Kukla's Korner

Thornton & Blake Out Tonight For Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Joe Thornton won’t be in the lineup tonight and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. No estimated time for his return. And, yes, this means his consecutive game streak with the Sharks ends at 379 as Thornton has played every game here since being acquired from Boston in November 2005.

Todd McLellan said he’s still tinkering with his lines, but that Jamie McGinn would be back in action after missing one game.

On defense, Jason Demers has been called up and Rob Blake will sit out. Call it a “maintenance day.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Changes Needed In The Russian Hockey Program

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So says Sergei Zubov who talked with Elliotte Friedman during the Inside Hockey segment on the HNIC pre-game show.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, olympics, sergei+zubov

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.

continued

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.

image

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?

continued

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.

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
 

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