Kukla's Korner

Have Some Players Stopped Listening To Hitchcock?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch,

Hitchcock sees it as his job to educate these lads. So he explains. And explains. Unfortunately for him, the attention span of a 19-year-old twitters out at 140 characters.

So the issue with Hitchcock is not that he ignores young players, a reputation that he feels is undeserved, but that they ignore him.

Young talent especially tunes out when it thinks it knows it all. That occurs when the team is winning, which creates a stress point because Hitch’s toughest teachings follow wins, when he talks of exposing the hard truths.

“It’s an attitude of you win and you want to get better, rather than we won and ‘Aren’t we good?’ What I want to do is help players win, and have them come back in the room the next day and ask, ‘Where do we get better?’ That’s what great teams do.”

The problem with such harping is it wears on young players who want to run free, who want to enjoy the wins instead of learn from them, which might explain why the Jackets (14-14-6) have stumbled after a 12-6-2 start.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tough Trade Market Right Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

“We’d like to add to our defense with (Rostislav Klesla) going down to an injury,” Howson said. “But we’re not close right now on anything.

“The (trade) market is tough. It’s as tough as it’s ever been, with so many long-term contracts out there, with so many clubs up against the salary cap, and with so many clubs still thinking they’re in the playoff race. It’s hard to get any movement on a trade right now. It’s hard to shake anything loose.”

Howson said nothing is imminent, that the groundwork for a trade hasn’t even been put into place. And it’s not just the Blue Jackets. Nothing seems to be shaking for anybody right now, and the NHL roster freeze kicks in on Dec. 19.

more on the Blue Jackets…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It Is Tortorella Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Now is the time for Tortorella to personally embrace the “Safe is Death,” philosophy he espoused in Tampa and have the nerve to tell Glen Sather, his boss, that the millions he spent on Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival would have been better invested with Bernie Madoff.

Now is the time for the head coach to justify the badge on his chest by figuring out how to reduce Chris Drury’s minutes and responsibility without embarrassing the earnest but painfully ineffective captain, no easy task at all.

Tortorella was furious in the wake of last night’s no-show in which the Rangers were limited to two goals or fewer for the seventh straight time and 17th time in their last 21 games. They hadn’t sunk to such levels of impotence since December of 2002 when they also went seven in a row during some of the darkest days of the seven-year playoff drought that preceded the lockout.

In other words, these are the Bad Old Days.


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

Jarkko Ruutu Hit On Patrick Kaleta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Vogl of the Buffalo News, The Sabres lost forward Patrick Kaleta just 29 seconds into the second period. He got the puck along the boards, and Jarkko Ruutu came from behind to drive his shoulder into Kaleta’s head, which then bounced off the glass.

Ruutu, whose body of work includes biting former Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters last season, was given a five-minute boarding penalty. Kaleta did not return.

Said Ruff: “He isn’t very good.”

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Talk About The Loss To The Islanders Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chris Drury, Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal of the NY Rangers react to the loss to the Islanders tonight.

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

The Ice Edge Holdings Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail (Thursday edition),

They don’t own the Phoenix Coyotes yet, but the partners in Ice Edge Holdings have already drawn up a detailed plan they say can produce a profit in five years.

The group’s plan includes playing five regular-season Coyotes games in Saskatoon as early as next season, boosting revenue by about $15-million (all currency U.S.) and slashing costs by about the same amount. They also want to buy an American Hockey League franchise, move it to Thunder Bay as the Coyotes’ farm team and help build a new 5,500-seat arena in that city.

“We’ve got very good indications that we should be able to pull this off pretty easily,” Ice Edge partner Todd Jordan said yesterday. “The key is to sustain losses early.”


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

Blogger Wars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jame O’Brien of Cycle Like The Sedins,

Whenever egos, clashing styles and regional loyalties play a key role in a medium, it’s natural for there to be some conflict. Greed and fame (or worse, pride) can turn people who would normally be buddies into lethal enemies.

Obviously, one of the great modern examples is the West Coast/East Coast rivalry, which culminated in the deaths of two famous rappers with Tyler Myers-sized egos.

While hockey bloggers and rappers share little beyond an interest in words (and booties, perhaps), the hockey blogosphere is responsible for some pretty entertaining skirmishes. Even if some of them are probably more like nerdy slap-fights.

Let’s take a look at some of the young medium’s most memorable feuds…

continued and James calls me venerable, is that a good or bad thing?...hmmm…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Condensed Schedule?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

In one of the strangest NHL scheduling quirks I’ve ever seen, after tomorrow the Kings won’t play until Dec. 26, an eight-day break. Is that a positive or a negative for the Kings? Given the way they’ve been playing of late — 8-1-1 in their last 10 games — you might say they’re in danger of losing momentum, but they also have four key players (Smyth, Simmonds, Stoll and Johnson) injured right now, and the long break minimizes the number of games that those players will miss. By Dec. 26, it’s likely that all but Simmonds (whose status is still to be determined) will be back.

In all, I’d have to say the long break is a net positive for the Kings right now.


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

WJC- Going For Gold In Regina And Saskatoon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Angus of DobberHockey,

Canada’s final roster for the upcoming World Juniors has been released. Upon first glance, the 2010 edition of Team Canada lacks some of the firepower that has been on display in recent years. However, there still is a lot of talent and grit at all positions, and Canada has to be considered a favourite as they look to win a record-setting sixth straight gold medal.

read on for a preview of the Canadian team…

Jeff will have the reviews for all the teams involved in the coming days.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wjc

Day 2 Of The BOG Meeting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson at the Toronto Sun,

With the momentum of a speeding forechecker, it seems a rule change penalizing checking to the head is steaming ahead for the NHL.

Concussions and headshots were discussed at length at the two-day NHL’s board of governors meetings that wrapped up today. Videos were shown of blindside hits and shots from the side to bring the governors up to speed on what was discussed at the general managers’ meetings last month.

continued with more topics…

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

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