Kukla's Korner

America Should Know These Guys Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Six months ago, USA Hockey invited a large group of American players to its Olympic orientation camp in suburban Chicago. After one of the first practices, the players, wearing assorted USA Hockey shorts and T-shirts, came out of the locker room to meet the media.

The interviews started and the realization set in. Half the media had no idea who anybody was. Jack Johnson was confused with Dustin Brown. And was that Joe Pavelski or Ryan Callahan?

One reporter did an entire interview with a player and half joked that he thought it was Brian Gionta, who wasn’t even at the camp.

So, really, how could we expect this team of next-generation U.S. hockey stars to accomplish much of anything if most Americans had no idea who any of them were?

“I don’t think anybody really gave us a huge chance coming in,” said Erik Johnson, a 21-year-old defenseman. “We kind of relished the underdog role.”

continued

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

They Know Each Other

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Neither Team USA nor Team Canada will be able to blame a failure to win the gold medal on a lack of familiarity with the opposing team.

All 46 players in Sunday’s championship game play in the National Hockey League—in fact, 10 NHL teams have players on both sides. Team USA’s Ryan Kesler will be trying to beat Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo—and three days later, he’ll be trying to score goals to help Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks win in Columbus.

American Patrick Kane and Canadian Jonathan Toews sometimes play on the same line together in Chicago. So do Team Canada’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and American Bobby Ryan—and all three often play in front of Canadian captain and defenseman Scott Niedermayer.

Team Canada coach Mike Babcock will be hoping that American defenseman Brian Rafalski’s scoring touch (4 goals) vanishes—but only for a day. The two will be on the same bench Monday night in Denver when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Colorado Avalanche as the NHL’s regular-season schedule resumes.

continued

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

Hello, Ryan Miller, Is That You?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski at PuckDaddy,

This just in: Team USA goalie Ryan Miller(notes) has not, repeat, has not guaranteed a gold medal for his team. And MSNBC found that out the hard way tonight.

The network had a phone interview with someone claiming to be the Buffalo Sabres goalie on Friday, and that Fake Miller vowed the USA would win gold.

This is something Ryan Miller would, of course, never do. As he would tell MSNBC’s Willie Geist during an actual interview with the U.S. Olympian later, Miller heard from friends and NHL personnel “asking if I’d become that much different and that cocky because of this.”

continued

Remember the Ryan Kesler empty net goal against Team Canada?  Remember the description of the goal by Willie Geist?  There is the empty net, there is the puck and there it goes into the goal.  Enough said.

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

Ovechkin And Brodeur Have Points To Prove

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Keep an eye on two NHL players in the coming weeks, because I have a feeling that both Alex Ovechkin and Martin Brodeur are coming out of Vancouver with a burr under their respective saddles.

Ovechkin had the 1,000-yard stare as Team Canada ended Russia’s medal hopes in a brutal 7-3 shellacking that saw the Canadians simply dismantle a Russian squad many thought would at least be competitive with Canada.

That didn’t come close to happening and Ovechkin was completely shut down by the Canadians, going minus-2 with just three shots and a very bad feeling about the experience.

continue and numerous hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, martin+brodeur

Burke Trying To Build The Leafs Like Team USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Believe it or not, Burke, broom in hand, is trying to do the same type of housecleaning with his NHL squad that he admirably completed with Team USA.

Once the final horn has sounded and the medals — whatever colour they might be — are dangling around the necks of his American players, Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis, will turn their attention to resuming their facelift of a Toronto franchise that has not hoisted a Stanley Cup since 1967. With the NHL’s roster freeze lifted at the conclusion of the Olympics Sunday, Burke has vowed to be “busy” as the clock clicks down to the league’s March 3 trade deadline.

Burke wants to bring the average age of his Leafs down while bringing its intensity up. He wants to change the culture both inside the dressing room and out on the ice.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Open Post- Team Canada vs. Team Slovakia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Anyone out there predicting an upset?

Game starts at 9:30pm ET on CNBC and CTV.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+slovakia, winter+olympics

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I want to help these kids realize their dream. Since they were born, they’ve all dreamed of 1) winning a Stanley cup and 2) winning a gold medal in the Olympics. If I can help these 23 young men accomplish that, that’ll be a great feeling for all us.

-Team USA Coach Ron Wilson.  Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants has quotes from players of both Team Finland and Team USA after today’s game.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson, team+finland, team+usa, winter+olympics

A Crack In Ovechkin’s Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,

None of us know the details regarding Alex Ovechkin shoving a person with a camera in the wake of Russia’s embarrassing 7-3 loss at the hands of the Canadians, but no matter what the circumstances, the Capitals and/or the NHL need to send a message by suspending him.

The once-congenial and ultra-media-friendly Ovechkin has shown progressive cracks in his off-ice demeanor for some time now, culminating with his Olympic availability where he essentially ignored the English media during the tournament.

continued and if you missed the video, you can watch it here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, team+russia

Tkachuk Has Finger Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that Blues forward Keith Tkachuk underwent successful surgery on his left pinky finger and will be sidelined 10 days.  The surgery was performed today by Dr. Charles Goldfarb of Barnes Jewish Hospital.

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

Team Canada Celebration Being Down-Played

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CTVOlympics,

The International Olympic Committee is playing down an on-ice celebration by the Canadian women’s hockey team.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said a letter is being drafted to Canadian Olympic officials to get more details on the impromptu party the Canadian women threw at Canada Hockey Place after winning gold at the Winter Games on Thursday.

“To be honest I think people are in search of a story that doesn’t exist,” Adams told a briefing Friday when asked about the incident. “There were pictures all over the front pages and so on this morning and I think people are looking for someone to say it’s terrible.

continued

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

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