Kukla's Korner

Filatov = Zherdev?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock and his 19-year-old rookie Nikita Filatov met for more than 10 minutes at center ice this morning as the players swirled around them. It was a fascinating scene as Hitchcock, at times tapping his stick on the ice, conveyed what’s expected of the talented Filatov.

By all accounts, it was a healthy and constructive chat.

The coach let Filatov know he would be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game. He also emphasized that Filatov needs to be more competitive on the puck. A smiling Filatov said Hitchcock told him he’s been getting “worse,’’ over the course of the four games. Never mind his ice time has been decreasing each night. Hitchcock wants Filatov thinking “quality over quantity.”

But the most interesting element—and I don’t want to reveal too much because columnist Bob Hunter will be writing about the topic for Wednesday—is that both player and coach conceded that Nikolai Zherdev has been discussed in relation to Filatov’s development.


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

DiPietro Faces Live Shooters Who Were Actually Trying To Score

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of Isles Files,

There is no timetable for Rick DiPietro to come back for an NHL game, but he is watching the clock. And he was pleased that his workout with six skaters at Islanders practice today represented the longest he has been on the ice in a live workout during his rehab.
          He was encouraged, and demanding of himself. It was a step forward for him, seeing “live” shots from skaters who were really trying to score. At one point, they did breakaways. At another all six were on various spots on the ice, taking turns firing shots at him. He did quite well in turning them away.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+dipietro

What Do You Know, NY Does Smell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Here at practice, it’s quite cold but there’s a nice view of Chelsea Piers — I took some pictures to post later — and it smells better than when the players arrived. Seems as though there was a sewage issue in the locker-room area, and the whole area smelled like…well, sewage. Practice is ongoing now. Report to come a bit later…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Talking Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Like the source of Taco Bell’s ground beef and the possibility of a “Lady In The Water” sequel, the potential for Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson losing his job at this point in the season is something I’ve refused to contemplate.


added 12:27pm, from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Reeling from their worst start in almost 20 years, the 0-4-1 Leafs called up centre Tyler Bozak from the Marlies, apparently benching forwards Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman and sitting goalie Vesa Toskala out with a lower body injury.

”Why not?,” coach Ron Wilson said of the high-profile benchings. “We need more from everyone, we’re giving opportunities to younger guys.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

Can’t Miss Action

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from me at NHL.com,

This is why I stay up late almost every night during the hockey season. This is why I will never turn off a game that looks like a blowout. This is why I am a hockey fan.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Have To Player Tighter Defensively

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Osgood’s first game at “The Joe” since June 12 was a 32-save effort, holding off the potent Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals in a 3-2 victory for Detroit.

“I said to Ozzie, ‘I don’t know if you played one game that well in the first half last year.’ So that’s a real good sign for us,” Wing coach Mike Babcock said.

“Everyone is determined to play tighter from the start this season, not just me,” Osgood said.

Babcock had reason to have his game face in midseason form after losing forwards Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson to free agency as well as two opening-season losses to rival St. Louis in Sweden.

Babcock is stressing a more aggressive penalty-killing unit—not only to be better at smoldering opponent’s power plays, but also improving on the paltry six shorthanded goals the multi-talented Red Wings had last season. The Red Wings were particularly embarrassed by ranking 25th on the penalty kill last season. That won’t happen again.

more plus Central Division notes…

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

Bruins Need Fixing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

All we know for sure right now about the Bruins is that something isn’t right. In fact, a lot is not right.

They’re engaged, but only sometimes. They hit, but not nearly enough. They think, but their thoughts wander to risky places even AIG workers wouldn’t dare go. There is nothing at all special about their special teams, which yesterday went a listless 0 for 5 on the power play and killed only one of three shorthanded situations.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Huge Lack Of Mental Toughness

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Flames coach Brent Sutter tells it like it is after last night’s loss to the Blackhawks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

An Off-Ice Looks At Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cheryl Cornacchia of the Montreal Gazette,

“At the end of the day when I retire I don’t want to be remembered by how many people I’ve beaten up,” said Laraque, who was born in Montreal in 1976, the eldest of three children of Haitian parents who arrived here in 1975. “I want to be remembered for the impact I have had in the community.”

After seeing Earthlings, a powerful documentary on the exploitation of animals for the pet, food, clothing and entertainment industries, and for which he is now doing narration for a French-language version, he said he decided to do something to help animals.

Quebec is known as the puppy mill capital of Canada, he notes. Unlike the guys he roughs it up with on the ice, “willing combatants,” he said, they have no choice.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Flyers On A Bonding Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

After a hard conditioning practice punctuated by wind sprints, the Flyers boarded a flight for Fort Lauderdale on Monday, where they will spend the next three days participating in team bonding exercises designed to get them to know each other in a more meaningful way….

Today, players and coaches will negotiate strong winds and rough waves in a five-team sailboat regatta featuring six people to a boat.

“The coaches are the early odds-on favorites,” said Flyers coach John Stevens, who grew up boating off the coast of New Brunswick.

Wednesday, the players and coaches will again venture into the Atlantic for a fishing tournament. All players will be provided with life preservers, Stevens said.

“That’s good,” Laperriere said, “because I swim like a rock.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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