Kukla's Korner

The Best From The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

All the top plays from Western Conference teams since the start of the 2009/10 season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Problems In Columbus & Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

The Blue Jackets entered 2009-10 coming off their first playoff appearance in franchise history, while the Oilers — having made changes behind the bench and in goal — were expecting to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Instead of being in playoff contention both clubs enter the New Year mired in the bottom of the Western Conference standings and in danger of falling out of the postseason chase….

Goaltending has been a common issue. The Oilers brought in veteran Nikolai Khabibulin last summer to be their starter but he struggled with a bad back which eventually sidelined him in late November. Backup Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers has done his best but it’s clear in relief that he’s not yet ready to be a full-time starting goalie.

The Blue Jackets made the playoffs last season in large part to the goaltending of Steve Mason, who won the Calder trophy as rookie of the year with his 33-win, 2.29 GAA, 10-shutout performance. This season, however, Mason is mired in a sophomore slump, with only 11 victories in 32 games, a bloated 3.18 goals-against average and only two shutouts.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Month

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (January 4, 2010)—Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin, Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for December.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Winter Classic Ratings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via SportsBusiness Daily (paid sub.),

NBC earned a 2.6 overnight Nielsen rating for the Flyers-Bruins Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Friday, down 10.3% from a 2.9 for the Red Wings-Blackhawks matchup last year, and even with the inaugural Penguins-Sabres Winter Classic in ‘08.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

30 Hockey Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Miro Satan’s agent – Allan Walsh – took offence to my critique of his client’s work ethic this week. (The suggestion I should go back to “Hockey Scouting 101” was pretty funny.) It is true that he showed an excellent attitude as a cap casualty in Pittsburgh last season, having to go to the minors. Maybe he’s matured as an older player, but there’s no doubt he wasn’t an “every night guy” for much of his career.

• I rarely, if ever, get nervous anymore, but certainly was to interview Bobby Orr live for the first time ever. I called him “Mr. Orr.” He looked at me and said, “It’s Bobby.” We are coming up to the 40th anniversary of his famous 1970 Cup-winner. Geez, I’m getting old.

more

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Honestly I’m just going day to day right now.  I had a great talk with (Moose coach) Scotty Arniel and every day I’m on the ice is just another day to get my legs going and feel good and have fun.

“As long as I’m here, there are young guys I think I can help and make better and it’s just all about being a good leader and being a good guy in the dressing room. That’s all I’ve ever tried to do my whole career.”

-Mathieu Schneider of the Manitoba Moose.  More on Schneider from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manitoba+moose, mathieu+schneider

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (January 4, 2010)—New Jersey Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith and Dallas Stars left wing Loui Eriksson have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 3.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jesse Rogers of the Chicago Blackhawks Blog at ESPN has a few questions for Pierre LeBrun,

Is there a prevailing thought outside of Chicago that Cristobal Huet can or can’t be the man come April, May, and June?

PL: I can’t speak for other media around the league, but the way I look at it is the way I saw Chris Osgood over the years in Detroit. The Wings when they were doing their thing didn’t need great goaltending, they just needed their goalie to be decent and not give up bad goals. They were so stacked on defense and up front and controlled the puck that having a Vezina-worthy goalie wasn’t necessary. I think if Huet just does his job and stays within himself next spring, the Hawks have a shot at the Cup. He doesn’t need to be as good as the top goalies in the league for the Hawks to win.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

More Potential Issues For The Predators Owners Group

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nate Rau of the Tennessean,

Metro lawyers and a designee of the Metro Sports Authority will meet as early as this week with Nashville Predators officials to hash out issues surrounding lead owner David Freeman’s federal tax troubles and whether the team is in default on its arena lease with the city.

The discussion is expected to center on the National Hockey League team’s financial condition and whether a default would occur if a $3.3 million federal tax lien against Freeman is not resolved.

Freeman has said he expects to have the issue with the IRS resolved this month, but provisions in the Sommet Center lease agreement designed to protect taxpayers say financial troubles of one of its owners could lead to a default.

continued

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

Liles Has To Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

“The coaching staff made it known why I was sitting out and what I needed to do,” Liles said. “They wanted more of me. They wanted me to elevate my game, and it’s something that I’m not going to say that I disagree with them. They felt it was the right move to sit me out. You come back, work hard and try to respond. That’s what I was trying to do (Saturday night).”

Liles, 29, has 15 points in 29 games and is a minus-4. Seven of his points have come on the power play (two goals), on which his lack of production probably is most responsible for him landing in coach Joe Sacco’s doghouse.

Sacco had nothing further to add to his assessment of Liles from last week at the time of the defenseman’s benching, other than the coach is looking for a better all-around game and perhaps the intangible of more hunger to succeed.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john-michael+liles

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