Kukla's Korner

Keenan Fine With Sutter Locker Room Visit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Those close to Mike Keenan are likely the only ones who know exactly how the Calgary Flames head coach felt when general manager Darryl Sutter stepped in to lean on his players after a second straight loss on the road this week.

Steaming mad is a pretty good bet.

After the media was shuffled out and the doors closed Tuesday night for the discussion, Keenan chose to leave without speaking.

Maybe he didn’t want to say anything that would land him in the same sort of hot water his team was in.

But a day after the 3-1 loss to the Stars in Dallas, Keenan suggested he welcomes the occasional locker-room visit from his boss.

“It’s not an issue,” said Keenan. “You know you’re getting an honest message from Darryl. I’ve worked with him for a long time. I embrace his input and the group learns from it. He brings a different voice and a different perspective—he’s watching the game from above as opposed to ice level….”


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

The ESPN Hockey Experts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hradek, Melrose and Barnaby talk Panthers, Senators, Rangers and Penguins.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cherry Hits 75

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Age has not lessened his roar and turning 75 will not mellow Don Cherry.

The controversial and flamboyantly-dressed Hockey Night in Canada commentator hit the three-quarter century mark today and he is as animated as ever….

“If anything I have turned it up,” Cherry said. “I don’t feel any different now than I did 30, 40 years ago. I still get so excited on Saturday’s that I can hardly wait for Coach’s Corner to start. A lot of people tell me to ease off a little so I wouldn’t get in so much trouble. But trouble is my middle name and I say things the way I want to.

“When the day comes that CBC wants to go in a different direction, as they say, I will think to myself that I’ve had a good run and say toodle-oo.”


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Blue Jackets May Be In A Buying Mood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

If the Blue Jackets are solidly among the Western Conference’s top eight clubs, and the No. 1 pick can be used to acquire a player whom Howson believes can carry them deep into the playoffs, he might budge.

“Those (first-round picks) are very difficult for me to give up,” Howson said. “But if the deal is right”

The Blue Jackets won’t take on any long term, big-money contracts such as Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lacavalier or the New York Rangers’ Scott Gomez.

They’re willing to spend the money, Howson said, but they must keep payroll space available to keep their cadre of future stars. Steve Mason, Derick Brassard, Jake Voracek, Kris Russell, Nikita Filatov, etc., will need new contracts within the next few seasons.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Lacking Creativity

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The team is tight. Confidence is seeping out of the room in the manner of a balloon slowly leaking air. Frustration is mounting.

What’s more, there is a sense of widespread belief within the room that the team’s creativity is being stifled by a system whose tenants are becoming more conservative than Sean Hannity. The Rangers appear to be consumed with not making mistakes rather than attempting to force the opposition into making mistakes of its own. They seem obsessed with limiting scoring chances against, as opposed to generating chances themselves.

They seem, that is, to be following the game plan.

If Renney thought his players were inattentive during the first half hour of practice, the head coach had every right to put his team through the punishing bag skate. The Rangers would be better off, however, if Renney actually exerted his authority during games by enforcing accountability by benching repeat offenders.


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

Turco Has Found His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The 33-year-old is 6-1-0 in his last seven games with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

“I feel good right now, that I’ve come a long way,” he said. “My ability to stay on my feet longer to react to second plays or even third plays from a balanced position has been a great feeling for me lately.

“I have been fighting my body and my movements this year, and I’ve worked hard to get that back. I just want to be the guy they deserve back there.”

Turco has been the biggest reason for the Stars’ turnaround, providing key stops at critical times and also helping the defense with his ability to handle the puck.

“No matter what you do, your goaltending has to be good,” Tippett said. “It can do so much for the team’s confidence. It can allow players to overcome mistakes, it can change a game with a big stop early or late. Marty has done that for us lately.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Capitals Taking Advantage Of Home Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

Winning consistently on home ice and making Verizon Center an unpleasant environment for opponents have long been among Boudreau’s priorities. In his postgame news conferences, he often makes mention of an arena’s “atmosphere” and how it played on the Capitals’ emotions—and ultimately affected the outcome of the game. After Tuesday’s 5-2 win in front of a sparse crowd in New Jersey, for example, Boudreau said the subdued mood at Prudential Center negatively affected both teams but that it mostly dragged down the Devils.

“It was a dead building,” he said. “When we played Florida [a 5-3 loss at Verizon Center on Dec. 2] it was very similar. It’s tough.”

“Dead” might be the last word anyone would use these days to describe the Capitals’ rink, which is gaining a reputation around the league as one of the loudest and most intimidating arenas in the NHL. The Capitals have hosted 14 capacity crowds this season—six more than all of last season—and 10 in the past 11 games.

read on

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

Would Cole Be A Fit In Boston?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Oilers, still in the hunt for one of the final playoff seeds in the Western Conference, are in need of a winger to play on the Shawn Horcoff-Ales Hemsky line. They also could use help at the faceoff circle, where Horcoff takes most of the draws.

The Bruins would have great interest in ex-Hurricanes winger Erik Cole, the big, smooth-skating winger. He has 12 goals and 22 points in 50 games this season. Cole, 30, who is making $4 million this season, becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Bruins could fit him into the salary cap because they have Marco Sturm’s $3.5 million at their disposal, following the German winger’s season-ending knee surgery.

The Oilers likely would target the likes of winger Vladimir Sobotka (now in Providence) and/or defenseman Matt Hunwick (sidelined with flu-like symptoms) in a swap for Cole.

more on the Bruins…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole

Downriver? The Puck Bunnies Are Getting Nervous

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Literally the worst in the league.  Statistically, that’s where Chris Osgood sits right now.  The starting goaltender for the Stanley Cup champions is dead last in save percentage, with a sparkling .880.  And he sits 42nd out of 44 in terms of GAA at 3.29.

He’s given up at least three goals seven games in a row and ten of his last twelve.

And his coach is about to frigging lose it.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

NHLPA Shoots Itself In The Foot

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In the history of the NHLPA one of the clear problems has been a lack of oversight for the head of the union.  Alan Eagleson was embezzling money from the organization and Ted Saskin was spying on players email.  This should not happen with any reasonable level of oversight.  Even the non-corrupt NHLPA head Bob Goodenow was replaced because his hardline stance with the owners had lost support of the players.  There has to be a route of oversight to have the player’s concerns heard by the union head. 

The solution to this problem was to appoint an ombudman to oversee the NHLPA.  Eric Lindros was chosen for this position.  He has recently resigned from that position.  He was not well received in that position by the rank and file of the union.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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