Kukla's Korner

Check Avery’s Heritage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,

Avery was involved in high-profile altercations as a King, including one in which he made derogatory remarks about French Canadians and another in which he was accused by forward Georges Laraque, who is black, of making a racial slur. Avery denied that, but was suspended last year by the Kings for clashing with team officials and coaches.
With the Rangers, no such problems have emerged. He jokes easily with his teammates — often loudly and ruthlessly — and the laughs cut across the many nationalities of the team.
“Maybe some people don’t like it because he’s too personal,” said Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers’ captain. “He gives it to you, but he takes it, too. I laugh at it. Maybe somebody from other teams, they get mad because he told them something they don’t want to hear. Some guys are too sensitive. In our country, that’s normal. We’ve got the same kind of humor, like he does. He could be easily a Czech.”

more on Avery….

Filed in: New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

AO Has Confidence In Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,

His numbers are down a bit, his team won’t make the playoffs and the rival he’ll likely spend his entire career being compared to has risen to greater heights. So why is it that nothing seems to be bothering Alexander Ovechkin these days?
“You know it’s been tough because we didn’t win, but it happens,” said the young Washington Capitals superstar. “We didn’t have much luck, but I think we’re going to move forward. I’m happy about that.”

continued

Filed in: Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playing Well Before The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fro Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

How close is it? Consider that as of Friday morning, with fewer than 75 games remaining on the schedule, only seven points separated the top 11 teams. Parity has been an NHL buzzword for years now, but the gap between Nos. 1 and 11 at season’s end generally fell between 18 and 25 points (the exception being 2004, the year before the lockout, when it was only 12 points).
There are a lot of teams on fire right now, including the Colorado Avalanche, which is 11-1-2 in its past 14 games and probably won’t make the playoffs, thanks to the Calgary Flames’ recent surge (five wins in a row and counting).
It begs the question: How important is it for a team to be playing well down the stretch, if it has Stanley Cup aspirations? Curiously, the answer is not that important at all.

more... plus hockey talk from all over the world…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brodeur- The Normal Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The effervescent Brodeur not only exists on the side of light, but will also at some point become the greatest of all time while defying the age-old belief that a goaltender has to be partway crazy.
As longtime teammate Ken Daneyko put it, “He’s one of the normal goalies. He is what you see.”
High praise for a netminder.
“All of his motivations seem to be streaming from a positive pool of consciousness,” added longtime NHL netminder Glenn “Chico” Resch. “The guy’s life is almost too balanced. He doesn’t have anything where you think, ‘Oh, crazy goalie.’”

read on

Filed in: New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Give Babcock Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,

Detroit is now the No. 1 team in the Western Conference and it looks like the Red Wings will hold onto that position.
The Wings have talent, veteran presence, and one of the most amazing defensemen to have ever played the game in Nicklas Lidstrom. They also have one of the most underrated coaches in the NHL. Mike Babcock has done one of the best coaches jobs in the NHL….
Babcock can be in your face with his style, but it works. He brought a surprising Anaheim team to within one win of the Stanley Cup in 2003, has won the World Junior Hockey Championship for Canada, and the Men’s World Championship. His coaching pedigree is excellent, but for some reason Babcock never gets any praise.

more... including other NHL topics…

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

Signs Your Team Is Not Making The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Top 12 Signs Your Team Isn’t Going to Make the Playoffs:
12 Entire roster being fitted for toe tags
11 You live in a city that’s very windy.
10 Leading scorer traded for patio set
9 Fewer blood stains, more grass stains

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gary Roberts - All Heart

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

“You don’t play at 40 years old unless you take care of yourself. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to come back and play at age 30 after two neck surgeries. I knew that the only way to do that was to change my lifestyle and change eating habits and my training routine,” he said. “I always worked hard, but not with much of a purpose. So, between the ages of 30 and 40, I have basically changed the way I live and it’s given me this opportunity to continue to play hockey, which I am thankful for.
“For me, it’s a quality of life change; it’s not something I do just because I play hockey. I know I feel better when I eat right and take care of myself. I recover a lot better and that’s why I am able to play at this age. It really is something that I enjoy doing, too,” he continued. “Once you stop enjoying the preparation part of it, that’s when you know you’ll be done because at 40 you have to do a little more preparation to be able to play. You need soft tissue work on your days off, cold tubs, extra nutrition. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to have any chance at more longevity.”

read on

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Questioning A Scout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On Frozen Blog,

Of course, our perceptions of these professions are premised on myth and an outsider’s necessarily flawed vantage. When you actually get a chance to talk to someone in them, markedly different realities are detailed for you. This was my experience recently in an entirely unplanned and altogether fortuitous exchange I had with a full-time NHL scout. From the moment I confirmed his identity I knew I wanted to pick his hockey head clean of its “a season in the life of” experiences and analyses, for his is a line of work long shrouded behind the scenes, in mystery even, by design.
In this scout I had not only a fertile and fruitful information source but an emblem of hockey’s most impassioned: you don’t go into hockey scouting because the loading gig at Home Depot didn’t come through, you scout — necessarily making unfathomable sacrifices on your personal life — because you possess in inexhaustable fire for life on ice, he told me. He didn’t merely answer my questions in rich detail but created compositions with my readers’ perceived curiosity foremost in mind. He asked of me only that I preserve his anonymity and that of his NHL employer. I happily obliged.

read on... Take some time out today and read both parts of the interview, great stuff…

Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Scotty Talks Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

When approaching the playoffs, it’s always sound judgment to check with the greatest coach in NHL history, listen to the stream of consciousness of Scotty Bowman and marvel at the insight.
This was the guy who four months ago, when Anaheim was making a mockery of the Western Conference, said the Ducks would come back to the pack before it was all over.
When a fellow has won as many Stanley Cups as Bowman, it’s generally a good idea to avail yourself of arguably the greatest mind in hockey history.

continued

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

Kings Looking Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

“When you make the moves that we made this year, you obviously are signifying that you are looking towards better days in the future,” Crawford said.
“We felt that it was better to strip things down and to build in the way that we thought was the right way and that is what we have done. We have been much more competitive here, especially in the latter half of the season when our goaltending kind of solidified itself with [Mathieu] Garon getting healthier and Sean Burke coming in and giving us real quality outings. We have played a lot better.”
Veteran defenceman Rob Blake, who will serve as a mentor of sorts to Johnson, thinks the Kings are heading in the right direction.

more

Filed in: Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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