Kukla's Korner

Jason Strudwick Brings More Than Play On Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Journal News,

...But if there is a reason the 6-foot-4 Strudwick finds himself on the team’s opening-night roster, it is because they do not have another player who so easily unites a dressing room.

It is an odd notion to think a player can crack a roster at the highest level of professional sports on the strength of his personality. But that may be the case with Strudwick, a tough, versatile player who others say has an inherent knack for bringing a team together.

“He knows how important it is to cross all boundaries, whether they’re geographic or ethnic or whatever,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said. “For Jason, it’s just so natural, and because of that people trust his judgment and they like him a lot. They feel regardless of what his participation might be on the ice, he serves a huge advantage everywhere else.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+strudwick, new+york+rangers

Mental Training

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

“My experience is that athletes spend so much time on the tactical, the technical and the physical, and they just assume that the mental aspect will take care of itself,” said sports psychologist Dr. John Dunn from the University of Alberta.

“Obviously, in my profession, we think that what we take care of is trainable. Part of my job is to teach them how to train.”...

Veteran Ethan Moreau, admittedly a traditionalist when it comes to most hockey matters, is a proponent of having a recruit like Dunn on board.

Ditto for Shawn Horcoff.

“I think it’s been something that’s been lacking—not just for my game but for our team,” Moreau said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: player+development

Oilers Depend On Youngsters To Step Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

“You need that in your organization,” said head coach Craig MacTavish. “For our long-term success, it’s important that one of those guys does it, almost immediately.”

Some of them have stepped up, with Sam Gagner, Kyle Brodziak and Robert Nilsson leading an impressive class, but scrimmages and pre-season tilts against watered-down opponents don’t always translate into season success.

Patrick Thoresen, for instance, looked brilliant early on last year but faded big time as the season wore on.

“You see it every year, players play well in camp and excel in the preseason and it remains to be seen how they play in the regular season, and further down the road, how they play 20 games into the regular season,” said Ethan Moreau. “It’s not to be negative ... but you don’t know, you can’t tell until you have stiffer competition.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oilers, prospects

Pens Look At Crosby For PK

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Though just 20, he has been hockey’s top ambassador for some time. He was the NHL’s scoring champion and MVP last season and was named the Penguins’ team captain in the offseason.

Now he could add the final facet to his on-ice role. Already the Penguins’ top-line center, quarterback of the power play and top-three shootout participant, Crosby will be given a chance earn a spot killing penalties.

“We need to try to add more people,” Therrien said. “There’s [Jarkko] Ruutu, who has a little bit of experience with the way we play. And we’re talking about a Crosby. We’re talking about [an Evgeni] Malkin. We’re talking about [an Erik] Christensen.”

more

 

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

Howe In Dispute With Neighbor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

Hockey legend Gordie Howe says he’s being checked by his neighbors—17,000 times a day—and he’s tired of it.

Howe, who has been the subject of a residential association dispute for more than a year, this week won a temporary restraining order barring the neighbor from spying on his home with a surveillance camera.

continued... just give the guy a shot to the ribs, Gordie!

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

There’s Always Hope For Winnipeg

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Winnipeg Sun,

In a week where possible future expansion was discussed briefly at the NHL board of governors meetings in Chicago, the subject of Winnipeg’s potential return to the loop provided the usual responses.

“If there’s an opportunity and an opening, I’m sure the NHL would definitely look at it,” said Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky. “We realize and know this is a good hockey area, a great hockey city and a good sports town. It’s a beautiful facility here, a great complex.”

“There’s always going to be that hope for hockey in Canada,” added Coyotes captain Shane Doan. “It’s our sport and what we’re so proud of. It’s something we’ve got to make sure is always there

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phoenix+coyotes

Just Dabbling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

In 15 years of watching the Bettman administration at work, the hockey world has learned that these fellows love to dabble.

They’ve dabbled in an unbalanced schedule, but now appear set to change back. They’ve dabbled in third jerseys and uniform “systems” and streamlining goalie equipment. They’ve dabbled in glowing TV pucks and neutral-site games and regular-season contests in Europe, not to mention the World Cup and the Winter Olympics, never fully committing to any of them….

Oh yes, and they’ve dabbled, curiously, in playing their games outdoors….

That the NHL will try to make this happen in a lakeside city that offers a winter climate that’s both unpredictable and often violently inhospitable is one interesting part of the equation.

That it’s willing to essentially undermine the competitive legitimacy of its own product by permitting such a novelty event to go forward is another.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Avery Expects The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Post,

If Avery can be the spark, the Rangers have the potential to light a fire that will burn bright through the NHL.

“We’re gonna win a lot of games. We’re gonna be a very difficult team to beat on a nightly basis and we’re gonna win the Stanley Cup as far as I’m concerned,” Avery said. “I think that, and I feel that right now this team is ready to make a 10-month commitment with each other and it’s gonna be something that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+rangers, sean+avery

Jonathan Toews Out With Broken Finger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Rookie center Jonathan Toews, Chicago’s first-round pick in last year’s draft, broke his right index finger Wednesday night during the Blackhawks’ 4-3 preseason loss to Columbus and is expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, jonathan+toews, prospects

Goalie Competition In Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The goalie competition shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. In crucial games down the stretch last season against the Rangers, Hurricanes and Maple Leafs, Hartley turned to the veteran Hedberg, a departure from the first half of the season.

Who could forget the goalie rotation in the playoffs? Lehtonen started in goal for Games 1 and 3 against the Rangers, while Hedberg played in Games 2 and 4. It was 50-50, and despite a long summer, it doesn’t look like much has changed.

“I will not put numbers out there because there are no numbers,” Hartley said. “Their performances will dictate their playing time, and I think this is a very healthy situation.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, goalies

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