Kukla's Korner

Debating Who Deserves the Hart

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy:

One point of contention during the debate, typically used when arguing who is more valuable to a team, is the “take the player off the team” angle, comparing how the Capitals and Penguins would be if Ovechkin and Malkin were not in the lineup. Obviously, both teams have decent talent around them that if they were not in the lineup one night, they wouldn’t suffer too poorly.

While Ovechkin and Malkin are pretty much certain to have their names included on the final list of MVP nominees, who deserves to fill the third slot?

In a more general sense, which one of the following players deserves the hardware?

Check out the list and cast your vote

Also at PD, check out Greg Wyshynski’s entertaining interview with Cam Ward, discussing everything from his current streak of starts, to his concerns about ending up with a “porno bobblehead.”

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hart+trophy

Ducks Still Believe In Carlyle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,

So much for the theory that Ducks players have tuned out Randy Carlyle. Or stopped listening to him. Or quit on him, hoping he would go away.

You don’t win four must-win games in a row to get back in the playoff race, as the Ducks have, if the coach is the problem.

And there are leaders in the room such Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne, Jean-Sebastien Gigure and Chris Pronger who would not tolerate such an attitudinal mutiny.

Even so, there are self-avowed Ducks loyalists who still believe Carlyle, the winningest coach in franchise history, should be shown the door after this season regardless of where the Ducks finish.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hometown Discounts Here To Stay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Does the NHLPA think players will begin taking pay cuts en masse because an above-average second-line player is suggesting the concept? And what exactly does the PA have to fear? Shouldn’t part of its mandate be to make sure all aspects of the player’s well-being are addressed, not just the money issue?

As much as the NHLPA doesn’t like it, the hometown discount is here to stay. For some players, the notion of remaining in a place in which they are comfortable and playing for a team they know will be a long-term contender outweighs the prospect of making more money somewhere else. The NHLPA should accept and encourage players to do what is right for them as individuals.


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

Gerber Facing Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to lean on Curtis Joseph between the pipes for the next three games after Martin Gerber was tossed for pushing referee Mike Leggo and shooting a puck in his direction following Washington’s controversial tying goal Tuesday night.

For his act, Gerber faces a minimum three-game suspension for category three abuse of the officials - a violation of rule 41.

‘‘I’m sorry for me, for losing my cool there,’’ said Gerber. ‘‘I got shoved in the net. That’s why (the puck) went in. I was upset, shot the puck against the boards and after that he tossed me out for I don’t know what.

‘‘I shouldn’t have done it. That’s obvious. But there’s not much you can do now.’‘

If you missed the incident, you can view it here...

Updated 4:47pm ET: Note from TSN’s SMS updates—“Martin Gerber receives automatic 3 game suspension for abuse of officials.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+gerber

Players Taking CBA Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province via the National Post,

Paul Kelly knows that soon enough the Gary Bettman-led NHL owners will be back for more goodies now that they’ve run over the players with a steamroller in the 2004-05 lockout when they established the salary cap.

At the moment, Kelly, the National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director, is just trying to gauge what sort of backbone the players might be able to grow over the next two years, when negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement will be underway. And he made clear the one thing that has galvanized the players’ thinking recently is the massive escrow payments, which are take a big chunk out of their paycheques this season….

“We’re finding every time we meet with the players there is more and more interest in the issues facing us and the league. They want to know more and more, and the thing that’s really got their notice is the high deductions from their cheques this season.”

The more the players learn about the issues and how the CBA affects their lives, the better able they might be to resist the owners’ next attempt, which likely will come in the form of trying to whittle down payments to players they wish to buy out - in other words, to chip away at guaranteed contracts.


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

Stastny Out Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that center Paul Stastny will miss 2-4 weeks due to a broken foot. 

“A CT scan taken yesterday (March 24) revealed the fracture in his foot,” said Avalanche team physician Dr. Andrew Parker.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+stastny

The Russian Cooking Show

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alyonka Larionov and Mr. Malkin try their hands at some Russian cuisine and Kris Letang does the food testing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alyonka+larionov, evgeni+malkin, kris+letang

Foster Back On the Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster goes through a rigorous rehab to get back on the ice.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kurtis+foster

Predicting The Playoff Matchups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

Here’s my quick bloggie look at the playoff races in both conferences.

Eastern Conference
The Bruins, Devils, Capitals and Flyers are good to go. These four teams have been a given for a while now. What order? I say B’s, Devils, Caps and Flyers.

After that, I think the Hurricanes, Rangers and Penguins will be there, too. Those three teams have been pretty good over their last 10-15 games. They’ve been able to put a sliver of room between themselves and the rest of the pack. For no particular reason, I’m going to say they’ll finish 5-6-7, Penguins, Hurricanes, Rangers, respectively.

That leaves one spot.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Down The Stretch They Come

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Montgomery at USA TODAY,

As the 2008-09 NHL regular season winds down, the intrigue surrounding potential first-round matchups increases. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting storylines that are unfolding in the season’s final weeks.

• The battle for the Presidents’ Trophy between San Jose and Detroit should go down to the wire. San Jose has the advantage with a couple of games in hand, but the Sharks have struggled a bit in the last while. An interesting scenario could develop if the Sharks and Wings go all out to capture the top spot. Will the energy and urgency both teams expend in the final weeks affect their performance in the first round of the playoffs?...

• Vancouver might not catch Calgary for the Northwest Division crown, but at this point, the Canucks stand a better chance to go deeper in the playoffs than the Flames, simply because Roberto Luongo is a better goaltender than Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames have some defensive issues; only four other teams in the Western Conference have surrendered more goals than Calgary….

more with other bullet points…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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