Kukla's Korner

Norris Trophy Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Some years there is nobody who truly deserves to win a major award, but that isn’t what happens.  A winner has to be found.  It doesn’t matter if that winner would have been an also ran in almost every year in recent history.  This year it looks like the Norris Trophy will be one such award. 

There is a relatively large group of Norris Trophy candidates that include Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Dan Boyle, Andrei Markov, Duncan Keith and others.  How do hockey pundits tend to handle such situations?  They find a leading candidate not by looking at this season, but by looking at other recent seasons.  Many have done that and are picking Nicklas Lidstrom as the Norris favorite.  Lidstrom has basically owned the Norris Trophy having won it six times recently.  The problem is at age 38 he is finally starting to slow down.  He has struggled through injuries this season including tendonitis in his elbow and a broken nose and has not been nearly as dominant a player as we have seen in the past.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There’s something almost unfair about Detroit’s immense depth. They have guys like Hossa, Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen and Holmstrom, all-proven 20-goal threats, on the wing.  The Penguins have… Petr Sykora and? Who? SIdney Crosby had Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis on his wings today. They’re fine third-line caliber player, but they shouldn’t be on a line with one of the world’s best players.

-Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters.  More on the game including Seth’s unique live play-by-play blog.

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

Vanek Out With Fractured Jaw

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, NY (February 8, 2009)—- Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that Thomas Vanek fractured his jaw when he was hit in the face with a puck during last night’s game vs. Ottawa. Vanek had successful surgery on his jaw today in Buffalo, and will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Well?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Every single one of you, Wing fan or not, knows who won today in Pittsburgh.

I don’t. I have no idea.  Drove for seven hours today. Just got home.  Actually listened to Mike Lange’s call on Pens radio as I drove through Pennsylvania.  But it was too nerve wracking and turned it off with 7:45 left in the first.  Scoreless.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Goaltending Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Last night, Kelly Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC talked goaltending.  I watched it live and thought Kelly had some great insight on the goaltending position and was left wanting more from Kelly.

Price, Luongo and Osgood were discussed but if you are interested in the goaltending position, I recommend watching it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

52 Percent Thid.  Care To Join The Live Blog To Discuss It?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I guarantee that as you’re reading this I’m hauling ass trying to get home in time to see this game.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Game of the Week Contest

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

NHL.com has launched a contest to Get Out of the Cold: a trip for 4 to the Universal Orlando resort in Florida. You need to enter before the end of the first period of the Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game on Sunday, and the winner will be announced by the third period.

Additionally—as Forechecker highlighted the other day—Twittering about this weekend’s game could earn you a subscription to NHL Game Center Live for the rest of the season.  Just use the hashtag #NHLonNBC in your tweets, and you’ll be automatically entered.

*post originally dated Feb.6, 11:07am ET. Today’s game preview at NHL.com

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: game+of+the+week, nbc, twitter

The Three Stars Or Close To It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

In my many years of covering the NHL, one of the questions I most frequently hear after a game is:

“Gee, who picked the three stars?”

In some NHL cities, the choices are put to a vote of all media members in the press box. Most places, a single selector is designated before the game. At the Pepsi Center, the choices usually are made by a writer or by one of the four announcers on the “in-house” Altitude radio and television broadcasts.

Even when Denver Post colleague Adrian Dater or I make the official choices at an Avalanche home game, the “Post’s three stars” in the paper might be slightly different. Here’s why: Whoever is making the official choices at the game is gently asked to submit them with about five minutes remaining in the third period.

continued

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

Predators Hurt By Payroll Cut Ordered By Leipold

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

It’s painfully obvious the Predators miss Alexander Radulov, who bolted for Russia last summer even though he had an NHL contract. Would they welcome him back next season? “Never say never,” said GM David Poile, who was furious that the kid just up and left, leaving the Predators with few options late in the summer.

“It’s about playing in the best league, but maybe he wants to stay in Russia.” He would have fences to mend in Nashville, but, as Poile says, “he scores goals.” The Predators are hanging in the playoff race, but they’re a shadow of their team from two years ago when former owner Craig Leipold told Poile to get out the meat cleaver.

“No Kariya, no Hartnell, no Timonen, Vokoun. That’s what the order was,” said Poile, who is not into excuses, but it was hard to stomach. “Craig wanted to be as low (payroll) as he could.” Leipold now owns the Minnesota Wild.

more hockey notes…

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

Nashville Players Available If They Fall Out Of Playoff Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

The next few weeks of the season might determine not only the Predators’ chances of making the playoffs, but also the chances of a number of Predators to remain with the organization.

A scroll down the roster reveals nine players in the final years of their contracts, including established NHL players Radek Bonk, Greg de Vries, Vern Fiddler, Scott Nichol, Steve Sullivan and Greg Zanon.

Should the Predators slide from the playoff picture in the weeks leading up to the March 4 NHL trading deadline, at least some of those names are bound to surface as potential trade bait.

Should the Predators remain in contention for a postseason berth — and they’ve won five of six games going into today’s game at Dallas — the roster is much more likely to stay intact.

continued

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

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