Kukla's Korner

How About Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The Oilers had three days off, and blew a lead Sunday to an Atlanta club playing its third game in four days. Edmonton lost, 3-2.

“We got the lead, and we have to be able to finish a team off ... we have to be a lot hungrier,” Shawn Horcoff said.

How long have you been hearing that one, Oil fan? Pat Quinn is getting sick of it already, with his team a quarter of the way through the season and on pace for just 72 points.

“We (have) a lot of nights where we’re saying if, and, but and when,” Quinn said.

more on the Oilers plus other topics…

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

Talking With Gretzky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

I wanted to bounce a couple of rumours off Gretzky while I was at it. One - that he might be interested in getting involved in a second Toronto-based NHL team that would operate out of Vaughan in the north end of city.

“Nothing to it,” he said, although he mentioned that he played hockey Sunday nights for the Vaughan Nationals on the same team as Bill Kitchen, brother of former NHLer Mike Kitchen.

Another idea making the rounds: That Hockey Canada will ask him to coach at the 2010 world championships this spring, post-Olympics. So far, they haven’t contacted him about the opportunity, but he didn’t rule it out either. Gretzky did note that he’d played golf for a couple of days in California with former Oilers teammate Craig MacTavish, who will coach Canada’s entry in the Spengler Cup over Christmas. Gretzky put himself in the same category as MacTavish - of a coach currently between jobs but looking eventually to get back in.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 16, 2009)—Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg, Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 15.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Only One Winter Classic Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

Creating revenue streams for the league and teams is important, particularly in these trying days of disappearing sponsorship dollars. But just adding games won’t necessarily add extra dollars, but it will dilute what has already been created.

That means play one game – and one game only - on Jan. 1.

There are forces within the league that would like one, two, maybe even three more games. And it’s not just the “New York office” wanting these things. It’s no secret that Montreal wanted to host a game at Olympic Stadium. And there was a lot of discussion of a Toronto-Calgary game at McMahon Stadium. But the league and the teams have to show some level of composure and realize what is best for the game.

And what is best for the game is just one game on Jan. 1.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Follow The Rule Book

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

Very little of what Mike Milbury says makes sense to me, but he was right about one thing on Saturday night.

  The NHL does not need new rules to address the worst of the head shots – the predatory, blindside attacks.

  “The rules are already in place,” he said on Hockey Night In Canada. “There’s enough power for Colin Campbell to make a change.”

  Not said by Milbury is that Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice-president in charge of discipline, won’t do anything.

continued

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

Injuries And Short Summers

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One problem that can derail a team is injuries.  When several core players get hurt simultaneously, it is very hard for a team to continue to compete at their expected level.  Predictably, some of the more injured teams this season have been the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings.  These are the two teams that have competed in the Stanley Cup finals in each of the last two years and have thus had the shortest summers.  Short summers lead to less time to recover from the long NHL season and less time for recurring injuries to get better.

Detroit started off the season with a rash of injuries.  Johan Franzen had knee surgery very early in the season.  Valtteri Filppula has a broken wrist.  Andreas Lilja has missed the entire season so far recovering from a concussion suffered last year.  To make matters worse, free agent signee Jason Williams has a broken leg.  In October, Detroit seemed to be the team most affected by injuries, though they have recovered from a relatively slow start.  Detroit has won seven of their last ten games (including three straight) and currently hold down sixth seed in the West Conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Ducks Dealing With Criticism

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Ducks general manager Bob Murray, his team mired in a rut that has seen it lose nine of 12 games and fall to the bottom of the Western Conference, lashed out Thursday to light a fire under his underachieving squad.

How did they react to Murray’s comments that “it’s about time some of these people prove that they’re good hockey players” and that he doesn’t think they’re serious enough about playing the game?

It depends on who you ask.

“It’s the first I heard of it,” center Ryan Getzlaf said Saturday night after a 7-4 loss to Detroit. “I don’t read anything anyways. I’ve haven’t been here that long, but I’ve been here long enough not to read stuff.”

Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer also claimed to not know of Murray’s tongue-lashing. But when he was made aware, Niedermayer did not have any problem with the team taking the brunt of the criticism for their 6-9-3 start.

“Rightly so,” Niedermayer said. “We feel the same way. The coaching staff probably feels the same way. We feel we need to be playing better. Tonight (Saturday) we didn’t do it again for as long as you’re supposed to and we paid the price for it.

“We all probably have that same opinion.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early Rangers Report

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

What they’ve been, for the most part, is whatever Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal and the first power play unit have allowed them to be on any given night.

“I think we’ve shown that if we give our best we can be right up there, but that if we don’t it could be tough for us,” said Lundqvist, who was superb throughout Saturday’s 2-1 shootout victory in Ottawa. “It’s good that we’ve seen both sides already.

“We know that we have to be aggressive in order to be successful, but not to the point where we want to be going back and forth and trading two-on-ones all game or all year. That’s not the plan. We’re still learning. We’re still developing an identity. I don’t think we’ve established who we are yet. I don’t think we’ve figured it out. I know that I have to play better. I think our whole team can play better. But I think we’ve seen we can be a very good team when we’re at our best, and that gives us some confidence that we have something to build on.”

read on

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

Bucci? We’re Not Done With You Just Yet

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The last time I saw John Buccigross on television I think he had a perm.  That, in itself, is pathetic.  Men don’t get perms and they don’t use exclamation points.  In his defense, I don’t believe John Buccigross uses exclamation points in his columns for ESPN. 

But there are other issues.  One big one that I’m not ready to let go of. Not yet, mainly because this Buccigross thing? It’s the MSM’s view of Detroit in a nutshell so far this year.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Stastny Not Earning His Money?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

The numbers really aren’t bad at all. 20 games for Paul Stastny this season, 18 points, and his team is in first place. Nearly a point a game in the modern NHL is good, no matter how you slice it.

But we all know it hasn’t quite been what we expected from No. 26. The heightened expectations that come with a guy getting the big dollars create these kinds of criticisms here. Yeah, 18 points in 20 games is fine and all, but for a guy making $6.6 million this year and the following four?

continued

updated 2:55pm, As a KK member noted, story not there. 

Dater has done this in the past and he should really explain why the story has been pulled, but he doesn’t.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+stastny

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