Kukla's Korner

No Goalie Plan In Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Starter Michael Leighton left Tuesday’s game in Nashville with a high-ankle sprain, and the club announced late Thursday afternoon that he is gone for eight to 10 weeks.

Now, what looked to be a significant risk—turning over the Flyers’ netminding chores to an untested journeyman like Leighton—has quickly evolved into what appears to be a monstrous blunder.

It is true Holmgren did take a run at Florida Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun at the March 3 trade deadline but backed off when the cost was going to include sniper Jeff Carter.

Fair enough.

But when Plan A failed, what happened to Plan B or even Plan C? In Philadelphia, where goaltending isn’t a storyline but a recurring nightmare, we are talking Plan Z here.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Doan Nailed It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

I bring you back to an August conversation I had with Shane Doan. The Phoenix Coyotes captain was insisting anyone picking his team to be brutal this season was making a big mistake.

“As bad as everything you hear about us, we just don’t think we’re that bad,” Doan told me six months ago. “We don’t think we’re the worst team in the league even though everybody seems to be picking us to finish last.”

Fast forward to late Thursday night. Doan was about to board a plane in South Florida with the Coyotes a few hours after erasing a three-goal, third-period deficit to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 in a shootout. The victory set the all-time Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets franchise record for wins in a season with 44.

Just another day at the office for the team everyone wrote off before the season.

I mentioned our August conversation and Doan laughed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

67,000 Hockey Sticks Recalled

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bauer Hockey Corp. is recalling 13 models of junior hockey sticks due to excessive lead levels in the sticks’ paint

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bauer+hockey

Canucks Extend Kesler

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that forward Ryan Kesler has agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension through the 2015-2016 season.

“Today is an exciting day for the Canucks organization,” said Mike Gillis. “Ryan Kesler has excelled as a two-way player and in his role as an alternate captain. Ryan has showcased his ability to perform under extreme pressure and we are looking forward to continuing to see Ryan develop into one of the League’s premier players.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+kesler

Flames Need More Huge Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

They’re still outside the Western Conference’s elite eight, one point back of the Red Wings for the final playoff spot.

They still need to claim more “huge” wins — which is what seemingly every player called the 3-2 victory over Colorado.

Maybe as many as nine more over the final dozen remaining on the regular-season schedule.

If not, they’ll need help from other teams around the league.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

History Will Be Made

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (March 19, 2010) – The National Hockey League (NHL) will unveil its new Stanley Cup Playoffs campaign tomorrow, March 20 during the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. The campaign reminds viewers that “History will be made” during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Continue Reading »

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

Have The Kings Lost Their Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

It’s time to worry.

Not to panic, but to be concerned that since the Olympic break the Kings have lacked the drive and cohesion that had fueled their turnaround season and now bear an unpleasant resemblance to the bad, old Kings who would stumble through March and be done by early April.

Despite preparing with two vigorous practice days, the Kings were lifeless Thursday during a 3-0 loss to the Blackhawks, who had played the previous night at Anaheim. The loss, the team’s third in four games and first home shutout loss since Feb. 12, 2009, dropped the Kings’ record since the Olympics to 3-4-1.

“There was not much good out there tonight,” Coach Terry Murray said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

An Unsung Rising Star

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Veteran poolies know that now is a great time to find sleeper picks for next year’s hockey pool.  A young player can have a poor start to the season and catch fire during the last couple months.  Usually this is a sign that the player has found his NHL game and should perform at a high level next season.  Anyone following that line of logic would likely have selected Steve Stamkos to their fantasy hockey team this year and as a result has a good chance at winning their league. 

This year, the young player who best appears to have found his game in the second half of the season is Chris Stewart of the Colorado Avalanche.  Stewart is a second year NHL player who has 58 points in 65 games so far this year.  He has been the highest scorer in the league since the beginning of March (16 points in 9 games).  In the 2009 portion of this season, Stewart has 25 points in 37 games.  In 2010, he has had 33 points in 28 games.  Stewart has been above point per game pace for the last two and a half months.  That is evidence that he can maintain such a pace next season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It was more important that we got the two points.  We’re in a battle here, and it was great to get the win here in New York. To get to 400 is a nice thing to happen, but I’ve been fortunate in my career to play with a lot of great players and received a lot of great passes. Terrific play.”

-Paul Kariya of the St. Louis Blues after scoring his 400th goal.  Via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kariya

Not Your Typical 8th Place Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Iorfida of CBC,

Detroit is flirting with its first non-playoff season since 1989-90 and will undoubtedly finish with fewer than 48 wins for the first time in more than a decade, but if the Wings qualify for the Stanley Cup tournament, they will likely be a trendy upset pick for many hockey observers.

That’s because in addition to the wealth of playoff experience on the club — highlighted by a championship in 2008 and runner-up status last year — the Red Wings stack up well against the teams in the West they would most likely face in the first round.

Detroit is 2-0-1 against each of San Jose and Chicago. The Wings are 2-0 against Vancouver, their opponent Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada to complete their Western Canada road trip.

While they currently sit eighth, Detroit has the fourth-fewest regulation losses in the West.

more

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

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