Kukla's Korner

Reasons To Watch The Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Hurley of NESN,

With the puck ready to drop on Thursday evening, here are the top 10 reasons to watch the Bruins this season.

10. Fists will be flying
If the preseason is any indication, gloves will be dropping all over the ice this year. Peter Chiarelli added Steve Begin to the mix, joining Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton as the resident tough guys. Byron Bitz won’t be afraid to join in from time to time as well.

In eight preseason games, Bruins players engaged in 14 fights….

1. These guys have playoff experience
Having a strong season in the regular season is all well and good, but the playoffs are when the games really matter. Having the best record in the conference didn’t win the Bruins anything last season, but their 11 games in the postseason provided valuable bits of learning that will prove to be invaluable this year….

more

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I was told by a lot of people in hockey that they felt he was one of the most ready guys in the draft to step in. And you can see why. …He’s got a real confidence to him, which is critical for young defensemen. It’s unwavering. He’ll make a mistake and have no fear of going back out there the next shift and trying things again.

“That type of confidence, you have to have that if you’re going to try and step into this league at 18, 19, especially as a defenseman. ...Now he’s got nine games to prove he can handle the next test which is NHL regular season hockey. Exhibition games are a version of American League hockey and there’s another level it goes to on Friday night.”

-Panthers Coach Pete DeBoer on rookie defenseman Dmitry Kulikov via Steve Gorten of the SunSentinel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dmitry+kulikov

Sergei Kostitsyn Wants To Be Traded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Sergei Kostitsyn was demoted by the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday and now his days with the club may be over.

According to RDS, Kostitsyn has been suspended by the Canadiens for refusing to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In return, Kostitsyn has asked for a trade.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+kostitsyn

Sakic Remembers Quebec

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Johnston at Cyberpresse (translated),

Joe Sakic did not hesitate a second when asked whether he believed that the NHL could revive Quebec. “There is no doubt in my mind that the NHL should go back to their sources in Canada, he said. There are some markets that are struggling in the United States. A hockey player loves to play in an environment that is favorable. An environment where the sport is popular.”

Many will take these comments with a grain of salt. Does the new retirement card playing politics or is it really sincere? A question for which he was well prepared: “The vast majority of players who have gone through have loved Quebec experience. I spent seven years of my life with you and I had many good times. I can never say enough about the fans who lived only for their hockey club. You know, I never heard a member of a winning team complain. There were grunts during our difficult years, but when we started up the slope, Quebec was the best place to practice our sport. It’s just a shame we could not go all the way to the people of Quebec.”

continued & thanks to a KK member for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Babcock & Bertuzzi On The Same Page

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

“What we do is we play a structured game so that the skill people can be really skilled. When you’re all over the rink you end up checking one another,” Babcock said. “The way we play is a real simple way, but because everyone knows where to go and what to do you all look better. So, he’s just got to find his little niche in that. He’s playing with real good players, but on this team we don’t need him being cute or making any cute little plays. We need him being big, strong, physical, going to the net and hanging onto the puck. We have Pav and Fil and Z to make all those cute little plays.

“Just by talking to him, he wants to be that (powerful player),” Babcock continued. “Well, if he wants to be that, that’s half the battle for a coach.”

Since Bertuzzi wants to prolong his career beyond just this season, he plans on being the model student all year long.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+bertuzzi

Burke’s Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

Over the course of the past 10 months, Burke has reconstructed the Leaf front office, keeping some elements that were there when John Ferguson was in charge – chief amateur scout Dave Morrison, assistant GM and Marlies GM Jeff Jackson – and dumping others. Trying to figure out who does what isn’t easy, although Burke is the front man, Nonis the pseudo-GM and Poulin nominally in charge of pro and amateur scouting.

“In a single line? Well, my job is to help make the Toronto Maple Leafs better,” said Poulin, who left a Chicago headhunting firm to join the Leafs. “For the most part, the job is creative. How are we going to get better?”

more

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

Sharks Need Both Depth & Heart

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,

The Sharks were exposed last season as a team with insufficient depth and insufficient heart. As much as savaging Marleau, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski might have sustained the angry fan base during the six-game drain-piping by Anaheim, the more profound structural problems had to do with the lack of roster options for head coach Todd McLellan.

Put simply, the second, third and fourth lines and the third defense pairing were persistent non-producers that had to play because the franchise’s minor-league team in Worcester had no storehouse of NHL-ready-to-wear players. Thus, non-producers and injured players played anyway, and as the season progressed, the erosion became a major obstacle to playoff success.

Sure, the underachievements of Nabokov, Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, et al., hurt to the point where you end up with an offseason of doubt, recrimination and blame delegations that only the Warriors could truly appreciate.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ovechkin Chasing Gretzky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,

Wayne Gretzky’s career total of 894 goals is supposed to be unreachable, but if Alex Ovechkin were to duplicate what he has accomplished in his first four seasons three more times, he would begin the first year of his new contract within reach of the Great One’s hallowed achievement.

History says not so fast, but is the Great No. 8 the guy who can defy it?

“I don’t think there is anything out of reach for him,” Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee said. “He’s got everything. He’s got ability, he’s got the drive and he’s got the strength. He’s got all the physical attributes, but he’s got all the intangibles as well.”

continued

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

Lang On The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

With a nasty injury behind him, veteran center Robert Lang is eager join a Coyotes team that he says could be a surprise this season.

“I think people look at this team and say, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s a younger team and last year and this and that,” Lang said, “but I think they have a real solid goalie (Ilya Bryzgalov), and if you look at this team now, they have a few veteran players and the younger guys are a year older, have a year behind them. If we do our job, we could do well.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: robert+lang

Cam Ward Extended

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

At the Capgeek Twitter they announce Cam Ward has signed a 6yr extension.

The Canes will make it official with a 1pm press conference which will be streamed.

Darren Dreger says the cap hit is $6.3M.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward

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