Kukla's Korner

The Death Of Don Sanderson Grips The Hockey World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Thomas of the New York Times,

WHITBY, Ontario — As a rookie defenseman for the Whitby Dunlops, a storied amateur hockey team in this Toronto suburb, Donald Sanderson impressed his teammates as a passionate and intense competitor.

Every time the puck dropped, the 21-year-old Sanderson shed his otherwise fun-loving demeanor and focused on the game. He was the type of guy, teammates said, who seemed to care more about the team than he did for himself.

“He was fierce,” said Matt Armstrong, an assistant coach. “He would do anything it took to win the game.”

continued (in-depth)

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Where’s The Defense?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press via the Morning Sun,

Last season, the Red Wings allowed, by a considerable margin, the fewest goals in the NHL. This season, 11 teams have allowed fewer goals. Osgood’s goals against average last season was below two per game. It’s above three this season.

The 49 shots allowed against the Stars — who aren’t, by the way, a reincarnation of Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers from the 1980s in terms of skill — were the most allowed by the Red Wings since 1991. The Red Wings yielded 23 shots per goal during the second period of that game. That’s more shots per goal than they allowed overall in 13 of their 22 playoff games last spring….

Could be age is catching up to some of the Red Wings’ better forwards defensively. Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, the Red Wings’ key penalty killers in the past, are 37 and 36.

Lidstrom will turn 39 in April. He is still a truly great player, but how much longer can he be this quiet miracle man for the Red Wings along the blue line?


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

The Fighting Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Fighting – from its role in hockey to whether it has a future in the game – will be up for debate when the NHL’s general managers meet in March.

“When we review a rule, we review all aspects of it, including the obvious and the not so obvious,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL’s director of hockey operations. “There are some aspects to fighting we would like to ask the GMs about and we will leave no stone unturned.”

While Campbell believes questions about fighting need to be asked, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has his answers ready.

“I think it’s a very important historical and present part of our game,” said Burke. “If it comes to a vote, Toronto is certainly not going to vote to eliminate fighting. That’s certainly not going to happen while I’m here….”


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

The Million Dollar Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Kuc of Icing,

Martin Havlat made one Blackhawks fan very happy during Monday night’s Blackhawks game.

You see, if a Hawks player scores at the 10:00 mark of the second period, an Illinois Lottery promotion awards one lucky fan $1 million.

The winner met Havlat outside the Hawks locker room following the game and looked a bit stunned (go figure) as he thanked the Hawks winger.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat

Comparing Iginla To Obama

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The parallels in their personal histories are startling, remarkable even.

They are both products of an interracial marriage. Their fathers, black, hailed from Africa, one from Kenya, the other from Nigeria. Their mothers, white, hailed from the hinterland, one from Kansas in the American Midwest, the other from Edmonton in Canada’s frozen north.

The respective marriages faltered early, when they were babies, and so both were raised in households where the grandparents played prominent roles. They were accomplished athletes - one played high-school basketball in the U.S. the other major junior hockey in Canada. They were known, even in the early, more anonymous stages of their lives, for their leadership abilities.

Neither ever backed away from a fight, and while Barack Obama didn’t drop the gloves with Willie Mitchell or Cody McCormick or David Hale - as Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla did earlier this NHL season - the campaign to be president of the United States eventually evolved into something of a street fight in its latter days, too.


added 7:19am, A similar type story from Terry Frei of the Denver Post....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barack+obama, jarome+iginla

Shanny’s Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Shanahan played 18 shifts for 13:59 in ice time and fired a team-high six shots on goal. He made it clear that he’s out to prove those who said he was finished wrong and did so for at least one night.

“I think from what I’ve read and what I’ve hard, I genuinely believed I’m better than other people did,” he said, laughing. “It’s just a funny way of saying that in spite of some things I’ve heard, I believe I can still play. But sometimes if you’re not seen for a while, you’re sort of forgotten about. I don’t think you would do what I did - not as far as the signing or tonight or the past week—I don’t think you could do what I did since July until the day Lou (Lamoriello) signed me if you didn’t believe you could contribute because it really (stunk) in a lot of ways. Driving to the rink every night and getting offered jobs in other areas of life and telling people through surprised looks that you’re actually still intending on playing, So, it might be false confidence, but it’s useful.”

more & watch Shanahan’s first goal of the season below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

The Oilers Top Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

In the modern Oilers context, Horcoff is the guy who digs out the puck of the Oilers’ zone and gets the play moving in the right direction, while Penner is the guy who charges the oppostion net, creating needed space down low for Hemsky to operate, to work his magic.

When all three are healthy and playing together, the Oilers have a first line that can compare to all but the very best first lines in the NHL, and might even come out on top of the finest opposition in a seven-game playoff series. Hemsky and Horcoff certainly combined with Ryan Smyth to do so in 2006.

This is a first line that can take the Oilers far into the playoffs, so long as the other lines, the defencemen and the goalie are doing their jobs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

AHL Scoring Race Update

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I last looked at the AHL scoring race, it was unclear who would lead the way the rest of the season because the top three scorers had all been called up to the NHL.  It turns out Keith Aucoin of the Hershey Bears (Washington affiliate) had the shortest NHL recall of the bunch.  He was up for three NHL games (in which he failed to score).  Thus he has been back in the AHL for a while and been able to build a bit of a scoring lead with 55 points in his 42 games.  His teammate Alexandre Giroux remains second in AHL scoring, but his NHL recall was a much longer one.  Giroux spent 11 games with the Washington Capitals.  He is scoring at a higher per game rate in the AHL with 52 points in only 35 games, but his longer stint in the show has him behind Aucoin in the league scoring race.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Bouwmeester Issue Will Have To Be Resolved Closer To Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

Caught up with GM Jacques Martin before the game. Here are his thoughts on several issues:...

Martin said he hasn’t spoken with D Jay Bouwmeester’s agent and that “there’s no change in his status.”

“We’ll talk to him in the near future,” Martin said. “The closer we get to the trading deadline, it’s an issue we’ll have to resolve. Right now, he’s playing his best hockey.

more Panthers issues….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

The Swing Man

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Hughson of Blogs and Colums at CBC,

In a salary cap system, with a 23-man roster and the inevitable injuries during a long season, one of the most valuable players on a hockey team is the swing man, usually a defenceman who can also play up front.

Years ago Scotty Bowman had Jimmy Roberts with the Montreal Canadiens. He’d use him as a forward, but Roberts could also handle a game or two on the blue-line….

The swing man might not be a team’s MVP, but he is becoming an essential player. I’m not sure minor hockey players will ever aspire to that role, but just in case, I’d make sure my young forwards work hard on backward skating.

more with a look at some of he current NHL swing men…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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