Kukla's Korner

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (February 8, 2010) – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 7.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Caps Are Fun To Watch, But

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The Capitals like to tell people they’ve tightened up defensively and coach Bruce Boudreau will vociferously defend his defenders, saying his team doesn’t get enough props for how good it is defensively. Nice words, but we’re not buying it. The Capitals win games by sheer tour de force, overpowering their opponents with offense and, more often than not, hoping their defense and goaltending is just good enough to keep the other team from scoring five goals.

It flies in the face of everything we’ve believed wins hockey games and it yet may prove to be the Capitals undoing, but man, is it fun to watch. What makes it so entertaining is that the Capitals don’t kill you with a barrage of offense so much as they take the life out of you with the quick-strike power of a cobra.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Is Gainey Resigning?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,

Rumors are rampant Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Habs. I have asked the principals involved to confirm or deny. NO response.

The Canadiens have called a 4:00pm ET press conference.

added 12:37pm, Another tweet from Bob,

Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Canadiens. Pierre Gauthier is taking over.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+gainey

Jimmah Brings No Excuses While Jobu Brings The Curling Iron

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

After letting another lead slip through their fingers, this time allowing four unanswered goals by the Masshole’s Kings, the Red Wings should be embarrassed by their performance Saturday afternoon.

Typically, we’d be hearing Ozzie sound off that he felt good, but didn’t get all the bounces or luck to win the game.  Deflect, deflect, deflect.

This season we have a new stud, Jimmah Howard, who is not only playing better than Ozzie, he is taking more responsibility than Elroy for his role in a Red Wings loss.  The Perfect Human, however, won’t let Jimmah be blamed for the loss.

Khan (!)

Howard said. “I didn’t think I had my best outing. I was very disappointed in how I played. You learn from your mistakes and now I have to rebound from it.’’

While Howard threw himself under the bus, this latest collapse had more to do with the defense’s inability to control the Kings around the net.

“It hurts even more when you’re up 3-0,’’ captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We came out with a good push, but then in the second (period) we didn’t play well enough in front of our net. They got a lot of pucks in there, they were crashing the net and we didn’t do a good enough job to clear the rebounds or take the players out of there.’’

Jimmah is taking responsibilty, and I dig that.  Now the rest of the team also has to man-up and take responsibility for their roles in the failures this season.  Some long hard talks with the man in the mirror.  Everyone should be embarrassed.  Including the fans.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Lady Byng Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In late November, I picked Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars as the Lady Byng leader.  He has been surpassed in quality of play by a better Lady Byng candidate.  Martin St Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning has the same point total (63) as Richards, but plays a better defensive game.  This is shown in part by the fact that Richards has the second worst +/- rating on his team at -11 (Steve Ott is -13), while St Louis has a 0 rating, which is more in line with his team.  St Louis also has a slightly lower penalty minute total (8 vs. 10).  This makes Martin St Louis a better Lady Byng candidate at this point.

Though Martin St Louis has never won the Lady Byng in the past, I think he should have and would have voted for him last year.  Perhaps this will be the year he wins it.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Pre-Olympic Team Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

With five days left as of Monday to the opening faceoff of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, the IIHF released the pre-Olympic World Ranking Report.

Russia, which has won two consecutive IIHF World Championship gold medals, tops the men’s pre-Olympic ranking report with 2925 points ahead of Canada (2905 points) and Sweden (2795).


added 8:49am, Also from the IIHF,

It’s one of the most sought-after souvenirs from the Olympic Winter Games – and virtually impossible to get. The official Olympic ice hockey puck.

Weighing in at six ounces, one inch thick and three inches in diameter, this tiny piece of vulcanized rubber is every hockey collector’s fantasy keepsake. Every year it is a challenge to create a puck that incorporates all of the Olympic values, while keeping the puck functional. Too much white, and you have unhappy players, too boring, and you have unhappy fans.



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

Ex-Flames Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

• Hockey Night in Canada executives spared Albertans from Toronto’s ongoing Dion Phaneuf love-in Saturday by showing the Flames-Lightning game here. However, the nationally-televised Toronto Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators game featured close-ups of the word ‘work’ Phaneuf has started writing on the butt-end of his stick. The Air Canada Centre announcer also went out of his way several minutes after a Leafs goal to point out Phaneuf’s first-period assist “was his first as a Leaf,” prompting a roar from the crowd. Memo to Toronto: Calgary fell in love with Phaneuf at first, too.

• On behalf of the media, I apologize for “costing the Flames two points,” as Olli Jokinen suggested after he had to play one last uninspired game in Calgary despite word of his trade to the New York Rangers had been leaked before the game. OK, now it’s your turn, Olli, to apologize for all the points your disappointing play cost the club.

• Interesting footnote to the Phaneuf trade: New teammate Mike Komisarek is an ex-boyfriend of Dion’s girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Need To Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They are 4-6-4 in their past 14 games and have little margin for error as they try to extend their playoff streak to 19 seasons.

The Red Wings have three games before the Olympic break, including Tuesday at St. Louis, when they hope the return of power forward Johan Franzen from a four-month absence because of a torn knee ligament will provide a boost.

“Every game for us from here until the end is an incredibly important two points,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We got to put a run together. Playing .500 the rest of the year isn’t going to do it.”


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

Struggling Olympic Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

* Team Canada’s Martin Brodeur of the Devils is just 2-3 the past two weeks, including the loss to Lundqvist’s Rangers on Saturday.

* Prior to leading his Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 shootout win in Boston on Saturday, Canada’s Roberto Luongo was pulled after allowing three first-period goals to the Maple Leafs on Jan. 30, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Habs in his hometown of Montreal on Feb. 2.

* The third Canadian goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, dropped a pair of games over the weekend. After being yanked in a 5-3 defeat to the Canadiens on Saturday, he was on the losing end of a 5-4 overtime decision to the high-flying Capitals on Sunday.

* Team USA’s Ryan Miller, the backbone of the Buffalo Sabres, is just 2-5 in his past seven appearances and is mired in a three-game losing streak.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Still Dealing With Post-Concussion Symptoms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

Sidelined Wild playmaker Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who continues his long, frustrating struggle with a concussion, has returned to Minnesota after almost two weeks in Montreal, where he sought ulterior treatment plans.

Bouchard was examined by a neuropsychologist, an osteopath and his exercise kinesiologist, Paul Gagne.

“The [neuropsychologist]—the head doctor—did a bunch of tests and I should have the results pretty soon, but overall there doesn’t look like I have brain damage, which is a good thing,” Bouchard said. “At least my memory and reaction time and reflexes look good.

“Now it’s just a question of still getting rid of my symptoms—the pressure in my head that I still have.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre-marc+bouchard

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