Kukla's Korner

Are You Up With This?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

So, in an ode to Saturday Night Live’s What Up With That?, this week we did some number-crunching to bring you a stats package with some of the wackier findings from the first two months of the season.

10. Dustin Penner
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound right winger showed great promise as a sophomore in 2006-07, scoring 29 goals and 45 points, but has disappointed since his controversial signing in Edmonton. Not so any longer. Penner, who despite his size looks to be better suited to a finesse roll, leads the Oilers in every major statistical category and is ninth in the league in goal-scoring and 10th in points. What up with that?

9. Marian Gaborik’s games played
He has averaged just 52 games played per season since the lockout (including a 77-game 2007-08), which is why the Rangers were largely criticized for investing five years and $37.5 million in him last summer. A ‘right leg’ injury kept him out of two games to end October – and must have scared the bejeezus out of GM Glen Sather – but Gaborik has played every other of the Blueshirts’ 27 games, and is second in league scoring. What up with that?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

People Keep Buying At Shop.NHL.com

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (December 2, 2009) – The National Hockey League (NHL) registered record-setting merchandise sales at both the NHL Powered by Reebok Store and at Shop.NHL.com over the 2009 Thanksgiving weekend. On Black Friday and through the holiday weekend, the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in New York City saw a 34% increase in sales over last year’s figures while Shop.NHL.com enjoyed its highest-grossing sales day ever on Cyber Monday. As the 2009-10 NHL® season heads toward the New Year, exciting on-ice performances, new merchandise – including 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®-themed gear – and an engaged fan base are contributing to record numbers this holiday shopping season.

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

Talking 3 Points, OT, Etc…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

If the 2009-10 NHL season is indeed the Year of the Injury, the Year of the Shootout is giving it a very good run for its money. Through Sunday night, or 381 games so far this season, there were 70 games (18 percent) decided by a shootout, up from 56 through the same number of games last season and 36 during the first season after the lockout.

Is this parity at play? Through Sunday night, 106 games (28 percent) needed extra time (overtime or shootout). On one hand, you can see why the NHL would be thrilled to have such competitive balance. One glance at the NHL standings right now, and it’s as if 28 teams are tied (Toronto and Carolina are a little behind the pack).

OK, 28 teams tied, that’s stretching it a bit, but there isn’t that big a gap between teams. Does that really reflect the talent levels of all 28 teams? Maybe it’s just us, but maybe, just maybe, the current points system is not fairly rewarding the better teams.

We say it’s time to revisit the idea of three points for a 60-minute victory. In our humble estimation, it would more fairly reward the top teams in this league.

read on

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

Habs Fan Rasing Money By Riding Through South America

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Josh Marks of SportsFanLive,

Montreal Canadiens fan Ryan Stotland, 22, is bringing his Le Tricolore (3 Colors) jersey and his bike to South America on a 12,000 kilometre (7.5 thousand mile) journey to raise awareness and funds for two causes—climate change and skin cancer.

His four-month, seven-country expedition, which has already raised over $110,000 and is currently rolling through Ecuador, has been recognized by the Habs in a video message endorsing his charitable efforts.

continued and you can watch the video below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+stotland

Ready, Set, Vomit:  Rafalski’s Got A Back Thing Going On

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Awww. Cute.  Go ahead. The tile on the bathroom floor is cool against your skin and you haven’t puked yet, so the smell isn’t crawling up your nostrils. But it’s gonna.  Oh…yes, it will. The dry heaves have started, of course, and those are fun.  But the actual fluid ejection hasn’t begun and you’re really looking forward to that.  All I’m going to do is give you a little momentum. I’m just gonna siphon it a little and then gravity will just kind of take over.  Ready?

St. James

Brian Rafalski left today’s practice early after experiencing tightness in his back, and may have to miss Thursday’s game against Edmonton.  If Rafalski can’t go, coach Mike Babcock said the Wings will call up Jakub Kindl from Grand Rapids. Kindl would be in the lineup, as the Wings already have defenseman Niklas Kronwall dealing with a knee injury and are completely out of healthy defensemen.

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I saw it on tape, and it looks awful. The sad part is people see this, little kids see it, and they think maybe that’s the way professional guys act. It’s not something I’ve ever done, and it’s not something I’ll do again. I’m terribly sorry.”

-Keith Ballard of the Florida Panthers on the Vokoun incident.  More from Keith by Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: keith+ballard

Brodeur vs. Luongo Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Oh, sure, it’s just a game, and nothing that happens Wednesday night when Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo square off in New Jersey will have much bearing on the Olympic jobs handed out in February.

But just so everyone knows, Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman will indeed be watching the Canucks-Devils game.

“I’m going to TiVo it and watch it later,” Yzerman told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I’m going to be at another game [Tampa at Boston], but when I saw this game [Canucks-Devils] on the schedule, I wanted to make sure I watched it.”

So there ... it’s not just the media making a big deal out of it, OK?

“To be honest with you, it’s exciting to play against Marty, period,” Luongo told us Tuesday. “Just because we’re from the same hometown and he’s one of the greatest of all time. That’s really the only reason for me. I don’t think one game is going to decide anything with regards to the Olympics.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur, roberto+luongo, team+canada

Caps Owner Has A Sit-Down With Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

We had a short and direct conversation.

Alex isn’t trying to hurt anyone. He has an honest respect for the game and for all players in the league. Alex is trying to “get the puck. I just want what they have and that is the puck.” It is a simple logic. He plays the game the way it was designed. He is just bigger and faster than anyone. Can you name a player in NHL history that has this mix of size, skill, power and speed? I can’t.

Alex does play fast and hard. It is why he is beloved. It is why he is the two-time and reigning MVP of the league.

I believe if he changes and becomes a player that is managed by the media or fans or anyone else, he will put himself at risk. ” To thine own self be true.” That is the right motto to live by. That is what I have advised Alex. Be authentic and be respectful. Play the game with passion. Lean in, don’t lean back. Love the game. Have fun. Win.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, ted+leonsis

Ryan Miller Getting Noticed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Miller leads the NHL with a 1.84 goals-against average and an eye-popping .937 save percentage. Oddly enough, that’s the exact figure of Hasek’s NHL record set during the Sabres’ 1998-99 season that ended in the Stanley Cup finals. Miller has 15 wins, one off the league lead.

Just past the first quarter of the season, Miller would be a heavy favorite for the Vezina Trophy given to the league’s best goalie. And he’d be in the small circle of discussion for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s most valuable player.

Best in the world?

“That’s nice of them to say but there’s a lot of great goalies in the league,” Miller said after Tuesday’s optional practice in HSBC Arena. “We’re playing a game that really fits our style. Our system and the way we’re playing benefits the way I read plays and how I go out and play every night. The coaching staff took that into account.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

The Team Of The Decade Will Bring Us Together In Harmony And Joy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

In the spirit of Christmas, that holy holiday invented by Santa and loaned out to various religions around the world…we must come together as a hockey family and do what is right for our sport.  And as an example that this can, and must, be done? 

The world’s most prolific search engine extended an olive branch this morning, which I’ve accepted; for the most glorious of all causes.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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