Kukla's Korner

The Monster Stays In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a Darren Dreger tweet,

Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a two year contract with the Maple Leafs.

added 10:42am, via TSN,

The contract still needs to be signed, but it’s believed to be in the range of $1.3 million to $1.5 million per season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Ryan Miller Ready For A Playoff Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

It’s in his eyes and attitude, his words and actions. Basically, it’s in everything he does.

Ryan Miller has a desire to be elite, a hunger to be champion.

“This guy, he wants to be the best,” Buffalo Sabres teammate Steve Montador said. “He practices to be the best. He talks about being the best. Not in a cocky “I’m better than anybody,’ with a sense of entitlement, it’s, “I want to be the best. Don’t you want to be the best with me?’

“What he represents is true grit and character of a winner. No matter what, he’s going to give it his all. If it doesn’t attract you, there’s something wrong with you.”

Now is when Miller’s magnetic approach needs to pull his team forward.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Washington Capitals On A Mission

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Wise of the Washington Post, .

..on the eve before the NHL’s most potent team began a playoff run that only ends good for them if they raise the Stanley Cup in June, Laich was asked about whether the Capitals were ready to settle unfinished business.

“I guess people can say that, but it feels like a different season,” he said. “As far as unfinished business, yeah, maybe for all of us here last year. But this is bigger than that. It’s about the fact that no Caps team has ever won the Stanley Cup.

“It’s about this team going farther. You want to break records, you want to do things that no team has done before, set individual and team records no one else has set. We’re aiming to be separate from anybody.”

They’re gifted, focused, and for the first time in forever, favored to win it all. Alex Ovechkin and most of the main characters return. But General Manager George McPhee has infused his team with role players who understand that, in the playoffs, it is better to be gritty than pretty.

read on

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

Pens Want Justice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen,

When teams begin the playoffs, they often come up with some sort of inspirational slogan and stick in on the back of a T-Shirt.

Pretty basic stuff along the lines of, “No guts, no glory.”

However, the one the Pittsburgh Penguins have chosen this year has everyone scratching their heads. The slogan is: “Out for Justice.”

When it was unveiled on Wednesday, there was nothing, but puzzled looks at the Mellon Arena. The most the team’s public-relations staff knew was that it had come from veteran Bill Guerin.

Other than that, no one could figure out what terrible injustice the Penguins were trying to right.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Quick KK Poll- Down One, Can They Comeback?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Four teams are down 0-1, which one of the four teams is most likely to still win their series?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can Souray Be Moved?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray asked Steve Tambellini to be traded as far back as last spring, so his demand now for a change of address—while a loud, public one—didn’t come as a surprise to the general manager.

The question is whether Tambellini can move Souray.

While Souray has some very good tools—a booming shot, the ability to play the point on the power play and a penchant for playing the game in ill-humour—he has also missed 101 of 246 games as an Oiler with back and hand surgery, along with a nasty concussion. He is still hooked up to an IV drip, running antibiotics into the infection in his hand.

He’s also a $5.4-million salary cap hit to another team, although his salary for the next two years is $4.5 million.

continued

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Marc-Andre Fleury Needs A Bounce-Back Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

He knows how to bounce back.

“I think I’ve learned about it. I’ve done it many times, I think I can do it,” Fleury said. “That’s what’s important. I’ll come to the rink and forget about it.”

That’s what his teammates hope, because if that doesn’t happen, Fleury’s performance continues a troubling development: He hasn’t been particularly good for a while now. You have to go back to January to find a month in which Fleury had a save percentage over .900.

But we gave him the benefit of the doubt because we’ve seen him rise to the challenge in the postseason. We ignored that his save percentage this season was lower than any other starting goalie in the playoffs not playing for the Flyers.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avs Were The Better Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

The better team definitely won tonight. If Craig Anderson needed to do handstands in net and if this was one of those 2-1 wins where you get outshot 50-21 or something, then it would be a lot easier for the San Jose Sharks to write off their Game 1 loss to the Burgundy and Blue.
But it wasn’t like that. The Avs outshot the team in teal, 30-26, and were all over the Sharks for large portions of the game, especially the second period. Yes, it was a fortunate bounce at the end that decided this game, but, again, the better team won.

The Avs got totally hosed a couple of times by awful referee Dan O’Rourke in still getting the win. Not to get all homerish here, but O’Rourke could have easily cost the Avs the win with not only a questionable opening-minute call to Chris Stewart, but a bizarre noncall when TJ Galiardi got high-sticked to the mouth by Ryane Clowe in the first period. That should have been a four-minute power-play right there.

continued

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

The Plan To Keep The Coyotes In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rebekah L. Sanders and Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic,

Glendale’s deal to help Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf raise up to $165 million to buy and run the Phoenix Coyotes would be unprecedented in the National Hockey League and perhaps all professional sports, experts said Wednesday.

Under the agreement presented to the City Council this week, a special funding district created by Glendale at the city’s sports and entertainment hub would provide Reinsdorf with up to $65 million to help purchase the team from the NHL and as much as $100 million to cover operating losses over five years….

The closest comparison to Glendale’s situation could be Nashville and the Predators hockey team, according to John Vrooman, a sports economist and professor at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University.

Nashville pays the Predators roughly $5 million per year as part of an effort to retain the team after it was on the verge of being sold and moved to Canada, Vrooman said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stop Picking On The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

There may not be that many hockey fans among the five million souls in metropolitan Phoenix, but TV ratings are up and 17,000-plus have been showing up regularly lately at the Jobing.com arena, enjoying the spectacle before them.

They tailgate before the game. They howl – quite literally—starting at the national anthem and carry on at appropriate moments in the game. They spill out into the prefabricated entertainment centre known as Westgate filling the bland cookie-cutter franchise restaurants and bars after the game, giving the locale a vibrancy for a few hours that bely its desolate surroundings.

“I’m hoping the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup,” said one of those tailgaters, who gave his name only as Ron, drinking Coors Light disguised in a souvenir plastic cup. “That’ll make it 18 years in a row that a Canadian team has not won a Stanley Cup.

“Instead of ‘Make It Seven, you can make it zero. Maybe (your Canadian teams) need to come here. Quit picking on us, you guys aren’t winning either.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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