Kukla's Korner

Three Afternoon Games Today Followed By Eight Evening Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My upset special of the day says the visiting Washington Capitals will lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.

See today’s full NHL schedule below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Gets In?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

The Flyers’ 1-0 loss to visiting Montreal Friday was their seventh defeat in their last eight games _ and, amazingly, put them a step closer to missing the playoffs.

Here are the five teams vying for the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference:

6. Montreal (38-32-8): 84 points in 78 games. Games left: Buffalo; at NYI; at Carolina; Toronto.

7. Boston (35-30-12): 82 points in 77 games. Games left: at Toronto; at Washington; Buffalo; Carolina; at Washington.

8. Flyers (38-34-6): 82 points in 78 games. Games left: Detroit; at Toronto; at NYR; NYR.

9. NY Rangers (35-32-10): 80 points in 77 games. Games left: at Fla.; at Buff.; Toronto; Phila.; at Phila.

10. Atlanta (34-32-12): 80 points in 78 games. Games left: at Pitt.; NJ; at Washington; Pitt.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Colorado Just Not Good Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Flames encapsulated everything that’s gone wrong with this team since the Olympic break. They only played maybe 30 decent minutes of hockey in a 60-minute game, they made critical mistakes at wrong times and they didn’t play enough like they really, really wanted it bad enough until it was too late.

By the way, can I ask a question: when was the last time somebody on the Avs really crushed somebody with good, solid, clean hit? The Avs are just too easy to play against now. Teams are starting to go to the net and just do whatever they want, one of which is tip a lot of pucks past Craig Anderson. Rene Bourque’s game-winner was proof enough of that. I’m not just talking about the defensemen either. I’m talking about everybody on the team. Going forward into the future, the Avs need guys who don’t think it’s impolite to put an opposing player on their butts.

To me, tonight’s game was just one long example of a team that is proving more every night that it not only doesn’t believe in itself anymore, but doesn’t want it bad enough. Calgary didn’t really play a very good game tonight I thought. They were emininently beatable. But the Avs are just the classic team that beats itself now.

read on

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

Who Is The Top Goalie?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

This is the kind of puck-smothering season it’s been for NHL goaltenders: at least a dozen are going to win 30 games or more and boast a goals-against average of less than 2.50; 49 have recorded a shutout this season; and one is expected to be nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the player most valuable to his team.

But which one would that be? Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres? Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes? Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings? You can make a case for any of those three, plus a few more. Even the hockey intelligentsia is split when it comes to picking the Vezina finalists as the league’s top goaltenders.

“I’d say Miller, Miikka Kiprusoff [of the Calgary Flames] and I’ve liked what Craig Anderson [of the Colorado Avalanche] has done at times,” CBC commentator and former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey said when asked for his Vezina picks. “But I could put three more names in there.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Believe it or not, the NHL needs to make sure the KHL continues to move forward, especially now that it is trying to fund junior teams as well. But, the Russians must be more reasonable in their demands.

-Elliotte Friedman of CBC/HNIC.  Read on th find out why Elliotte feels that way.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl

Win One For Burke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It won’t change or decide anything. The Leafs will still be 29th out of 30 NHL teams when the match against the Boston Bruins ends Saturday night, and the Bruins will still be in the process of trying to secure a Stanley Cup playoff berth.

Yet there’s still meaning to this game, most of it surrounding the Phil Kessel trade from last fall.

More to the point, from the Toronto end of things, if the Maple Leafs were ever going to win a game for president/GM Brian Burke, maybe give the game puck to him if they could come up with a victory, this would be the one.

Burke’s reputation has taken a bit of a beating this season as the Leafs have settled into the bottom of the league, and certainly there are many who have resoundingly panned his decision to ship two first-round picks to the Bruins for Kessel.

He did it because he believed in the player and because he believed the trade was a way to jump-start the rebirth of his downtrodden team.

read on

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

Ryder Slump Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Michael Ryder, once a fixture on the No. 1 man-advantage unit, was taken off the power play entirely four games ago. Yesterday, a day after Ryder landed zero shots in a 1-0 loss Thursday to Florida at TD Garden, his coach dropped him to the fourth line.

Who knows where Ryder will end up next.

“It could definitely happen when you’re looked at to score goals and you’re not scoring,’’ Ryder said of possibly becoming a healthy scratch. “It’s definitely in your mind. But I’ve just got to keep working hard and step it up even another notch. We’ve got five games left and we need wins to get to the playoffs.’’


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+ryder

Quick Feels Time Off Helped His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has played a career-high 4,041 minutes, did not ask to sit while Jonathan Bernier started and won the last two games. But Quick said Friday having time to refine his game will benefit him Saturday night when he faces the Ducks at Staples Center with the Kings’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot at four points.

“You’re going day to day. You’re taking one day at a time. Along the way you are going to feel fatigue, either mentally or physically,” Quick said. “But you just kind of every day talk yourself into being up for the game no matter how you’re feeling.

“Regardless, I think those two games off there was a good respite. Mentally and physically I feel good. I got three solid days of practice these last three days here. I feel confident about my game and I feel confident about the team’s game. They’ve been playing well.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Forget The Cruise Control, Uncle Mike Is Dropping The Hammer

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The Wings are enjoying their greatest success during the Season of Jobu.  7 WINS in a row.  21 of 22 possible points in the last 11 games.  Sitting at 95 points, if the Wings reach 98 points they are guaranteed a playoff berth.  With 5 games remaining, it would take a nosedive of the kind Denver’s Dive is undergoing to miss consecutive playoff berth #19. 

In the Leastern Conference 91 points is enough to clinch a playoff berth.  While that is good for 5th in the (L)East, it would only be good enough for 8th in the middle of the Peloton of Suck in the West.  More in that in a bit.

While the Wings have taken no prisoners lately, it has not been pretty every game.

Brad Stuart via Khan(!):

“We can probably play better than we have the last couple of games,’’ defenseman Brad Stuart said. “We’ve gotten away with a few games that weren’t as good as the ones previously.’’

And Uncle Mike agrees:

“I think we’ve played pretty well defensively. The last two games haven’t been indicative of the whole run,’’ Babcock said. “The last two games, we’ve made more mistakes than we made the rest of the time totally. We got to sharpen up our game right now.’’

Babbles is not happy despite 7 WINS in a row.  While the teams in the NHL are fearing the Wings, the Wings are fearing Uncle Mike.

With good reason.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Do You Envy The Capitals Goaltending Situation?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post,

Controversy might be a little strong. Let’s call it a situation. The Capitals have a goaltending situation. It’s a situation some other teams might envy, but for the Caps, the key is keeping it from blossoming into a controversy.

The Capitals have two very good goaltenders. José Theodore is 27-7-7 with a 2.87 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Semyon Varlamov is 14-4-5 with a 2.52 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. (Math was never my strong suit, but there seems to be very little difference between .908 and .909.)


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

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