Kukla's Korner

Is the Price really right?

Blog: KK Members Blog By Slasher98

Coming out a phenomenal 2006-2007 hockey season, during which the Anahim Lake, B.C., native won the gold at the IIHF World Junior (U20) Ice Hockey Championship in Sweden (he was named the Tournament MVP) and the Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs (he was named playoffs MVP), expectations were very high at the beginning of last season in Montreal.

The 6-3, 212 lbs, butterfly goaltender made the team out of training camp. He shared duties with French goaltender Cristobal Huet for the first few months, before being sent down to the AHL in January 2008 to regain his form after a lackluster start. After a one-month stint with the Bulldogs, the Canadiens called him up and gave him plenty of action before trading Huet to the Capitals at the trade deadline. Price responded very well, leading the Canadiens to a strong finish atop the Eastern Conference. Price finished the 2007-2008 season with a 24-12-3 record, a 2.56 GAA and a sparkling .920 save percentage.

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: canadiens, halak, montreal, price

Dallas Stars Scapegoat

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Dallas Stars are not having a good season.  They are last in the West Conference with an 11-18 record (with four regulation tie points).  They have had the worst goaltending in the NHL with a .878 saves percentage so far this season.  Marty Turco has not played well (though his game is improving) and his backup Tobias Stephan does not appear to be an NHL calibre goalie.  This leaves Dallas with the third worst goals against average in the league at 3.45.  Their special teams have been bad.  Their 13.0% efficiency on the power play is third worst in the league.  Their penalty kill is also third worst in the NHL with a 76.9% success rate.  Their offence has been a little bit better.  It is ninth worst in the league with 2.66 goals scored per game.  Their top scorer Mike Ribeiro is the second lowest scoring player who leads his team in scoring (only Jay Bouwmeester of Florida has fewer points).  Their captain Brenden Morrow is injured and likely won’t play again this season.  Who is at fault for this?

Obviously, it’s Sean Avery.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Dec. 15, 2008)—Boston Bruins right wing Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Petr Sykora and Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Sunday, Dec 14.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bah, Humbug

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,

Since the imposition of the salary cap in 2005, only four notable players – Joe Thornton, Sergei Fedorov, Doug Weight and Andy McDonald – were dealt in early-season trades. The rest were lesser talented players carrying more affordable salaries, which made them easier to move.

So if you’re hoping to see a blockbuster trade by Friday involving players who have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors this season - like Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester, Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik or Chicago’s Martin Havlat – your hopes will most likely be dashed.

Sorry for playing the Grinch, but that’s the reality in today’s salary cap world.

read on for some rumor talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Out With The Old, In With The New

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lightning Strikes,

The two stats from this morning’s story I thought were most interesting: the Lightning so far has used 36 players, a league high. It also has made 29 transactions since the start of the regular season. Compare that to the 2003-04 season in which it made only 14. I know, the two seasons aren’t really comparable, but thought it illustrated well where this team is at.

We also found out from GM Brian Lawton where the team is going. In short, expect more callups from AHL Norfolk. Players such as Brandon Segal, Andy Rogers, Vladimir Mihalik and even goaltender Karri Ramo will be coming up at some point to get a better look.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Germany Hopes To Set Attendance Record

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Top News,

The 2010 ice hockey world championships are to face off in front of a world record attendance of 75,976 in Germany, organizers announced on Monday.

Local organizers said at a news conference that the tournament opener between hosts Germany and a yet to be drawn opponent on May 7, 2010, could draw this maximum crowd in Gelsenkirchen’s stadium which normally hosts Schalke 04 football matches.

The current record is 74,554 fans who attended a college match between Michigan and Michigan State on October 6, 2001, in the American Football stadium of East Lansing, Michigan.

German organizers are confident that the record will fall.

continued

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

Trouble May Be Ahead For Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Spin, his blog at the Toronto Star,

Mats Sundin, it would appear, has three choices.

Two make sense. One is a terrible risk.

The risky choice is to succumb to the pull of the hockey world and announce a return to the NHL sometime before Christmas.

This, it appears, is what most believe is going to happen. And that’s too bad.

See, the smarter choices for Sundin would be to either retire - which I’ve come to believe is what he really wants to do - or take the season off entirely and then join a new team next summer.

Jumping into the fray now is a recipe for trouble.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Baffling Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.

The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.

Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“...I think Sean needs a strong coach like Mike Keenan. To have him under control. Then a lot of scandals could have been avoided.

Actually, people with a big self opinion will never understand Avery and will always think of him as an outsider. But I can never take Sean seriously. I have never had any problems with him.”

-Jaromir Jagr.  Read more from Eric McErlain at the NHL Fanhouse.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr, sean+avery

Trotz Throws His Hat Into The Ring For Team Canada Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Taylor of the National Post,

When Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Canada’s 2010 Olympic hockey team, it was assumed by some that Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock would be named Canada’s next head coach.

Hearing Babcock’s name was somewhat refreshing considering that for so long the same names always seemed to come up—Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford, Andy Murray.

While Babcock, with his experience handling the highly-skilled members of the Red Wings, would be a terrific choice, so too would a guy who would love to answer his country’s call.

“There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than playing or coaching a national team,” Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “I’ve done it twice at the world championships and they were both among the greatest experiences of my life. “

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz, team+canada

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