Kukla's Korner

Is Team USA Underrated?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Whicker of Ducks Blog,

David McNab, the Ducks senior vice president of hockey operations, is a proud American who expects to be even prouder when they hand out the U.S. men’s hockey medals.

“I think the Americans are going to win,” McNab said. “And you can quote me on that.”


McNab points to (A) the capricious nature of the Olympic tournament and (B) his belief that the Americans are underrated.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Thomas Won’t Respond To Fictitious Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

Tim Thomas’ family has heard all of the trade rumors, and – worst of all – his family has heard the painfully fanciful whispers that he might be headed to the Chicago Blackhawks in some kind of hare-brained, pre-deadline deal.

Never mind the fact that Thomas has a full no-trade clause for the first three years of his four-year deal, or that the Blackhawks have no interest in making such a trade with the Bruins. Once the whisper campaign begins it can turn concrete enough that no amount of facts can get in the way of juicy rumor.

What Thomas would tell CSNNE.com is that he “won’t respond to something that’s completely fictitious” in potentially speaking about trade rumors


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+thomas

Should The Sabres Bench Their Captain?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

Lindy Ruff said after today’s practice that he has no intention of benching Craig Rivet. Ruff sat Rivet for a large stretch of Tuesday night’s shootout loss to the Bruins at HSBC Arena. Rivet played just 4:03 after the first period against Boston. This hardly comes as a surprise. Ruff is understandably sensitive about sitting out his captain. He was benched as captain of the Sabres by Ted Sator.

But if Rivet didn’t have the “C” on his jersey, he probably would have watched a game from the press box by now.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+rivet

Two Wings Still Hurting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee) will not play Thursday against San Jose. Forward Tomas Holmstrom (bone bruise in left knee) skated for about 40 minutes before leaving. He said he felt better than the day before, but still not that good. He will see how he feels after Thursday’s morning skate before determining whether he can play. But it appears doubtful.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Looks Like Chelios Will Beat The DUI Charge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Christy Gutkowski of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

NHL great Chris Chelios is expected to beat a drunken-driving arrest after a DuPage County judge ruled Wednesday police lacked probable cause to make the arrest.

The former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman - who now plays with the AHL’s Wolves - was arrested after a 4 a.m. Dec. 28 traffic stop while driving a black 2006 Ford F150 eastbound on Ogden Avenue near Blackhawk Drive.

Police accused Chelios, who was alone in the truck, of improper lane usage and speeding nearly 20 over the posted 35 mph limit. But after watching the 15-minute video in court, Judge Cary Pierce found there was insufficient evidence of impaired driving to merit the stop.

Defense attorney Terry Ekl said he will move to have the misdemeanor charge dropped. Outside of court, Chelios was not celebrating despite the win.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios

Talking Available Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN talk some veteran goaltenders,

Burnside:  When you throw Martin Biron into the mix (he is making $1.4 million this season), I wonder if moving Turco is going to be a difficult issue for Nieuwendyk. Assuming Lehtonen passes his physical in Dallas, what does he do with his three goaltenders? Alex Auld has a connection to coach Marc Crawford, and it costs the Stars less to have Turco around, that’s for sure. But if he can’t move him, will Nieuwendyk waive Turco? Send him to the minors?

Things could get ugly in Dallas in a hurry if there isn’t a taker for Turco. You wonder if they’ll send Turco down to the minors and hope someone claims him on re-entry waivers, which would mean the Stars would still be on the hook for half Turco’s salary. I know I’ve said this before, but I still wonder if Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi will jump in at the last minute on one of these veteran guys to provide a bit of a safety net for Jonathan Quick as the Kings are a virtual lock for the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Washington’s Winning Streak

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Washington Capitals have won their last 14 straight games.  This is getting close to the record longest winning streak of 17 games that was set by the 1992/93 Pittsburgh Penguins.  Like the Mario Lemieux Penguins, the Capitals are a high-powered offensive team led by the best player in the league (in Washington’s case Alexander Ovechkin).  Washington has several other players with significant scoring ability.  Eight Capitals have more than 30 points so far this year (Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison) and Eric Fehr is one point back of that mark with 29 points.

Washington has the highest scoring best puck moving defenceman in the game in Mike Green.  He is a significant part of their offensive machine and a significant omission from the Canadian Olympic Team. 

Washington’s perceived weakness is goaltending.  Jose Theodore is the number one goalie and has been solid but unspectacular.  His Hart Trophy days are long gone, but a .908 saves percentage and a 2.87 GAA are more than adequate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Mark Giordano Continues To Improve

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,

When Scotty Bowman speaks, people tend to listen.

The gentleman is a legend — still relevant, still plugged into National Hockey League goings-on.

So when Bowman declares that Mark Giordano is the most improved defenceman — if not the most improved player — in the entire league, well, that must mean something. Peter Maher, play-by-play man for The FAN 960, passed on the tidbit to the Calgary Flames defenceman Monday afternoon.

“Wow, that’s pretty cool,” says Giordano, blushing through his beard after the team’s workout at Scotiabank Place. “He’s been around for a long time and he’s won a lot of Stanley Cups. Definitely a guy who’s one of the most respected in the league. So it’s pretty cool to hear compliments from him.

“But you know what? I just want to keep getting better.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+giordano

Slow Starts Hurting Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

Lies, damned lies and statistics: Mark Twain made the remark popular as a list of the three kinds of falsehoods there are.

The Vancouver Canucks are starting to think the same as Twain as the numbers pile up.

Outscored 10-1 in the first period so far after five games of an eight-game road trip. No lead to brag about except for the final 2:04 of the opening road game at Toronto 11 days ago. Seven straight games in which the other team scored first and 12 of the past 14.

“You can’t think in your mind what the stats are,” Roberto Luongo said after the Canucks fell 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. “Thursday’s game [against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.] has nothing to do with the last 12 of 14.”


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

Habs Will Keep Their Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The potential for looking stupid in this business is huge.

And lately, it seems, I’ve been exercising my right to it in this world of limitless opportunity.

Anytime anyone asks me about the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens trading one of their goaltenders - Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price - before the March 3 deadline, I respond immediately and forcefully.

No chance.

Not going to happen.

Makes no sense.


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

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