Kukla's Korner

Bruins Need A Pure Goal Scorer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

Does anyone really believe that the Bruins are on the road to Stanleyville after losses to the Islanders in overtime – who then got utterly waxed by the lowly Florida Panthers two days later – and a wilt job in the third period against an underachieving Flyers bunch?

The suspicion is that a future trade over the next two months for a scoring force will answer that question for everyone.

With that in mind, there are several names popping up on Boston’s radar, and the possibility that the problem-solving move will come sooner rather than later. Here are the favorites for new facein the Black and Gold clubhouse should Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli makes his move:

ILYA KOVALCHUK
The Russian-born Thrashers scoring machine is the Gold Standard, and represents the elite scorer that would immediately vault the Bruins into a role as Stanley Cup favorite. Kovalchuk has nearly twice as many goals as any player on the Bruins roster, and missed six games with a broken left foot.

more names…

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

Kings Lead The West

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I don’t think anyone would have predicted that the Los Angeles Kings would be first in the West Conference in mid-December, but they are.  The Kings have a 22-14 record (with three overtime loss points) to give them 47 points.  Skeptics are quick to note that Los Angeles leads the NHL in games played and some western teams (San Jose and Chicago) have better winning percentages in fewer games played.  Whether or not you think Los Angeles can maintain top spot in the West, it is clear that they are a much better team than predicted. 

They have a good young core of players that is emerging to stardom together.  At forward, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov and Jarret Stoll have significant talent and are leading the team offensively.  Ryan Smyth was a significant contributor as well, before he fell to injury (he may be back soon).  Justin Williams and Wayne Simmonds have also been significant contributors.  This is a deep group of offensive players and many have the potential that they will likely keep improving.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Don’t Believe These Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

• Panthers trying to move Nathan Horton. This first appeared months ago and seemingly refuses to die despite the denials of Panthers management. Here’s why Horton won’t be shopped: He’s leading the team in scoring (32 points in 34 games) and is one of the reasons the Panthers are in the thick of the playoff race in the East.

• Jack Johnson to the Penguins. Why? The Kings are currently first overall in the Western Conference so there’s no need at this time to shake things up, and I doubt the Penguins have the assets they’re willing to give up to land him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fantasy About The Young Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

With Del Zotto racking up more minuses than points, Varlamov on the shelf, and van Riemsdyk toiling on the third line, a new crop of freshman has taken over the month of December. Steady-as-she-goes seasons by John Tavares, Niclas Bergfors and Tyler Myers aside, there are some new faces making noise this month that should be on your fantasy radar.

HIGGINS FANTASY INDEX: Rookies

(December 1 - 14, 2009)

1. Dan Sexton, F, Ana : 2.9 HFI

2. Nathan Gerbe, F, Buf : 2.8 HFI

more

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking Secondary Scoring In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

More to the point, we’d like to look at their third and fourth lines and that can be tricky because there are nights you need the Hubble telescope to find them.

“We need more from those lines,” was Alain Vigneault’s generous assessment before last night’s tilt with the Los Angeles Kings.

“Secondary scoring from the third and fourth lines and from the defence is one thing we need more consistently. If we get that, it will let us win on a more consistent basis.

“Those are two lines that are supposed to bring a physical aspect but they have to find a way to contribute not just physically but on the scoresheet.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Look For Home Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

For the Flames, the rest of December will be a working staycation….

After a road-heavy schedule since the start of November, the Flames finally have an extended spell at home.

They’ll play seven of their next eight games at the Saddledome.

It’s a golden chance to pull out of their losing skid—one win in five outings—provided they remember the task at hand.

“We have to have our focus where it needs to be,” Sutter said.

“We can’t have distractions. We need points, first and foremost, ahead of anything else going on outside. It’s a tough time of year with Christmas and you can get distracted, especially when we’re at home.

“It’s important with a lot of home games, and that’s the responsibility of the individuals to making sure we are focused and playing up to our standards.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blogging About Bloggers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

IwoCPO, The Chief, Bill, I   think he is a male, whatever you want to call him, gave me a little heads-up about a post he put up this morning

My two cents on this topic is- If you want media credentials, go for it, but surely don’t knock another blogger for his writing style.

Every blogger has their own style and that is what makes the hockey blogging community unique.  Different strokes for different folks.

It doesn’t matter to me if Abel to Yzerman has only 19 followers or 1900.  What matters is what he writes and the style he uses. 

If the Sailor did game recaps, was on me to get him media credentials for every game and sent in an expense report every two weeks, he’d still be blogging under the KK umbrella, but then again, would you be reading?

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

AO The Villain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

What hockey really needs is a great villain. Enter the Caveman.

“They call me Caveman because I don’t care what others think of me,” said Ovechkin, as quoted by Sovetsky Sport. “I couldn’t care less about anyone or anything.”

Ovechkin is exactly what has been missing in hockey, whose appeal has long been built on a case of Kokanee beer, head-bangin’ guitar riffs and the Gordie Howe hat trick.

You can have Sid the Kid Crosby as hockey’s savior, all you plain vanilla ice cream lovers.

Ovechkin is as subtle as a shot of vodka. He blows across the blue line faster than a bone-chilling breeze from Siberia. His passes, like the one that set up Washington’s second goal against the Avalanche, cut through a defenseman’s ego like a stiletto.

more

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The solution is simple.  Win. If we had consistently won, the situation would be different.

“It can work there. Without a doubt. I’ve said it over and over again. I mean, previous to the last couple of years we were averaging 14,000 per game, even more.

“But we haven’t been to the playoffs in seven years. This franchise hasn’t even been out of the first round for something like more than two decades. Even in Canada, if you had struggled that long with droughts like that, your team would struggle for support too.”

-Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes talking about the situation in Phoenix.  More from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronton Sun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

Hull & Shanahan Talk Keenan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,

Perhaps it was only fitting that on a night when former St. Louis Blues star Brett Hull was honored, ex-Blues coach Mike Keenan found a way into the ceremony.

During a pause in Hull’s speech with the arena quiet, a fan in the lower bowl screamed “I hate Mike Keenan!”

That not only brought a smile to Hull’s face, it sparked an impromptu ovation from fans who remembered Keenan trading away fan favorites Brendan Shanahan and Curtis Joseph and feuding constantly with the Golden Brett.

“I saw Mike this summer and we have made amends,” Hull said. “I’m way too old, I’m too old to hold grudges. We had a great talk.

“I always said this—I hated him as a coach but he’s a really good human being. We had a great talk.”

continued and Brendan Shanahan comments on Keenan too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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