Kukla's Korner

It’s Only One Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

What a horrific ending to that one tonight, eh? 52 minutes of shutout hockey against the Anaheim Ducks, finishing with eight minutes of four-goals-against hockey and a dispiriting loss for the boys in Blueberry, heading into the Christmas break.

The thing that makes this loss so much worse for the Avs was that they at least had a point practically guaranteed, even after blowing a 2-0 lead, when the puck was on Kyle Quincey’s stick with 38 seconds left and a couple of good passing options available to him. At the very least, Quincey could have flipped the puck high and killed some clock, but instead he ended up icing the puck, leading to a faceoff in the Avs’ end. That kept the same tired crew on the ice for the Avs, and Ryan Getzlaf ended up beating Craig Anderson about 11 seconds later for the game-winner. Anaheim has a lot of good little set plays off of faceoffs and they cyle the puck extremely well, so a faceoff in their own end was the worst thing that could have happened there.

But I’m not going to get all Grinch here. Let’s raise a toast to an Avs team that enters the Christmas break still in first place in their division. Did anybody predict that would happen?

read on

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

Leafs Need More From Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Three games without a point - his worst stretch as Leaf - doesn’t mean a Kessel benching is imminent, but Leafs coach Ron Wilson would like to see more soon from the team’s designated sniper.

“I agree he’s a little off,” Wilson said following Tuesday’s practice at the Mastercard Centre. “He’s not skating, he looks like he’s a little tired. He’s played a lot of games ... that’s as far as I will go.”

Kessel was willing to take it a little further while trying to shake off one of his least memorable nights with his new team. A mediocre minus-four in his past four games, Kessel was held to just four non-threatening shots on goal in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Sabres.

To add misery to the miserly attack, the winger was on the ice for Derek Roy’s game winner in overtime. Rather than help earn the valuable extra point, Kessel contributed to it going the other way.

“I just haven’t been playing as well as before,” Kessel said bluntly before the team hopped a flight to New York for Wednesday’s game against the Islanders.

“Lately, I just haven’t been the best. I haven’t been terrible, but I know I have a lot better in me. I have to pick it up.


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

Scoring Still A Problem For Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Before getting the boot late last February, Tom Renney was criticized for suppressing the Rangers’ creativity during the seemingly endless string of 2-1 and 3-2 games they played with him behind the bench.

But you don’t hear those same complaints leveled at John Tortorella now that his Blueshirts seem to be stuck playing those very same low-scoring games a year later.

Coaches change. Personnel changes. The Rangers’ scoring problems do not, at least not significantly, even during the three-game winning streak they will bring into tonight’s Garden match against the Panthers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

GDT - Game #37: Red Wings host Blackhawks (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

It happened last night by virtue of the Canucks 4-1 win over Bubba, and all indications are that it may happen again and again this season; the Wings are on the outside of the playoff chase looking up at the standings.  But, Lil’ Gary may have given DET a small Christmas present by scheduling CHI a game with SJS last night, which CHI lost 3-2 (Huet in net).  With the win, SJS now lead the West.

After having won 4 straight, the Wings have now lost 2 in a row.  From all I’ve read, DET looked good at DAL; I can’t say, I didn’t see it.  Unfortunately, I did watch the tilt Sunday at CHI, and it was pretty clear to me that DET were badly outplayed.  They may have been gassed from the game in DAL the day before, and the roster may be filled with Griff’s; all true.  But the long and the short of it is this Captain Obvious statement:  The Wings


start taking more points from Conference opponents, especially Division opponents; or it could be their shortest season in 18 years.

GDT Lite today - - I’ve gotta meet St Nick, several times.  Merry Christmas bitches(!), enjoy this gift.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Hating You Some Hoss?  Stay Home

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Here.  Visit this blog, or this one, or this one.  If you feel like whining about Marian Hossa, or finding sympathy among hockey fans who despise him?  Those are some spots for you.  All Penguin blogs, of course. 

If you’ve come here today looking for a Wings blogger blasting Hossa for his Detroit departure? You’d better squint real hard.

And if you’re a Wing fan going to the Joe tonite with plans to boo #81? Don’t.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Sens Would Like Some Power Play Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at the Globe and Mail,

After the Senators got through a game without receiving so much as a single power-play opportunity for the third time this year, Clouston was left wondering why his team can’t seem to get some calls from the NHL’s referees.

