Kukla's Korner

Why Ron Wilson For Team USA?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Wilson is a good coach; he just isn’t the best coach available for this team. Not by virtually any meaningful measuring stick.

There were three clear-cut candidates for the United States, which is looking to erase the sting of a disappointing turn at the 2006 Torino Games, where an aging American squad won just one game.

John Tortorella, currently the coach of the New York Rangers; Peter Laviolette, former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes; and Wilson. It’s not like Burke ignored a Scotty Bowman type in naming Wilson, but it’s difficult not to put Wilson at the bottom of this list in assessing worthiness for this post.

Let’s take recent successes.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Part Of The Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

The trio designated as the potential fourth line in the playoffs, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper and Tomas Kopecky, have struggled to the point of being a liability of late.

Draper is pointless and minus-five in 11 games while Maltby is a minus-four and pointless in 16 games and Kopecky has two points and is minus-10 in 10 games. Kopecky won’t play Sunday against Minnesota because of a shoulder injury.

However, the Wings foot soldiers aren’t the only strugglers of late.

Henrik Zetterberg’s off form over the past five games has been been more glaring playing alongside the incandescent Pavel Datsyuk.

Zetterberg has one goal and is minus-three in a five-game stretch and will be replaced by Marian Hossa on Datsyuk’s line for Sunday’s game. Instead, Zetterberg will centre Johan Franzen and Dan Cleary.


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

Does The Best Defense Win?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

As analyst Keith Jones has mentioned several times this season on TSN, the new NHL is driven by teams with a strong defence.  Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the best teams tend to have a strong defence corps.

Zdeno Chara
Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference
Aaron Ward
Cumulative TSN.ca Rating: 322.01

Matt Hunwick
Mark Stuart
Steve Montador
Cumulative TSN.ca Rating: 222.77

read on to get the whole picture…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Watch Out For The Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Lurking in the weeds as a possible playoff sleeper team is none other than the Anaheim Ducks, two seasons removed from a Stanley Cup championship and with a remade lineup that suddenly looks as if it’s developing chemistry at just the right time of year.

The Ducks swept a pair of games in Western Canada this past week to win five in a row on the road and nine of 11 overall. This moves them into seventh place in a Western Conference playoff race that – with 10 days to go – appears to be down to three teams competing for the final two spots.

Anaheim is by no means home and cooled, but if they get in – and if they happen to go in as a seventh seed where they are positioned right this minute – they could pose a real threat to the Detroit Red Wings, who look as if they will not catch the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the conference standings.

continued and many more NHL topics discussed…

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

Changes Coming?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN face this question today,

Counting down to the playoffs, what moves should we expect to see heading into April?

Burnside: Talk about a team that is likewise done like dinner (sorry, Oilers and Sabres fans). Buffalo lost to Atlanta on Wednesday night, the second time it failed to defeat the Thrashers in the past couple of weeks; even though the Sabres earned a point in both cases, the points left on the table will haunt them through the summer.

I don’t sense the same kind of unrest in Buffalo as there seems to be in Edmonton. The Sabres were without Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller for key parts of the season, but I still don’t think this team has found the leaders in the room to take them over the hump. You’ve mentioned it before: Craig Rivet comes over from San Jose and becomes the team’s captain? Rivet is a terrific guy, but it doesn’t say much for the group that has been in the Sabres’ locker room the past three or four years and hasn’t seen a leader step forward. What do you think, is it time for Ruff? Not to sound like Renney’s agent or anything, but the Sabres are another team that would, I think, thrive under Renney’s tutelage.

LeBrun: Peter Laviolette would be another great fit in Buffalo. But I don’t think Ruff is going anywhere; in my mind, he’s not to blame.

read on for much more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Franzen On His Highlight Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,

“I just reacted to what happened,” Franzen said. “I made the move and I came in with good speed, so the D had to take a chance. I showed him that I was going in on the right side and I pulled the puck back and tried to go on the left side, but then he stuck his leg out. Before I knew it, I was airborne.”

Even while in the air, Franzen never lost sight of the puck and was able to produce enough energy to unleash a shot that found its way behind the legs of goalie Chris Mason.

“You usually keep focused on the puck even when you’re falling down,” Franzen said. “If you’re down on your knees, you’re still pretty much able to make a play. But I got a good shot away and the puck was laying perfect for me, so I could use the momentum from falling and put that into my shot.”

more and if you missed the goal, watch it here...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen

Tortorella Tells It Like It Is

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,

“The clouds are following us around, figuratively and literally” said Jim Schoenfeld before he stepped onto the RBC Center ice this morning for a 30-minute practice dominated by power-play drills on both ends of the ice and coach John http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/blog/2009/04/torts_get_job_done_or_were_don.html later calling out his top players to gut it out in the third periods.

“If we don’t,” Tortorella said, “in a week we’re done. We’re done…”

“No one’s off the hook,” Tortorella said after a brief meeting with the team here before leaving for Boston.


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

Blues Sign Aaron Palushaj

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has signed forward Aaron Palushaj.

Palushaj, 19, (pah-LOU-shy) was drafted in the second round, 44th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. A native of Northville, Michigan, Palushaj played in 39 games this season for the University of Michigan and registered 50 points (13 goals, 37 assists).

Last month, Palushaj was named to the All-CCHA first-team. The team is voted by coaches of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. He will report to Peoria for the rest of the season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

Hicks Denies that Dallas Stars Could be “Repossessed” by Bank

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Earlier today, a website called FINalternatives reported that “Tom Hicks’ sports team holding company has defaulted on more than $500 million in loans.”

Jim Boardman at Anfield Road provides more info:

The news has clearly come as a surprise to the press in Dallas, who are continuously updating their websites with any information they can get. In The Star Telegram’s report of the story they say Hicks has been in touch by email, denying that the two teams could be repossessed: “There is no possibility of banks owning the teams.”

Hicks said that both the NHL and MLB (the two leagues his Hockey and Baseball teams play in) are helping him to find alternative investment but that he will pay their bills himself in the meantime: “I am working closely with both leagues to find quality partners that share my long term vision of building these two great franchises. I will continue to fund the teams’ operations. I am the largest creditor to HSG and need 51 percent of the banks to agree with my plan.”

Full story here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kings Sign Patrick Mullen

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed free agent forward Patrick Mullen to a two-year entry-level contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced Friday.

Mullen, 22, recently concluded his senior season at Denver University and recorded 25 points (4-21=25) and 39 penalty minutes in 38 games. His 21 assists were tied for fourth on the team while his 22 points set a collegiate career high. The 5-11, 190-pounder from Pittsburgh helped the Pioneers to a 23-12-5 record and a berth in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (DU was eliminated from tournament play last weekend).

Mullen’s father, Joe, (“Slippery Rock Joe Mullen”) played in the NHL for 16 seasons with four different teams. The first American-born hockey player to score 500 goals and register 1,000 points, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

Joe Mullen has been an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers since June 6, 2007

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

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