Kukla's Korner

Top Defenceman So Far

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In November I picked Chris Pronger as the best defenceman so far this year.  Since then his Philadelphia Flyers team have run into problems (they are 14th in the East Conference).  The Flyers have struggled lately and Pronger has not avoided those struggles. 

My current pick as top defenceman in the NHL so far is Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.  Green is clearly the best offensive defenceman in hockey.  He leads the NHL’s defencemen with 33 points.  His puckmoving ability is instrumental to the Capitals offence.  The criticism has been his defence, which is clearly improving.  Green is playing in more and more tough defensive situations with the Capitals.  Green’s defence was good enough to make him a Norris frontrunner last year and it is better now.

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GDT - Game #36: Red Wings at Blackhawks (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The Wings four (4) game winning streak has been snapped at Dallas yesterday, eh?  Unlike the Delicate Genius, I won’t comment on the game; I didn’t see a minute of it.  Instead, I was in shopping Hell.  I am unsure which pain would have been worse, watching the Wings lose, or trying to find a fuching parking spot anywhere within reasonable walking distance of the Sooner Mall?

I do know this, the home and home against the ‘Hawks is Huge, with a capital “H”.  CHI lead the West with 47 pts, having played 33 games.  DET is in 8th with 41 pts, only 6 pts back; but DET have played 35 games.  At one time. I recall Holland stating that you could realistically make up 2 points every ten games.  The home and home is Big Time if the Wings have any hope to catch the ‘Hawks.  Just to make this series more challenging, the ‘Hawks goalies are playing outta their minds at the moment.

Take a number?

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Ray Whitney Connected To Bruins & Habs Need Production From Gomez

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

• Chances are Carolina Hurricanes UFA Ray Whitney will end up with the Boston Bruins as a trade-deadline deal for a second-round draft pick. The offensively-challenged Bruins will perhaps ask Mark Recchi what he thought of Whitney from the Canes’ 2006 Cup run. If not Boston, then Philadelphia may be a possible destination, as former Hurricanes bench boss Peter Laviolette is currently head coach there.

• Montreal’s Scott Gomez has seriously missed linemate Brian Gionta, who has been our with a broken foot since November. Gomez, at $8 million, is the club’s second-line centre behind Tomas Plekanec. The Habs are seeing what the Rangers saw -not nearly enough offensive production.

more talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Don’t Worry Columbus, The World Is Not Ending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

I do not believe that firing Hitchcock, at this juncture, would be an intelligent move.

I do not believe the players have quit on Hitchcock. The 2001-02 Dallas Stars and the 2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers quit on him. There are no signs that there is any sort of revolt afoot in Columbus. If anything, the Jackets still buy into the coach’s message. They might roll their eyes in the next video session, but they will understand the message, and they will believe in it.

I believe the Jackets need a defenseman, and an enforcer, and that Howson must address these concerns. I believe that, other than some tinkering, the answers to the present problems are largely within the grasp of the players in the locker room.

After the loss in Denver, the Jackets find themselves on a 2-9-5 jag.

I think they lost their identity and suffered a crisis of confidence.

I do not think it is the end of the world.


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

Enough With The Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Repeat after me: the Avalanche is not trading Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly. It’s not going to happen. It’s especially not going to happen for a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk or any other guy in the last year of a contract, and the salary demands for his next deal are said to begin at $11 million per year. The Avalanche has played this game before, but they don’t play that game anymore.

They are NOT trading their young, up-and-coming stars for high-dollar guys who may flee after a few months. Won’t happen.

Same goes for a rumored deal of O’Reilly and Wilson and Liles to Philly for Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell and a pick. Won’t happen.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Penguins Get Some Schedule Breaks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

There is no proof that the NHL schedule was designed to benefit the Stanley Cup champions, but the Penguins have been playing advantageous hands the past few weeks.

A game Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena marked the fourth of eight previous contests in which a rested Penguins squad faced an opponent that played the previous night.

In fact, according to FSN Pittsburgh, seven of the Penguins’ past 12 games have come against opponents that either played the previous night or traveled a great distance the day before. The Penguins were 5-0-1 in those contests.

“It’s just the nature of this year’s schedule,” coach Dan Bylsma said.

continue for more on the Penguins…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goalie Talk In Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rumors For You On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,

• The Flyers are believed to be trying to trade C Jeff Carter. Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren nixed a deal for Montreal G Jaroslav Halak, and wants to see if he can get more for Carter.

• When is somebody going to challenge the leadership of Rangers GM Glen Sather? The club hasn’t had a great record since he took over and things are going downhill fast this season. Here’s a rumour: Sather and coach John Tortorella out. Mark Messier and coach Wayne Gretzky in. 

• Confirm or deny: St. Louis coach Andy Murray pushed one of his daily scouting reports under a player’s hotel door recently and the player pushed it back out. Then, Murray pushed it back in. Can’t be true, can it?

more including Kovalchuk talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Could Have Been

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

So we’ve been doing research for All Decade lists that will appear in this space next week, in the final Slap Shots of the 2000s, but while reviewing the best and worst first-overall Entry Draft selections, this single Draft Day deserves special mention:

It was June 24, 2000 in Calgary, when Mike Milbury went Mad. Holding the first overall selection, the Islanders’ GM first traded young netminder Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha, thus opening a hole in goal that Milbury filled by selecting Rick DiPietro at No. 1 overall, ahead of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik.

Thus, instead of the Islanders presenting a lineup that would have included Luongo, Jokinen and either Heatley or Gaborik, Milbury chose one with Parrish, Kvasha and DiPietro.

more topics from Larry, includeing Bill Guerin should be Team USA captain…

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

Hockey Topics On The Hotstove

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The conversation on the HNIC Hotstove turned to head shots, Team Canada, the Wild Fire, a few players who are available for trade in the NHL, Marty Turco contract, Carey Price contract, the Coyotes and Islanders situation.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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