Kukla's Korner

NHL Officiating On Trial

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In order for the NHL to be a credible sports league, the impression must exist that teams decide who wins the games on the ice.  There cannot be an impression that officials (either on or off ice) can decide these things.  Reality is that decisions by officials often impact NHL games.  As long as any influence is random and cancels out in the longterm, it is an acceptable situation for the NHL, but this is not an acceptable position for the NHL public.  Many members of the public must believe that teams are the only factor in deciding who wins games in order for the league to maintain credibility.

That is why the allegations that referee Stephane Auger was out to get Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks in Monday night’s game versus Nashville (which Nashville won 3-2) are serious.  It opens the door to fans who had previously believed that the players decide games to the idea that officials play a much bigger role in the outcomes.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Just Winning In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Just win, baby.

That’s the motto in the Western Conference, where the Nashville Predators have 59 points and are only seven points above ninth in the dog-pile for playoff position.

It’s nuts, said Predators’ all-world defenceman Shea Weber, who had the game’s first goal and an assist on the second by Marcel Goc. Nashville jumped to a 4-0 lead, took their foot off the gas, and coasted to a 5-3 finish for their 10th win in the last 13 games on the road.

All this after getting to their local hotel about 2 a.m. after a gutsy win over the Canucks in Vancouver on Monday night.


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

Senators Schedule Central Park Skate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Coming off an ugly 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers last night, the Senators will be on the ice in Central Park today for a one-hour skate at 11 a.m.

The Senators will scrap the sticks and pads. All they’ll wear is helmets, their practice jerseys and skates for what shapes up as a light workout. With the team mired in a five-game losing streak, the throwback-style workout might be just what’s needed to lighten the mood around the team these days.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

96 Saves Combined- Brodeur (51) & Lundqvist (45) Battle It Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Devils win 1-0 over the Rangers in a shootout.

In case you missed the game (Versus/Directv, you need to get this settled).

Game story by Dave Lozo of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur

Shorhanded Bruins Start Crucial West Coast Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Now is the time for Chiarelli to drop that cool-handed Harvard thing and make something happen. The game tonight is the first of 16 his club will play prior to the Olympic break. It’s a good bet that Bergeron will miss about half those games and Savard will miss upward of a dozen. Trouble.

Without those two top playmakers in uniform, this is a team virtually absent an attack, and that’s precisely what the coach means when he’s talking about the need to be perfect. All of which makes Julien, a defense-anchored coach, preach even more defense to a team that many nights looks too much like that bunch of Trappist Wonks Jacques Lemaire coached for years in St. Paul.

With Julien’s current lineup, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make much of a case for putting pucks in the net at the other end of the ice. Translation: Either the Bruins are going to win by allowing a goal or two, or they aren’t going to win.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Matt Bradley Steps In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Did Bradley do the right thing by interrupting the Alexander Ovechkin/Steve Downie fight?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, matt+bradley, steve+downie

Selective Complaining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin,

Funny how people are so ready to believe Alex Burrows, and so ready to assume Stephane Auger essentially cheated the Vancouver Canucks.

Come to think of it, funny how it’s always the Canucks screaming outrage about something. Unless, of course, its a Vancouver fan shining a laser into the face of an opposing goalie. Then, in the words of Alain Vigneault, they’re just “great fans.”

They sure get unhinged in a hurry over hockey in Vancouver. Geez, years later, you can still get folks all up in a lather over the Bertuzzi-Moore incident, claiming Steve Moore deserved what he got and how he faked his injuries, etc.

Never much moderation out of B.C. when it comes to these things.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Don’t Believe Them

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

The NHL’s Christmas trade freeze was lifted over two weeks ago but with the league’s Olympic trade freeze set for February 13 to 28ththat’s likely going to result in considerably more activity in the trade market than we’ve seen around this time in recent years.

That also means the rumour mill is ramping up and as usual we’re seeing a share of wacky speculations.

Ilya Kovalchuk to the Detroit Red Wings? Um, no, sorry, but GM Ken Holland has repeatedly stated this season was a transitional one for his franchise and could accept missing the playoffs rather than parting with his young players for a quick fix. Given the Wings limited cap space for next season and the need to re-sign several key players (not the least of which is team captain Nicklas Lidstrom) Holland won’t pull the trigger on such a deal.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shoulda Told Us Mike

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

If you saw it coming (and we did…nice scheduling Gary), a heads-up would have been nice.


“I’m just thankful it wasn’t at home,” Babcock said. “Normally we come back from the West, get home at 7 in the morning, and two days later you play at home and you look like that. Thank God that was on the road and hopefully not too many people were watching television.”



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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Burrows Fined For Comments Directed At Ref

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Vancouver Canucks’ forward Alexandre Burrows has been fined $2,500 following his derisive comments regarding referee Stephane Auger after Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexandre+burrows, stephane+auger

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