Kukla's Korner

Forget Stevie, It Is Now Mr. Yzerman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Johnson of the Wall Street Journal,

The host nation this year is under intense pressure to win gold. Canada invented the modern game of ice hockey, and people there feel they ought to win. Check out a Canadian newspaper or Web site these days, and it’s almost impossible to miss the discussion, or the immense pressure on Mr. Yzerman, the executive director of Team Canada. The media regularly track the players who are up and down this season, speculating whether it will influence Mr. Yzerman. Web sites have offered votes on who should be the starting goaltender, and podcasts are devoted to hashing and rehashing the possibilities.

“I don’t know if it’s pressure,” says Mr. Yzerman. “But a lot of people have a lot of opinions.”

The 44-year-old Mr. Yzerman retired in 2006 after 19 seasons as captain of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, helping to turn the club into a model of success. He was also a top scorer on Canada’s Olympic club in 2002, helping lead his country to its first gold medal in 50 years.

In such a talent-rich nation, Mr. Yzerman and his deputies have choices—almost too many. Does he go for the highest scoring players in hopes of outgunning opponents? Or does he take advantage of the fact that the series will be played in smaller North American rinks (as opposed to larger international-standard rinks) to fill his team with brawny players who can grind down opponents?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman, team+canada

Coyotes Adjusted Quickly To Tippett’s Coaching Philosophy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

Tippett, who did not join the team until a week before the season, said his players jumped on board quickly.

“They’ve been a real good group as far as buying in what we’re trying to do as a team,” he said. “Players finding their niche, finding their roles on our team, and everybody taking the responsibility to make sure they do it to the best of their ability.

“The simple things - we want to play well as a group; we recognize what kind of team we have; we’re going to play a strong defensive game to give ourselves a chance to win.”

Tippett has liked the way that many different players, with their “pack mentality” mind-set, have contributed.

“The one thing about our group, they’re have been different guys step up at different times and not that that they were playing bad before, but get hot,” he said.

more

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

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The best goals, saves and hits from the past week in the NHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Christmas Break Perfect For The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kerber of HockeyChats,

The NHL takes Christmas Eve and Christmas off.  Good for them.  Even that makes it difficult for most of the athletes to get home for Christmas but it better than nothing at all.  They can also do better by making sure each team is playing on the 23rd or 26th fairly close to home but let’s not be beggars here.

The importance and strength of family needs to remain the biggest foundation in our lives.  The health and growth of our children far outweighs the outcome of an NBA, NHL or NFL game just trying to capitalize on ratings.  Sure ratings are good. So what?  Ignore them and do what is right. Let the players spend that time with their families.  The NHL players prove it is effective and refreshing.  The time is greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

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

Will The Winter Classic Be A Throwback Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Neither team emphasizes rough stuff these days. The Bruins take the eighth-fewest penalties and while the Flyers lead the league, a coaching change earlier this month was made to enforce team discipline. The Flyers have been winning recently by taking half as many penalties as before.

“It’s going to be interesting what style they play on the 1st,” Johnson said. “The Flyers cast themselves in the Broad Street Bullies image when they acquired Chris Pronger, in the mold of the 1970s teams coached by Fred Shero. But you need Bernie Parent to pull that off. Parent isn’t walking out the door of that dressing room and Kate Smith won’t be singing.”

The Flyers roughed up Orr pretty good in 1974 and Johnson hasn’t forgotten it. He also credits the Bruins’ success in Boston for Philadelphia becoming one of the 1967 expansion teams.

“I didn’t like those Flyers teams and what they did to Orr was a shame, like taking a hammer to the Pieta,” he said. “Orr put food on the table of everyone in hockey. It’s competition, but do it clean and proper, not a mugging.

“It is interesting that they chose the Flyers. (Flyers chairman) Ed Snider saw the success and appeal of the Bruins. In that era, we had the Celtics winning championships and the Bruins usually failing to make the playoffs, but the Celtics averaged 8,000 fans and the Bruins sold out the 13,909-seat Garden every game.

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

BJ’s On Tap: Four Chiquitas From Omaha Just Landed And We’re Live Blogging Their Evening

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Oh yes we did.  A Grand Funk reference. 

Nothing could be better than heading into the New Year’s Eve festivities against the swishy Dive than riding a two-gamer courtesy of Ken’s Easy BJ’s.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Caps/Blue Jackets Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

per Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,

Washington has traded Milan Jurcina to Columbus. Details to follow.

update 3:50pm, via Elliotte Friedman’s Twitter,

Full trade is Clark and Jurcina for Chimera. Wow.

added 4:05pm, Washington Capitals press release of the trade is below…

added 4:17pm,

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Milan Jurcina and forward Chris Clark from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Jason Chimera, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.  The transaction is pending the completion of player physicals.

“We are pleased to add Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina to our hockey club.  Both are veteran players who we believe will contribute significantly to our team,” said Howson.  “We’d also like to thank Jason Chimera for his contributions to the Blue Jackets organization both on and off the ice over the past four-plus seasons.”

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+clark, jason+chimera, milan+jurcina

Taking Herm To Two Nations, Hell Maybe More Than That

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Mick Kern from XM’s NHL Home Ice told me on the phone today he’s considering adopting Herm and taking him on a two-country tour of every NHL arena in North America.

No he didn’t. That’s a lie. But he’s digging the “Herm to Hockeytown” thing. So we’re talking about it tomorrow on XM at 1120 EST.  Not a member?  Register for a free trial here and listen in.  Donate to the H2H cause and maybe Mick will adopt you too.

Meanwhile…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Crosby Selected As CP Athlete Of The Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

Sidney Crosby has always focused on carving out his own path. But his career is starting to resemble those of the great players who came before him.

The 22-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins captain was named The Canadian Press male athlete of the year Monday, joining an exclusive club by earning the recognition for a second time.

Only 12 hockey players have won the Lionel Conacher Award since it was established in 1932 and just six of those men have received it more than once. Crosby joins multiple-time winners Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Lilja Has ‘Sammy’s” Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja doesn’t blame Mikael Samuelsson, his best friend and former teammate, for ripping Swedish Olympic officials for excluding him from the team.

Samuelsson told Vancouver reporters: “Probably going to get in trouble for this, but they (Team Sweden officials) can go (expletive) themselves.’‘

Lilja liked his reaction.

“I think it’s kind of nice when someone says what they really think instead of saying, ‘OK, it was their decision, nothing I can do about it,’ ‘’ Lilja said. “Nice that people show emotions because he’s (ticked off). I don’t blame him.’’

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+sweden

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