Kukla's Korner

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If they do make the playoffs, it will likely come after exerting a lot of energy. It would then be difficult to see Detroit beating San Jose, Chicago or Vancouver in a best-of-seven playoff series.

-John Buccigross of ESPN.  John takes a look at the Wings playoff chances along with answering emails from fans.

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

Islanders Have A Better Chance To Make The Playoffs Than The Rangers Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Dupont at NBCSports,

As for the more motley likes of the Rangers and Islanders, well, they’ve still got some sprucing up to do if they want to escape the post-season DNQ badlands. And right now, if I had to pick one to make it, I’d go with the ever-rehabbin’ Islanders, that whacky bunch of Charles Wang misfits who have made it to the playoffs only once in the past four seasons (only to bow out to, yes, the Sabres in five games in 2007).

Not that I love the Islanders, mind you, but there is no denying that coach Scott Gordon has them playing with moxie, which sure ain’t what the Blueshirts are drinking. Blueshirts coach John Tortorella has more spunk than anyone on his roster, which isn’t the way it’s supposed to look. If they played like their coach coached, with fire and a sense of immediacy, they would be able to run away with the conference.

read on

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

Ready Mule?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen saw team doctors Tuesday and was told his surgically repaired knee is fine and he can play when he’s ready.

Franzen, who still needs to improve his conditioning level, estimated he’s about two weeks away.

“I’m good to go when I feel ready,’’ Franzen said. “Maybe a couple more weeks. (The knee) doesn’t hurt.’‘

He said he needs to strengthen his skating muscles.

continue for more on the Wings…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen

Capitals Content With Their Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

As general managers wrestle over whether they are buyers or sellers before the March 3 NHL trade deadline, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee speaks with the contentment of a farmer who already has his spring crop planted.

“If the trade deadline was tomorrow,” McPhee says, “we wouldn’t do anything.”

Why would he?

While the hockey world has focused on whether the San Jose Sharks finally have the right mix of players to win the Stanley Cup or whether the Chicago Blackhawks are this year’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals have effectively become the NHL’s most dangerous offensive team.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Trying To Make A Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

While Chiarelli refused to discuss any specific names, another NHL source told ESPN.com the Bruins are very much in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes along with Los Angeles, in particular. While Vancouver, Philadelphia and Chicago also have reported interest, it appears the Bruins and Kings are the front-runners at this point.

But will anyone pay the price? The Atlanta Thrashers, I’m told, are looking for a package that includes a first-round pick, a prospect and a player from their NHL roster.

more

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

Questioning Sutter’s Coaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

This season, back in the heartland, the Calgary Flames are going backwards – and fast – under the irascible coach. In fact, it’s no guarantee the Flames will even make the playoffs, let alone face the indignity of once again bowing out in seven games or less.

With top names such as Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Miikka Kiprusoff, Robyn Regehr, Phaneuf and Bouwmeester at his disposal (not to mention some nice secondary pieces in Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross), it seems utterly bizarre Sutter would be unable to coax wins out of the talent he has in that dressing room.

But here we are.

Sutter has been vocally upset with his team’s performance in the local press, but the Flames still aren’t bringing it every night. Is it possible Sutter’s abrasive nose-always-on-the-grindstone coaching style only works in junior?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

Good Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider with some trade rumor advice,

I would urge you to follow legit reporters such as Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, Elliotte Friedman and the Hockey Night in Canada crew, the TSN guys, Hockey News, etc., and to stay away from the fiction writing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings Know They Can Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Kings flirted with a playoff spot last season before crumbling down the stretch. They weren’t ready and they knew it. They learned from that, said Brown, the team’s impressive young captain.

“I think the one difference is that, last year, we hoped to win a game. This year, we’re going into a game knowing we’re going to win,” said Brown. “When you have that kind of confidence and belief system, not just from one or two guys but from 15 to 20 guys, that’s when you can see success.”

That’s the key, Smyth said, truly believing it.

“We believe in this locker room,” said Smyth. “When you believe something, it starts to trickle through your lineup. It gives us confidence to progress. Even though we are young, there’s some great experience on this team to help out, as well.”

much more on the Kings…

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

Questioning Team Pride In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe,

If I am Peter Chiarelli, this is what I do: I walk into the locker room and I tell the players, in no uncertain terms, that this season is entirely up to them. I tell them Claude Julien will be the coach here for years to come. I tell them that the management of the Bruins will continue to treat this team like a Stanley Cup contender, that help should be coming at some point in the next month.

And then I watch the next three weeks to see if my team has any pride at all.

continued

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

Sykora Will Soon Have UFA Status

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

The Wild is close to cutting all ties with Petr Sykora.

Sykora, 33, who’s been away from the team since being placed on waivers Jan. 19, was officially assigned to the Houston Aeros today.
However, Sykora has officially declined to report. The two sides have mutually agreed to terminate his contract, and once approved by the NHL in the next day or two, Sykora will immediately become an unrestricted free agent .

In essence, Sykora will be free to sign with any team before the March 3 trade deadline and the Wild will be free of the remaining $600,000 or so of Sykora’s contract and salary-cap hit.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: petr+sykora

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