Kukla's Korner

Time To Beat The Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

As the old punch-line goes, “TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!”

And so it should be for the Rangers at The Garden this evening when the shaky Penguins come to town.

With apologies to the punch line (“Tonight’s The Night”), perhaps the theme should be simply to pick apart the Pens whose confidence appears to be leaking out of every pore.

Granted, the Rangers have not been playing in the manner of Boston nor San Jose, but on Saturday night, they gave the capricious Capitals a good run for their Ovechkin before losing by a mere goal. Considering that Washington virtually never loses at home, the Blueshirts played them hard and well.

read on

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

Watching The Performance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,

A lot of casual hockey fans presume that NHL executives and scouts congregate at the WJC in search of talents, with the hope of finding as-yet-undiscovered talent. I’m sure it’s happen at some point, just not at any of the ten tournaments I’ve worked.

It’s really about checking the progress of well-known entities, watching them under the stiffest tests and greatest pressure. Fact is, most players here have been on the radar for at least a couple of seasons. Most of the best here are already drafted, e.g. Sweden’s first-line centre Oscar Moller is L.A.‘s property, Cody Hodgson Vancouver’s. NHL scouting directors already have thick files on John Tavares, Victor Hedman and others who are eligible for the first time in June are already. They’re not be discovered, just measured.

continued & don’t forget, the WJC Finals are tonight and can be viewed on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN in Canada.  Pre-game starts at 7:00pm ET.

added 1:39pm, from the CP via NHL.com,

Steve Yzerman knew how Canada’s junior hockey team felt heading into the gold-medal game against Sweden at the world junior hockey championship Monday.

Yzerman, the executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic team for 2010, has played in and won Stanley Cup finals and Olympic finals. The 43-year-old visited the junior team’s dressing room after their pre-game skate Monday.

“I told them to keep cool, but I don’t know exactly how you do that though,” Yzerman said. “The big games, the key is to figure out a way to be calm and relaxed. The more times you go through it, the more ways you figure it out.

“It’s not an easy thing to do.”

continued

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

Whoa.  Have We Been Wrong All Along?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There are a few staples in our lives.  Things we rely on to be true, no matter what.  Facts we can just hang our hats on and move on to the next dilemma.

1.  If Rocky had thrown that big left while Appollo was against the ropes in the 15th round of the first fight?  He’d have been Heavyweight Champion fifteen seconds later.  The Master of Disaster was practically comatose, unable to raise his hands, ribs shattered.  Balboa had him, but hesitated. Why he did is one of the great unsolved mysteries in the history of the ring.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Trade Planning Begins In January

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Feaster at the Hockey News,

When I managed in Tampa Bay we typically held our mid-winter meetings in January. Our goal was to allow our scouts to get through the end of the calendar year and see each team in the NHL, American League, Canadian League and major European leagues at least twice; once at home and once on the road. We also wanted our scouts to see the World Junior Championship and the Spengler Cup prior to coming to our meetings. We wanted to get as much coverage as possible prior to bringing the entire group together….

The bottom line was the mid-winter meetings helped set the table for the rest of the season. With the NHL trade deadline less than 60 days away, it will be interesting to see which organization’s seeds will bear fruit and which fields will lie fallow down the stretch.

Let the trading begin!

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Jan. 5, 2009)—Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 4.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not Your Dad’s Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

Are they still responsible defensibly? Sure. Do their forwards track back with purpose and passion when the opposition has the puck? Absolutely. But they skate forward just as passionately and purposefully when attacking, and even unleash a forecheck from time to time for good measure.

Yes, defending is central to the Devils’ identity. But today under second-year coach Brent Sutter, they’ve modified with the times.

“I’m very comfortable with this group,” Sutter says. “They’re more comfortable with me. A lot of what we went through last year is in place regarding systems and expectations. I don’t even have to bring up accountability anymore. The players in the room handle that.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

3 Years Down

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I don’t ask too much of my readers, and you know who you are.  All 19 of you.  Your assignments are simple, really.  Read the drivel. React to the drivel. Read more. React again.  I don’t ask you for money, for recognition, beer or beta copies of made-for-Cinemax movies. 

So the least you could have done was remind me of our third anniversary.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

IF Chicago Had A Head, The Wings Would Be In It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Famonn Brennan of NBC Chicago,

The gulf was so wide, even casual hockey observers took notice. It was obvious even to people who don’t know what offside is all about that the Red Wings were stronger, faster, and more complete—a scary real-life version of a “Mighty Ducks” movie villian. They even look intimidating.

(It should be noted here that this also goes for the Sharks—the Hawks are 0-3-3 against the top two teams in the West, and 21-5-4 against everyone else. This feels like talent threshold at work, doesn’t it?)

Perhaps the Hawks just aren’t on that level, even if last night’s win against the Flames would seem to say otherwise. Who knows, really, why the Hawks struggle with the Wings? We can probably chalk it up to a bad two games against a superior team, and leave it at that. But the Blackhawks already won over this city. That damage is done. Now it’s time for a new goal, one chanted nearly as often as “Detroit sucks”:

Beat Detroit.

more

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

Fantasy Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,

Week 14 brings with it the 40 game mark in the schedule, making it the perfect time to consult the Higgins HOCKEY FANTASY INDEX , home of the per game statistic, H.F.I., and get a read on which skaters, exactly, are keeping all those first-place jerks out there afloat with only half a season left to play….

Of the 28 skaters with an H.F.I. of 2.0 or more:

• 11 are centres. They are: Evgeni Malkin 2.9, Jeff Carter 2.6, Marc Savard 2.6, Mike Richards 2.5, Joe Thornton 2.3, Pavel Datsyuk 2.3 (he’s been operating at over 4.5 for 3 weeks now - he won’t be staying at 2.3 for long), Sid Crosby 2.2 (0.8 since Dec.21st), Henrik Zetterberg 2.2, David Kreicji 2.1, Ryan Getzlaf 2.1 and Nik Backstrom 2.0

read on

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avery Meets-Up With Old Teammates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rangers Report,

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut back on senseless Sean Avery rumormongering—what, that wasn’t one of yours?—but I couldn’t help but notice this Page Six item about Avery being spotted recently at a club in New York.

While that part was about as surprising as Tom Renney being seen watching opposing team video, what was noteworthy was that Avery was reported “hanging with former teammates…

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

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