Kukla's Korner

An Unsung Goalie

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

This season, a rather overlooked goalie is leading the Vezina race.  If the season ended today, I would give the Vezina Trophy to Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins who has been overlooked enough to be left off of the All Star fan ballot.  There is another largely unknown goalie who is playing even better, but in more limited ice time.  Craig Anderson of the Florida Panthers was penciled in to be the seldom used backup in Florida.  He currently leads the NHL with a .948 saves percentage and sports a 1.87 goals against average.  He has appeared in 10 games so far this season, which is more than half of the 17 games he appeared in last season. 

It was expected that Tomas Vokoun would carry the Panthers in goal and while he has not played poorly, Anderson has played so well that he cannot be left on the bench.  Anderson is getting progressively more icetime as his solid play continues.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Oilers 4th Jersey, etc

Blog: KK Members Blog By ThinkinPink

Despite popular opinion, I like the Kings’ 3rd jersey. By the way, I knew The Hills’ Lauren Conrad was an avid hockey fan, but I didn’t know she was an LA King ice girl too.

Speaking of third jerseys, I think it is a great idea for the NHL to market the game. The only problem is that they are too bulky. If Snoop Dogg can’t make them look good, then who can? They aren’t like wearing baseball or basketball jerseys. Heck, even football jerseys are made more fashionable. But in terms of 3rd jerseys, I like the Blues, Bruins and Yotes the best. Thrashers’ are nice, and I like the Flyers old school look. I’m not really a big fan of the Sens’ and Canes. The Hawks’ new special jerseys aren’t bad looking either. Here is a look at Edmonton’s leaked FOURTH! jersey.

I spoke of this before in the comments section, but if the NHL wants to draw interest in the All Star game, they must start ballot stuffing in favor for a starting lineup that includes Sidney Crosby playing with Alex Semin. Of everything that has been said, this would be a very nice side story that would draw fans to the game.

Speaking of this newly anointed rivalry, Crosby has responded the best way he could: with a player of the week award (12 points in 5 games). Meanwhile, Alex Semin has missed the last 7 games with an upper back strain.

Last week Jim Hughson was the topic of a great blog here on KK. It is about time this guy is getting some recognition. He top my short list of favorite hockey play by play voices. And no, this isn’t because he is the voice of the greatest hockey game ever: NHL ‘06. The other 4 include: Rick “May Day/Top shelf where momma hides the cookies” Jeanneret, Sam “Nobody says Save by Lundqvist like me” Weinman, Chris “I do play by play for the CFL too” Cuthbert, and Harry “who needs the leafs” Neale.
However, none of these guys compare to my three favorite play by play guys: Gus Johnson, Dick Enberg and of course, the man - Chuck Swirsky. I can listen to them call ____ and i would find it interesting.

Another event that the NHL needs to plug more is the annual Winter Classic. In a marketing perspective, this is one of the best ideas the NHL has ever had. The new 46 second NBC ad is amazing. I love how they are doing it at Wrigley Field and I love how the ad incorporated one of Wrigley’s classic traditions with hockey’s classic jerseys. Bob Costas’ voice in the end gives the viewer a sense of legitimacy for the game. What would give the game more legitimacy is for President elect Barack Obama to accept the Blackhawks’ invitation to the game. It would be a great way to promote the NHL in the United States and also give Obama another sports base he can draw on, as he as already established himself in the basketball side of sports. Another example. And another example. Anyways, from a one time Chicago Bulls lover to a Chicago native, please Barack, accept the invite.

Game of the Night: Sean Avery vs Jarome Iginla. I hope Iginla does something to put Avery in his place. This game is not about Dallas vs Calgary, there must be some confrontation between Avery and Iginla.

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

Oilers Recall Schremp

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have recalled centre Rob Schremp from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

The 5’11”, 200 pound forward from Syracuse, New York is the leading scorer for Springfield this season with 18 points in 18 games. The 22-year-old has scored one goal and a team-leading 17 assists in 18 games with the Falcons and is +5 with 10 penalty minutes. His 17 assists ranks him seventh in the American Hockey League with five of the 17 helpers coming on the powerplay.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: rob+schremp

Too Many Games = Uninspired Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Sylvester of BuffaloSabres.com,

There are too many regular season games in the NHL.

The evidence was Monday night at HSBC Arena when the Sabres and Predators trudged through the first two periods. Neither team had any legs because they were each playing their third game in four nights and for the Sabres, their fourth in six nights.

The result of the compact week is uninspired hockey and a poor product.  It’s not fair to the owners, coaches, players or fans.

continued

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

Over the Hill at 25

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From James Duthie in the Ottawa Citizen:

For it seems that to be a true superstar in today’s NHL, you cannot be out of your frat-boy years.  Just take at the top look at the scoring race:

1.Evgeni Malkin—39 points (22 years old)
2.Sidney Crosby—34 points (21)
3.Ryan Getzlaf—31 points (23)
6.Aexander Ovechkin—30 points (23)
8.Patrick Kane—28 points (19)
9.Devin Setoguchi—27 points (21)
10. Alexander Semin—27 points (24)


That’s right.  Seven of the top ten players still cannot legally drink in New Delhi, India (minimum 25 years old).

Read on. Duthie goes on to compare the current group to the leading scorers of a decade ago, and the age contrast is notable.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+stats

How To Get Into The NHL Organist Business

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Lisa Freedman of Time Out New York interviews NY Islander organist Paul Cartier,

There is an unofficial exclusive Web ring, where the NHL organ players exchange ideas and stories and some even play in a fantasy hockey league. How can you break in? “You need to be persistent without being a pest,” he warns. Call the team’s office and ask who’s in charge of music. “Introduce yourself and let them know that you’re always willing to help out in any way.” And don’t overlook the minor-league teams—they’re good experience and a great way to get your name out there.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

About Three Years Behind

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Luchies at Associated Content,

Where has the NHL gone? As I flip through channel after channel on a lazy Sunday I am unable to find one hockey game or highlight unless I go to the NHL channel which I had to purchase on an extra sports package. I have grown up a Detroit Red Wings fan and am still a fan of the game and the Wings, but where has the NHL gone?

Remember the good old days when, on a Sunday, you could see the glowing puck on Fox Sports, then turn to NBC to watch the Red Wings play the Avalanche in a blood bath? There seem to be no more rivalries, unsupported teams, and a lack of North American talent (minus Sidney Crosby). The NHL needs to address issues and attempt to regain popularity in the United States.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Panthers Goaltender Seizing The Moment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Major Le-Brownie points for those of you who can guess off the top of your head which goaltender leads the NHL in save percentage with a sparkling .948 and is second in goals-against average at 1.87.

Tick-tock, tick- tock ...

That would be Craig Anderson, who tonight is making his third consecutive start for Florida as the Panthers play host Washington.

“You just have to seize the moment when it comes and be ready for it,” Anderson told ESPN.com last night, explaining his recent success. “If you’re not ready when you get your opportunity, you’ll look foolish.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson

All Star Canadiens Getting a Challenge From Pens Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

New York (December 2, 2008) – Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
       
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.

As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+tanguay, alexei+kovalev, all+star+game, asg, evgeni+malkin, hockey+fans, saku+koivu, sidney+crosby

Happy Hockey Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from my NHL.com column today,

Monday was a great ‘Happy Hockey Day’ across the web. I am going to share with you many of the stories that were sent to me and I ask you to read each one. You will come away smiling and hopefully have a better appreciation for our game.

I am listing the stories in no particular order and am only highlighting some of the story from each submission. Just click the link to read the full article and I hope you enjoy the stories from ‘Happy Hockey Day’!

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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