Kukla's Korner

Do You Want To Hear From Bettman?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

Perhaps it’s time for the NHL to look at a new way of doing things when it comes to supplementary discipline.

Perhaps the time is right for Gary Bettman to take centre stage, to become the man who makes these tough hockey decisions and puts his reputation on the line.

David Stern does it in the NBA. Roger Goodell was the one who banned Michael Vick and has to deal with trouble in the NFL when suspensions are required. Heck, Mark Cohon, every once in a while, at least tries to look like he’s running the CFL show when something bad happens on the field.

But not Bettman. Whether it was Brian Burke or Colin Campbell, Bettman has preferred to stay in the background, just as was the case when Brian O’Neill dealt with supplementary discipline under John Ziegler.

But it wasn’t always this way.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Everyone Has An Opinion On Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Imrem of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Ovechkin is unique. He’s a mix of Rodman’s badness and Michael Jordan’s goodness. It doesn’t get much better or entertaining than that.

Anyway, Ovechkin divided the hockey world when he steered Campbell into the boards, breaking the Hawk’s ribs and clavicle.

The Capitals and others who revere Ovechkin wondered what the big deal was. The Hawks and those who revile Ovechkin thought it was a capital crime.

There’s more if you cruise the World Wide Web.

Those who worship Sidney Crosby, vying with Ovechkin to be the NHL’s best player, think Ovechkin should have been suspended until the Cubs win a World Series or the 22nd century, whichever comes first.

Those who think Crosby is a protected little whiner would hate for the NHL to be left to him for even as briefly as the two-game suspension Ovechkin received.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

All Paul Holmgren

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror and just 14 games separating his team from the April 11 finish line, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren can do little more than sit and wait.

The Daily News caught up with Holmgren yesterday for his thoughts on the state of the Flyers:

DN: You have always said that you are confident in Michael Leighton and his abilities, but is it tough to put your trust in someone who has only been here for a limited sample size?

PH: What would’ve been the difference if it was Ray Emery? Him and Michael have been with the team almost the same amount of time. Or Brian Boucher, for that matter. So, no, I have every confidence in Michael. I think he’s played well. The numbers since he’s been with us speak for themselves. I don’t know how many goalies in the NHL have Stanley Cups - Martin Brodeur, Cam Ward, Chris Osgood, Marc-Andre Fleury - so that means there are 25 other teams that are in the same boat that we’re in, wondering whether Michael is good enough. But we think Michael is good enough to lead us into the playoffs.



Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+holmgren

Rangers Need To Win First, Then Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Satriano of the NY Post,

The seventh-place Canadiens visit the Garden tonight with a five-point lead on the Rangers.

“It’s really like a four-point game, and those can be a big swing,” defenseman Wade Redden said yesterday after practice. “Those are must-wins. It’s a good opportunity to get points and prevent them from getting any.”

With the logjam at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, Rangers coach John Tortorella could see his cable bill skyrocket this month. The scoreboard watching includes any games involving the Canadiens, Flyers, Bruins, Lightning, Panthers and Thrashers.

“I could sit here and tell you, ‘Oh, it’s just about us’, but I watch them, and I’m sure the players do watch,” Tortorella said. “But it really doesn’t matter, because if we don’t do our things, we aren’t gonna get in.”

read on

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

Leafs Survive Shaky Trip To New York

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Wayne Primeau can almost feel his gut still churning when he thinks about the Maple Leafs horrifying plane ride from Toronto to the New York area in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

“It was one of the scariest flights I’ve ever had, for sure,” Primeau said Monday, still shaking his head in disbelief.

“The turbulence we experienced for about two minutes was unbelievable ... At one point, I was thinking about my family and kids. I was hanging on for dear life.”


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

Ducks Are Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Ducks are done and won’t make the playoffs this season. And for a lot of reasons.

Their defense is porous, their injury list too often led by key players like Selanne, Saku Koivu and Joffrey Lupul (out 38 games after back surgery and complications). Selanne, who has missed 26 games, and Getzlaf are day to day and questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Honda Center.

Don’t forget, too, the Ducks started the season at a disadvantage after they traded defenseman Chris Pronger, sacrificing a chance to contend for the Stanley Cup now for future chances.

Pronger, then nearly 35, was still a menacing figure. He wanted a seven-year contract extension and the Ducks refused but knew they couldn’t let him go with no return, as they had lost other players because of salary-cap restraints.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I hope there’s guys disappointed in there.  There had better be, because we found ways to lose two games here and we’ve got to find ways to win games.”

-Flames coach Brent Sutter after losing to the Wings last night.  More on the game from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun.

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

Blackhawks Will Visit Leno Show

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

The Blackhawks will attend Tuesday’s taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as a team after they practice in Anaheim.

A meet and greet with Leno is scheduled following the show for the players and other members of the Hawks’ traveling party.

As of Monday there were no plans to have a member of the Hawks as a guest with Leno, such as Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews.

“We’re working on that,” a Hawks spokesman said.

continue for more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

LB: Do We Have Clearance For A Game Of Critical Importance, Clarence?  Roger, Roger

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The Wings are in Canada for a roadtrip of critical importance.  No game is more important than the one tonight against the Flames.

While the two teams are in a dogfight, their path to this point has been very different.  Wings fans certainly hope the team will find the heart and desire to make the playoffs, and the 19 are self-medicating liberally to cope with the stress.

Tick-Tock is not panicking.  He made no changes to our roster at the trade deadline for the second straight season.  As he pointed out, the return of our injured players are like trade deadline acquisitions.  Tick-tock and the 19 know that when playing to their potential, there is no greater team than the Red Wings in the NHL.

The Flames, on the other hand, blew up their roster shipping out roughly a quarter of it in trades leading up to the trade deadline. 

To me, I would much rather be in the Wings’ position.  They know they have the talent to be successful, they only need the willingness to put it all on the line.  And they better tonight, as the Red Mile in Calgary will be on fire for this game.

Today is the Ides of March, we should beware complacency and Jobu.  Take nothing for granted and press the skate to the throat.  Tonight’s game will be the biggest statement game of the season.  Do the Wings take their fate in their hands and win, securing a narrow lead in the playoff race over 9th place, or do they once again falter when the chips are down?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

NHL Faced With The Ovechkin Conundrum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In all the discussion about head shots that dominated the NHL agenda last week, one point consistently came up, from both hawks and doves – that only a handful of players are responsible for the vast majority of the questionable (and potentially) suspension-worthy hits that occur in the game; and they fall into the repeat-offender category. The conundrum, for the NHL, is that one of its shining lights also just happens to be one of those players. That will cause a lot of sleepless nights for Colin Campbell as he riffs on the question that first came up in The Sound Of Music: How do you solve a problem like Ovechkin?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

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