Kukla's Korner

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

Grabovski vs. Kostitsyn

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

The 24-year-old Belarus-raised native of Potsdam, East Germany, was suspended an automatic three games yesterday by the NHL for abuse of an official. Grabovski tussled with linesman Scott Cherrey in his overzealous effort to get at Canadiens’ Sergei Kostitsyn.

The players never managed to dance, despite their best efforts, and both were handed misconducts for their vigorous efforts. Grabovski was given a game misconduct as a bonus.

There is bad blood between these two, litres of it. Apparently it has to do with Kostitsyn’s distaste for things Grabovski is alleged to have said about himself and his brother, Andrei, to Russia’s sensation-seeking sports media.

(Ask Alex Kovalev about that.) But a feud needn’t be based on anything, of course, and it seems that before theirs is done, these two are bound to change their names to Hatfield and McCoy.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikhail+grabovski, sergei+kostitsyn

Phaneuf Hasn’t Reached The Next Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

From Norris Trophy finalist to all-star game absentee.

That’s not exactly the career path envisioned for Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf.

People think he’s taken a step back this season.

Really, he just hasn’t taken a step forward….

His minus-8 rating is a bigger concern than the paltry goal total. The only other active Flames defenceman who has a negative plus-minus is Adrian Aucoin at negative one. Some are calling Phaneuf the Tony Romo of the NHL.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

No Offense, But No Offense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

Other than Owen Nolan, it’s now the Wild’s minute-munching forwards who are offering no offense.

Mikko Koivu has one goal and seven assists in the past 15 games. Andrew Brunette has one goal and three assists in the past 16. Pierre-Marc Bouchard has two goals and six assists in the past 17. Eric Belanger has one goal and four assists in his past 15. Antti Miettinen has one goal and two assists in the past 13.

It’s no wonder that in the Wild’s past 16 games, it has scored 27 goals (1.68 a game). In the 30-team NHL, it ranks 29th with 2.38 goals per game.

“The top guys, sometimes they do [squeeze their sticks], but other times—a lot of times—it’s execution that has to be better,” coach Jacques Lemaire said. “We’ve got to work on execution—hitting the net or feeding the right guy so we can get that goal.”

more

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

Nice Placement

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Got this from Puck Daddy.

It made me so happy that I woke my family so we could all start our Saturday on the same joyful foot.

Ready?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Young Stars Game

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I would have liked to make a prediction on which players would make the Young Stars roster, but I was unable to guess how many players would make up the roster this year.  In the six years that the game has been played it has been subject to many format changes.  Two years ago, the Young Stars Game had 12 man rosters and was East Conference vs. West Conference.  Last year, they used eight man rosters with no Young Star goalies (the All Star Game goalies were used) and played East vs. West Conference.  This year it has 10 man rosters, with Young Star goalies again and is played rookies against sophomore (2nd year) players. 

It is impossible to build up a tradition behind the game when it undergoes a format change annually.  Anything that changes format as frequently as the Young Stars Game appears to be on the verge of cancellation.  The NHL would be advised to come up with a permanent format for the game and quit making changes.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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