Kukla's Korner

Could The Sedins End Up In Toronto?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

As for the Sedins, there are differing opinions as to the degree to which they are bound to the Canucks.

Some say they love Vancouver and are determined to sign there. Some say the Aquilini family, which owns the team, despises Burke so much for his involvement in past lawsuits that they will want to be rid of any evidence that he once ran the franchise.

It’s suggested the Sedins are liked by the Vancouver hockey public, but not loved. A weak playoff performance this spring would open the door for their exit.

The likeliest scenario, it would seem, is that the twins only become available to the Leafs if the Canucks wave goodbye first.

Even then it might not happen. The Leafs, you see, are as wary as any team about taking on contractual commitments beyond next season that will put them in a bind if the cap falls.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

Pat Burns & Ken Hitchcock Go Way Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

In 1986, Hitchcock and Burns met in the most intense of environments, the Memorial Cup, junior hockey’s version of the Final Four.

Hitchcock, who coached the Kamloops Blazers, was a former sporting goods salesman from Edmonton, Alberta. Burns, who ran the Hull Olympiques, was the police officer still walking the beat in Gatineau, Quebec.

Neither had played professionally. Both had belonged to a workforce bereft of pampering and privilege. The detail-oriented, demanding coaches formed an immediate bond.

“Coaching for a living was a goal; wherever it went, it went,” Hitchcock said. “We both could have stopped at junior and been happy.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock, pat+burns

8 Games Today, 5 With Major Playoff Implications

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

image

Below find the expanded NHL Standings as of this morning…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Too Many Passengers On The Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

All season, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire has grumbled that the Wild often enters games with too many “passengers.”

Friday night, after the Wild’s playoff hopes took another Sopranos-like whack to the head during a 4-0 loss in New Jersey, Lemaire grabbed one of the passengers off the bus and threw him underneath the wheels.

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky derailed the evening with two mind-boggling goof-ups on his first two even-strength shifts of the second period.

“You can’t make mistakes like that, not when you’re on the road, playing against a good team,” Lemaire said. “To me, they’re mistakes you have to avoid. You do this once a year—and one time!

“I hate to blame a guy for a loss. The team overall didn’t play good enough to win. But these mistakes, they just don’t help.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chicago Losing Streak Continues At Home

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Their March swoon allowed the surging Vancouver Canucks to leap-frog the Hawks in the race for home-ice advantage. But with a game in hand, the Hawks had their chance to reclaim fourth Friday night with the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center, a team the Hawks had defeated three previous times this season.

But when things are going bad, it doesn’t matter who comes to town as the Hawks fell 5-4 in a shootout in a back-and-forth contest before a crowd of 22,151. The loss was the Hawks’ fifth consecutive and seventh out of their last eight games, but they did manage a point to pull even with the Canucks in the West with 12 games remaining.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Need Urgency Back In Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Turns out you can quantify effort.

In the aftermath of last night’s 3-2 defeat to the St. Louis Blues, Flames head coach Mike Keenan had the proof in black and white.

“Probably the most telling stat for me tonight, and it is a compliment of the effort of all the players on St. Louis’ side, is they had 24 blocked shots to our six,” Keenan said. “If you look at that statistic, it’s pretty telling about A) their effort, and B) their desperation to win a game.

“I think they came out with that determination certainly in the third period when we had taken the momentum of the game away from them. They established their game and pushed us out of our game.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

CCHA Finals Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DETROIT, Mich.—The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team advanced to the CCHA finals for the eighth time in nine years with its 3-1 victory over the Alaska Nanooks.  On Saturday (March 21) at Joe Louis Arena, Michigan will face Notre Dame for the second time in three years in the CCHA Championship Game at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit. Alaska will play Northern Michigan in the semifinal game at 3:35 p.m.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Forget The Guys In the Winged-Wheel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

We see the Detroit Red Wings give up five, eight and eight goals on successive Saturdays in late February and March and we’re certain that long run to the Stanley Cup last spring can’t possibly be repeated, right? For me, the analytical world we live in today has gone too close to the edge of negativity for my liking (and for the record the Red Wings were 10-1-1 in their first 12 Saturday games this season).

Don’t the Red Wings still have Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart on defense? Isn’t that still Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary up front? And isn’t it good enough that the Wings added Marian Hossa to their lineup for a shot at repeating?

Did I forget something? Oh yeah. the goaltending. But aren’t you the same fans that said the Red Wings could win in spite of having Chris Osgood in goal? In 1998? And again last spring?

read on and numerous NHL topics…

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

Bruins Need Their Confidence Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

When they were at their best, the Bruins dominated time of puck possession by transitioning swiftly, employing a straight-line attack, and using their speed and skill to cycle deep in opposing zones.

Recently, general manager Peter Chiarelli has seen his passive players regrouping with the puck far too often, indicating that they’re not confident enough to turn up ice and fly into the teeth of other teams’ defenses.

“Now your forwards have to come back and everything has to move this way instead of that way,” Chiarelli said, pointing to the defensive side of the ice. “I’m not blaming the defensemen. I’m not blaming the forwards. I’m not blaming anybody. It’s something where the confidence isn’t there.”

It’s an affliction that is not unique to the 2008-09 Bruins.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brodeur Chasing Shutout Record

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

One giant record broken, the other wobbling. They should attach the replacement netting to Martin Brodeur’s goal cage with Velcro, just to save us all time.

“I think it’s going to be this year,” Devils center Travis Zajac said of the timetable for Brodeur breaking Terry Sawchuk’s 40-year-old NHL record of 103 shutouts.

Fresh from one successful record chase, Brodeur started his second hunt of the month with his fifth shutout in 20 starts this season and the 101st of his career, a 4-0 triumph over the Wild in Newark last night.

“It could be a long time if you guys are going to start that [hoopla],” the Gretzky of Goalies warned.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

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