Kukla's Korner

Start Hitting, Tampa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strkes,

The final score sheet from Sunday’s game had one very interesting stat. It claimed the Lightning outhit the Devils 23-18 during a 7-3 loss. It’s a mystery to me what they were looking at to find 41 total hits, but it is even more perplexing to believe Tampa Bay had more hits.

A couple of smacks here and there by Evgeny Artyukhin and Ryan Malone were so startling, the fans gave them more of a cheer than they probably deserved. But that’s what happens when things like that become rare. Let’s face it, this team just is not built for any kind of physical game, and it’s a shame because more often than not, when a hit is made, a turnover is the result.

It’s frustrating for me, not as a fan of the team but a fan of physical hockey to watch games without much hitting. I can only imagine what it is like for Lightning fans to watch, not only opponents not be challenged but puck battles constantly being lost.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Only 14 Hours Til Game Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Note to readers:  this post started out as normal as any other.  I have no idea where or why it took the turn that it did.  I’m just sayin’.

Man, there is no better way to start the short work week than a frigging 2200 faceoff way out West.  Uncle Mike’s found you a reason to stay up.

Vancouver Province

Babcock sang the praises of the Canucks emerging young speedsters, the team’s disciplined play without the puck and the team’s solid back-end.

And, he said with a big grin, he was intrigued by a Pavol Demitra quote in Sunday’s Province:

“I read in the paper that Demitra and the Sedins are the best line in hockey, so we’ll see if that’s true.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Math Sucks

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

A few days ago we posted a wishful little ditty about just how we can keep all three.  My thinking?  That the lure of multiple Cups would keep the current Wing core intact for next season.

That’s hope talking right there.  The voice of a fan.  Bruce MacLeod has a bit of reality for us all.

Marian Hossa. Henrik Zetterberg. Johan Franzen. Jiri Hudler. Mikael Samuelsson. Ty Conklin. Tomas Kopecky. I don’t want to see any of them leave the Red Wings next season.

But all of them are free agents. And it’s difficult to see where even one of them is going to make less money than they make this season. Many, however, are going to make significantly more than they’re making now.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Panthers Get A Wake-Up Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Joseph of FloridaPanthers.com,

The message has been sent.

“I think everyone here should be on notice,” said Panthers’ coach Peter DeBoer early Sunday afternoon. “The status quo isn’t good enough… It’s not good enough where we’re sitting and there’s going to be consequences throughout the lineup because of that.”

It’s no secret that something has to be done and soon. The Panthers have the worst record in the NHL and have scored the fewest goals. And DeBoer and GM Jacques Martin said Sunday they will do whatever they need to “get this team to the level we think they should be competing at,” DeBoer said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fantastically: Jiri’s Time on Ice

Blog: KK Members Blog By ThinkinPink

Poor Jiri Hudler. Poor Kid. He has been patient for 3 seasons to get top 6 forward minutes, and just when it was about to happen, Marian Hossa decides to take a pay cut to join the Wings. Which forces Hudler from the 2nd line to the 3rd line. Despite lining up with Valterri Filppula and Kirk Maltby every night, Hudler has 18 points in 19 games! It doesn’t end there. Because of the Red Wings’ depth, Hudler is only getting an average of 12:31 of ice time.  Hudler notches a point every 13:22, which is second in the league for players who have played at least 15 games, behind Alex Semin (11:22).  Let us understand this: Hudler is a 3rd line winger, getting half the time of any top winger in the league, and is scoring at almost a point per game rate. Whoa. Take that Dan Carcillo (who scores a point every 194 minutes).

Fantastically, I don’t see why Hudler shouldn’t be owned in your league. He is one injury away from cracking that top-6. Tomas Holmstrom isn’t exactly made of steal, Johan Franzen has had his problems, so has Henrik Zetterberg. Injury is the last case scenerio we want to see Hudler getting more time, hopefully his play will eventually force Mike Babcock’s hand in sending Hudler out more often.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+hudler

Kovalchuk Needs To Play Like A Super Star

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Falconer of Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons,

lya Kovalchuk has the talent to be a superstar. He has the speed, he still has that ungodly release. He will certainly expect to be paid like a superstar when he negotiates his next contract. But if he wants to be treated like a superstar, he should play like one.

It is time for him to show up. The season started 19 games ago. I don’t want to hear any baloney about Kovalchuk not having quality linemates. Last season, Kovalchuk was centered much of the year by Todd White (who has never even been considered All-Star Game material), and a 40-year-old right winger who was dropped to waivers by his previous club (Mark Recchi).


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

As If They Needed This Reminder In Denver…

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Line of the day?  In my opinion, nothing you read today will compare to this from the Calgary Herald.  Scott Cruickshank led his game recap by mentioning the Flames faced a much different test last night then the one they’d passed earlier in the week against the Dive.

...even the Wings themselves know the edge they hold.

If they match the opposition’s energy, talent will carry the day - and, in that regard, the Wings are peerless. Losers only twice in regulation this season. Heck, the Wings have been outshot only twice.

The Avs they are not.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Scoring Up!  Why?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

• Yes, scoring is up, and it’s most likely the result of the pared-down goalie equipment - even if there is no way to prove it. Through games of early last week, clubs were combining for 5.9 goals per game, up from 5.6 over the same number of games in 2007-08. In 2003-04, the number stood at 5.1 over the same period. Me, I’m good with 5.1, as long as there is plenty of action and at least a little bit of hate.

• Brian Burke’s stepping down as general manager in Anaheim was abrupt but not unexpected. Look for the ex-Boston agent to get into serious talks in Toronto this week about taking over the Leafs. If there is a hiccup (read: money too light), watch for either the Blackhawks or Senators to get after him. Total dark horse: Habs.


I would think another reason scoring is up is the face-off always taking place in the defensive zone when a penalty is issued and the no TV timeout when an icing takes place.  Your thoughts?

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

Goalies & Their Equipment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Goaltenders have an unusual relationship with their equipment. Some pieces—like Biron’s skates and pants—are preserved and protected like a favorite childhood blanket. Others are changed as often as a car’s oil.

In the case of Biron, he’ll typically go through three sets of leg pads, four catching gloves, four blockers, two chest pads and two sets of arm pads in a season.

Right now, Biron is breaking in a new catching glove in practice, while in games he still uses the one that worked so well for him in the playoffs last season.

“Probably in another week or so I’ll start using it in games,” Biron said.

“In practice I love it. In a game situation, you don’t have time to think.”

The same goes for Biron’s blocker.

“My new one feels really good in practice, but if you use it in a game and misplay the puck, it’s in the net,” he said. “You need to make sure you’re really into it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Have You Heard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There’s a lot of action in the Sunshine State. Florida GM Jacques Martin is scouring the NHL, looking for a centre, but the asking price is usually D Jay Bouwmeester and the Panthers haven’t given up hope they can re-sign him.

• The talk is the Blackhawks will have a revolt in their room if they decide to move G Nikolai Khabibulin. But they’ve been discussing that possibility because the club wants to clear off his $6.75-million salary to bring in Capitals C Michael Nylander. There were whispers the ‘Hawks had a deal done to send Khabibulin to the Devils, but decided to hold off because G Cristobal Huet has been less than spectacular.

read on for more hockey trade and signing talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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