Kukla's Korner

Kovalev Knows His Game Needs To Improve, But…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“Elite players have to start playing their best,” Melnyk said, without naming names.

Kovalev, who hasn’t scored since Oct. 29 — a 14-game drought (he missed three games to be with family in Russia following the death of his mother-in-law) — was in Montreal for a press conference yesterday to promote his charity DVD for off-ice training and was asked about Melnyk’s tongue-lashing.

“If those words are going to me, I’ll accept it. Not in a bad way, but the right way,” said Kovalev, a former Canadien who faces his old teammates tonight. “I know I have to step up to play better, there’s no question about it.”

But hockey is not an “individual sport,” Kovalev pointed out.

“People who know hockey have to understand I wish this could be an individual sport where you can prepare yourself and know you’ll have a good game or a bad game like in tennis,” said Kovalev. “In hockey, one person can make a difference, but I’m a new guy on the team.”

more on the Senators….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

The Reasons Behind The Flyers Slump

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

How bad are things in Flyerdom?

  Well, the Flyers equaled a franchise record for fewest shots allowed in a road game (13) Monday _ and somehow lost.

  Call them the Legion of Gloom.

  The Flyers fell to the host Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, despite allowing just 13 shots.

  The Flyers managed 15 shots _ and just two in the final period.

  Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.

  They have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. Want some reasons?

continued

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

Brodeur Ties Sawchuk’s Shutout Mark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,

It was the 103rd shutout of Brodeur’s illustrious career, tying him with Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuk, who accomplished the mark in 971 career games for the Red Wings, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Kings and Rangers.

“I think with the last few games, we had a couple going into the third with no goals,” said Brodeur, who had been waiting to tie the record since his last shutout on Oct. 17 against Carolina.

“When it was nine minutes left I was like, well let’s try to beat this, and then move on to five minutes and really think about it in the last five minutes. The guys played really well in front of me and made a big difference in why we were able to get a shutout, but especially a big win.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

The Maven With A Gretzky Tease

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Stan Fischler of Game On,

Wayne Gretzky’s recent comments on MSG Network clearly indicate that The Great One is in no rush to return to an ice job.

In an interview with MSG’s Al Trautwig, Gretzky admits he’s content watching his kids grow as athletes. Wayne took in a Penguins-Rangers game last week from an MSG ice-side seat alongside his still gorgeous wife Janet.

Who knows, maybe there’s a job for Wayne at the NHL alongside Brendan Shanahan? Wayne and Janet reportedly are shopping for a luxury apartment within a mile or two of the NHL headquarters. Coincidence, or what?

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

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Two minutes of the best goals, hits and saves in the past week of the NHL.

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

Mac On Film

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated at 1909: Twelve years later and nothing that has happened over the course of 4 Cups affects me like McCarty’s destruction of Claude Lemieux.  Still, to this day, it’s just…ours.  It’s a Wing fan’s moment.  

It’s been nagging at me the last hour or so that we didn’t do Mac justice with the last post announcing his official retirement.  You guys have seen every second of the videos below, but I’m showing them to you anyway.  Because the hat trick in ‘02 kicked Roy’s ass once and for all. And because that frigging goal to clinch OUR first Cup was a moment that defined so much for so many of us.

And because Darren McCarty brought a city to its feet with a beatdown that just had to happen and then he laughed at Denver with the rest of us with his OT winner.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Kiprusoff The Difference Maker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

This year, however, there has been a dramatic turnaround in the 33-year-old’s performance, as he has a 2.21 goals against average and .927 save percentage.

Considering Kiprusoff has faced 756 shots on goal so far this season, if he was still stopping pucks at a .903 clip, he would have allowed approximately 18 more goals than the 55 he’s let in so far this season, which would lift his goals against average to 2.94.

That’s a major impact to a Flames team that has scored 17 more goals than their opposition this season and it’s why I view Miikka Kiprusoff as making the primary difference for the Flames this season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: miikka+kiprusoff

Yzerman: “What The Faux Was THAT?”

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Darren McCarty officially called it quits today, even though we’d heard he retired several weeks ago.  Craig Custance remains the best hockey writer in Detroit.

Sporting News

“I was going to dump it in, it was the end of the shift but [the puck] rolled on me. My reaction was to toe drag and the next thing I knew I had a step on Niinimaa. I was just trying to shield the puck and saw Hextall coming out ... the last thing I remember, I got the puck on my stick and I remember thinking ‘Don’t miss the net.’”

As classic as that goal was, the reaction from Steve Yzerman might have been better.

“We were celebrating and the first guy I see is Stevie Yzerman in the pile. His eyes were as big as saucers and he said ‘What the [expletive] was that? I had no idea.”

NHLPA’s official release on Mac’s retirement is here.

And this will blow your mind…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Empty Seats Not A Good Sign For The Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

If I’m an NHL player, I’m not counting on getting any escrow payments back this season. In fact, the way things are looking, they might even need to sock away some more for when the nasty escrow man comes calling after this season.

When the NHL set this year’s escrow payments at 18 percent, it must have been looking at its own dismal attendance figures. Last year, players paid 12.9 percent of their salaries in escrow, which meant they gave more than $207 million back to their employers.

But if bums in the seats are any indication, things aren’t about to get better anytime soon, either for the league or the players. That’s because attendance, which is by far the league’s most prominent cash cow, is trending downward in almost every way imaginable.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Basically, he had trouble handling the success he had last year.  Maybe it’s not as easy as he thought it was.

He needs to make sure “he doesn’t forget where he is and how much of a privilege it is to be here,”

-Columbus goaltender coach Dave Rook on Steve Mason.  More from Scott Burnside plus other NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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