Kukla's Korner

Deal With It Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Caulton Tudor of the News & Observer,

It can be difficult to muster up a decent case of empathy for Detroit Red Wings fans. If you’ve watched a hockey game in Joe Louis Arena, you understand.

It’s not that they’re loud. Loud is good in the NHL. It’s not even that they’re occasionally given to offensive behavior with their foul-language spurts and foul-smelling bags of octopi flesh.

It’s their superiority complex, that smug conviction that on the first day, God created Hockey Town and then got around to less important chores later.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Predators Need To Think Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

But as Arnott looks ahead to the 2009-2010 season, he wants the Predators to be ready to win no matter who is on the roster.

In other words, even if Alexander Radulov does not return, and even if Steve Sullivan moves on, Arnott doesn’t want the Predators making excuses.

“We can’t go out thinking, ‘Oh, we’re missing this and that,’ ‘’ Arnott said last week. “I think we did a little too much of that last year. We have to get away from that and think positive and move forward.’‘

Arnott said the Preds’ veterans will simply have to be even more productive.

“We will have to find it within ourselves to do it,’’ Arnott said. “We’ll have to look at myself and J.P. (Dumont) and (Martin Erat) and (David Legwand) to carry the load up front, and (Shea Weber) and (Ryan Suter) and (Dan Hamhuis) to pull us up from the rear. We’ve got (Pekka Rinne) in net. So no matter what team we have on the ice, we have to go out thinking we’re going to win the Stanley Cup.’‘

more on the Predators…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Is Colorado Thinking?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Like a lot of things this summer involving the Avalanche, it doesn’t make much sense. Ian Laperriere, heart-and-soul forward, fan favorite and locker-room leader, will no longer be on the team after July 1.

That in itself is not the part that is mystifying. It’s not unreasonable a team would want to jettison a 35-year-old player, with 40 goals in the 307 games he played with the Avs. The Avs want to get younger, and maybe a little cheaper. We get that.

But why in the world are the Avs letting Lappy go for nothing — contract talks have essentially ended between him and the team — when the Avs probably could have gotten a pretty nice draft pick from another NHL team at the trade deadline? Why did a team that was out of the playoff picture not deal one of its more marketable assets, especially when the team knew Laperriere could become an unrestricted free agent and wanted a raise?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+laperriere

You Decide

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press,

I want you to choose between two players.

Player 1 will turn 31 this summer. He has played 98 playoff games.

Player 2 will turn 31 next winter. He has also played 98 playoff games, and let me take a moment to thank him for that, because it makes this comparison almost perfect.

Player 1’s career postseason numbers: 22 goals, 41 assists, plus-19.

Player 2’s career postseason numbers: 31 goals, 45 assists, plus-4.

Which player would you rather have?

Player 1 is Pavel Datsyuk.

Player 2 is Hossa.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Very Early Look At Next Year

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The season has barely completed and we do not know what rosters will look like next year, but nevertheless I thought it would be fun to take a look at next season.  Obviously there is uncertainty in any pronouncements that can be made at this point.  A big trade or a big free agent signing might render these assessments moot.

I have grouped the teams into six different groups of five teams.  There are the likely contenders, possible contenders, probable playoff teams, possible playoff teams, likely also rans and the bottomfeeders.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Talking HNIC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

Perhaps CBC’s tepid ratings until now stem from confusion over content. Hockey Night in Canada seems to believe the show is Don Cherry with a little hockey game on the side. A few deluded souls believe the players and game should take prominence over He Who Will Not be Ignored. Once again, Game 7 featured another homage à Cherry as he fished an octopus out of the Detroit River. This after the laboured Dos Equis beer spoof and a season of otherwise bowing and scraping to his schtick….

Hockey Night will also have to consider the polymorphous Ron MacLean, Cherry’s caddy. One minute he’s the crack reporter on The Hot Stove, all fedoras with the business card and a pencil behind the ear. Then he’s the frozen Deepak Chopra, spouting homilies about Pittsburgh’s rookie head coach Dan Bylsma, “He learned there was a busload of adversity and a flight of opportunity along the way.”

The next moment he’s the unabashed fan, gushing over the players on the ice Friday night.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Time To Move On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen at Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,

Having witnessed a splendidly played Stanley Cup Finals between two exceptional hockey teams, it bothers me that the fallout from the series is akin to what we get from 13-year-old girls soccer.  It has come down to how fans behaved during and after the game,  who didn’t shake hands with whom and how childishly fans can react to what has transpired

  Can we just put a moratorium on hate dispensing for 24 hours just to acknowledge that this was a whale of a series, maybe the best I’ve seen in a quarter-century of writing about the NHL. The Penguins scaled Mt. Everest in beating this high-caliber Detroit team.

  As someone who knows all of the parties involved, let me see if I can bring some reason and civility to this messiness.


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

Talking Hockey On The First Sunday Of The Post-Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• One reason to wonder about Red Wings coach Mike Babcock as the choice for Canadian Olympic hockey coach: The Olympics are one-game playoffs. And the one thing Babcock didn’t do well in Game 6 or 7 against the Penguins was adjust. His team needed to get pucks in deep and to the net, especially in the second half of Game 7, and stubbornly his players kept trying to carry it through crowds, turned it over and generated little offence.

• The only way the Anaheim Ducks steal defenceman Jack Johnson and an early first-round pick from L.A. for diminishing asset Chris Pronger is if Kings general manager Dean Lombardi happens to lose his mind.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sunday Issues: Draper, Belts, Scumbags And Hossa

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Interesting.  Can anyone recall a single time Kris Draper’s said anything to the media that could be construed as controversial or critical of another player?  Even after his face was ravaged by one of the more cowardly hits in NHL history, Draper said little to nothing.

Draper, who’s never shirked his responsibilities after Wing losses, who’s never said an ill thing about an opponent, who’s respected league wide…is now just making stuff up. Right?

“Nick was waiting and waiting, and Crosby didn’t come over to shake his hand” in the traditional handshake line. He added that, “that’s ridiculous, especially as their captain, and make sure you write that I said that.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Wings Need Defensive Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press,

There are two very good unrestricted free agent defensemen — Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester and Montreal’s Mike Komisarek. Both are in their 20s. Bouwmeester, the third overall pick in the 2002 draft, is at the high end because he has offensive skill to go along with his size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and defensive ability. Komisarek, who starred at the University of Michigan, is a bull with pretty good skill. He is 6-4, 245 pounds and a physical presence. The situation in Montreal deteriorated for a number of reasons this season, and he had a lot of injuries. But he was the seventh overall pick in the 2001 draft and played excellent hockey for the Canadiens leading up to last season.

A change of scenery, especially coming home in a sense to the Red Wings, would really benefit Komisarek.

It’s often overlooked, too, how good defense leads to offense. It was apparent the Red Wings weren’t making quite as many defensive plays in the Finals. It hindered their transition game, which has long been one of the best in the NHL.

They’ve got plenty of scorers and young forwards.

Get some “D” men.


Note to Caputo, it will not happen and doesn’t need to happen.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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