Kukla's Korner

Oilers Continue To Clean House

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

In the continuing purge, the three longest-serving Edmonton Oilers’ employees — trainer Ken Lowe and equipment men Barrie Stafford and Lyle Kulchisky — apparently no longer have their positions.

The heart-and-soul Oilers may be reassigned within the organization, although there is some thought that Lowe, brother of team president Kevin Lowe, might not hang around.

The Oilers haven’t commented yet.

Kulchisky, the assistant equipment manager who also looks after the visiting team, trucking their gear to and from the airport, just finished his 34th season with the club.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Vinny Lecavalier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Damian Cristodero of Lightining Strikes talks to Vinny Lecavalier,

On being an elite player again: Yeah, definitely. That was three years ago (winning the Richard Trophy). It wasn’t 10 years ago. I’m still young. I’m still strong. I’m going to come back next year and try to do it.

On pinpointing last season’s troubles: I felt that maybe I could have shot even more. It’s really tough to say. I know I say that every single time, but it really is confidence and what you build on. There was so much inconsistency, I never really got into a rhythm. A little bit more after the (Olympic) break, but you don’t want to start when there’s 20 games left. You want to start at the first of the year. I felt I trained hard last summer and was ready to go. It didn’t happen the way I wanted it to.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Biggest Playoff Upset

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I think the biggest upset in the 2010 playoffs has just occurred.  The Philadelphia Flyers have defeated the New Jersey Devils.  Philadelphia was without their first two choices to be starting goalies as Ray Emery and Michael Leighton were injured.  This left the Flyers with Brian Boucher in goal.  Boucher was coming off a lacklustre .899 saves percentage and had not won a playoff game since the year 2000.  Philadelphia almost lost their playoff berth with due to their goaltending problems.  They went on a streak where they lost seven of eight games and needed a run where they won three of their last four games to clinch a playoff berth on the last day of the season.  Things looked even worse when Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne both suffered foot injuries that will keep them out for weeks, if not the rest of the season.  Nevertheless, Philadelphia defeated New Jersey four games to one in the first round.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Norris Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As announced on NHL Live…

Drew Doughty

Mike Green

Duncan Keith

added 12:16pm,

NEW YORK (April 23, 2010)—Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Mike Green of the Washington Capitals and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2009-10 James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Team Will Pay Kovalchuk?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

For top dollar, Kovalchuk will need to go to Russia and play in the KHL, which would be a coup for the upstart league that is trying to repatriate its biggest names. Kovalchuk left $102-million on the table - the amount the Atlanta Thrashers were prepared to pony up to sign him at different times this year. But the negotiations were always a moving target and though you can accuse general manager Don Waddell of a lot of things, you cannot fault him for making the best deal he could for Kovalchuk’s rights when it was clear he wasn’t going to stay on, no matter what the Thrashers offered.

Nor can I imagine that there’s another team in the league that thinks Kovalchuk should be its highest player, even if he does come as an unrestricted free agent and doesn’t require a team to give up an asset in return.

more plus additional NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Can You Make A Comeback At Age 20?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Blue Jackets left winger Nikita Filatov has told The Dispatch this morning via text message that he plans to return to Columbus in the fall for training camp.

“Yes, I’m sure I’ll come for training camp,” Filatov said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

GDT - WC Quarterfinals, Game 5: Red Wings (2-2) at ‘Yotes (2-2)  (10:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Momentum in this series is non-existent, as the teams have alternated wins and losses.  If that pattern continues to hold true, things could get ugly tonight.  Fortunately, Uncle Mike isn’t asleep at the switch:  “Jim Leyland always says momentum is as good as today’s starter. That’s hockey, too.”  The team also realize the task at hand:  “So far in this series, we haven’t played two good games in a row,” Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall said. “We have to go after them and take care of the puck in the neutral zone, be quick to pucks in our own zone and just make sure that first pass is tape-to-tape, that way you’ll spend way more time on offense.” 

Kronwall said it, not me; DET have played like a bunch of schizophrenic bastards - - Bad, good, bad, good. Tonights game will establish if DET have an answer to PHX’s ferocious fore-check. Will DET actually spend time playing in the PHX zone, or is it more of the one shot and done?  Will Helm’s line hold their own?  Is Jimmah back to form?  I really want to know Who this team is.  We will all wake up tonight.  Best of three starts now.  DET will play an elimination game on Sunday, hopefully tonights effort will reward them with the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals.  Game on, Bitches.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Senators Stay Alive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Matt Carkner and Pascal Leclaire combined to save the Senators’ season - at least for two more nights.

The Senators will return home Saturday for Game 6 of their playoff series against the Penguins after Carkner scored at 7:06 of triple overtime to give Ottawa a 4-3 victory in the longest game in franchise history and keep the first-round series alive.

“It’s definitely an unbelievable feeling after all the guys battled hard,” said Carkner, the man they call Big Country. “We never stopped working. We knew it wasn’t going to be a pretty goal. It’s definitely the biggest of my career.”

continued and if you missed Carkner’s OT goal, watch it below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Energized, Avalanche Look Tired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

On Thursday night, the Sharks picked apart the overwhelmed Avalanche like it was toy time, a Game 5 victory that leaves San Jose one win away from its first second-round berth in two years with Game 6 on tap Saturday night in Denver.

The youthful Avs have been game in this series. They’re full marks for pushing the top seeds to a six- or seven-game series. But on Thursday night, it just felt like the challenger was starting to wobble as the heavyweight favorite landed a few hard body shots.

“I feel we got what we deserved tonight,” said Avs coach Joe Sacco. “We didn’t play well for 60 minutes.”

The Avs, to be honest, looked dog-tired out there.

“This is playoff hockey here. You shouldn’t be tired. You should be re-energized,” said Sacco.


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

The Devils Era Is Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

This year, the Devils went down with a whimper, shut out over the final 107:36, unable to score an even-strength goal over the final three matches. It wasn’t the match-up, though the Devils beat the Flyers only twice (2-8-1) in 11 games. It was the Devils….

There is something fundamentally wrong here. General manager Lou Lamoriello made the correct move in acquiring Kovalchuk—sorry, Zdeno Chara and Drew Doughty were not available—but it made no difference whatsoever.

The Devils are out. Their era of greatness officially has been put to bed. It was swell while it lasted.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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