Kukla's Korner

Winning Streak Keeps Ducks In The Playoff Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood of the OC Register,

An impressive 6-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center, marking the club’s first three-game winning streak since November, moved the Ducks into ninth place in the NHL’s Western Conference, one point behind Nashville, which holds the eighth and final postseason spot.

Next up for the Ducks (35-31-6) is a Tuesday night date with the Predators in Music City.

“We’re digging ourselves out of a hole, but we’re still in it,” Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger said. “The beauty of it is the teams that are ahead of us are the teams we’re playing right now.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Habs Owner Taking Stock Of His Holdings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,

Réjean Tremblay of La Presse reports this morning, confirmed by Canadiens president Pierre Boivin, that Habs majority owner George Gillett Jr. has engaged a number of financial firms, including North America’s BMO Capital Markets, to study all of his global holdings.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Quite A Career For Don Koharski

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

He’s the last on-ice link to the WHA, worked nearly 2,000 NHL games, was stung by pucks in every part of his anatomy, watched Mario Lemieux’s Canada Cup winner up close, got a shout-out in Wayne’s World and turned down Jim Schoenfeld’s advice to consume another beignet on national TV.

Referee Don Koharski will have a relatively quiet exit in a couple of weeks, but this tough old zebra won’t leave the game entirely. League director of officiating Stephen Walkom says a supervisory or instructional position will be discussed with the 53-year-old during the summer….

With his first game on Oct. 14, 1977 (the Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Flames were still in the 18-team NHL), Koharski embarked on an eventful career. He’s recognized not only for his longevity, but working so many big games, such as the multiple Stanley Cup finals and at the Russians’ request, Game 3 of the ‘87 Canada Cup final.

read on and of course, whenever you hear ‘Koharski’, you think of the ‘donut incident’ which you can watch below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+koharski

The Story Goes Unwritten

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

The last call came less than two weeks ago. It was from former NHL player Walt Poddubny and he left a message saying he was eager to get started on the story.

“Let’s do this,” he said. “I think it’s important because I know there are guys out there like me who could use some help. Okay? So let’s talk soon. Bye.”

The plan had always been to sit down with Poddubny in his hometown of Thunder Bay and write about his life and the hardships that had befallen him since he left the NHL.

It would be a cautionary tale, he had said over a handful of conversations. He would talk at length about the highs - being a Toronto Maple Leaf and a 40-goal scorer with the New York Rangers - to the lows: being out of the game, too hobbled to hold a regular job, too broke to undergo surgery; a guy who was living in the basement of his sister’s home.

And then the news came crashing Saturday that Walt Poddubny had passed away suddenly. Cause of death: unknown. He was 49.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: walt+poddubny

Mikko Koivu Suffers Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Stensaas of the Star Tribune,

The Wild likely took a direct hit on its hopes for postseason action when forward Mikko Koivu left the game because of a knee injury.

After exiting the penalty box midway through the first period following what replays showed to be a phantom interference call, Koivu’s next move was into the Edmonton zone, where he got tangled up with Ales Kotalik. Koivu fell backward as the two battled for position. Koivu twisted awkwardly and his right knee appeared to buckle.

Koivu, who leads the team with 62 points this season, will be re-evaluated today. But there wasn’t much optimism being thrown around by Wild personnel after the game.

“Mikko’s been our best player game in and game out,” coach Jacques Lemaire said. “He hasn’t had too many days off this year. Losing him, it’s a huge loss for our team. But, you know, as I always say, if you’re going to lose players—and sometimes you lose your top players—somebody’s gotta step up and do some of his work.”

more on the Wild…

added 1:53pm, from the CP via TSN,

Assistant general manager Tom Lynn says Koivu had an MRI and saw team doctors on Monday and will be out at least seven days. Lynn also said Koivu could miss all 10 games through Minnesota’s regular-season finale on April 11.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

Something Cooking In Hossa Camp?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We’ve all seen how contract negotiations go in Tick Tock’s world.  The order of things has become almost standard by now.  A little chatter…followed by a period of silence…then a few surprise quotes from an agent or the player himself…a few hints dropped to an eager Digger.  Then all of a sudden a Wing press conference is called and the next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire in red and white for 8 years at 6.5 mil/per.

