Kukla's Korner

Flemming May Still Have A Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

A bizarre power struggle continues to unfold in the KHL between Omsk management and head coach Wayne Fleming.

Fleming, who was (according to russiatoday.com) reportedly fired in-game this week, met with Omsk general manager Anatoli Bardin on Saturday and was told he hadn’t been fired even though Bardin asked Fleming not to coach the third period of game on Thursday night.

“I guess they didn’t fire me,” Fleming said. “But I told him at the time, if I’m not coaching the third period obviously I’m fired.”

Fleming says he didn’t return for the final period, changed his clothes and left the arena under the assumption his KHL days were over.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, wayne+flemming

Montreal Owner Gillett Talks About The Passionate Habs Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

“There is obviously some suspicion that something nefarious was going on and I don’t think so at all. I think it was just tremendous fan interest,” Gillett said while his team was on the ice for its morning skate. “You have to remember Montreal is a city of about 3.7 million people and the Province (of Quebec) has 7.5 million and they are huge hockey fans. There are 186,000 junior hockey players up there and those kids love it so they all voted.

“Did we have a marketing program going on? No. This is natural passion.”

Gillett went on to admit that “there were players that were perhaps not selected to the starting lineup that you might say, ‘Hmmm.’ Like (Alex) Ovechkin, right? But, the fans spoke. There is a level of passion and interest there and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That is why we get such huge television ratings and so forth.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game, george+gillett+jr.

Your ASG Coaches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BRUINS’ JULIEN, SHARKS’ McLELLAN WILL SERVE AS ALL-STAR HEAD COACHES

NEW YORK (Jan. 10, 2009)—Under the selection process for All-Star coaches, the head coach and assistant coach for the Eastern Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the top points percentages in the Eastern Conference through games of tonight, the halfway point of the 2008-09 regular season. The head coach and assistant coach of the Western Conference All-Stars are the head coaches of the two teams with the best points percentages in the Western Conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

Columbus/Chicago Trade

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired left wing Mike Blunden from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for right wing Adam Pineault, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today. Blunden was assigned to the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

        Blunden, 22, has collected three goals and seven assists for 10 points and 42 penalty minutes in 37 games with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL) this season. In 139 career AHL games, he has tallied 24-38-62, 142 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +14, including a career high 16-21-37 in 74 games last season.

        Chicago’s second pick, 43rd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, he has appeared in 10 games with the Blackhawks and registered 10 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut against the Vancouver Canucks on October 25, 2006. Prior to his professional career, the Bowmanville, Ontario native played for four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters. He notched 100-81-181 and 246 penalty minutes in 236 career games with the club. He was selected to the OHL All-Star Team in 2005-06 and was selected to play in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in 2004-05. As a teammate of Blue Jackets defensemen Kris Russell, he helped Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Championships.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Sundin Working To Get In Game Shape

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

“It felt like its the second game of the season, you know. I didn’t expect to feel any different than I have these first two games,” said Sundin, interrupting a post-game bicycle workout to accommodate the media in the hallway.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, in terms of timing and all that. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs as we go along, but it’s nice in a way to get a chance to play right away again [tonight, against San Jose.]”

“It is going to take time, and we’re going to be talking about this for a while,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “There’s a reason why training camps are three weeks minimum, and it’s to get in game alertness, game shape, game speed, game execution—and Mats doesn’t have that.

“He’s been working extremely hard, and we hope that he’s going to be able to reach the pace of the NHL in a reasonable amount of time.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Cheechoo Has Lost His Scoring Touch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,

“We’ve tried different things with Cheech,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “We’ve tried to play him in that (first-line) situation, we’ve tried to take pressure off of him as a scorer.”

Following his breakout campaign, the native of Moose Factory, Ont., had a respectable 37 goals the following season. Last year, he scored 23.

The way things are going, Cheechoo will be hard pressed to break the 20-goal barrier this season.

“One of the road blocks is perhaps is the fact that he scored 56 goals,” McLellan said. “The microscope is on him night in and night out. Perhaps if he had only scored 35, we’d be somewhat happy with his impact on the game right now. But the fact that he has scored 56 and everyone is aware of it, makes it a little tougher for him.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+cheechoo

One Rule Change Means More Power Play Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

It was a rule change that came with little fanfare, one that has been barely noticeable to some fans.

But the effect on scoring is indisputable – having the faceoff after a penalty is called in the defensive zone of the penalized team has led to more power-play goals.

As the NHL heads today to its official halfway mark – game 615 of the scheduled 1,230 is Pittsburgh vs. Colorado – power-play effectiveness across the league is up.

On average, teams are scoring 18.6 per cent of the time they have a man advantage, a marked jump over the last three seasons – 17.7 per cent efficiency – and the 16.5 per cent in 2003-04. If the pace keeps, teams will score about 100 more power-play goals this season.

“We have found this rule change to be a very positive influence,” said Mike Murphy, the league’s senior vice-president of hockey operations. “Players feel it’s a huge advantage for the power play and a difficult play for the penalty killers.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

When Steve Sullivan Last Played…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

On the fateful night of Feb. 22, 2007, Sullivan, during a contest against the Montreal Canadiens, felt every muscle in his back seize up, an ailment that would keep him out of action for almost two years.

At that time:

- Marian Hossa was an Atlanta Thrasher, Scott Gomez a New Jersey Devil, Chris Drury a Buffalo Sabre and Mats Sundin a Toronto Maple Leaf.

- The Nashville goalies were Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason. Vokoun now is a Florida Panther while Mason plays for the St. Louis Blues.

- Brian Burke was en route to leading the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup while then-Vancouver Canucks GM David Nonis was being complimented for his off-season acquisition, Roberto Luongo. Today, Burke and Nonis are in charge of rebuilding the bumbling Leafs.

- The Ottawa Senators were on their way to a berth in the final, not scraping the bottom of the NHL barrel.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+sullivan

Tops Stars Need To Perform Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,

The Dallas Stars’ loss in Detroit was embarrassing and ugly. That’s frustrating enough to coach Dave Tippett; but worse was how some of the Stars’ top stars played. That, for him, was unacceptable….

“The difference between Detroit’s top players and our top players wasn’t even close,” Tippett said on Friday, which the Stars spent meeting about Thursday’s debacle.

Tippett compared the Stars centers’ outings to that of Detroit centers Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who each finished with a goal and an assist.

“Datsyuk and Zetterberg, what they did in the game and what Ribeiro and Richards did, it’s just a ways to go,” he said. “It’s very disturbing. The people you rely on to make a difference just don’t.”

read on

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

Not A Good Night For Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

First Sheldon Souray left the game in the second period and didn’t return for the third. The Oilers would only describe it as an upper body injury. Edmonton’s best defenceman joins their best forward, Ales Hemsky, in the training room.

Then as the Oilers were out looking for bear in the third period, Zack Stortini fell awkwardly to the ice in a fight with Brad Staubitz and appeared to suffer a badly broken leg.

The video replay, which resembled Joe Theismann’s famous injury, brought groans of horror from the crowd at Rexall Place, and was only shown once.

more and watch the high quality video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zack+stortini

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