Kukla's Korner

San Jose & Chicago Have Flaws

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ross McKeon of Yahoo,

Don’t make too much out of the recently completed season series between the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks if you’re trying to project what might happen if the two teams meet in the playoffs, likely to represent the West in the Stanley Cup Finals.

San Jose and Chicago may have figured out ways to, in the least, mask fatal flaws – defensive personnel for the Sharks and goaltending for the Blackhawks.

In the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime victory on Thursday, the Sharks’ defensive corps featured their shortcomings. There was a 40-year-old who is basically a power-play specialist when he’s not skating a step behind, or taking that annoying hook or hold at a critical time. Sorry, Rob Blake(notes). Yes, you’re a future Hall-of-Famer, but a No. 1 defenseman no longer fits….

On the flip side, the Blackhawks can’t feel good about putting all their Stanley Cup hopes on Cristobal Huet(notes) – and don’t try to float the idea of turning to the untested Antti Niemi(notes)....

Just the same, is anyone else concerned about the way Huet seems perfectly content to just bat pucks aside, rebounds be damned? He’s not a goalie who has the reputation of controlling things in his end. It’s more like someone battling and hoping his team just outscores the opposition.


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

Win Streak Now At Eight For Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

The win over Pittsburgh not only pulled the Senators to within three points of the Penguins for fourth place in the Eastern Conference race, but also to within four of Vancouver for bragging rights as the top team in Canada.

Spezza said tying the team’s winning streak record was big.

“We’re rolling right now. We’re beating good teams and gaining confidence from it,” said Spezza. “Winning breeds confidence and we’re a confident bunch right now.”

Senators coach Cory Clouston said the record is nothing special to him.

“I’m more happy with the win,” he said. “Doesn’t matter what the situation is. Obviously, it was a tough opponent, in a difficult building to win in, and our guys managed to come away with a win. That’s more important to me.”


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

Ron Wilson Doesn’t Want A Pity Party

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

Two players now have expressed a desire to be traded away from the foundering club—centre Jamal Mayers and defenceman Garnet Exelby—and Wilson isn’t thrilled with the timing of the requests.

On one hand, the besieged head coach said it doesn’t bother him that players express a desire to be traded if they want out, adding that it happens all the time.

But his worry is that their unhappiness will spread. And the last thing the 17-27-10 Leafs need is more negativity in the dressing room, especially with back-to-back games this weekend against the New Jersey Devils on Friday in Newark and the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday back at the Air Canada Centre.

“What you don’t want is to have a pity party where guys who don’t like what’s happening to them suck other people into the same black hole,” said Wilson on Thursday after practice. “That’s an age-old problem on teams, pity parties: ‘I’m not playing well, so I want to make sure that nobody is playing well and I feel better because I have everybody in the same boat with me.’ “

read on

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

Rangers Need Help Just About Everywhere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers’ deficiencies are on display every night. They do not have a playmaking center. They do not have a physically intimidating defenseman. They do not have size on the wing. They do not have fire in the belly.

They do not, in fact, have much at all to show for their grand total of two playoff round victories in Sather’s nine seasons, beyond all-world talents Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik, plus the hope that Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky will mature into championship caliber components.

Forget four-for-one trades to rent Ilya Kovalchuk. Forget giving up anything to get Vincent Lecavalier and his out of whack contract that takes him to age 40. Forget Dion Phaneuf unless Rozsival (preferably Redden, but let’s be serious) and nothing of much added value go the other way to Calgary.

The Rangers aren’t one or two players away, unless they are Jean Beliveau and Bobby Orr in their prime. The Rangers aren’t one brilliant trade away from inserting themselves into the Stanley Cup conversation.

Instead, the Rangers are simply one of those many teams camped out with the huddled masses on the treadmill of NHL mediocrity. Sorry to say, but Lundqvist and Gaborik are lipstick on the pig.


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

Johan Hedberg Loses Sight Of The Puck Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+hedberg

Talking Ray Whitney Destinations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

“Senators general manager Bryan Murray is looking for offensive help, and he’s going to look to a veteran player like Ray Whitney,” explains TSN Insider Darren Dreger. “The Hurricanes have a couple of veteran forwards that could be moved - Whitney is one, and Matt Cullen would be another one. Ottawa wants to add that scoring presence, that depth on their second or third line, and Whitney is a cheap add considering that he’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1.”

“The Pittsburgh Penguins are devoid of wingers and they need some help there,” adds TSN Insider Bob McKenzie. “How would Whitney look on a line with Sidney Crosby? Do you think Crosby might like that? Do you think Whitney, who has a no-trade clause, might like that?”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+whitney

Here We Go, Lightning & Vinny Talk Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell and Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The Tampa Bay Lightning ownership fiasco could come to an end soon, but speculation that the team will deal captain Vincent Lecavalier is just beginning to heat up.

According to multiple sources, the NHL is negotiating the sale of the Lightning and the five-acre parcel of land adjacent to the St. Petes Times Forum from the OK Hockey Group to Boston-based financier Jeffrey Vinik for an estimated price of $170 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Don’t Forget About The KK Members Blog

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Yes, you to can get posted on Kukla’s Korner.

I allow all types of posts as long as it is hockey related.

People use the KK Members Blog to express their views, point out their site or blog and everything in-between.

Some of the recent topics there are Top 10 Fights of the 2000s, Bruins Looking for their Identity and A Hockey Pool for the Olympics

Check them out and I encourage you to use the KK Members Blog area to post your thoughts on our game..

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

The Definitive Top Ten Fights of the 2000s

Blog: KK Members Blog By Alanah McGinley

With THN (awful awful awful picks) and Hockey Fights Dot Com (decent, but a one-man show list) leading the way with their lists of the top fights of the 2000s, Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fight Site had to have its say on such a prestigious list.

Using a systematic tournament consisting of approximately twenty candidates, the widely recognized most knowledgeable hockey fight site has narrowed its list down to ten blood soaking, knuckle knocking, toe-to-toe massacres, and KO nighty-nights that put an end to the debate.

Whereas the #1 fight earned extra points for being a nationally televised game (Gary still has nightmares), be sure to check out the flying teeth in the runner up. 

Enough writing.  Enjoy the scraps!  [Big props to FC’s Kramer for adding these all in one video!]

So when are Jeremy Yablonski and Jon “Nasty” Mirasty getting a call up?

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink

Top Defensive Dmen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

Taking defencemen who have played at least 30 games and who play a key role on their team’s penalty kill (about two minutes or more a game), here’s my ranking of the league’s top defensive defencemen prior to Thursday night’s games:

continued and a hint, the top dman wears #5…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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