Kukla's Korner

Team USA Goalie - Miller Or Thomas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

(Craig) Anderson, a former Bruins property, is the primary reason why Colorado entered last night as the top-ranked team in the NHL (26 points, 2 more than Pittsburgh and San Jose, who met late last night). The 28-year-old native of Park Ridge, Ill., is 11-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

For the first time in his career, Anderson has been tapped to be the go-to goalie for his club (he backed up Tomas Vokoun in Florida the last two seasons), and he has responded by turning the revamped Avalanche into the surprise story of the NHL.

Anderson’s start has propelled him into the Olympic discussion and most likely vaulted him past Los Angeles’s Jonathan Quick, who attended the US orientation camp along with Thomas and Miller over the summer.

But when you place Anderson’s pedigree against those of his competitors, it’s a good bet that the US brain trust, led by Toronto general manager Brian Burke, will consider the Boston and Buffalo netminders, both Michigan natives (Thomas hails from Flint, Miller from East Lansing), for the starting job, even though both got a break last night.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Havlat Watching Old Goals To Bust Slump

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

When things are going south, positive imagery is often a big help.

When Marian Gaborik would slump, he’d watch Gaborik highlights to get his mojo back.

In an attempt to revive the real Martin Havlat, the Wild winger sat alone in front of a television watching some of his goals from last season’s career year in Chicago.

Even though he didn’t score during Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Dallas, Havlat was a much more confident, motivated player. He skated well, shot the puck and schooled defenders.

“It’s not the start I wanted, or we wanted as a team. We win together and lose together,” said Havlat, who has one goal and six assists in 14 games. “But individually, this is probably the worst start I ever had, so it can only get better. I just have to keep working and sooner or later it’ll start coming.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat

Sources Say

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources say Carolina has been offering D Joe Corvo to teams trying to improve their power play. Making $2.75 million, Corvo is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and it’s doubtful he’ll be kept. The biggest issue for the ’Canes could be C Rod Brind’Amour. The 38-year-old is struggling and has two years left on his contract with a cap hit of $3.6 million per season. The ’Canes need to get quicker. A move that could be imminent in Carolina: Ron Francis taking over from coach Paul Maurice.

more from Bruce’s sources…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Did Player Agent Go Too Far?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,

Allan Walsh, agent for Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, knowingly or otherwise smacked a hornet’s nest on Twitter last night immediately following the Habs’ 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay with his tweet: “Interesting stat of the night…. #Habs’ Price is 10W, 32L in last 42 starts. Hmm.”

Whether an agent should so publicly be promoting a client at the expense of someone else – that would be Carey Price – even between the lines is subject to debate. The Internet has changed all the rules (some would say significantly lowered the bar) of credibility, professionalism and even common sense.

continued

Stubbs mentioned Kelly Hrudey was not happy with the the remark from Walsh and you can watch what Kelly had to say at about the 6:15 mark in the video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: allan+walsh

Will Gretzky Show For The HHOF Inductions?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

If Wayne Gretzky, the single greatest attraction in hockey history, chooses to pass on tomorrow night’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, what an embarrassment that will be for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his fellow owners.

And what an indictment of the damage remaining from the attempt to salvage the Phoenix Coyotes.

The very fact that the NHL has cut a deal to buy the Coyotes, which has basically excluded Gretzky and the money owed him, may save them a few million dollars in the process but won’t be worth the alienation created with the most important player the game has known. The relationship between Gretzky and the league is the worst it has ever been no matter what rhetoric is spread.

Of all that Bettman has bungled over the years, this may be his largest gaffe from a public relations point of view. Hockey is a hard enough sell in the United States and selling out Gretzky will end up costing them more in the long run than it would have cost them to pay The Great One what he was owed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Good Leafs Or Bad Wings?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

Was it the Maple Leafs, suddenly a very competent looking hockey club after two straight victories?

Or was it the Detroit Red Wings, or at least the current injury-riddled, talent-depleted version of the squad that went to the Stanley Cup final the past two springs but was steamrolled 5-1 by the Leafs last night?

Hard to say. But let’s start with this. When the Leafs were being trampled with Joey MacDonald in net and with Phil Kessel’s presence still a distant dream, it was suggested that it would be impossible to evaluate the Toronto team and individual players until top-flight goaltending was supplied by somebody, and that it was a little early to describe the Kessel-for-two-first-rounders deal as a disaster until he at least played a game.

Today, the Leafs, after beating awful Carolina and the Wings on back-to-back nights, look like a club that at least has a chance to vie for a playoff berth.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Example Of Non-Traditional Market- San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Most hockey fans would agree that the sport belongs more in Canada than California, but count me out of any discussion that warm-weathered U.S. cities aren’t good for the NHL.

However, the league would be wise to get out of dodge in select sunny sites where puck support is weaker than conservative backing for health-care reform bills.

Don’t say goodbye to Hollywood (or Tampa Bay and Dallas), but bid adieu to Phoenix, Atlanta and South Florida.

Fox Sports Pittsburgh Penguins analyst Bob Errey agreed with me this week when I suggested San Jose, where he served as the Sharks’ first captain, was the model for how the NHL should have viewed placing teams into nontraditional markets.

Too bad the NHL failed to follow its own lead.

continued

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

Sunday With Brooks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Please don’t quote me, but it appears as if Jacques Lemaire is back where he belongs, behind the bench in New Jersey, able to get more out of what appears to be less.

• Now it’s the Blue Jackets who need the public to chip in their tax dollars in order to ensure that the privately owned franchise that caps its employees’ wages remains in place. The NHL is filled with franchises that simply cannot produce enough revenue to thrive and please, please, let’s not always blame “the lease.”

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the league would be in substantially better condition had it adopted a meaningful luxury tax plan with those proceeds plus revenue share money flowing to small market teams, instead of the hard cap.

But then the NHL wouldn’t have its cost certainty, under which the only certainty is that small-market, U.S.-based clubs always will be on life-support.

• I’m sorry, but Phil Kessel became Frank Mahovlich, when?

more NHL talk including Brooks taking on the head shots debate…

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

Hotstove Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre LeBrun, Mike Milbury and David Shoalts join Ron MacLean on the HNIC Hotstove.

Make sure to check out the “fight-helmet” Pierre introduces.

added 11:10pm A recap of the Hotstove talk at CBC if you wish to read instead of watch.

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

Cam Ward Cut By Skate Of Rick Nash Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ward left the ice bleeding from the upper leg area and taken to the hospital.

update 10:15pm, Ward will spend the night in a Columbus hospital.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+ward, rich+nash

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