Kukla's Korner

The Others

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

The teams selling W’s right now include Boston, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, San Jose (by the bushel), Anaheim, Calgary, and Vancouver.  Nashville, Carolina, and Minnesota are also in the W Club right now, but barely.

Buffalo could also be squeezed into that group, but I’ll stick them in with the Hopeful, only because a Sabre-obsessed buddy of mine told me even he believes they are still a year or two away from serious Cup contention.  Others selling hope include Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Edmonton (though they were hyping W’s before the season), Florida, and yes, Toronto (Brian Burke Luke Schenn, and a lot of cap room, are enough to gain admission into the Hopeful).

And then there’s the third category:  The Others.

The Others don’t have the wins, or the hope.  And that miserable place, my friends, is where we currently find your Ottawa Senators.

Oh, they have some company.  Tampa is a mess.  Atlanta and the Islanders have a few good prospects, but not enough.  Colorado has been a disappointment, and underachieving Dallas is Ottawa, Southwest Edition.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Before Avery - After Avery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Bob Sturm Blog at DallasStars.com, .

..don’t look now but Marty Turco is playing like Marty Turco. After back to back starts where he held Detroit and Phoenix to 2 goals (total) on 61 shots, he looks like he owns his crease, and if it were not for that meltdown goal where Trevor Daley mishandled a Turco pass last time Phoenix came through town, the Stars may really be rolling right now.

Since he was pretty much the most vocal Dallas Stars player regarding the Sean Avery soap opera, I was very curious if the exit of Avery would have any impact on Turco’s play. If people suggest that the play of Turco was negatively affected by the circus, wouldn’t it be positively affected after that?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The 3rd Best Team In The Western Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

How good are the Hawks?

OK, it’s still somewhat early, but in my book they are the third best team in the Western Conference behind San Jose and Detroit, in whatever order you want to put them.

The Hawks have a terrific offense, terrific goaltending, a mobile and deep defense and a good coach.

Do the Hawks have weaknesses? Of course. They are somewhat small and don’t play overly physical, but those are things to worry about more come playoff time when it all tightens up. But for right now, with the rules as they are in today’s NHL, a fast, quick, high scoring team such as the Hawks, with their great goaltending, can be dominant.

more

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

All Mike Green

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bill Eichenberger of the Sporting News Today chats with the Capitals Mike Green,

Q: How is this team different than it has been over the last few years?

A: We have a lot more structure.  I think the guys are following what the coaching staff is telling us.  With (coach) Bruce (Boudreau) here, he’s been the biggest difference.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

Kings Need Better Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

So how is it that the Kings can play up to the level of the NHL’s top teams but still hover around .500?

That they can commit thoughtless mistakes—one of which led to a successful penalty shot Wednesday by the New York Rangers—but still take the second-best team in the East to overtime and then have every reason to feel dissatisfied after a 3-2 loss?

The conclusion is inescapable: They will go nowhere, and might soon regress, if they don’t upgrade their goaltending.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Joining The Other Group Of Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

...Either way, now would not be a bad time to consider the regular fate of Panthers fans or Coyotes fans or Canucks fans. ... or Oilers fans.

It’s a tough world out there in pro sports, and the Stars have been protected for years by good management and a lot of money. The management, I believe, still is good. The money could be much tighter.

Because the bottom line is the cap is going down next year – and probably even more the next. And the Stars’ internal budget could go down even before that. So, you really may get a chance to see what it feels like to be an Oilers fan.

But, if you’re looking for a little silver inside that cloud, check out the possible top six forwards for next season – Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, James Neal, Fabian Brunnstrom and Loui Eriksson. That’s a group you can build around.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

KK- A Big Underdog

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A KK member just alerted me to the 2008 Sports Blogger Tournament being held at Busted Coverage.

If you are a regular reader of KK, you know my feelings on these popularity contests and I enjoy the fact KK is a #14 seed going up against the #3 seed Mister Irrelevant..

Other hockey blogs in the Midwest Region are From The Rink and the Fanhouse (all sports).  Puck Daddy is in the South Region, probably haning out somewhere in Key West.

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

Too Much Money For These Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of the Hockey News,

After running down the top 10 NHL bargains last week, we’d be remiss if we neglected to make note of the league’s most overpaid players. So that’s the focus of this week’s THN Top 10…

2. Chris Drury, Center, Rangers – $7.05 million
Team captains are normally offensive catalysts. And that’s what the Rangers thought Drury would be when they signed him to a five-year, $35.25-million deal. But Drury failed to crack the 30-goal mark last season and is on pace for the worst points total of his NHL career.

1. Ed Jovanovski, Defense, Phoenix – $6.5 million
Two goals and 15 points through 31 games is not horrendous for a blueliner. But Jovo-Cop has lost his status as the desert’s best defenseman to Zbynek Michalek, who makes $5.25-million less. Jovanovski’s team-worst minus-12 rating is tied for 746th in the league, out of 759 players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Prices For Rooftop Tickets To Winter Classic Are Falling

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Last month, rooftop owner Tom Gramatis told the Chicago Sun-Times that demand for rooftop tickets to the Winter Classic was “the biggest thing ever — bigger than any Cubs game” when the event was announced last summer.

But Gramatis said “the buzz” died down when the economy went south and the stock market tanked. That forced him to cut his price in half— from $400 a head to $200, including food and drink.

“There were rooftops asking $750 a head [at one time]. Some are still at $500. They’re smoking a crack pipe. They’re not gonna get it. The economy sucks. It’s also Jan. 1 at noon — not an ideal time for somebody to wake up and go to a hockey game after New Year’s Eve,” Gramatis said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

All Claude Lemieux

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In this exclusive interview with Sportsnet.ca’s Perry Lefko, (Claude) Lemieux talks about the reasons for his comeback, his decision to pick Worcester, playing in the Asian League, and his impressions of infamous super-pest Sean Avery….

SN: You’ve had an outstanding career, particularly in the playoffs, but some people only remember your hit on Kris Draper. If you are successful in making it back to the NHL, how do you think that will impact on the way people view you and your career?

CL: That doesn’t really matter to me. You can never unanimously please everybody. There’s always people that regardless of what you do they’re always going to want to remember the negative; the people that get up every morning and look for something negative, the glass is always half empty, it’s never full. That’s just the way it is….”

much more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+lemieux

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