Kukla's Korner

Around The League On A Friday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

• The St. Louis Blues’ Paul Kariya, coming off surgery on both his hips last season, scored two goals in his first game of the season – over in Sweden, against the Detroit Red Wings – and had a respectable five points in his first six games, but has been in a dismal slump ever since and thus far has managed zero points in November. The three-time Olympian had hoped that a fast start might put him in the mix for a fourth Olympic appearance in his hometown of Vancouver. So far, he isn’t on the radar screen.

• Meanwhile, Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow had managed just one point in the month and might have been slipping down the chart for Canada’s 2010 Olympic team until a rib injury sidelined the Los Angeles Kings’ Ryan Smyth for a minimum of four weeks. The link between Kariya and Morrow: Both are veteran players, coming off major operations (Kariya hip, Morrow reconstructive knee surgery) who haven’t come close to returning to their previous form.

• How much of an effect will Smyth’s absence have on Anze Kopitar, the NHL’s leading scorer? Hard to say, but the chemistry is demonstrably different with Alexander Frolov playing on the top line. Smyth likes to go to the net; Frolov generally does whatever he can to stay on the outside. If coach Terry Murray sticks with that line, it means Justin Williams will need to do much of the dirty work on the line

much more from Eric…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hossa Debut Getting Closer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

With Marian Hossa’s debut with the Blackhawks looming, coach Joel Quenneville is formulating plans on how to utilize the high-scoring winger.

Hossa participated in the Hawks’ morning skate before Thursday night’s game against the Flames and is on track to play during the Hawks’ six-game trip, most likely Wednesday against the Sharks in San Jose.

“There are going to be a lot of options for a coach to have,” Quenneville said. “He’s going to get a lot of ice time. We’re looking forward to him being useful in a lot of ways.”

Hossa has begun doing line drills in practice and Wednesday skated with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One win doesn’t cure their ills. And it won’t send the scouts home. The Ducks still have goaltending issues to resolve and a defense that’s short on toughness since Chris Pronger was traded to Philadelphia last summer. A better and more physical defense should make the goaltenders look better and help them to at least give the Ducks a chance to win.

Thursday’s victory probably forestalled a fire sale but didn’t cancel it. The team that began this homestand might not be the same as the one that’s here at the end, for better or for worse.

-Helene Elliott of the LA Times.

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

Why All The Injuries?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

While the messes in both Phoenix and at the NHLPA are of concern to the league, the glut of superstars stuffed in the trainers room should be the NHL’s most pressing issue at the quarter pole. As injury lists go, this one has been unprecedented.

(Ken) Holland sees two reasons for the trend.

“First off, it’s a freak occurrence,” Holland said. “To have so many top line guys go down, what else can you say?

“Secondly, it shows that those who claim the regular season doesn’t mean anything are wrong. There are so many teams so close to each other in this age of parity, every game means something. Guys are going that extra mile, blocking shots, sacrificing their bodies, because they know every point matters.

“In a cap world, with the majority of teams within five points of a playoff spot, guys who are bigger and stronger than ever before are playing very intense hockey.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Halak’s Play Pushes Price To Work Harder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin had a simple explanation when asked why goaltender Carey Price has turned his season around in the past five games.

“I have to say he’s been working a lot harder lately,” said Martin, who confirmed Price will start his fourth consecutive game Friday night when the Canadiens play Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, CJAD Radio-800).

Martin said Price’s competitive spirit came to the fore when Jaroslav Halak went on a four-game winning streak at the end of October.

“I think when Jaroslav had a good stretch for us, it was a good message for Carey that he had to improve his work ethic,” Martin said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Brent Sutter Not Happy With Team Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,

Following a massive collapse by his team, the Calgary Flames head coach let fly with some sober talk about the deeper issues that ail the underperforming squad.

Too casual; not enough emotion; no sense of urgency.
These were among Brent Sutter’s post-game complaints after watching the Flames fizzle out and down in 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

“This isn’t just something that just happened tonight,” Sutter told the assembled throng of reporters. “We just happened to play a very talented team tonight. This has been something that has been addressed with this group since Day 1, that there’s too much inconsistency in their game. The reason why there’s too much inconsistency in their game is because there’s too much inconsistency with individuals wanting to stay with it for 60 minutes….”


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

Leafs Training Questioned By Gary Roberts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Gary Roberts was highly respected as the Maple Leafs fitness fanatic in his playing days, but now he wonders if poor conditioning is a reason his old team is near last place.

Speaking on former Leaf executive Bill Watters’ radio show on AM 640 yesterday, Roberts specifically cited struggling defenceman Luke Schenn as a player who didn’t train properly in the summer.

“Why is Luke struggling so much?” said Roberts, who has been doing some personal training since he retired last year for among others, top pick Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “He looks like he has been riding the bike all summer. If you ride that bike all the time, you’re going to get slow and you’re going to get hurt. It’s the worst thing Luke could’ve done, if that’s indeed what he did. I don’t know for sure, I don’t talk to the guys and it’s none of my business.”

Roberts declared his bias for former Leafs strength coach Matt Nichol, who was replaced with Anthony Belza during the summer and kept prefacing his comments as those of an observer and not a Leafs insider. But it’s his impression the Leafs changed from an anaerobic approach under Nichol to aerobic.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+roberts

Phoenix Winning But Losing Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,

The club is 12-9-0 as of yesterday, but it lost $5-million (all currency U.S.) in October, the first full month of the NHL season, according to documents filed in an Arizona bankruptcy court this week.

So far this fiscal year, which began July 1, the Coyotes have lost $15.9-million, the filings show. If that pace continues, the Coyotes could lose close to $50-million this season.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly isn’t fazed by the reported losses and said they won’t impact the league’s efforts to sell the club.

“I don’t expect that publicly reported loss numbers will have any impact whatsoever on our ability to sell the club,” Daly said in an e-mail yesterday. The “losses in the short term don’t seem to be factoring into the interest of potential buyers. They have much bigger, longer-term vision of the investment.” Daly added the league has fielded a number of inquiries about the club. “Lots of calls and discussions [i.e., more than six]. Not sure I would classify them all as interested bidders.”

read on

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

Scott Niedermayer Stick Toss Causes A Ruckus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

“Faux”...Interesting.  Do You Use “Faux”?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Well, that was quite the day eh?  The league came out and tried the “intent to blow” reach around.  That didn’t work, because it’s a crock.  But they tried, and now they’re even a bigger piss pot than they were before.  You know our league is the absolute laughing stock of the sporting world when Tony Kornheiser is using it as a punchline because of the May no-goal.

The night it happened, we said it would be interesting to note how various people covered this farce.  In my opinion, how various bloggers reacted said a lot about their character and their product.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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