Kukla's Korner

The Season So Far

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

Competitively, the fight for the Cup promises to be a fierce one, with defending champion Detroit having all but withdrawn its players from All-Star Game consideration as it prepares its title defense against a horde of tough challengers.

With much left to be unfurled, these have been the attention-grabbing story lines so far: 

The game’s hottest new rivalry
It’s the Sharks and the Red Wings, a new rivalry made more intriguing by the fact former Detroit assistant coach Todd McLellan has crossed over to the San Jose side and made the Sharks the Western Conference’s best team so far. The Sharks have won two of three meetings, including a terrific 6-5 home-ice triumph last Saturday in San Jose. The two clubs meet next Feb. 25 at The Joe.

many more story lines…

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

Chicago Should Move Khabibulin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Fornelli of NBC Chicago,

Nikolai Khabibulin has also played well while minding the net this season, but he’s in the last year of his contract, and the team actually tried to move him before the season. The fact he’s in the final year of his contract will make him more appealing to teams looking for somebody to help them make a playoff push—not to mention the fact he’s already won a Stanley Cup in Tampa—and that means the Hawks can get something they need in return. Whether that would be another scorer or a center—preferably someone whose both—or another enforcer to help protect Patrick Kane, we’d have to wait and see.

Losing Khabibulin wouldn’t be that big of a blow to the team either, as Corey Crawford has played very well for the Hawks AHL affiliate Rockford Icehogs this season, and would be more than capable as a backup.

The point is that while moving Khabibulin would be somewhat risky, with a young team losing a player with a lot of playoff experience, the Hawks really have nothing to lose.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Crosby Out Of ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

For the second straight year the NHL All-Star game will be without one of the game’s biggest stars as Sidney Crosby has pulled out of this weekend’s mid-winter classic in Montreal.


added 4:37pm,

MONTREAL (Jan. 22, 2009)—Martin St. Louis takes the place of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who received a record number of votes in All-Star fan balloting but will not participate due to injury.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game, sidney+crosby

A2Y Under The Knife This Week

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So much has been happening here lately that I’ve let a few things slide.  Hygienically, I’m doing fine.  Thank you.  Keeping up with all that stuff.  But as far as the blog goes?  Well. The glossary is old and stale. Some of my favorite Wing bloggers have disappeared, and a few others have popped up I’d like to tell you about. 

And Dr. Lalo Suarez is kicking my ass all over the place.  Don’t know Lalo? Search for him in the upper right hand corner if you’d like.  He’s a hoot.

So we’re fixing some stuff this week.  First, the glossary. Then the blog roll.  And then I’m going after the good Doctor Suarez.  I’ve got a plan for him, a good one.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

How To Score By Alexander Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Johnny Testa of AskMen,

With Ovechkin preparing to defend his Breakaway Challenge title, AM took the opportunity to ask him for some tips on how to successfully score on a breakaway.

A defenseman comes up behind you and trips you up and the referee awards you a penalty shot. What’s the first thing that goes through your head?

I have to score. That is the one thing I think of the most.

How do you decide what move you are going to choose for the penalty shot?

That depends on the goalie playing and how the goalie was playing during the game. Based on that, I pick my shot and try to make some moves on the goalie to get him to move and open up.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Check Out the Skills Events

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The Hockey News’ Charlie Teljeur considers those aspects of the All Star Weekend that he’s most looking forward to:

Alex Ovechkin is planning a move so theoretical people are asked to wear protective eyewear and everyone who enters the arena that night will be given a vile of insulin.

And while there are a myriad of these (ahem) events that night, my personal favorites (the ones I’ll stay awake for) are the Martin St-Louis Distance Toss and Drunk Goalie Leap Frog.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg

NHL and Digital Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jennifer Leggio at ZD Net,

Over the last year or so, the NHL has been working diligently to roll out a three-phase digital media program to serve its estimated 20 million avid fans in North America — 13 million in the U.S. and 7 million in Canada. The primary objectives were to personalize content for avid fans, make that content more interactive, and create a more social presence on its NHL site and sub-sites.

“We know a few things about our fans that feed our strategy as a media business, but also support our investments in digital media,” [Michael] DiLorenzo said.  “On average, about 50 percent of fans are displaced — meaning they live in a different geographic area than their favorite teams. Inherently they have an access constraint, whether it be missing the games on TV or not being able to buy their team-branded goods at a local sporting goods store.”

What DiLorenzo realized is that the combination of an access constraint and a technically sophisticated audience creates opportunity — for both the league and for the fans. Recognizing that the NHL has “modest” national television distribution (the league owns all of its TV rights) it has the ability to take video online in a way that other leagues cannot.

read on for a very detailed look at the NHL’s digital media initiatives

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+media

Ending the ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Damien Cox in The Spin:

If the NHL Players Association has its way, we may soon see the end of the NHL All-Star Game as an annual event.

The union, you see, has a grander plan, one in which an annual break in the NHL season would take place every February, and depending on the year it would be filled by the Olympics, a World Cup, an all-star game or perhaps a spectacular hockey convention.

“It would be a win for everybody,” said former NHL goaltender and broadcaster Glenn Healy, now the NHLPA’s director of player affairs. “We’ve got to sell the game.”

read on

*hat-tip to SI’s Fan Nation

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, asg, nhlpa, world+cup

Neutral Site SCF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Hermann of Newsday,

The idea of holding the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals at a neutral site is quite interesting. Ludicrous, but interesting.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is planning to propose just that at the general managers’ meeting in March, according to broadcaster Pierre McGuire in his Sports Illustrated “In the Crease” feature last week. Holland reportedly was inspired by the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, where his team beat the Blackhawks.

A crowd of 40,000 and immense national publicity will make a person dream big. The thought in this case is to create a Super Bowl-like atmosphere. Holland and some commentators believe it would be great (and profitable) to make the finals a destination for the intense hockey fan and a magnet for the moderate or non-hockey fan.

continued and here is the McGuire piece in Sports Illustrated.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland

The NHL Hour with Luke Schenn & Drew Doughty

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Rookie sensations Luke Schenn (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings) are guests on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman

The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).

You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.

* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: nhlhour@nhl.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty, gary+bettman, luke+schenn

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