“I have no idea why, I honestly don’t,” he said Wednesday, hours after the Senators were shut out 2-0 at home by Boston in a game in which the Bruins enjoyed three man advantages to Ottawa’s zero. “To me, it’s a little disrespectful to the players because they are working hard, they are doing the things they should be doing (to draw penalties) and they come to the bench and they’re just frustrated.

“They don’t know why that wasn’t a call or why it wasn’t made. It’s tough to know what to tell them.”

read on

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

Franchises Of The Decade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Hunt of Sports Illustrated,

Picking the 25 best sports franchises from the 2000s wasn’t easy. Ranking them was even more difficult. But here’s how we see the 25 best overall teams from the four major professional sports—NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL—plus college football and men’s and women’s college basketball….

6 Detroit Red Wings
Credentials: No team has done a better job of finding talent in the NHL draft than the Red Wings ... and it has showed. Detroit won two Stanley Cups and eight consecutive division titles during the decade, making the playoffs in all nine seasons. (The NHL lockout wiped out the 2003-04 season.) Detroit also topped 100 points in every season of the decade, winning the Presidents’ Trophy (best regular-season record) four times.

read on for the only other NHL team kisted, the Devils at #19…

added 8:08pm, from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Here are our top five teams for the first decade of the 21st century:

1) 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings
Regular season: 116 points; First in Central Division, First in Western Conference, Won Presidents’ Trophy
Playoffs: Won Stanley Cup (beat Carolina 4-1 in Final)

Talk about a team awash in talent. The ‘01-02 Red Wings were swimming in Hall of Famers (present and future), from goal (Dominik Hasek) to defense (Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios) to the front line (Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov) and even behind the bench (Scotty Bowman).

more teams…

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

H2H Update: No Limits To Hockeytown’s Generosity

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated 1737. While we’re on the subject of helping others during the holiday season and beyond, check out what your Wings did today.  Awesome.

This is no longer an A2Y endeavor.  It’s so far beyond Abel to Yzerman at this point. It’s Detroit Red Wing fans from literally all over the world coming together for two great causes: getting Herm to the Joe in March, and collecting money for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Yes, this will be an annual event. A different cause each year, in association with helping out the kids.  Something creative and something cool for a Wing fan who may not be able to afford it, otherwise.

Here’s the amazing thing, more than the money.  It’s the community of fans getting together to help organize this.  JennyQuarx and Msevern are two of the 19 who have taken it upon themselves to handle a huge amount of the logistics: from organizing a bulk ticket purchase, to contacting the team and the hospital.  And there are more. Suggestions are pouring in for restaurants, hotels, etc.  And Osrt, innocently of course, is going to put Herm up for his time in Hockeytown.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

It Seems Like Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Seminara of the New York Times,

When Catherine Kaptain turned on the evening news and saw her son John being struck with his own shoe in a fight with the Boston Bruins, her disdain for the sport her family loved never seemed more justified. “I screamed, ‘They’re beating up my babies!’ ” she said.

Thirty years ago, on Dec. 23, 1979, Bruins defenseman Mike Milbury whacked John Kaptain, a Rangers fan from New Jersey, with a shoe during a bizarre altercation in which all but one Bruins player went over the glass and into the stands at Madison Square Garden. The incident, after a 4-3 Bruins victory, resulted in three players being suspended, lawsuits and the installation of higher glass in the arena. It remains one of the most memorable fan-athlete confrontations in sports.

It all unfolded after Phil Esposito of the Rangers smashed his stick on the ice and skated off to the locker room after failing to convert a breakaway in the waning seconds. When the buzzer sounded, Al Secord, Boston’s rugged left wing, decked the Rangers’ Ulf Nilsson.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+milbury

Trying To Fix Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

GM Scott Howson, coach Ken Hitchcock and entire coaching staff had a lengthy meeting in the corner of the hotel lobby this morning. Then they stepped into a conference room with 10 veterans on the club—Rick Nash, Antoine Vermette, R.J. Umberger, Kristian Huselius, Jason Chimera, Sammy Pahlsson, Raffi Torres, Fedor Tyutin, Mike Commodore and Jan Hejda—and met for 30 minutes.

Clearly, this has now gone beyond Xs and Os. This club may or may not be well constructed. They might not even be playoff caliber, as some believe. But there’s no reason for any NHL club to win only two out of 17 games.


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

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