky Effect.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa, wjc

Julien Questions Effort Of Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The NHL season half over, coach Claude Julien sounded like a man who views his team’s effort as only half full - and even less satisfying. Last season’s Jack Adams Award winner as the NHL’s coach of the year sounded fed up.

“We can’t think we are going to win hockey games playing the way we are,’’ Julien said after last night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in which the Bruins performed listlessly for more than two periods. “We are just showing up for a period, half a period, whatever, and get ourselves back in the game, get excited. We didn’t even deserve a point tonight. We didn’t get it. We didn’t deserve it.’’...

Julien wants the alleged leaders in the room to do some leading.

“Right now you have to coach, you have to be a cheerleader, you’ve got to wake ’em up . . . you’ve got to do too many things that a coach shouldn’t have to do at this level,’’ he said. “These are professionals and they have to take ownership of their room at some point.’’

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Patrice Bergeron Injures Hand In Loss To Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron left the game after being hit near the right wrist by a teammate’s slapshot early in the second period.

‘‘Patrice won’t travel to Ottawa with the team,’’ according to the team. ‘‘He is returning to Boston to be evaluated by our medical staff.’‘

more on the Bruins loss to the Rangers tonight…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+bergeron

Big Names Needed To Draw Casual Hockey Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

So, a quick post on the disappointing NBC rating for the New Year’s day Winter Classic. The overnight rating of 2.6 was down 10.3 percent from 2.9 a year ago. (A rating is the percentage of potential U.S. households tuned in.)...

The problem is, if you’re NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and desperate to be the person responsible for growing the NHL game in the United States, a close, well played game appeals only to hockey’s core audience. The casual fans couldn’t have cared less. Bring on the snow, and, hey, where are Alex and Sid? There were no big names in this game, which is to say Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby weren’t there.

  But let’s not get too serious about the Winter Classic. It’s a gimmick, a novelty that earns some extra money for the clubs, and, in a perfect world, would kick-start NBC’s NHL coverage.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Kovalchuk To Chicago- Not That Easy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Kovalchuk wants a lot of money, like $9 million or $10 million a year, and it’s hard to believe the Thrashers wouldn’t give him what he wants. Isn’t that a no-brainer, given the state of hockey in Atlanta? If Kovalchuk goes maybe the team does too.

Face it, the Hawks are going to be mentioned in every trade rumor from now well into until next summer because of their salary cap problems, so it’s easy for an exec to speculate he wouldn’t be surprised if the Hawks get involved in the Kovalchuk stuff once there is something to get involved with.

The Hawks do have a lot of assets, but how many of them would it take to get an elite player such as Kovalchuk?  I’m thinking possibly two top-nine forwards, a defenseman and maybe a high draft pick or two. That’s a lot to give up for a guy who might be just a rental.

more

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

Why Even Have A Deadline For Olympic Rosters?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

If NHL players continue to participate in the Olympics at the 2014 Sochi Games, here’s a suggestion. Scrap the deadline for announcing rosters given the inability of the International Ice Hockey Federation to govern even the simplest element of this process.

The idea of naming rosters early in the process allows member hockey federations, along with the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association, to market players and generate revenue and buzz for the tournament. But to do so, there needs to be some guidelines about what happens to those rosters once they’re announced and, more importantly, someone to enforce those guidelines.

more and other hockey topics too…

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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“This American team is coming in on a real high. They’ve got speed, they’ve got a lot of confidence. They’ve got a little bit of a thick skin that they built up,.  They want redemption, they want a chance to be able to get a lead on Canada this time and shut it down.

“This is going to be very interesting,” says McKenzie. “Because Canada is kind of wobbling into the gold medal game, and the Americans are flying.”

-Bob McKenzie of TSN on the WJC Gold Medal game tomorrow.  More on the game at TSN.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+usa, wjc

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