Kukla's Korner

Babcock Puts More Pressure On Jimmy Howard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Schmehl of Mlive,

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard might be out of minor league options, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock said that excuse won’t guarantee him a backup role behind Chris Osgood.

Babcock told told WZAM’s Sports Pen that Daniel Larsson, who was drafted by the Red Wings with the 92nd overall pick in 2006, is giving Howard a run for his money.

“(Larsson) is knocking on the door,” Babcock said. “Howard and he both played in the AHL last year and his numbers were every bit as good as Howard.

“(Larsson) has been the goaltender of the year before in Sweden. It’s not like he’s a kid – we thought he played real well for us the other day and made some big plays.”

more

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

Khabibulin Gives Oilers A Comfort Zone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

And while the Oilers had nothing but good things to say about the man that Khabibulin replaced, team captain Ethan Moreau concurred with the basic premise, suggesting: “Having Khabibulin here allows us to compete with Kiprusoff, Luongo, Backstrom – the elite goalies in our division and conference.

“It’s a daunting task every night because if you don’t get equal goaltending, it’s very hard to win. Goaltending is one of the only positions in hockey, where you can’t cover up your weaknesses. You can have smaller forwards, or if you don’t score enough, you can cover up your weaknesses with other strengths. But goaltending is a must and we have a guy that’s played at an elite level for a long time, so that does give us some comfort.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

All Tim Thomas - Video Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside of ESPN sit down with Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+thomas

Preissing Out 4-6 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs at the Denver Post,

The Tom Preissing Era is off to a crummy start. One of the two D-men who came over from L.A. in the Ryan Smyth trade, Preissing had arthroscopic surgery on a knee today and is out 4-6 weeks.

He apparently suffered the injury at some point early in camp, as he never took part in any scrimmages.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+preissing

All These Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets top four defensemen are all sidelined with nagging strains to the groin or hip flexors and management wants to determine if that’s more than coincidence.

Add Rusty Klesla (hip flexor), Mike Commodore (groin) and Marc Methot (hip flexor) to a growin list that already includes Fedor Tyutin (hip flexor) and forward R.J. Umberger (hip flexor)....

General manager Scott Howson is seeking answers. With the help of the coaching staff, medical staff and players, he’s trying to figure out what’s at the root of the problem. Howson even has taken to calling around the league to see if other teams are sustaining similar injuries. He said Phoenix and Minnesota are dealing with the same issues.

Among the possibilities:

—Ice quality in various rinks, including the Dispatch Ice Haus.

—The high pace to the start of camp, which included intra-squad games on the first two days and an exhibition game in Pittsburgh on the third.

more

While on the Blue Jackets topic, Doug MacLean on Fan590 today mentioned Columbus is trying to find a dman to run the point on the power play.  Both Raffi Torres and Jason Chimera are being offered, but no takers so far.

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

The Flavor Of Quebec City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Naoko Funayama of NESN,

Just telling hockey people you’re going to Quebec City triggers a delightful reaction. But even better was the reaction the people of QC had to us.

“You come for hockey game?” asked our waiter at a quaint corner bistro in Old Quebec City.

“Claude Julien?” he continued in his broken English, asking us about Boston’s head coach and the former Quebec Nordiques defenseman….

Inside Le Colisee, the aura of the old NHL team still remained. Its NHL banners were proudly displayed, with wooden seats high in the “endzones” that were so vertically lined they looked like a wall.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another Medical Issue In The KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Less than a year after the death of Alexei Cherepanov, the Kontinental League finds itself again at the center of a medical controversy, this one involving the younger brother of St. Louis Blues star Paul Kariya.

Martin Kariya, who plays for Dinamo Riga in the KHL, suffered a concussion Saturday night in a game in Moscow when he was hit from behind into the boards, then hit his head on the ice when he fell. But as was the case with Cherepanov, the KHL and medical personnel have come under criticism for how the situation was dealt from a medical standpoint.

According to reports, the medical staff for Dinamo responded immediately and was on the ice, but emergency personnel at the Moscow Spartak rink were apparently sitting in the stands and had to be called using the public address system. They took several minutes to arrive at the scene.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, martin+kariya

Gionta ‘C’ Worthy In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of French Impression at the Globe and Mail,

Jacques Martin has consistently praised Gionta’s attitude and work ethic, he’s combative (last night he got up in Geno Malkin’s grille after a bit of a sneaky elbow behind the net) and he can obviously still put the puck in the net.

I say what the hell, give him the “C”.

Until he starts sucking, at which point the experts and open-mouth shows can start chewing on his bones.

But something tells me that’s not going to happen.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+gionta

Bryan Murray In Trade Mode

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Senators GM Bryan Murray is selling. This week he’s going hunting for buyers ... for a player or two.

Murray said today he’s going to start working the phones to try and move a couple of players he feels are underperforming this fall. In part, his motivation is to open up a spot for centre Peter Regin, who is having a strong training camp. Another factor is to lighten the team’s contract load, which is currently very close to the league’s salary cap.

Ideally, the Senators would like to find new homes for defenceman Christoph Schubert and possibly centre Chris Kelly.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Burish Out Six Months After Knee Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The following statement was issued today by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

“Adam Burish went into the boards on Sunday night in Minnesota and injured his right knee. When a player like him leaves the ice it is always concerning, and unfortunately he suffered an ACL tear. He will undergo a reconstruction as soon as possible and we anticipate a complete recovery. His return will take approximately six months.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+burish

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