Kukla's Korner

The Gritty Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

On Saturday, I watched the Capitals dismante the Thrashers, 8-1, in Atlanta. I was positioned between the benches for that one, getting an up-close glimpse of a wildly talented and confident bunch from Washington. The win pushed the Southeast-leading Capitals to 9-1 against their division.

It’s easy to characterize Caps vs. Thrashers as Alexander Ovechkin vs. Ilya Kovalchuk, but Washington’s wonderfully gifted, newly-minted captain sits atop a bedrock foundation comprised of Brooks Laich, Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr and David Steckel. Where they once had to scrap for every last point in two successive 70-point campaigns (2005-06 and 2006-07), the Capitals now have a rangy, gritty and determined nucleus. Laich, Bradley and Gordon are veterans of those lean seasons (both fifth-place finishes in the Southeast) when Fehr (11 games in 2005-06) and Steckel (7) made their NHL debuts before earning regular roster spots a few years later.

read on

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

Late Penalty, How About A Penalty Shot?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

If a team is up by a goal with 30 seconds or less left in regulation and commits a penalty that directly impedes a scoring chance (so, high-sticking or slashing away from the puck wouldn’t count), a penalty shot is awarded to the opponent.

How’s that for excitement?

The only fly in the ointment I can think of here is the delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass. Of course, when the NHL instituted that rule after the lockout, no quarter was given, even if the player missed the glass by a millimeter. So if it’s good enough for regular penalties, no matter how quickly a player has to react and toss that puck in an attempt to alleviate pressure and conserve a lead, we must include it in the last-second scenario.

Some may say a penalty shot is a lousy way to decide the end of a game, to which I would counter, then don’t commit the penalty. Plus, imagine how cheated the Flames felt after that loss. Justice can be swift, if we permit it.

more for an explanation why Ryan thinks the way he does…

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

Savard Hopes Bruins Can Get On A Roll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

While the Bruins coaching staff is left scrambling for line combinations and innovative, new ways to put the same odd-shaped pieces together that still remain healthy, Marc Savard began the long road back to recovery Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena.

Savard was walking gingerly, but without too much of a limp, after being diagnosed last weekend with a Grade 2 tear in the MCL of his right knee – an injury that’s basically a severe sprain of the joint that doesn’t require any surgery….

“I don’t stay [down] on the ice too much. I knew right away when it happened that it was sore and stretched out a bit,” said Savard. “I just wanted to be careful with it and hopefully everything heals up. It’s on a good pace, so hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later.

“We haven’t really had our full lineup all year. Hopefully we get rolling into the playoffs and we get a full lineup. Who knows how good we’ll be?”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (January 11, 2010)—Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Mathieu Garon have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 10.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Let The Idiots Out Over The Weekend?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Update at 1544: Thanks to the reader who pointed out the Kovalchuk SNAFU in the prose below. Fixed.

What. The. Faux.  The guy with the ball-gag from Pulp Fiction?  I thought he was confined to Denver but I was wrong.  The frigging idiots are all over the place.  They’re ruining my internet experience is what they’re doing.  What we have is a dumbass, a cutter and paster of dumbass stuff, a Wing hater who’s even dumber and then a smart guy who’s got a contest about another dumbass. 

Oh, and then there’s the other dumbass who dedicated 19 minutes to actually using the words “Wings”, “trade” and “Lidstrom” in the same paragraph.  We’re going to touch on all those ditties.

Ready? Oh, I knew you would be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Admitting I'm Wrong, | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Talking Trades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at FoxSports,

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli recently told the Boston Globe that trade talk amongst his peers was picking up, which only lends credence to the theory of increased player movement prior to the Olympic break.

For now, only the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers would be considered certain sellers as their chances of climbing back into the postseason race are pretty much non-existent.

Ignore Wild internet speculation of the Hurricanes shopping franchise players Eric Staal and Cam Ward as the players they’ll likely move are impending unrestricted free agent forwards Ray Whitney and Matt Cullen.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The final insult to Thrashers fans will come when Kovalchuk is traded by Waddell, a good hockey man who has run desert-dry of excuses and should’ve been replaced one or two years ago.

Unfortunately, the franchise’s still-festering ownership battle has allowed Waddell to stay in power. If he is permitted to retain that power once Kovalchuk departs, it will be impossible to blame any and all remaining Thrashers fans for abandoning ship as well.

-Adam Proteau of The Hockey News.  Read more from Adam on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Monday Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• One NHL Governor said that, at the December BOG meetings, an owner got up and said, “We should have six outdoor games a year.” Thank God that had little support.

• If Kovalchuk does leave, the number one reason will be the mess that is Atlanta ownership. Those guys have fought in court for five years, with no sign of a resolution. That uncertainty is the number one reason he may bolt. What is the future? What if they move to a city he doesn’t like? I do agree with Mike Milbury, though, that Kovalchuk should tell the Thrashers if he intends to leave. He’s been good for them, but Waddell has also been very good to him.

• Jimmy Howard should teach every NHL team and fan the value of patience. How many times during his four-year AHL run did people give up on him? Now, at 25, he is saving the Red Wings’ season.

much more...

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

Central Scouting Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

The battle for the top spot at the 2010 Entry Draft has turned into a three-horse race. And like any good horse race, this one currently is too close to call.

In NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking of North American skaters, Windsor Spitfires forward Taylor Hall currently leads the Plymouth Whalers’ Tyler Seguin and Windsor defenseman Cam Fowler by a nose. And there’s a lot more time before the stretch run, meaning a lot can change between now and April, when the final rankings are released, and it could last all the way to the draft in Los Angeles, to be held June 25-26 at Staples Center.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Attention Made-Up Rumor Guys

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

In a high-tech world in which fans have endless outlets to turn to for sports news, how is it someone hasn’t started a website to track all those who start trade rumours?

Given that 99% of all swap scuttlebutt is little more than baseless bunk, why not hold the source that starts each fabrication accountable?

It would be a great way to separate the real insiders from the pretenders who often float manufactured material to gain attention for themselves, their media outlets or their makeshift websites.


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

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