Kukla's Korner

Leafs Going In The Right Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Tonight, the Leafs and Hurricanes, boasting two of the league’s worst offences, will clash in a battle for the basement in the NHL and Carolina coach Paul Maurice thinks he knows what will happen.

“(It will be) 9-8, that’s the prediction,” he said with a smirk. “They’re going to try and manufacture goals, just like we will.”

Ron Wilson, his Toronto counterpart, was incredulous.

“If he wants to give up eight or nine goals, we’ll take that right now,” said Wilson. “He hasn’t watched us play much if he thinks we’re capable right now of scoring eight or nine goals.”

There is a sense among the Leafs, both the players and management, that they are heading in the right direction with points in five consecutive games.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hockey Talk On A Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

• The early-season leader in what may be a crowded Calder Trophy class may be the Philadelphia Flyers’ James vanRiemsdyk, the second player chosen in the Patrick Kane (2007) draft. VanRiemsdyk spent two years at the University of New Hampshire and had a brief seven-game taste of pro last spring with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. After Mike Knuble left as free agent and Joffrey Lupul went west in Chris Pronger deal, van Riemsdyk received a chance to play in a scoring role and is making the most of his 13 or so minutes of ice time per night, scoring 13 points in his first 10 games).

• Road warriors? After a light early-season schedule that saw the Calgary Flames play eight of their first 12 at home, they now face a daunting 13 of their next 17 away from the Pengrowth Saddledome.

more hockey notes plus a look at Brett Hull…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Save Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Brian Gionta thinks all he has to do is stuff the puck in the net, but Tim Thomas says not tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+thomas

Best Team Defence

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I think we are far enough into the season to conclude that the Chicago Blackhawks have the best team defence.  Chicago has held opposition to an amazing 22.7 shots per game so far.  This is 3.5 shots per game better than any other team (Los Angeles is second).  The Blackhawks have a solid 8-6 record (with one regulation tie) but have not been able to capitalize on this top defence so far because of lacklustre goaltending.  Cristobal Huet has put up a .895 saves percentage and a 2.36 goals against average.  The GAA looks acceptable, but when you consider how few shots he has faced, it is not so good.  So far rookie Antii Niemi has done a little better that Huet in goal, but he is largely untested.  His first of four starts was a shutout against Florida and that one start alone (which may be a bit of a fluke) makes up the difference between Huet and his numbers.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Talking Avalanche Attendance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Money, of course, was a top reason listed as to why people aren’t showing up as much right now, and I can certainly understand that.

But it’s obviously more than just money why people aren’t showing up right now to see what is a first-place team. Lots of people are tired at the lack of feeling that they are being heardby the Avalanche – be it by the team management or the ticket offices or the game-night entertainment staff or wherever.

A lot of you think the Avs just don’t care all that much about what you have to say. I think this can be more broadly accused, though, to the parts of the organization not having to do with the actual hockey operations. And I don’t want to just sit here and take cheapshots at them. There are a lot of good people who work with the Avs and they’ve been a pretty darn successful organ-i-zation over the years, and they’ve given back a lot to the community.

But I still hear complaints all the time about the lack of coherance about ticket prices/policies, etc. when they call the ticket offices. I hear a lot of complaints about the awful music that is blared into their ears at the Pepsi Center. I hear a lot of complaints about how nobody seemed to care when they, as a longtime season ticket holder, complained that lower bowl seats were sold to new customers at cheaper prices than they’ve paid for years – even in the upper bowl.

read on

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

Has Price Found His Game?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

There is a time in a season when a player has that moment that changes everything.

I wonder whether Carey Price had his Thursday night in Boston. His 42-save performance lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 shootout win over their rivals.

Hey, I know the Bruins were missing Marc Savard, Milan Lucic and David Krejci, and I know how their offense has dried up mightily in the last little while.

But Price delivered a dynamite effort in enemy territory as the Bruins launched everything but the kitchen sink at him. And that’s why I consider this game meaningful for Price.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Troubling Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The Edmonton Oilers are clearly a hockey team in big, big trouble. And next comes double trouble.

It was Game 16 and the body language of Pat Quinn’s team was that of a club mopping up the season with 16 games to go and out of the playoffs.

The Oilers now head into the double trouble part of the schedule which will see them play 11 of the next 16 games on the road as a result of the combination of the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials taking over Rexall Place.

Which means they can spread the flu to Colorado, Ottawa, Buffalo, Atlanta, Columbus, Vancouver, Detroit, Dallas, Florida, Tampa Bay and St. Louis while at the same time temporarily

continued

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

NHL Network Coverage- HHOF & GM Meeting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A quick update to let you know NHL Network (U.S.) will be broadcasting the 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, November 9th beginning at 7:00pm ET.

They will also be covering the NHL GM Meeting in Toronto with a special on-site edition of NHL Live! broadcast at noon – 2:00pm ET on Tuesday, November 10th.  NHL Network Canada & U.S. will also carry a special 30-minute show from 6:00 – 6:30pm. ET, repeated from 6:30 – 7:00pm ET.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, NHL Network, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“We Win, I’m More Happy”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pavel Datsyuk talks about the victory over the Sharks last night.

added 8:49am, Elliotte Friedman was on Fan590 this morning and talked about how the Wings seem to now understand the can no longer win 5-3 games and have tightened up their defensive play.

Listen here.

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

Wild Off To A Slow Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

If they need help finding “celebrities” to fire up the “Team of 18,000,” I am here to help.

Next game, they should bring back Doug Risebrough. That way Risebrough could get the fans riled, and then the Wild would get to fire him all over again.

Thursday night at the X, it was hard to tell if there were more empty seats or empty Wild jerseys, as the Fighting Christmas Trees played pathetically while losing 5-2 to the beat-up Canucks.

There are four prime figures you could blame for the Wild’s lousy play so far: Risebrough, new GM Chuck Fletcher, old coach Jacques Lemaire or new coach Todd Richards.

Richards is the easiest to pick on because his players have looked so confused and tentative, but every rookie coach should get a little time to learn on the job.

read on

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

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