Kukla's Korner

You Call This Progress?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Thirty games into the season and the Rangers New York Rangers are not only regressing, but regressing to the point where they actually claimed with straight faces that progress had been made with last night’s 3-0 Garden defeat to the Flames.

Progress was made measured solely against Thursday’s 6-2 debacle of a defeat in Montreal. If that’s how low the Rangers are now willing to set the bar, if this team now gains solace from a performance like this, there’s not much point in continuing the season.

continued

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

Make The Call Sean

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Duthie of TSN,

Somewhere in Russia, a cell phone rings….

Avery:  “It’s Sean.”

Emery:  “Shean Donovan!  Great to hear from a Sen!  I knew one of you would call me eventually!  It only took…seven months.  Wassup!?!  You guys miss me don’tcha?  I bet Alex Auld’s suits are weak, right?  No way could that dude pull off a top hat!

Avery:  “No…no.  It’s Sean AVERY!  But you’re right about the suits.  I interned at Vogue, Ray.  They even talk about you duds there.”

Emery:  “Oh, that Sean Avery!  Good to hear from you.  How are your Rangers doing?”

Avery:  “Uhh…Yeah…I actually signed with Dallas last summer.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Can Waddell Make The Right Move?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the ICEMAN Bloggeth at the AJC,

So I ask you…exactly what is it in the history of Don Waddell’s dealings that makes anyone believe that he is capable of bringing in the highest yield in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk?

My God, think about it…we could almost ice an All-Star line up with the players that have passed through here. Coburn, Hossa, Savard, Heatley…and what do we have to show in return?

Again, 9-14-3 so far this season after a 34-40-8 season last year. This after being swept in the one and only playoff appearance the team has ever played in two seasons ago. That’s what.

Thus, I simply cannot join the “Trade Kovy Away Now For the Good of the Team” movement… not at this time at least. Not as long as the same person that has put us in this position in the first place is in the same position to do the above-mentioned type of deals to us again.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Back In The Bostonians Vocabulary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shira Springer of the Boston Globe,

Something strange is happening in Boston. The Bruins matter. A proud, old hockey town has rediscovered its pulse. When was the last time anyone could say that?

This young and feisty team has vaulted to unexpected relevance with 18 wins in its first 26 games, and to first place in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference. Built from the ground up by a revitalized front-office team, the new Bruins aren’t exactly big or bad, but they have so far showcased the essential elements of success on ice: shifty scorers, a fists-up enforcer, a towering defenseman, a rock in goal. And not one household name in the bunch. Not yet.

Average attendance is up 10 percent; pro shop sales, 30 percent. Home game sellouts are no longer a dream but a growing expectation. Even the team’s flatline TV ratings, rivaled only by the New England Revolution for local sports broadcast oblivion, have begun to perk up.

It’s enough to make Cam Neely jump out of his seat.

read on

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

Sunday Morning Hockey Bits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• You can’t make this up: I heard Doug MacLean say that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, right now, are better than Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Honest.

• The hiring of Maurice in Carolina was pure nepotism. After two lousy seasons in Toronto, how was Maurice, another fine man, the best candidate for the Carolina coaching job?

read on for a few more hockey notes tossed in with other sports talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

He Made Him Look Silly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Yes, I have received your emails, telling me about the Toews goal last night against the Wings.  Yes, great goal, and yes, Dan Cleary, playing the roll of a defenceman on the play, looked silly.

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

Leafs Lose Game & Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

There isn’t much the Leafs can do now but tend to their injured stars and regroup.

Another frustrating night – one in which they couldn’t dial up their intensity until it was too late – was compounded by injuries to rookie defenceman Luke Schenn and talented forward Niklas Hagman.

Schenn’s loss will be significant – an estimated two weeks with a suspected left leg injury suffered in a collision with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, who certainly had his wrecking ball out last night in the way he was hitting Leaf players.

Hagman took a knee to the head and, while he felt better by the end of the night, he left the game after one shift in the second period feeling “groggy.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luke+schenn, niklas+hagman

Rumors Galore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There’s a lot of talk the Rangers are looking to move either D Wade Redden or D Michal Rozsival. Both were signed to new deals in the off-season, but Redden, who agreed to a six-year, $39-million deal, has a no-movement clause in his contract, making it more likely that Rozsival would be dealt.

• The Canucks are waiting to see what happens with Sundin before deciding what to do with D Mattias Ohlund. The Canucks are more likely to move Ohlund if they sign Sundin because of salary-cap considerations. Ohlund, who can become a UFA on July 1, will command a five-year deal worth around $30 million.

• The Panthers are trying to move C Nathan Horton. He is scheduled to make an average of $4 million on a contract that runs through the 2012-13 season, which could make him difficult to trade.

more rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

If Only They Had Goaltending

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have annually written a post looking at a team that would improve significantly with an improvement from their goaltending.  Goaltending is the position that most affects the success or failure of an NHL team.  The addition of one goalie is enough to significantly change the fortunes of a team - even if the goalie is far from superstar quality.

In 2005/06, my choice for the team that could best benefit from a better goaltender was the Edmonton Oilers, a team that added Dwayne Roloson at the trade deadline and went on to make the Stanley Cup finals.  In 2006/07 I picked the Tampa Bay Lightning who did not add a goalie and missed the playoffs.  Last season, it was the Pittsburgh Penguins who had the goaltending arrive internally first with surprisingly good play from Ty Conklin and then with Marc-Andre Fleury playing the best hockey of his NHL career.  The Penguins wound up in the Stanley Cup finals.

This season, my choice is the Detroit Red Wings.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Gaborik Value Keeps Declining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

This contract ordeal has been watched closely by the entire NHL, and over the past month the Star Tribune has talked to nearly a dozen current and former league executives. Many refused to be quoted or asked for anonymity, but they all had an opinion—from “Gaborik should re-sign” for a fair deal to “the Wild waited too long.”

“Unfortunately, it’s as difficult and challenging a situation that you can be in,” said Doug MacLean, the former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager.

That’s in part because it’s hard to see an end game that has Gaborik re-signing, yet the team’s ability to trade him has been halted by this injury. It’s a worst-case scenario for the Wild.

“You’ve got the [March 4 trade] deadline,” MacLean said. “That’s the sad part of this whole scenario. They had an amazing asset that’s diminished.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

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