Kukla's Korner

Brind’Amour Plans To Return Next Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

But while 20 years in hockey can take its toll, while this season has had its ups and downs, Brind’Amour says there will be a 21st, that he hasn’t given any thought to retirement.

“It’s not a question of whether I’m going to play again,” Brind’Amour said. “I know I still love the game, and I still think I can play. And that’s the key.”

For Brind’Amour, this season has been more trying and taxing than any of the 19 before it. There were times he appeared slower than usual on the ice, when he couldn’t quite make plays, lost key faceoffs, turned the puck over.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rod+brind'amour

Top 10 Lines

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

John Grigg of The Hockey News lists his Top 10 lines…

1. Johan Franzen – Pavel Datsyuk – Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings

The choice in Hockeytown was even tougher than the one in Philly. But Datsyuk is the premier defensive forward in the league and has a 24-point lead in the Red Wing scoring race. Plus the line owns a cumulative plus-63 rating and has scored 29 power play goals and 11 game winners.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Carbonneau Not Happy With Firing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau says he is unhappy he was fired and that he didn’t see the dismissal coming.

Carbonneau, who was let go by general manager Bob Gainey on March 9, told a news conference in Montreal today he thought the team was heading in the right direction.


Update 4:45pm ET: Audio from Carbonneau’s news conference via HabsInside/Out. [mp3]

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guy+carbonneau

Dave Hunter, Past & Present

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Matheson at The Edmonton Journal, via Faceoff.com:

Dave Hunter has three Stanley Cup rings, two that he keeps in a safety deposit box and the third he keeps around the house. He could flash it for some his oilfield clients, a little show and tell, but he doesn’t.

“My fingers got too fat ... the ring doesn’t fit like it used to,” said the self-deprecating former Edmonton Oilers winger, who has no trouble discussing his Battle of the Bulge.

Hunter, 51, says he’s about 280 pounds now, somewhat north of his robust playing weight.  When he quit hockey in 1989, Hunter laughingly said he would never set foot in a gym again. He has been in a gym, but not often.

continued… with a profile on life after hockey, plus some memories with the Oilers

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+hunter

Looking At Coach Patrick Roy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Roy carries baggage—his temper, especially—but a lot of that luggage is high-end, Louis Vuitton-type stuff. He has conspicuous passion and undeniable hockey smarts. He also has an ability to motivate, at least at a junior level. While his combustibility might be incompatible with coaching pros, eventually some team is going to find out about his upside.

The one thing Roy does not have is the ability to sell tickets….

If Colorado does want Roy, it should be because they think he can remake the team, run a bench and handle players. The Avalanche should want him for the right reasons—as a coach, not a marketing tool.

more and some “tanking” talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+roy

Staggering To The Finish

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,

Looking at the recent NHL standings and the respective performances of some of the teams supposedly “battling” for playoff contention, I can’t help but wonder if any of these teams are really serious about making the playoffs.

Ok, I admit, that’s a harsh assessment, lots of things happen with a team over the course of a season, it’s never just one thing, there are always plenty of variables that affect performance, blah, blah, blah….

My point is that looking at the logjam for the final playoffs berths in both conference there are very few teams that actually appearing to be seizing the opportunity before them.


added 12:04pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

The Hawks have lost eight of 11 and look lifeless. There is no intensity, no fight, they lose battles and are getting outworked.

Everyone seems to want to fire GM Dale Tallon, but when does what’s happening fall on the coach? If you can’t get a team prepared to play at home against the Islanders and Colorado, then questions need to be asked.


added 12:18pm, from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,

For now, the Panthers remain just one point out of playoff position, but they can’t afford any more performances like Tuesday’s. Not only were they shut out for the fourth time this season, they recorded zero shots on goal in the third period, tying a franchise low. They had 19 overall.

“They dictated. We sat back and didn’t do much. We were really flat,” defenseman Bryan McCabe said. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s unacceptable….”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will The Stars Make The Playoffs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,

I’m not sure if they just don’t have it…or if maybe the other teams are just better right now….

If 88 points is the place the Stars need to be to have a place in the post-season discussion (because 88 points could get one team in and leave one team out), then is 7-5-0 too much to ask?

more on the Stars and below are the NHL expanded standings as of this morning…

Continue Reading »

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

Ruff Embarrassed By Loss To Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Following what has to rank as one of the more bizarre defeats of his 12 years as coach, Ruff aired out his team after it took nine mostly-foolish penalties to turn a two-goal lead into a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place.

“The message [from Ruff] we can’t really talk about right here,” said defenseman Henrik Tallinder. “It was not really good words.”

When Ruff emerged to meet the media, he lasted three questions and exactly 54 seconds. But his words were crystal clear.

“Very disappointed. Embarrassed,” Ruff said when asked how exasperated he was with this group. “I’m embarrassed for our fans, embarrassed for the way we played the last 40 minutes. It’s not acceptable this time of year.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hit Them & Take Them Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have to admit, on Monday and Tuesday I must have received between 40-50 emails from fans of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Most told me the Wings would not be able to compete with the physical play of the Flyers.

My simple response was, if the Flyers try to hit them and miss, look out, a goal may soon follow.

See the attempted hit on Datsyuk by Parent last night- missed hit, tying goal by Franzen.

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

Julian Plans To Get Bruins “Back On Track”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Douglas Flynn of the Hockey Journal,

No longer is it a matter of taking home the President’s Trophy for the NHL’s best regular-season record or even holding on to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Both goals are still attainable, but Western powers Detroit (103 points) and San Jose (100) have climbed past the Bruins. Boston still leads the East with 99 points, but New Jersey has closed within four points with two games in hand.

The Bruins aren’t conceding either race by any means. They just understand that even if they manage to squeak out either title, it will ring hollow if they carry their sloppy play into the postseason for another early playoff exit.

“Not as much as what we have to do to put our team back on track; I think that’s the most important thing right now,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien, asked about the priority of finishing in first. “If we get this team back on track then the standings will kind of take care of themselves. As much as we’d like to finish as high as we can, I think the main priority right now really has to be on fine-tuning our game.”

read on

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

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