Kukla's Korner

Predators Look East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean,

But as the Predators prepare to play an Eastern Conference opponent for the 12th time tonight, they already have mixed feelings about the round-robin setup that features games against every other team in the league at the expense of some meetings with division foes….

“There are plusses and minuses,” General Manager David Poile said. “As a fan I want to see everybody and I want to play everybody, but from a competition standpoint we find ourselves out of the playoffs, and every game we play right now we want to play against our division or our conference to give ourselves the best chance of making the playoffs.”

Every team’s 2008-09 schedule includes eight more games against the opposing conference and eight less against division opponents — Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus, in Nashville’s case — but some players said a win is beneficial regardless of the opponent’s conference.

“All the other teams are in the same position,” defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. “When they lose to the East it’s great for us. As long as we take care of winning it shouldn’t matter.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Burrows On The NFL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks breaks down the NFL Conference Championship games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

Marc Savard- Hart Worthy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

...Julien recently reacted as if a reporter had tossed him a hot brick when he asked if center Marc Savard was a leading candidate for this year’s Hart Trophy that goes to the regular season’s most valuable player.

Julien hates bragging more than he hates turnovers, but he still gave Savard his due, albeit a little reluctantly.

“Oh, you’re not going to get me to talk about those things,” Julien said, laughing. “I think he deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done so far this year, there’s no doubt about that.

“But really, we’ve pushed all those things aside as a group and we’ve focused on team accomplishments. If that happens, so be it, but we’re just trying to stay away from all that kind of stuff.”

Yet, the credentials for a Hart candidacy are there.

Savard, Boston’s first-line center, leads the NHL with a plus-29 rating and is tied for third with 38 assists. His 52 points place him fourth in NHL scoring. Savard has 17 multiple-point games, including a high of four points on Dec. 18, an 8-5 home victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

Jack Johnson Back With Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have activated defenseman Jack Johnson from the injured reserve list and have assigned forward Brian Boyle to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+johnson

Rangers Win Despite Refs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Blackhawks’ 2008-09 slogan is, “One Goal.”

Perhaps that should be amended to include, “Plus Two Referees.”

Look, the Rangers New York Rangers have brought a lot of adversity on themselves this season, but the mindless, bush-league exhibition here last night by officials Mike Hasenfratz and Dean Morton was impossible to assimilate. The referees somehow saw their way to awarding Chicago five distinct five-on-three power play advantages amounting to 5:15 of time.

“I haven’t seen anything like this in my 15 years in the league,” Markus Naslund said after the Rangers somehow surmounted it all to register a 3-2 victory…

continued

added 10:15am, Tom Renney wasn’t too happy either, watch below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shanahan vs. Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Brendan Shanahan’s signing with the New Jersey Devils received barely a fraction of the ink that Mats Sundin got when he became a Vancouver Canuck, but one could argue that Shanahan might mean as much to his new team in the stretch run and into the playoffs….

Shanahan will take three Stanley Cup rings into the Devils dressing room, a cache that Sundin can only dream about. That kind of winning brings instant credibility, but in the case of Sundin, it’s something that still has to be earned. Shanahan won’t be looked upon as a saviour with the Devils, but more as a piece of the overall puzzle that could get the Devils deep into the playoffs. Sundin? Well, he has been treated as the second coming in Vancouver.

read on and more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, mats+sundin

Rob Blake Won’t Return Until After The ASG

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Defenseman Rob Blake will miss the next two games because of an injury suffered when a deflected puck struck him on the chin during Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

A team source did not disclose the specific injury, but did rule out a concussion after Blake underwent tests last night and again today. He will miss tonight’s (Saturday night’s) game against Detroit and Tuesday’s against Vancouver, but is expected to be ready to return after the NHL All-Star break. San Jose does not play again until Jan. 27 in Colorado.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+blake

Rangers Just Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

For a month I have been pleading patience to those who have been so quick to rip the likes of Wade Redden and Dmitri Kalinin, yet both are now showing their worth. It was Redden who set up the game-winner after Drury won the face-off deep in the home team’s zone. The defenseman looked up, noticed the captain on his radar and delivered a drive two feet off the ice that was deflected behind Nik Khabibulin for the winner.

Perhaps it’s too soon to start thinking about the Rangers possibly catching Boston for the Conference lead, but I’ll tell you this: I was not overly impressed after seeing Boston on the Island on Thursday night.

We’ve got almost half-a-season left and lots can happen. One of those things could be a Bruins slump and a Rangers streak.

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

Raycroft With A Great Game, Except For One Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Rayzor decides to take a wrist shot up the middle, which we all know is real easy with those big paddle-board sticks, with a catchers’ mitt on one hand and a body full of heavy equipment.

Pass gets knocked down by Horcorff, leading to a chinese fire drill in which Rayzor kicks back out the puck he appeared to have saved between his legs, only to flop around and watch Horcoff slide the puck in for the 3-2 game-winner.

Rayzor makes about 50 saves tonight, many of them great ones. Then loses a game because he decided to act like Moe, Larry or Curly, take your pick.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+raycroft

Norris Trophy Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Norris Trophy is one of the more interesting trophy races this season.  There is no clear front-runner at this point.  The biggest name defencemen in Nicklas Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara have had good seasons, but they haven’t jumped out as clear leaders.  Both have teammates in Brian Rafalski and Dennis Wideman who are statistically about as strong Norris candidates.  Dan Boyle leads the NHL in scoring among defencemen, but he is not as strong in his own zone as some of the players previously listed.  Marc-Edouard Vlasic is another San Jose Shark having a very good year, but he is not as offensively strong as some of the other candidates.  Duncan Keith is doing very well in Chicago and also deserves consideration.  Mike Green has by far the best points per game among defencemen and should he have been healthy the whole season playing at that level he would be the front-runner.  Scott Niedermayer, Dion Phaneuf and Chris Pronger are other serious Norris candidates who could take over the lead given a strong second half.  With all of those candidates, I have been supporting Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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