Kukla's Korner

The First Month Of The Flames Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

THE GOOD

If Kiprusoff isn’t the team’s most valuable player for the opening month, it’s Rene Bourque.

Sniping five goals and 15 points over the first dozen games, the Lac La Biche product has easily been the Flames’ most dominant forward so far this season. He’s driving pucks to the net, throwing his weight around, and is a constant threat to score with a man-advantage or while shorthanded….

THE BAD

Iginla and Jokinen were expected to be a dynamic duo in their first full season together on the top line.

Now, they’re not even together.

Split up after failing to find chemistry as a tandem, and struggling to fit into Brent Sutter’s system as individuals, they haven’t shown signs of being the team’s best players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’m skating awesome, but I’m not fast, I’m still on the same speed, everybody’s speed (is) better.

“I feel I’m flying, but it looks like maybe the same.”

-Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings.  More on the Wings from Ansar Khan of Mlive.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Hey, It’s Only A Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

I don’t begrudge these guys a penny. Yeah, I’ll make fun of how much they make and how much they are stealing money at times, but jealousy over anything they or anybody else makes in life plays zero part in any criticism I have of them professionally. The only thing that weirds me out sometimes is how we all care so much sometimes about what these guys do. It’s a game and these guys are absolutely getting rich playing it, and so are the guys coaching and general managing it.

All because of what some guys on a frozen pond thought up one day a hundred years ago, probably dressed in heavy, sodden woollen pants and socks and living in a tiny hovel heated only by the available chopped-by-their-labor firewood not charred irreparably to that point.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Always Something Going On In Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

If you put the daily turmoil of the Philadelphia Flyers into the Toronto media market, there might be no resources available to cover other teams in town.

But the Flyers not only make headlines, they win a few games, sitting 6-4-1 heading into tonight’s game after an eventful month:

* A flap about a clique of Flyers who allegedly lived the high life off the ice caused captain Mike Richards to try and organize a media boycott.

* There’s another team medical controversy, this one regarding Simon Gagne’s groin. The Flyers’ doctors have advised him there are two small hernias that need surgery, but Gagne went home to Quebec for a second opinion and found two surgeons who disputed the Philly staff’s recommendation.

Gagne is now scheduled to visit an abdominal specialist today at nearby Hahnemann University Hospital for a final opinion.

“He’ll see Dr. (William) Meyers and we’ll put an end to this,” a frustrated general manager Paul Holmgren told reporters on the weekend.

more plus other hockey topics…

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

Ovechkin With Upper-Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Capitals post-game show said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said Alexander Ovechkin has an upper-body injury.

He collided with Raffi Torres in the 2nd period, skated off the ice and did not return.

added 8:15pm, Boudreau now has added AO is day-to-day.

added 8:39pm, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Asked what happened during the scrum, where it appeared he was originally injured, Ovechkin said: “It was just a moment of the game. Nothing happened. [Jason Chimera] hit me, I hit him. It was a little battle over there but nothing happen. I can’t tell you how I got hurt. It’s day to day, but just in case I didn’t go back on the ice.”

Asked if he thought the injury was serious, Ovechkin said: “I don’t know.”

Ovechkin didn’t want to say much, but he did confirm that the injury is upper body in nature. He also took several drinks from his Gatorade bottle with his right hand, but did seem to be doing much with his left arm, though he was not wearing a sling.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Wild Relax, Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

After dropping eight of their 10 previous games, the Wild had a relaxed optional practice Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center followed by a loose-goosy morning skate Friday before going onto the ice and that evening and stopping the New York Rangers for a 3-2 home win.

They followed that up by having the regulars skip their morning skate on Saturday in Pittsburgh before posting a gritty 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

Coach Todd Richards saw the tightness when he looked at his players and when he looked in the mirror. He took steps to change that.

As part of that, the coaching staff showed video that included music and pithy commentary to the team, eliciting smiles and laughs from players who had nearly forgotten how.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Private union matters should remain in the locker room and PA offices.  Internal disagreements should not be waged through the press.

“Some members of the media may have conflicting interests, leading to biased or inaccurate reporting.”

-Ken Baumgartner who resigned from his advisory board position this weekend.  More from Baumgartner by Tim Wharnsby of CBC.

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+baumgartner

What’s Wrong With Carolina?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

In the winter of 2003, after a dismal six-goal loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Carolina Hurricanes reached the inevitable conclusion that no matter how hard anyone tried or what anyone did, their season was only getting worse. And it proceeded to get worse, all the way to last place.

Is it possible the Hurricanes have reached that point on the first day of November, after a dismal four-goal loss to another West Coast team? After all, this is the first time the Hurricanes have gone nine games without a win since then.

This team doesn’t have the injury problems or overwhelming lack of interest the 2002-03 team developed as it slid down the standings, but it also doesn’t have a whole lot of answers, either.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

After One Month

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (November 1, 2009)—The first month of the 2009-10 NHL regular season ended Saturday with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins serving notice they will be tough to dethrone, the upstart Colorado Avalanche at the top of the Western Conference standings, reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals on pace for a career year and a talented rookie class making their mark.

  The Penguins shrugged off any suggestion of a ‘Stanley Cup hangover’ by tying the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers and 1992-93 Penguins for the most points after 10 games by a defending champion (18, 9-1-0) and finishing the month with the Eastern Conference’s top record (11-3-0). Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury went 9-2-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, while captain Sidney Crosby led the club with nine goals and 16 points.

Continue Reading »

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

No Reason To Rush Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonas Siegel of am640,

Phil Kessel is taunting the possibility.

He taunts it with a no-look pass.

He taunts it with a bullet from the left circle.

He taunts it with his bursts of speed.

But make no mistake that for all the taunting possibilities, the Leafs would be simply foolish to rush Kessel back this soon.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

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