Kukla's Korner

Salary Cap Seems To Be Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

The last two teams to win the Stanley Cup clashed at Joe Louis Arena Monday, but even after Detroit’s 3-1 victory over the reigning Cup champion Penguins, all that the Wings could be certain of is that they would live to fight another day.

A playoff berth, a Detroit guarantee since 1990-91, is on about as solid footing in these parts as the Big Three.

Welcome to the salary-cap governed NHL that commissioner Gary Bettman envisioned coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, in which parity rules and anyone can be king.

“I think it is working,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom admitted, though naturally chagrined that his own team’s struggles this season are a benchmark of that system’s success. “It’s hard to keep a good team together for a long time.

“Players are getting better and they demand high salaries. That’s one of the reasons it’s working.”

read on

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

Flyers Must Play On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Now, the Flyers will be forced to go one of two ways. They can use Carter’s loss - and that of goalies Michael Leighton and Ray Emery - as an excuse, a reason why they coughed up fifth place in the Eastern Conference and collapsed with 10 games to go.

“We’re in a situation now where we’re losing one of our better scorers,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “Injuries are a part of the game. He’s a big part of our team.”

Or, the Flyers can rally around Carter’s absence and finally develop the chemistry, camaraderie and mental edge that has been missing in their locker room all season, resulting in inconsistent play.

“No one is going to feel sorry for us,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “This happens to every team. We’re in charge of our own destiny. The end of the season and the playoffs are all about urgency.

“It’s the teams that are urgent that are the toughest to play against and the toughest to beat. We now fall into that category of urgent teams. We’ve kicked up points to teams that are underneath us, we’ve backed up into a dogfight.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Todd McLellan’s Job Is Safe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

So Merc columnist Mark Purdy and I both raised that same question today with different people — not because we thought a coach should be fired or would be fired as a result of San Jose’s six-game losing streak, but because there was indeed NHL precedent and you never know unless you ask.

Mark reached Doug Wilson back in San Jose and the GM’s response was succint:  “Todd’s our coach. That’s it.”

Before leaving Edmonton, I went to team captain Rob Blake and asked his thoughts on the matter:

“No, no, no. Not even close,” Blake said. “We are the best prepared, most analyzed team by far in the league. We’ve got a system everybody wants to play. It’s on the players, 100 percent.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Flames Need More From Bouwmeester

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Jay Bouwmeester signed with Calgary to get his first taste of playoff hockey, yet he’s done little to help his chances of getting there.

On a Flames team full of players who’ve failed to live up to expectations this season, Bouwmeester may be the most disappointing of all given his salary and the reputation he brought as being one of the league’s most complete blueliners.

And while he’s too nice a guy, too smooth a skater and too dependable defensively to be deemed an outright flop, even he would admit things haven’t gone the way he’d hoped this year.

“It’s been alright,” said the soft-spoken defenceman whose two measly goals betray the talents of a man coming off back-to-back 15-goal campaigns.

“It probably hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to offensively.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Is The West Best?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

This is a good year to be a mediocre team in the East. There is plenty of company, opportunity for advancement, but not much threat posed by teams outside of the top eight heading into the final three weeks of the regular season. Only the surprising Atlanta Thrashers, winners of four straight, including a home-and-home sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers, seem to have the will to scare any of the current playoff tenants. The New York Rangers were in position to do something, but bombed on Broadway with three straight losses and just three wins in 10 games.

Count the Ottawa Senators, who took a 2-7-0-1 record in their past 10 into Montreal on Monday night for a huge game against the Canadiens, among the grateful Eastern teams. In the West, with its current point total, Ottawa would be outside the playoff group looking to get in. In the friendly Eastern confines, the Senators are relatively secure, barring a total collapse over the final nine games.

In the wild West, meanwhile, Calgary, St. Louis, Anaheim, Minnesota and Dallas all dare to dream of catching the Detroit Red Wings, as difficult as it will be at this stage. An argument might be made that it was the pursuit of the Wings and their brand of excellence (four championships since 1997) that helped make the West what it is today.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Someone Want To Count The Crosschecks?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Crosby on Zetterberg tonight.

note 12:26am 3/23/10, I’ve replaced the video for one with better quality.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+zetterberg, sidney+crosby

Travis Moen Takes A Skate To The Face

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Word is Moen was treated at the Bell Centre and looks like he will be ok.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: travis+moen

NHL Players- Stop Being Stupid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Stop and think about the potential consequences the next time you’re tempted to use your elbow to drive the head of an unsuspecting opponent into the glass.

Stop and think what you’re doing before you shove a vulnerable opponent into the boards, causing a collision the human body wasn’t designed to withstand.

Don’t stop being physical. No one wants that.

Just stop the vicious hits to the heads of players who don’t have the puck. Stop the blindside hits.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

‘Doc’ Emrick Calls 3000th Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michelle Crechiolo at DetroitRedWings.com,

Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, who is synonymous with hockey broadcasting, will reach another milestone on Monday when he calls his 3,000th professional men’s hockey game on Versus when the Red Wings host Pittsburgh at Joe Louis Arena.

As a Michigander, Emrick couldn’t be happier that his milestone will be in Hockeytown, because about 40 of his friends and relatives, including his veterinarian and his accountant, will get to celebrate the achievement with him in person.

“It just worked out that way,” said Emrick, who lives with his wife, Joyce, in St. Clair, Michigan, which is northeast of Detroit. “I told my wife about 10 days ago, we planned this day last summer. And I thought, it’s going to be give-or-take, it’s going to be around 3,000 when the game is held, but it came right out on and you never would have thought that. It’ll be kind of a special night.

“We have a couple of relatives flying out for it and then everybody else is in the area. It’ll be nice to have 40 of them all in one place.”

continued

added 11:26pm, Watch the video below as ‘Doc’ receives congrats from Eddie Olczyk.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+emrick

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Let’s break them down by goal, hits and saves from the past week in the NHL.

Watch all three videos below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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