Kukla's Korner

Wings Need More Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responded to a Wings fan email…

I agree to a degree with your analysis on the defensive game of the Wings. For starters, I don’t think one of the game’s great all-time blueliners, Nicklas Lidstrom, has been up to his usual standard this season. The injury to Niklas Kronwall severely hurts the cause, as well.

But overall, I have to agree with GM Ken Holland, who recently told me his biggest concern was the lack of offense. It’s no surprise the Wings would find it more difficult after losing Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky from last season and replacing them with Jason Williams, Todd Bertuzzi, Patrick Eaves, Brad May and Drew Miller. Not the same juice.

Now, let’s give you some historical backing. The Wings are 18th in goals per game right now at 2.76. I did a little digging just for you. In the last 10 NHL seasons beginning with 1999-2000, the Wings’ final regular-season goals per game average never dipped below 3.00 and the team ranked top five in the NHL in eight of those nine seasons

more plus numerous other questions and answers from Pierre…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blues/Blue Jackets Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has acquired forward Pascal Pelletier from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Brendan Bell and Tomas Kana.

Pelletier, 26, has played in 25 games this season with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Syracuse Crunch, recording 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) and 23 penalty minutes.  Last season, the 5-11, 197-pound left winger notched 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) and 45 penalty minutes in 71 games with Rockford of the AHL.  Pelletier led the team in goals and power play goals and was second on the club in points. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Star Is Created

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,

So the mesmerizing mini-Malkin moves up the minor levels quick. He starts playing with older kids and he’s still good. Simple as that. He can’t explain it. But he ends up playing at the highest level a kid of his age and size is allowed.

He starts to get the free gear, the praise and the type of coaching that comes with the best teams. And he gets even better.

At some point, he starts to actually believe he’s the second coming of Sidney Crosby and he gets to turn off the rest of the real world and enjoy the ride that is his blessed little life. Bantam draft, selected, boom. Junior hockey, recruited, boom. And maybe, if he’s extra special, he gets to miss a class or two that other kids have to attend.

Before he knows it, his name is included in the NHL draft…not as high as he’d like, though. He played against one guy who was drafted in the first round and that guy was brutal. Pfft. What a joke.

And just like that, management’s little nightmare is born.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Player Agent Allan Walsh Talks Twitter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Outspoken Octagon Sports agent Allan Walsh believes the National Hockey League has always failed to properly market its players, so he’s encouraging his clients to lead the NHL’s social-networking movement.

“What the NHL has never really understood and will never understand is what the fans want is to interact with the players,” said Mr. Walsh in James Mirtle’s Saturday story. “The league’s philosophy over the years has always been: Fans buy tickets to see the team, to cheer for their team and that they’re more concerned about the logo than the name and the number on the back on the sweater. But as many times as they say it, it’s not going to make it true.

“What really drives numbers, attendance, TV ratings, are the personalities.”

continued...

I do hope Mr. Walsh addresses deleting his ‘Halak’ tweets from a few weeks ago.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: allan+walsh

What To Do With Brind’Amour?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Ovies of WRAL,

Canes television play-by-play voice John Forslund told Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 620 The Buzz that Brind’Amour was surprised by the news.

“We all know is role has been diminished, his ice time has been diminished, but [Brind’Amour] took it hard and his teammates took it hard,” said Forslund.

What is the organization’s ultimate end-game for Brind’Amour’s situation? Whatever it is, Forslund believes it should be addressed soon and not left hanging out there.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+brind'amour

Not Too Early To Start Worrying

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,

If you’re a Ducks fan and you’re not panicking, maybe you just haven’t been paying much attention.

The Ducks finish up a home stand tonight and then hit the road, and it’s not too early for them to be worried about playoff qualification.

So you think everybody in the NHL makes the playoffs? Not true. As of Monday, you could be 13-11-5, as Columbus is, and be 11th in the East. And the Ducks are below that level. They are 10-13-6 and dead last in the West, with the 28th best record in a 30 team league. They’re eight points out of the final playoff spot.

continued

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

Western Supremacy

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

For the last several years, the West Conference has had a winning record versus the East Conference.  So far this year, the West is 65-51 (with 15 losses credited as regulation ties).  This is a better pace than the 141-129 (with 26 regulation tie points) record the West Conference put up last year.  Does this mean that the West is becoming even more dominant over the East Conference this year, when compared to last year?

At least part of the early season improvement in the West Conference record against the East is a predictable travel effect.  As the season progresses, travel wears on both conferences.  The West Conference travels a further total distance.  They lose more time that could be spent on practice, rest, injury rehab etc. to travel.  After a few months of the season it weakens the West Conference relative to the East, allowing the East to win a few more inter-conference games later in the season.  Thus, the early season pace that the West Conference holds in inter-division games is never maintained the full season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

More Life Chapters Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They walk toward the cancer clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and he reaches for her hand, an instinct no more conscious than the last breath he took. He opens the door for her, his hand gently in the small of her back, retracing steps traveled many times over the past three years.

It’s quiet here on a sunny Sunday morning, and the couple is greeted warmly like old friends by the staff at the clinic. Tim, one of the health care staff, who has been here for so many of these visits, tells Larry Pleau and his wife, Wendy, that he’s sorry they missed his homemade turtles the day before. They joke about the missed opportunity before Tim disappears and returns a short while later with a box of the candy for Wendy.

Jane, another staffer, works on the three-pronged catheter that has been embedded near the tip of Wendy’s aorta since June 15, 2007, drawing blood and then redoing the dressing around the device.

The device has made the regular blood transfusions and tests and administering of antibiotics easier, but it also has been a constant reminder of what has been taken from her.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: larry+pleau, wendy+pleau

When Panthers Collide

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Word is Gregory Campbell is OK, just a little dazed from the hit.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gregory+campbell

GM Messier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sources tell TSN that Hockey Canada will name Mark Messier as its general manager for the 2010 World Hockey Championship.

The 2010 event runs from May 7 to May 23 in Germany.

Messier, who is also the New York Rangers’ special assistant to general manager Glen Sather, is said to be “very excited” about his first international experience as a manager.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+messier

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