Kukla's Korner

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.

continued

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.

more

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.

continued

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.

more

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

Is It OK To Use Playoffs & Leafs In The Same Sentence?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The mountain, it appears, just won’t be that high to climb.

The very manageable peak in question, at least from the point of view of the Maple Leafs, is that which needs to be scaled in order to get back to NHL post-season play.

To make the hike, Brian Burke and Ron Wilson apparently need not make their club very good, or even good.

Based on the quality of teams that will make the Stanley Cup playoffs out of the Eastern Conference, the Leafs will have only to improve from lousy to mediocre next season to find themselves in the thick of the hunt.

continued

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

Award Mentions For Howard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With each passing day, it becomes crystal clear Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard isn’t just the obvious candidate for rookie of the year, but he has also played himself into consideration for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

And while we’re at it, if we’re going to discuss Buffalo’s Ryan Miller as a potential Hart Trophy nominee, then you have to throw Howard in the mix, as well. Quite simply, that’s how good the 26-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native has played and how crucial he has been in helping turn the Red Wings from meandering to menacing.

Pretty heady stuff for a guy who was so worried about his future as an NHL starter, he postponed his honeymoon last summer so he could concentrate on getting his game in shape.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+howard

Joe Thornton Hurt In Game Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Thornton did not return and nothing yet on the injury.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

NHLPA Would Be Stronger With Fehr In Charge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel of Slapshot at the NY Times,

Many players and agents want (Donald) Fehr to become the union’s executive director.

Aaron Voros, the Rangers’ player representative, said last week that it would be a “no brainer” to have Fehr heading the union.

Pat Brisson, who represents Sidney Crosby and several other stars, said: “Someone like him, with all his experience, brings in a breath of fresh air. When you have a chance to spend time with him, you feel privileged.”

The union and Fehr have come a long way since November. He was newly retired from a 26-year tenure as leader of the Major League Baseball Players Association, the strongest union in sports, and the only one in North America to successfully resist a salary cap.

more

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

Coach Jim Playfair Loses It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Playfari, coach of the Abbtsford Heat, takes out his frustrations on the ref.  Scroll to the 3:30 mark for the action…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+playfair

Patrick Eaves Bad Shootout Attempt Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+eaves

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