Kukla's Korner

Alex Ovechkin’s Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post,

He won the Stanley Cup. He increased his legend by the way he celebrated. He came back from the shortest summer of his hockey life, newly minted as a first-time father, and rolled into a season in which a letdown was not only understandable but all but assumed. And through 30 games, he has 25 goals, four more than any other player in the league.

How many Alex Ovechkin appreciation pieces is one too many Alex Ovechkin appreciation pieces?

Hold your answer because we have no idea how much longer he’s going to play. So for now, hit those same notes.

“O’s a freak,” right wing T.J. Oshie said.

“This is a player that’s reinventing himself,” first-year Coach Todd Reirden said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

The Struggles Continue For The Pittsburgh Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have earned themselves an unenviable distinction in the first two months of the season.

They’re the team that struggling clubs want to play in order to get back on the right track.

The 13-11-6 record the Penguins have fashioned through 30 games is good enough to keep them in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference, but four of the 11 regulation losses they suffered came against teams that probably won’t sniff the postseason come April.

Here’s a look at those losses.

— Wednesday night: Chicago 6, Penguins 3

The Blackhawks came into the game on an eight-game losing streak. They played the night before in Winnipeg. They had given up the first goal in 11 straight games. The Penguins trailed most of the game anyway. Even a Bryan Rust hat trick couldn’t save the day.


Game highlights are below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Calgary Flames Rally To Defeat The Philadelphia Flyers In OT

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

Proper river hockey etiquette suggests the game’s outcome should ultimately be determined with the ol’ “next goal wins.”

Yet, as wide open as Wednesday’s shinny affair at the Dome was, it shouldn’t even have come to that as the home side trailed by two with 68 seconds left.

Even though the Flames led the league with 45 third-period goals and a goal differential of plus-24 in that final frame, it didn’t seem like the momentum of three straight home wins would carry the day.

Four straight power plays in the third saw Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz threaten a script that had seen the Flames turn a league-leading six third-period comebacks into a seventh.

Um, wrong.

Rasmus Andersson’s first NHL goal prompted the Saddledome to explode in celebration with just over a minute to go before Sean Monahan’s second of the night threatened the building’s stability with seven seconds remaining.


The Flames defeated the Flyers 6-5 in OT, highlights below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Congratulations To All Inductees Into The United States Hockey Hall Of Fame

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Five American hockey legends including Gordon "Red" BerensonNatalie Darwitz, the late Leland "Hago" HarringtonDavid Poile and Paul Stewart were formally enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame this evening during a sold-out induction ceremony at the JW Marriott Nashville.

In addition to the induction of the Class of 2018, the late Jim Johannson was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy, presented for outstanding service to hockey in the U.S.

"Our sport is flourishing thanks to the extraordinary contributions of those we honored tonight," said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. "Their impact on the game is immeasurable and will be felt for generations to come."

For full background on the storied careers of each inductee, please click here.

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Home Team in Caps


CHICAGO 6, Pittsburgh 3

CALGARY 6, Philadelphia 5 (OT)

ANAHEIM 6, Dallas 3

NHL Morning Skate – Dec. 13, 2018

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video-Darren Dreger With Some Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NBC Sports,

How active will 'Hawks, Blues be in trade market?

The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are off to disappointing starts, and could be sellers in the trade market.

Leafs and Flyers mentioned too.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Too Many Scoring Chances Being Given Up By The Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Los Angeles and Washington had way too many opportunities to score against the Red Wings the past two games.

Los Angeles didn’t capitalize. The Capitals did.

Regardless of who did and didn’t, it’s important to limit those scoring chances, and you can bet coach Jeff Blashill and his staff will focus on that at practice Thursday morning.

“Certainly we’ve given up way too many chances the last couple of games,” Blashill said. “You’re not going to survive those chances. You have to make sure to get back to making sure teams earn their offense.

“I didn’t think our execution to detail was very good at all (in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss in Washington). Changes were bad, just nonsensical stuff, that we have to get better at.”


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Offensive Defensemen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joshua Clipperton of the CP at the National Post,

With scoring up across the NHL, a group of elite defenceman are the owners of some impressive stat lines. No blue-liner has averaged a point a game in a season since Erik Karlsson in 2015-16, but Washington’s John Carlson, Toronto’s Morgan Rielly, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot and Calgary’s Mark Giordano all currently sit at or above the threshold. The last time more than one defenceman averaged a point a game or better in a season was in 1995-96 when Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov and Ray Bourque accomplished the feat. Karlsson, Nicklas Lidstrom (2005-06) and Mike Green (2008-09 and 2009-10) are the only other blue-liners to reach the mark since in a full season.

more topics....

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Detroit’s Top Line

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Tyler Dellow via The Athletic (paid) on first lines around the NHL that are producing; or not.

Dylan Larkin is the proxy for their first line and they’re shooting 5.3 per cent when he’s on the ice. One of the issues that rebuilding teams run into sometimes is that they have young players, good young players, but they aren’t superstars. You sell them as the next big thing when they’re really guys who might play down the order a little bit on a real Stanley Cup contender. Through 2017-18, Larkin wasn’t an elite 5-on-5 finisher by any means, shooting 8.5 per cent. That’s not particularly good for a forward — league average for forwards this year is at 10 per cent. I believe that’s up a bit over past seasons but the evidence that Larkin is a high-end goal scorer is awfully light.

Add to that Anthony Mantha enduring a Riley Sheahan-esque season when on the ice with Larkin and Detroit’s not getting much from their first line. They almost certainly aren’t *this* bad from a true talent perspective but the lows are lower when your top line doesn’t have really top end players.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Tom Dundon On A Few Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Make sure to read the other tweets regarding this topic.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+dundon

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