Kukla's Korner

Ducks Need To Maintain Their Focus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

“It was Cup or bust last year. Every practice, everything we did, that was our focus,” defenseman Sean O’Donnell said.

“And this year we haven’t been able to… call it human nature, call it whatever you want to call it, we haven’t been able to get that focus for extended periods of time. We’ve done it at times. We’ve been really good sometimes and looked like our old team. More often than not we haven’t.”

more (may req. reg.) on the Ducks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, sean+o'donnell

Avs Returning To Power

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

Nobody with the Avalanche is getting self-satisfied right now, however. Not making the playoffs for the first time since 1994 still stings for many longtime personnel, and there are 65 more games needed to prove the Avs are playoff worthy this season.

But the Avs feel they have a solid foundation in place for another possible long succession of playoff runs. Not only do they have one of the brightest young stars in the league in Stastny, but youngsters such as Wolski, Liles, Peter Budaj and Marek Svatos already have had NHL success. Add veterans such as Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Andrew Brunette, Ian Laperriere and free-agent newcomers Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan, and the Avs again have one of the deepest teams in the league.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colorado+avalanche

Salo Will Return With A Visor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

He has a metal plate in his nose and another helping to hold together his cheekbone.

Soon, Sami Salo will be sporting a new facial feature—a visor….

“I want to protect my eyes,” Salo said before the Canucks met the Oilers at General Motors Place. “You can always fix noses and cheekbones, but you can’t fix your eyes. I don’t want to be in a vulnerable position if I don’t wear a visor and the puck hits my eye. I’m not worried about my face and nose.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sami+salo, vancouver+canucks, visors

No Change Needed For Red Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,

Hasek described his play after Tuesday’s loss in St. Louis as “not being able to get in the game.” He doesn’t see action for minutes, then lets in a quickie ... which is another way to say that he’s playing like a No. 2 goalie. Osgood plays behind the same tight defense and manages just fine.

Tuesday’s game was a good example of the difference between the two netminders. Hasek was pulled after allowing four goals, including two off big rebounds. Osgood came in and looked a lot sharper.

All of that said, it would seem obvious that the correct thing to do would be to make a change, to play Osgood more often and give the Red Wings a better chance to win.

But not doing anything right now would be better than doing something like making a change.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, detroit+red+wings, dominik+hasek, goalies

Not All About The Money For Alfredsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Daniel Alfredsson may very well be the best all-around player in the NHL, but in collecting a salary of $4.338 million (all terms US), he’ll be just the fourth- highest-paid Senator this season….

“I’m not going to renegotiate my deal,” said Alfredsson, who shrugs at not being the highest-paid player in his dressing room. “That’s the way it goes. There’s a lot of facts that go into it. I signed before the lockout and took a 24% cut right away. I was part of the process, to do that deal. Both me and Billy Guerin thought about it, we both had just signed long-term deals ... you’re going to lose a lot of money ... and that’s a big part of it. You put another 24% more on my contract and it’s not a bad deal at all.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, ottawa+senators

Fighting Rick Nash

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

What was Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock thinking when he saw his best player dropping the gloves with a notorious knucklehead?

“I hope he doesn’t hurt his hand,” Hitchcock said.

And what was Nash thinking?

“It’s part of the game,” Nash said. “He (Vandermeer) threw a couple of cheap shots during the game, a couple of cross-checks. We fought. No big deal. Boller (Jared Boll) and Shell (Jody Shelley) fight all the time.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, fighting, ken+hitchcock, rick+nash

Caps Need A Winning Streak

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Washington Post,

“There’s no question: There’s desperation now, even though it’s not even 20 games yet,” Kolzig said after yesterday’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “Any time you go on a winless streak that we’ve been on, you’ve got to turn the tables and do the exact opposite to get back into it. For the good teams, the losing streaks never outlast the winning streaks.

“The bottom line is we have to put a streak together.”

Of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs last season, only Ottawa had as few as 13 points after as many games. But the talented and deep Senators won nine of their next 11 games and earned a spot in the Stanley Cup finals.

more (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, olie+kolzig, washington+capitals

Hull On Hull

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

How would Brett Hull the GM have handled the outspoken, larger-than-life Brett Hull as a player. His answer, word for word:

“You know what? That was the problem. Everyone tried to deal with him (Brett, speaking in the third person) instead of just letting him go out and play - or letting him be himself. If there was a Brett Hull out there right now, I would try to get him - because I know, he’s passionate about the game and brings a dynamic into my room…”.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+hull, dallas+stars

How Bad Is It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

But the real-life Toronto NHL team has had more strange twists and turns this season than any Hollywood film — all before the 20-game mark, which the Leafs will hit when they visit the Boston Bruins tonight.

“My favourite movie is Shawshank Redemption,” Leafs forward Darcy Tucker said. “It’s a movie about an innocent man sent to prison. He has to crawl out, for the lack of a better [phrase], a tunnel of [expletive] in order to free himself. Maybe we have to go through something similar to become a better team.”

The strange but true happenings with the Leafs in the past six months are Harold Ballard-esque, and the eccentric former owner passed away more than 17 years ago.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+tucker, toronto+maple+leafs

No Suspension For Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

One day after getting back to the .500 mark with a thrilling shootout victory over rival Los Angeles, the Ducks continued to remain upbeat Wednesday with a double dose of good news.

First, the Ducks received word that Chris Pronger’s suspension from an instigating call against the Kings was rescinded by the NHL. Then, the team’s lone injured player, Todd Bertuzzi (concussion), returned to practice and participated in non-contact drills for over 30 minutes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chris+pronger

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