And here we go.  Hossa’s talking and he’s not being too subtle about it.

St. James

“To be able to stay as a Red Wing, I am prepared to take less money, but a fair deal, so both sides are happy. That’s what I’m looking for. I know if I go somewhere else, I could have more, but I’m willing to take less to stay here. Hopefully things work out.”

“I could be somewhere else, you know, but I came here because I like everything and I want to be a part of it,” Hossa said. “And that’s why I want to still be a Red Wing and stay here.”

Dave Dye’s got a little on it too and expands the discussion a bit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Sabres Dropping Out Of Playoff Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Buffalo Sabres have been are a playoff bubble team for a couple years.  If they were to make the playoffs, they would take one of the lower playoff seeds and if they were to miss the playoffs, they would be one of the top teams to miss the playoffs.  For much of the season, they were well within the playoff race looking to improve on last season’s 90 point year that left them four points out of the playoffs.  The hope was that the younger forwards Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville would take a step forward and bring the Sabres with them.

For the most part the Sabres have not taken a step forward.  They haven’t taken a step backwards either.  None of the young players truly had a breakout season.  The Sabres remained a playoff bubble team.  It took their loss of goaltending to close the door to the playoffs this season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

The Stars Aggressive Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

“We want to be very aggressive,” Tippett said. “The times we’ve had success as a team is when we’re pushing and moving. The times we don’t have success is when we’re chasing the game.”

The problem with the philosophy is that being aggressive can lead to a team chasing the game. There’s a reason NHL coaches choose to be conservative – because it works. If you chip and chase, set up a wall in the neutral zone and simply look for a mistake from the opposition, you can get on the counter-attack. Many scoring chances in the NHL come when conservative teams force turnovers by aggressive teams….

“We can’t just abandon defense, but we have to be able to sustain an aggressive attack for 60 minutes. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to do this and make any kind of run at the playoffs,” winger Steve Ott said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Collapse In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

This is not a slump, folks. Not a bad stretch. It’s a collapse, pure and simple. A team-wide, catastrophic reversal of play over a stretch which encompasses more than a third of the season and which cannot be explained away by the loss of Robert Lang on Feb. 1….

But the really critical problem is with Carey Price. Price is flopping around like a seal that is a couple of flippers short of making the circus. Price was weak on the second and fourth goals against Ottawa Thursday, but his reaction on the second goal the Rangers scored Tuesday was downright frightening.

He threw both hands to his head, covering up like a guy who has just learned that he’s under a falling piano.

Like all sports, hockey is a game of confidence, and Price’s confidence is somewhere down around his ankles.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Parise Sees A Lot Of Chara

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

“Going into the game, we knew we were going to be seeing a lot of him (Chara), our line was,” Parise said. “A few times, we were able to get in there, but I think we’ve got to do a better job against him. We have played well against him before in the last couple of games, but tonight we couldn’t get much going.”

Devils coach Brent Sutter said it’s up to Parise to fight through that sort of thing and not his teammates to protect him.

“Every time someone gets touched, it’s a big deal because someone gets touched,” Sutter said. “Your best players have to play through some things too. This time of the season and come playoffs, you’re going to have to take punches to the head for the benefit of the team. Did he intimidate us? He certainly didn’t intimidate us out there. He’s a competitor and Zach has to learn to play through stuff too. That’s part of being a good player. You’ve got to play through some things maybe you don’t like. You have to fight through it. I’m not saying he doesn’t. I’m just saying that every time someone gets hit in a game doesn’t mean you have to respond or a positive or negative way either. We know how to handle that. It’s not like we don’t know how to handle these things.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+parise, zdeno+chara

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