Kukla's Korner

Thrashers Face Tough Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking And Grinding,

Over the past three weeks the Atlanta Thrashers have the best record of the teams scrambling to grab a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    But a look at the schedule shows they still have the toughest road to earn a post-season bid.

    The Thrashers, 6-2-2 in their past 10, have their final five games against the top teams in the East. After tonight’s game vs. Washington, they are at Pittsburgh, home against New Jersey, at Washington and close with a home game vs. Pittsburgh.

    Those are murderer’s row opponents for a team that is ranked 26th in the NHL in goals against.

Atlanta is two points behind Montreal, but the Canadians have three of their final five games against teams not in the playoffs.

continued

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“There’s no room for panic.  We have to regroup. The quick fix is remembering how we got here, remembering how we’ve had success in the season. It’s true for every team — when you give turnovers in the middle of the ice when you’re forcing plays, that’s when you’re going to get into trouble. That’s where we need to be more patient.”

-Adam Foote of the Colorado Avalanche.  More on the Avs from Terry Frei of the Denver Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The NHL Sales Pitch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman painted a picture of hundreds of millions of dollars in new U.S. television revenue and an expansion fee for a second team in southern Ontario as part of his pitch to prospective team owners, including Jerry Reinsdorf, according to two sources.

In recent months, the commissioner has had a remarkable streak of success in finding new owners for ailing franchises, from Jeffrey Vinik (Tampa Bay Lightning) to Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel (Florida Panthers) to Reinsdorf, the Chicago White Sox owner who has been enticed to at least take a second look at buying the Phoenix Coyotes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Co-Chairmen Of Frozen Four Have Ice In Their Blood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joanne C. Gerstner of the New York Times,

Since birth, William Clay Ford Jr. and Christopher Ilitch have been judged by their last names and their families’ businesses. It comes with being the great-grandson of Henry Ford and, for Ilitch, being the son of the founder of Little Caesars Pizza.

As children, they both found an escape from the pressure of their famous names on a hockey rink. Skates laced tight, a stick in their hands, they could blend in on a hockey team. Years later, bearing responsibility for billions of dollars of business, they still do.

“Once you’re out on the ice, nobody cares about who you are or what you do,” said Ford, who is known as Bill. “It’s all washed away the moment the game begins, and I love that.”

continued

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: christopher+ilitch, william+clay+ford+jr.

No Panic In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Manny Almela of MontrealCanadiens.com,

Still in full control of their own destiny, the Habs are now facing five remaining games about as big as games can get at this time of year. As frustrating as a loss to the lowly Hurricanes is – especially at this crucial time of the season – the Canadiens know it’s not time to panic now.

“We were doing everything right and the results just weren’t coming,” shrugged Hal Gill. “Sometimes when you’re doing all the right things and it’s not working out, you start doing the wrong things because what you’re doing isn’t getting it done. I think we were guilty of that tonight. We know what we need to do the rest of the way to get this done.”

Chief among those is Carey Price, who delivered his second-straight solid outing without the results to show for it. Opponents hoping the young goalie’s confidence is shaken can think again.

“All I can do is play well,” said a defiant Price, looking nothing like a guy in need of a pep talk. “If I’m not rewarded on a night I play a strong game so be it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Flawed Team In Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times,

The goal is still there. After all this time, and after all this misery, it can still be reached.

Do not talk of the odds, and do not pay attention to the pressure, for you have seen the Lightning, and deep down you know it is capable of pulling this off. It has the goaltending for it, and the defense, and the right amount of depth on its scoring lines.

A break here or there and sure enough, the Lightning can claim last place in the Eastern Conference. Again.

Ah, the poor Lightning. Every day this team seems to get a little worse, and every game its flaws become more and more clear.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

that’s it, no teams wins a game allowing two goals in final minute of first two periods. andy (Craig Anderson) is a mess right now. Play Budaj

-Adrian Dater tweet..  Ducks up 3-1 on Avs at the end of 2.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Direction Of Stars May Decide Modano’s Decision To Play Or Not

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Mike Modano really doesn’t know what he wants to do about this retirement thing.

Rather, I think he thinks he doesn’t have all the information he needs yet.

Modano would probably love to play another year on a good team where he plays an important role (wouldn’t we all). He doesn’t want to play another year on a bad team where he is redundant. So which would it be with the Stars next season? It appears there are some decisions that need to be made before any kind of judgment can be made.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Demitra Back On The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

Pavol Demitra skated on his own Wednesday morning, but it was tough to find his stride with heavy legs and a heavy heart.

A day after test results revealed that his wife, Maria, is on the road to recovery after another medical scare, the exhausted Vancouver Canucks winger revealed what it was like to deal with that uncertainty while missing sleep and the last four NHL games.

“We had 911 on the speed dial and she was in the hospital a couple of times,” said Demitra. “Obviously when you have to call 911, you’re very scared.”

While Demitra wouldn’t provide ailment details, his wife was also hospitalized in early February with a reaction to a prescription that initially looked like she may have a heart problem.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavol+demitra

Report- Tomas Kaberle Has Had Enough Of Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The quiet war between Tomas Kaberle and Ron Wilson marches towards a likely divorce with the coach firing what may have been the final shots at the longest-serving of all Maple Leaf players….

The historically quiet and almost non-combative defenceman has told old friends he “can’t stand playing for Wilson” and much as he has loved playing for the Leafs and living in Toronto throughout his National Hockey League career, even through five straight seasons out of the playoffs, he is prepared to move on because he is unhappy with the manner in which Wilson coaches the Leafs and the lack of respect he shows for the players.

“He’s had enough,” a good friend said. “He’s at his wit’s end with the guy.”

read on

note: this link may change over the next few hours, if so, please leave a comment and I will try to track it down…

added 8:27pm, As noted, the link went bad.  If I run into later tonight or tomorrow morning, I will update.

added 10:29pm, Found a new link, hopefully it now works.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

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