Kukla's Korner

Is Everybody Shopping?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Slow day in the hockey world today whixh gave me about two hours to do some Christmas shopping.

I do about 90% of my shopping online and now I remember why, the malls are crazy this time of year.

I am glad to be back home and looking forward to the games tonight.

See the schedule below…

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Filed in: KK Website Business, NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Most Improved Player

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I think it is clear that the most improved player in the NHL is Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings.  Doughty, the second year defenceman is among the Norris Trophy favorites.  He has 24 points, which places him fourth among defencemen and leads the Kings defence with a +10 +/- rating.  Doughty’s 24 points have almost matched his 27 point output in his rookie season.  That was a rookie season where he remarkably led the LA Kings in ice time, as an 18 and 19 year old.  It was a season where he finished fifth (as the top defenceman) in the Calder Trophy voting. 

Doughty has jumped from being the workhorse on a defence with no stars to being one of the best defencemen in the game this season.  He has inserted his name as a likely member of the Canadian Olympic Team.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Where’s The Offense?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

You thought the Hawks caught a break when Sabres coach Lindy Ruff decided to rest Ryan Miller and start Lalime with his 4.54 goals-against average and .836 save percentage. But the Hawks are in such a funk offensively that it didn’t matter.

The Hawks lost 2-1 a game they should have won. That’s 10 goals scored in the last seven games.

“That’s a team that’s beatable, in my opinion, and we just didn’t play well enough coming in here,” Jonathan Toews said….

I’m still willing to give Marian Hossa the benefit of the doubt, but are the Hawks paying him $7.5 million this season to cycle pucks? Hossa’s not going to score 30 goals from along the boards.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’m never embarrassed of my teammates, because they’re all great guys who play hard, but, the effort we put in that last period. ... I hate the word embarrassing, but it’s more of a disappointment, or if there is a worse word than disappointment, that’s what we’re feeling right now.

“We sit back and let a team skate all over us and make plays all around us while we watch (in the third period). They pretty much walked in the front door and took the two points off our kitchen counter and walked out, and we just sat at the kitchen table and watched them.”

-David Backes of the St. Louis Blues after they blew a 3-0 lead to Edmonton.  More on the game from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ron Wilson Would Probably Like A Few Players Like Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Alexander Ovechkin, who leads the Caps into the Air Canada Centre tonight, has been coming under fire recently for his at-times careless play—an approach that found the talented Russian suspended for two games last week when he hit Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Tim Gleason knee-on-knee. Wilson, however, loves Ovechkin’s style.

“He plays hard and reckless,” the coach said. “He has done a few things. He slew-foots people, stuck his knee out on a bunch of people, so there is a body of evidence that indicates he does play reckless. But that is what makes him a great hockey player.

“He is fearless. I think it’s great he plays the game hard at both ends. He is physical and he is incredibly gifted offensively. I would say he is easily the most dominant player in our game.”

read on

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

Staying In Arizona

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Ice Edge, headed by a couple of Canadian businessmen, has always said it wants to keep the team where it is, but also wanted to hedge its bets by playing a few games in a hockey-mad Canadian market. Last summer, the group secured five dates at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon for specific games this season, dates that obviously won’t be required.

That curious plan, which would need the approval of the NHL, is apparently still part of Ice Edge’s vision. Saskatoon, which is hosting the IIHF world junior hockey championships later this month, almost landed the Blues in 1983 until the NHL blocked the sale from Ralston-Purina to a group headed by Wild Bill Hunter.

Wouldn’t that be strange indeed if a sale blocked by the NHL back then denied a team for Saskatoon, but a sale of the Coyotes this year to Jim Balsillie that was blocked by the NHL ultimately brings NHL hockey to the province?

Given that Ice Edge originally bid $150 million (all figures U.S.) for the Coyotes and the NHL bought the team out of bankruptcy for $140 million, it’s pretty clear where the final sale price is going to end


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“With the results from the first 30 games and now that we have a healthy lineup, that’s not going to be tolerated,.

“If you take good players out of the lineup you are going to struggle to succeed… (But) it’s not easier to stomach because there were games that I thought we should have won because we didn’t have consistent effort even with the lineup we had.”

-Canucks GM Mike Gillis.  More from Jim Jamieson at The White Towel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

They would move him in a Hollywood minute.

-Barry Melrose when asked if Tampa would trade Vinny Lecavalier.

Watch below as Melrose and E.J, Hradek discuss Vinny along with other players who may be moved this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Head Shots Have To Stop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Allemang of the Globe and Mail,

If sport has its origins in combat, if hockey is just a commercialized version of war with better sightlines, then, yes, maybe brain damage is an essential component of our national game.

How else to explain the cult of the concussion that prevails in the National Hockey League? Brutality-loving general managers rule the professional game, and they have consistently refused to banish the head shots that compromise players’ lives and livelihood. In the NHL, where celebrated players such as Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine and Keith Primeau have had their careers cut short by attacks to the head, it’s still considered acceptable, even desirable, to drive your body armour into an opponent’s skull at high speed in order to hasten his postretirement dementia. Big, hard hits are praised for creating “momentum,” hockey’s proud euphemism for the energy boost that comes from watching a fast-skating opponent knocked senseless by a blow to the head.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Once We Had An Easy Ride And Always Felt The Same…But The Live Blogs Were Boring

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Boring, though, is pretty damn good in retrospect, eh? 

Diver Down, as we’ve discussed, is my favorite Van Halen album.  Maybe, with all due credit to Skynyrd’s Second Helping, my favorite of All Time. 

So with baby Jesus playing horrible jokes on us all?

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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