Kukla's Korner

Canadiens Now In A Playoff Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The outspoken Laraque was more direct in his assessment as the team packed their equipment bags after Sunday’s practice.

“This is the turning point for the season,” he said matter-of-factly. “Make or break.”

The Canadiens sit seven points ahead of the 10th-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s conceivable that a subpar trip could send them plummeting out of a playoff spot.

But Carbonneau pointed out that parity among the teams jockeying for playoff position means the pressure is on for everyone, other than perhaps the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, who bestride their respective conferences.

“If we’re in trouble, a lot of teams are in trouble,” said Carbonneau, who huddled with his coaching staff and general manager Bob Gainey before practice for a postmortem of Saturday night and then held a team meeting to hammer in a few truths.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stanley Cup Is Ultimate Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

His goal for the organization isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about winning them.

“I won’t even say the word to the guys, to be honest with you,” Murray said. “I will say we’re playing for the Stanley Cup.”

There are two realities to what Murray says. First is his belief that you concede nothing, that you strive to win every game, win a championship. If you would have asked Murray to project how many points he hoped to get before the season, he would have answered 164, which would translate to an 82-0 record. To answer anything else would be to concede a willingness to lose a few games.

Ask him about the playoffs and you’ll get a similar response. He’s not suggesting these Blues consider themselves a Stanley Cup contender, per se. But there is a perspective to consider. At one point in their history, the Blues advanced to the playoffs 25 seasons in succession. And what did they have to show for it? Close your eyes and what do you see?

“We just have to have a night-by-night focus,” Murray added. “And at the end of the year, if we have enough points to be playing more games, then we will have earned it.”

more on the Blues…

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andy+murray

Avs Should Be In Sell Mode

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adrain Dater of the Denver Post answers some emails….

what do you think will/should be the Avs’ next move before the upcoming trade deadline?

Try to sell somebody on Darcy Tucker, and get out from under the next year of his contract, at more than $2 million per. Try to sell somebody on Brett Clark and the $3.5 million he’ll make next season. Maybe sell off one of the young prospects like T.J. Hensick and/or Marek Svatos. Try to get a decent goalie for one or all of those guys. Then, go into this offseason with a plan to draft big forwards, guys who can bang and skate and create a little energy. Hensick and Svatos have talent, but get swallowed up a little too easily against bigger teams.

read on for more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Norris Trophy Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Some years there is nobody who truly deserves to win a major award, but that isn’t what happens.  A winner has to be found.  It doesn’t matter if that winner would have been an also ran in almost every year in recent history.  This year it looks like the Norris Trophy will be one such award. 

There is a relatively large group of Norris Trophy candidates that include Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Dan Boyle, Andrei Markov, Duncan Keith and others.  How do hockey pundits tend to handle such situations?  They find a leading candidate not by looking at this season, but by looking at other recent seasons.  Many have done that and are picking Nicklas Lidstrom as the Norris favorite.  Lidstrom has basically owned the Norris Trophy having won it six times recently.  The problem is at age 38 he is finally starting to slow down.  He has struggled through injuries this season including tendonitis in his elbow and a broken nose and has not been nearly as dominant a player as we have seen in the past.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There’s something almost unfair about Detroit’s immense depth. They have guys like Hossa, Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen and Holmstrom, all-proven 20-goal threats, on the wing.  The Penguins have… Petr Sykora and? Who? SIdney Crosby had Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis on his wings today. They’re fine third-line caliber player, but they shouldn’t be on a line with one of the world’s best players.

-Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters.  More on the game including Seth’s unique live play-by-play blog.

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

Vanek Out With Fractured Jaw

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BUFFALO, NY (February 8, 2009)—- Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that Thomas Vanek fractured his jaw when he was hit in the face with a puck during last night’s game vs. Ottawa. Vanek had successful surgery on his jaw today in Buffalo, and will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek


Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Every single one of you, Wing fan or not, knows who won today in Pittsburgh.

I don’t. I have no idea.  Drove for seven hours today. Just got home.  Actually listened to Mike Lange’s call on Pens radio as I drove through Pennsylvania.  But it was too nerve wracking and turned it off with 7:45 left in the first.  Scoreless.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Goaltending Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Last night, Kelly Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC talked goaltending.  I watched it live and thought Kelly had some great insight on the goaltending position and was left wanting more from Kelly.

Price, Luongo and Osgood were discussed but if you are interested in the goaltending position, I recommend watching it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

52 Percent Thid.  Care To Join The Live Blog To Discuss It?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I guarantee that as you’re reading this I’m hauling ass trying to get home in time to see this game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Game of the Week Contest

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

NHL.com has launched a contest to Get Out of the Cold: a trip for 4 to the Universal Orlando resort in Florida. You need to enter before the end of the first period of the Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game on Sunday, and the winner will be announced by the third period.

Additionally—as Forechecker highlighted the other day—Twittering about this weekend’s game could earn you a subscription to NHL Game Center Live for the rest of the season.  Just use the hashtag #NHLonNBC in your tweets, and you’ll be automatically entered.

*post originally dated Feb.6, 11:07am ET. Today’s game preview at NHL.com

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: game+of+the+week, nbc, twitter

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