Kukla's Korner

The Five Top Playmakers In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stan Fischler with his Top 5.

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

Hart Trophy Should Go To Ryan Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The Hart Trophy hardly ever goes to a goaltender, give or take the odd Dominik Hasek or Jose Theodore.

But this may be one of those years when voters select a goalie as the recipient of the NHL’s most valuable player award. In large part, voters shun selecting a goalie because netminders have their own award, the Vezina Trophy, to contend for, just as Major League Baseball voters figure pitchers have the Cy Young Award.

This season, however, NHL voters should get their heads out of the sand.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Today’s Hockey Action Begins At 3:00 PM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

About 7 1/2 hours of hockey action today and by my trained hockey eye, it looks like the home team would be the favorite except for the Devils/Flyers game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

An Unlikely 100 Point Man

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL got its first 100 point scorer of the season last night.  With two assists in a losing effort last night against San Jose, Henrik Sedin now has 101 points.  He is the first player this season to clear the 100 point barrier.  As a player who had a previous career best of 82 points, would you have predicted this last summer?  I know that I wouldn’t have.

Henrik Sedin was picked third overall in the 1999 entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks.  Though he has been one of the Canucks top players for a few years, this is the first season where he has been one of the best in the league.  At age 29, it is a little late in his career to make such a jump.  Most players do so at a younger age.  One of the most debated questions this summer will be whether or not Henrik’s season is repeatable.  I am unconvinced that he can score 100 or more points on a routine basis.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Favorite Coming Out Of The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The Los Angeles Kings will make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and that’s a wonderful story.

So is the fact the upstart Phoenix Coyotes, surprising Colorado Avalanche and diligent Nashville Predators will join the postseason party.

But while the Detroit Red Wings put to rest any chase for the final spot and the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks each take turns trying to give away first place, it does create an interesting question in the West: Who is the favorite out here?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Are The Penguins Good Enough To Repeat?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Over the remaining seven games of the season — starting Sunday night here (Pittsburgh) against the Maple Leafs — Crosby and company will prepare to launch a deep playoff journey for the third consecutive spring.

But are they good enough?

These Penguins wouldn’t be the first Cup winners to have dull moments during the long haul of a season hard on the heels of a short summer. Throw in the Olympic break and the schedule hell it created plus the fact that they can’t seem to beat New Jersey or Washington and the Penguins are vulnerable favourites at best.

“At times we haven’t had that focus,” Pens general manager Ray Shero said Saturday following an impressive 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. “I wouldn’t say it’s a hangover, but it’s a long grind, a long year. Most of these guys have been in the final two years in a row.

“Now they see the light at the end of the tunnel and are paying the attention to detail that is needed.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Give Him A Break

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

I wasn’t one of those “They’re playing Craig Anderson too much, they need to play Peter Budaj more” people. But after tonight’s 6-2 drubbing at the hands of Wojtek Wolski and the Phoenix Coyotes, I might be inching a little closer to the “Andy is overworked” camp.

Hockey people often say that, when a goalie is struggling, pucks start “going through” them. Andy allowed a couple tonight where, indeed, it seemed as if the puck kind of went right through his body and into the net, as if he was just an apparition.

That said, it’s not all Andy’s fault why things are starting to slide for the Burgundy and Blue. The defense looks old and slow, one of the top two lines – if not both – always seem to have the “off” switch in effect, and the same with the two special teams.


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

Problems In Philadelphia Remain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of te CourierPost,

Ask the veterans on this team and they’ll tell you the young core of players lack the focus and preparation to win consistently. Ask the young players for an explanation and they respond with smirks of indifference.

The locker room divide between the Flyers’ veterans and young core appears to be very real.

On Thursday night, after they blew a 3-1 lead against the Minnesota Wild, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen called a players-only meeting. And although the doors remained closed to the media, it’s safe to assume Mike Richards did more listening than talking.

And when the media flooded the Flyers locker room after that meeting, Pronger invited reporters to his stall with a hearty “Right here,” while Richards hastily left the room.


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

Should Darryl Sutter Keep His Job?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Make no mistake, Darryl Sutter saved this franchise.

But now, seven years later, it clearly needs to be rescued once again.

With the Flames proving conclusively they’re neither playoff bound nor playoff worthy, the big question is whether Sutter is the man to clean up the mess he’s made.

Or is it time for ownership to hand the team over to someone with a fresh set of eyes and a radically new approach to building what has devolved into an aging, directionless, unmotivated and leaderless team?

Frustrated last spring by four straight first-round exits, the list of Sutter dissenters has since grown to the point the majority of fans want this year’s colossal collapse to be the final chapter in the general manager’s tenure.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darryl+sutter

Time For Fehr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The NHLPA needs to adopt a constitution that empowers its executive director. The NHLPA needs to hire an executive director the membership trusts to use that power honorably in dealing with the NHL, the players and their agents.

The NHLPA needs a leader who will do the job and not simply want to have the job. The NHLPA needs a leader immune to second-guessing from the gallery. The NHLPA needs a leader whose presence and prestige will unify the membership for the next round of CBA negotiations.

It is time.

It is time for Donald Fehr.


Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

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