Kukla's Korner

Top Pranksters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,

They remain little boys inside the hockey uniforms of grown-ups, not unlike playground gradeschoolers who get their jollies out of shoving a snowball down another kid’s pants.

Pranks and practical jokes have been a part of hockey forever, from house-leagues to NHL dressing rooms.

They can be craftily conceived and executed with skill:

Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame defenceman and then Calgary Flames assistant coach Guy Lapointe, the ruler-for-life in hockey’s Kingdom of Prankdom, was sitting in the sauna when he got wind of Flames trainer Brian Patafie coming his way with a bucket of ice water. So Lapointe beat Patafie to the punch, turning a hose from head to toe on his approaching fellow joker. Only then did he realize that Patafie’s pail was empty—and that the trainer was wearing Lapointe’s expensive new suit.


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

Rangers Should Be Sellers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers’ recent correction in which they have gone 8-1-3 since the Dec. 16 Garden defeat to the Islanders that prompted the twin two-game exiles of Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik presents a challenge for GM Glen Sather.

Because even though the Blueshirts seem to be a playoff caliber team in a conference overloaded with deficient squads, this run against a succession of terrible opponents should not and must not interfere with the real business at hand of constructing a Stanley Cup contender.

To that end, no matter the standings, no matter the “game with points streak,” no matter the revenue the Garden would stand to derive from a few playoff home dates, Sather has the responsibility to be a seller rather than a buyer as the trade deadline approaches.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Frustrated In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Our fans have to understand I’m as frustrated as they are,” said GM Brian Burke. “Way more so.”

If there’s change to come, it won’t be the coach. Ron Wilson’s job is “100 per cent safe,” said Burke.

Change is more likely to come in the form of call-ups – Tyler Bozak and Jay Rosehill at the top of the list – followed by trades.

“I’ve been moving heaven and earth on the trade front for some time, I would be more concerned if there were deals going down all around me. There aren’t,” said Burke. “We’ve looked at call-ups. No one at this point has kicked down the door to the point where we have to give them a recall. Bozak and Rosehill have been strong the last couple of games, so we’ll think about giving them a look.”

Fans of a team on a 2-6-2 slide are understandably frustrated, but have yet to entirely throw in the towel. One site, boycotttheleafs at ipetition.com, is urging fans to stay away from the Air Canada Centre, to send a message that fans are sick and tired of losing. As of Sunday, there were only 18 signatures.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sens Talk Amongst Themselves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

The Ottawa Senators are hoping that a little bit of talk will lead to some action. And more importantly, they are hoping it can lead them to a much-needed win.

Following a 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday night, the Senators held a players-only meeting in the dressing room at RBC Center. The meeting took only a few minutes, but the players insisted there was no tension inside the room. The message coming from several players was that now was the time to stick together, since the club is battling so much adversity.

“We’ve got to stay positive, we can’t start blaming each other. We’ve got to be honest with each other and realize we need to step it up,” netminder Pascal Leclaire said. “We’re not that far off.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Compete In Practice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

After about 15 minutes, Todd McLellan had players lined up against the sideboards, skating the kind of sprints that are euphemistically called conditioning drills. After that came some “compete” drills with more than a little physical contact as players battled for loose pucks in the corners.

Sort of what you might expect after a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, though as it turned out, those sprints off the sideboards were part of a different message the coaching staff was delivering.

“That,” Todd McLellan said afterward, “was due to lack of execution in practice.”

read on


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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If you’re a tough guy you should respect the honor code. There were people fighting around us and I was holding Verot. Then he told me: “Ok, we are done. No fighting”. I released his hand and in a second he punched me in the face. I didn’t see that coming and that’s why I fell down.”

-Jaromir Jagr on the brawl in the KHL yesterday.. More from Jagr at RussianHockeyfans.com.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr, khl

Do You Want The NHL To Expand Into Europe?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

Many in hockey believe there is a way for the NHL to escape the black hole dug by the ailing teams in the south. However, it would require decision making that was creative and bold.

  Here’s what the NHL would do. It would begin the process of expanding to Europe. And it would move quickly, because the Kontinental Hockey League is pushing ahead with its plans to establish a pan-European league. Once that happens, the door to Europe will close on the NHL.

  “It will be too late for the NHL very shortly,” a source with close ties to European hockey said this week.

  A pan-European league is likely to be announced in 12 to 24 months. The KHL’s billionaire founder Alexander Medvedev has hired a consultant in Sweden to advise him on expanding into Western Europe, and a recommendation has already been made.

  “The consultant has told Medvedev that the best way to expand hockey in Europe is not to conquer Europe but to bring partnerships together,” the source said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Star Game 2010

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

There is no NHL All Star Game in 2010 because the Olympic break already forces a compressed schedule and the NHL is opting to get rid of All Star Weekend to free up some time.  Nevertheless, we can pick teams for a hypothetical game.  I will assume that the same rules apply as in the actual All Star Games.  There is a fan ballot to select starters.  This will have to be “simulated”, in that I will have to guess who fan voters might have selected.  Probably my choices would not be accurate should there actually have been a vote because there will be ballot stuffing by some teams and likely undeserving players selected.  Nevertheless, I think I chose a reasonable group of three forwards, 2 defencemen and one goalie per conference who might have been selected as starters.  The rosters are then filled out to contain at least one player per team and have 12 forwards, 6 defencemen and three goalies per conference. 

Here are hypothetical All Star Game rosters, with hypothetical starters denoted by *:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

They Wouldn’t Even Think Of It, Would They?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Best we can tell, no truth to the increasing rumor that the Bruins are considering their own alternative “CH’’ logo, emblematic of Club Hub, solely for games in Montreal.

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

Around The Hockey World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• We all love Sid the Kid, but if you were voting for the top centre in the NHL today, wouldn’t it be Henrik Sedin or Jumbo Joe Thornton? Sedin has proven, to everybody, that he’s a stud. You can’t push him around. He’s a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate. He would be running away with the NHL scoring race if his brother, Daniel, hadn’t missed 18 games with that broken foot. How good is Henrik? Heading into Saturday’s game with the Calgary Flames, in the 52 games, Alex Burrows has been his linemate, he has 32 goals and 52 points.

• Can somebody tell me why the Chicago Blackhawks would screw up a good thing by bringing in Ilya Kovalchuk from the Atlanta Thrashers as a rental on the trade deadline day?...

• Rest assured, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson will be trading Filatov, probably at the entry draft in June, because he’s not going to have a kid dictate who he plays or how many minutes he plays. He’ll have no trouble moving the forward, for the top four D-man he needs.

more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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