Kukla's Korner

Bubba’s On The Hunt

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

USA Today's Kevin Allen ran an interview with the Big Bubba today. Naturally, the Central Division title came up.

How much emphasis are you putting on winning the Central Division? Trotz: I think it's very important to us. We have been chasing Detroit for eight years now. That's the first step we have to take — to win the division. The division guarantees you at least the third spot. If you don't win your division, you aren't guaranteed anything. You might end up ninth or 10th. I think there are 10 really quality teams.
Let me translate that for you. Here's what Trotz really said: "We realize winning the division means nothing. We know we're making the playoffs regardless. However, my team has a mental hurdle we can't seem to leap over and that hurdle is Detroit. We think we're better but we can't prove it on the ice, or in the standings. Until we do, we can't expect to do jack squat in the playoffs."

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Pre-Scouting the Toronto Maple Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Al Strachan and the Toronto Sun,

There's nothing particularly new about the Maple Leafs' bread-and-butter scoring play. And because every NHL coach relies heavily on pre-scouting these days -- now that Pat Quinn is out of the league -- it can't come as a surprise to the opposition. But it continues to be productive. It opened the scoring last night and it added the third goal as the Maple Leafs rolled to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders. It's really nothing more than a diagonal pass to a trigger-man stationed just off the far post who doesn't stop the puck but one-times it into the net.
Continued... (Note: the Leafs are currently in 8th place in NHL scoring.)

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Expect Very Few Trades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

"I know you guys don't want to hear this, but there is 'zero' discussions," said Risebrough before last night's game at Scotiabank Place. "Just think about it. It's hard to do. I mean you can't find a fit. It's got to be $7 million for $7 million. It's got to be $2 million for $2 million. "The reality of it is, our business has changed. I guess if you look at the system that has the cap, which is (the NFL), they're the same way, right? You pile it up in the summer, make changes at the end and start again."
read on

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One Year Later?  Huh?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Maybe the Deep Diggers got together in Edmonton, or on the plane back, and made a conscious decision. There had to be some sort of consensus, because while they've been generally apathetic and lazy before...this would be monumental, even for them. It's November 21st, 2006: exactly one year after Jiri Fischer collapsed, died for thirty seconds, and was brought back to life at Joe Louis Arena. And there is not a single mention of it in the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press or MLive.

Continue Reading »

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Fraser Prepares For Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Hockey Refs,

Veteran NHL referee Kerry Fraser returns from the injured list this week with stops in the American Hockey League. Fraser, 54, will make stop in Binghampton on Thursday, Rochester on Friday and Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Saturday. He has been on the sidelines since undergoing surgery in the offseason to fix ligaments in his left knee. And for the first time in his 33-year career, Fraser will be required to wear a helmet.
continued

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Buccigross Makes You Think

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

If you break your stick, sprint to the bench and get a new one; or, or even better, make a shift change. Someone replacing you when you are a few feet from the boards is quicker than getting a new stick. This would take at least three seconds, at the most, probably 8.9. Teams have played 5-on-4 before, or even 5-on-3, for three to nine seconds. There are exceptions, but I believe staying out there for 20 seconds without a stick does more harm than a five-second line change.
much more from John and from a personal standpoint, I sure do miss him talking hockey on ESPN...

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Bucci And The Griffs

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

John Buccigross has a couple Wing references in his mailbag today. * I hope a new Red Wings' rink is better than the Tigers' Comerica Park. Of all the "new" old ballparks built since Camden Yards opened in 1992, Comerica is a second-tier park. I wouldn't expect a new Red Wings' arena for some time. Municipalities are not building millionaires arenas and stadiums any more. Plus, Ilitch probably has a lot of debt from Comerica since he financed half of it himself and the Tigers didn't really draw until this season. * Who are your top five best hockey commentators (both play-by-play and color) around the NHL? I base this on the strength, listen-ability, and likeability of the play-by-play man and the color man. 1) Dallas Stars 2) Detroit 3) Buffalo 4) Vancouver 5) 26 tied for fifth. Hmmm...no mention of Abbott and Costello in Nashville. And, over at On The Wings Megan Hirdes breaks down the freefall in Grand Rapids.

So what’s going wrong? Well, everything, apparently. While Howard hasn’t been horrible, he’s not playing like we know he can-like he did last season. Jimmy was outstanding during the playoffs, but he doesn’t have the same confidence. Liv has been terrible. He lets in weak goal after weak goal, and when he does that, it seems like the team gets frustrated and self-destructs. The offense is not scoring and the defense is not helping the goaltenders.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Eliot: Analyzing Shot Totals

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

It's something we've been discussing here for weeks. The paltry number of shots the Wings are giving up, and the small number of those that are of quality, is raising eyebrows. SI's Darren Eliot looks at Detroit's success in that area so far, and how it translates to overall success.

The Wings, tied with Nashville for the top spot in the Central Division with 26 points, have allowed a league-low 20.9 shots-against per game while firing an average of 32.7. That nearly plus-12 disparity is far and away the best ratio in the NHL (see chart below) and, correspondingly, the Red Wings have only been outshot twice thus far.
More

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Talking Groins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Metro News,

Medically speaking, it's the juncture between the abdomen and the thigh, a group of five muscles that pull the legs together and assist with movements like sprinting and kicking. And skating. Generally speaking, these adductor muscles are better known as groin muscles. Hockey poolies also know these muscles are easily pulled or strained. And are a powerful pain in the butt. Groin injuries are as maddening in fantasy hockey as they are common in the NHL. Healing time is always uncertain and players listed as day-to-day can be off the ice for weeks and weeks.
continued

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Ricci Back With Yotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have recalled center Mike Ricci from the San Antonio Rampage, the club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.

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