Kukla's Korner

This Is Not Last Year’s New Jersey Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Ryan of NJ.com,

As the NHL enters the All-Star break, the Devils have just 43 points and sit at 30th out of 31 teams in the standings. Yes, they have multiple games in hands on three teams just two points ahead of them, but the Devils' position is a far cry from their 2017-18 playoff team.

So what's been the difference?

The Devils don't have a drastically different roster from last season, and they've posted some similar underlying numbers, especially on the offensive end.

Here's a look at some of the areas that have caused the biggest difference in results.

Goaltending
Outside of Keith Kinkaid’s strong start and Mackenzie Blackwood’s midseason emergence, the Devils’ goaltending has been an issue all season long.

When they made their postseason run in 2017-18, they finished with a .908 save percentage as a team, good for 18th in the NHL. That was also boosted by Kinkaid's strong run in March to close the season, where he won 10 of his final 11 starts.

This season, the Devils have a collective .892 save percentage - just 28th best in the league.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sign Or Move Jimmy Howard

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Jimmy Howard has had better statistics in seasons past, but some in the Detroit Red Wings organization believe the longtime goaltender is having one of his better seasons.

That is why they want to sign him to a contract extension.

But they also realize he could be a valuable trade chip as the Feb. 25 deadline approaches. They would like to acquire a first-round pick for him. That seems unlikely, unless the starting goalie for a Stanley Cup-contending team suffers a season-ending injury in the next four weeks.

Unless the Red Wings lower their demands, they might not be able to move Howard. And that would be fine with them, because they want to keep him, probably for two more seasons. They don’t view Jonathan Bernier as a No. 1 goalie and none of their prospects are close to being NHL-ready. Howard would bridge the gap.

However, trading him and then re-signing him on July 1 also remains a possibility. Howard has made it clear he wants to stay.

The Red Wings (19-25-7) limped into the All-Star break with a 5-12-3 record in their past 20 games and are just two points from the NHL’s basement. If they finish last overall, they’ll have the best odds (18.5 percent) of winning the April draft lottery and the ability to select Jack Hughes with the first pick.

If they unload Howard, it could all but guarantee they'll finish last.

continue to read about Howard going to the All-Star game...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Videos- Did Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Bite P.K. Subban?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

First the evidence for you to view and below, P.K. Subban talks about it post-game.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: p.k.+subban, pierre-edouard+bellemare, vegas+golden+knights

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

TORONTO 6, Washington 3
MONTREAL 2, Arizona 1
Minnesota 5, COLORADO 2
Nashville 2, VEGAS 1
St. Louis 5, ANAHEIM 1
Carolina 5, VANCOUVER 2

 

KADRI (HAT TRICK) HELPS MAPLE LEAFS REACH 30-WIN MARK

Nazem Kadri (3-1—4) scored the fifth hat trick of his NHL career and first since Feb. 14, 2018 (3-2—5 vs. CBJ) to lead the Maple Leafs past theCapitals. Toronto (30-17-2, 62 points), which occupies second place in the Atlantic Division standings, reached the 30-win mark in a season in 49 or fewer games for the second time in franchise history and first since 1934-35 (48 GP; 30-14-4, 64 points).

 

Morgan Rielly (0-2—2) ranks third among NHL defensemen with 50 points in 2018-19 (13-37—50 in 49 GP). Only three defensemen in franchise history have required fewer personal games to reach the 50-point mark in a season: Borje Salming in 1976-77 (42 GP), Babe Pratt in 1943-44 (44 GP) and Bryan McCabe in 2005-06 (45 GP).

 

* Rielly, who established a career high with 6-46—52 in 2017-18 (76 GP), became the fifth defenseman in franchise history to reach the 50-point mark in consecutive seasons and first since Tomas Kaberle (3 straight; 2005-06 to 2007-08).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Alex Ovechkin Collides With T.J. Oshie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ovechkin went to the bench but was pulled by the concussion spotter.  He did return to the game quickly.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Filip Hronek Sent To Grand Rapids

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Filip Hronek to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Hronek, 21, has skated in 23 games with the Red Wings during the 2018-19 campaign, tallying 10 points (3-7-10) and averaging 18:25 time on ice. After making the Red Wings roster out of training camp, the 6-foot, 170-pound rookie logged three points (1-2-3) in six games during his first NHL stint, including his first NHL point Oct. 11 vs. Toronto and first NHL goal on Oct. 13 at Boston. During his time with the Griffins this season, Hronek has recorded 18 points (5-13-18) and 28 penalty minutes in 20 games, leading the team’s defensemen and ranking eighth overall in scoring, despite his stint in the NHL. The Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, native recorded 11 goals, 28 assists and a team-best plus-24 rating in 67 games with the Griffins in 2017-18. The defenseman’s 39 points led the team’s blueliners and were fifth-most among all Griffins, earning him a spot on the 2018 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

“No Quick Fix” For The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The situation in Edmonton had become so toxic, turning one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL into an apathetic one, that the Oilers had little choice but to remove Chiarelli from the controls one month before the trade deadline with the team just three points out of a historically weak playoff chase.

The man tasked with eradicating the dysfunction in the Oilers’ front office only created more.

"There's something in the water here in Edmonton that we don't have right," Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson told reporters Wednesday, not mentioning that leftover brass from regimes past Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe and Scott Howson remain on the payroll. 

Assistant GM Keith Gretzky, younger brother of Oilers vice chair Wayne Gretzky and Chiarelli's cohort from Boston, will assume part of Chiarelli’s duties on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

There will be no shortage of interested candidates. The problem for whoever inherits Chiarelli’s chair is that there is no quick fix.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brayden Point Is A Real Bargain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nick Kelly of the Tampa Bay Times,

 One of these things is not like the others.

Take a look at the NHL’s top goal scorers and their annual average salary, according to capfriendly.com. One of these contracts doesn’t belong:

Alex Ovechkin ($10 million)

Brayden Point ($919,167)

John Tavares ($11 million)

Jeff Skinner ($5.725 million)

Johnny Gaudreau ($6,75 million)

Connor McDavid ($12.5 million)

Patrick Kane ($10.5 million)

Gabriel Landeskog ($5.57 million)

Can you tell which contract is not like the others by the time ... Okay, you get the point.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, there’s your answer — Point. His contract is missing the word million. That’s not a typo. Point, 22, doesn’t make that much. He is still playing on his entry-level contract.

It makes him, one of the NHL’s best scorers, also one of its best bargains.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brayden+point

Trade Talk In Detroit Will Soon Heat Up

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Red Wings are seeking first-round picks for goaltender Jimmy Howard and forward Gustav Nyquist. If they’re not offered that return, they would like to re-sign both. They also would like to re-sign defenseman Nick Jensen. They’re not expected to move defenseman Niklas Kronwall, unless he signs off on a trade, which seems unlikely.

Other potential trade chips include defenseman Trevor Daley and forwards Thomas Vanek and Luke Glendening.

Trades are more likely to happen closer to or on the day of the deadline, as teams hold out for the best possible return.

Players, in all likelihood, can enjoy their break without worrying about where they might be headed. The Red Wings are among 21 teams whose five-day ‘bye week’ follows the All-Star break. They will go nine days without a game and are allowed only one formal practice during that stretch.

more on the Wings...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Jim Matheson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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