Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Being Patient with Kreider

When an NHL rookie makes his debut and burst onto the scene in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and does well, expectations are always high for the following season.

This is exactly the case when it comes to New York Rangers' forward Chris Kreider. In the Blueshirts' magical postseason last year, Kreider showed that he can play the game by picking up 5 goals and adding 2 assists for 7 points in 18 games.

What was also telling about Kreider is that he could be counted on to score big goals. In the playoffs last year, two of Kreider's five goals were game-winning goals.

When the NHL lockout got underway, Kreider joined the team's AHL club, the Connecticut Whale, and was expected to continue to producing, considering what he did in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Kreider, he struggled for a bit and went through some growing pains.

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  Tags: chris+kreider, connecticut+whale, new+york+rangers, steve+zipay

More than Fair

Correction: Del Zotto's two-year deal is worth $5.1 million according to New York Daily News New York Rangers' beat writer Pat Leonard.

These are the exact words that can be used to describe New York Rangers' defenseman Michael Del Zotto's new two-year deal with the club.

There is no doubting Del Zotto's offensive skills. Last season, Del Zotto was fifth on the team in the regular season with 41 points (10 goals and 31 assists) while adding another 10 (2 goals and 8 assists) in 20 postseason games.

Del Zotto has a great shot, knows how to make solid outlet passes and is not afraid to the rush puck up the ice. The 22-year-old blueliner also has excellent vision and knows how to creat offense.

While all of that is great, it is his defensive game that still needs some work. For everry great pass Del Zotto made, there were also ones that were very dangerous and led to turnovers. 

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  Tags: michael+del+zotto, new+york+rangers

Why the Rangers Can Win the Cup This Season

The New York Rangers surprised many people throughout the league last season when they not only won the Atlantic Division, but when they finished atop the Eastern Conference and were second in the entire NHL.

This season, should the Rangers do something similar, it should not come as a surprise. In fact, this season, there is a good chance that the Blueshirts can win their second Stanley Cup since 1994.

For starters, they have the best netminder in the league. With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, anything is possible.

Last season, Lundqvist became the first Ranger since John Vanbiesbrouck to win the Vezina Trophy as the league's best netminder. He did so by putting up great numbers and by being the team's best player on the ice night in and night out.

With a shortened season and many games in many nights, Lundqvist will be called upon a lot this season. For Lundqvist, that is just the way he likes it.

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  Tags: atlantic+division, brad+richards, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, derek+stepan, eastern+conference, henrik+lundqvist, john+vanbiesbrouck, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan

An E-mail Interview with Devils’ Franchise Great Ken Daneyko

It is not very often that one gets to conduct an e-mail interview with a former franchise great in the National Hockey League.

This past week, I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of doing just that. It was an absolute honor for me to conduct this e-mail interview with former New Jersey Devils' defenseman Ken Daneyko.

Daneyko, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, was kind enough to take the time and answer some questions about how he got into hockey, what it was like to play in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, what it was like to win the Cup and much more.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
KD: Growing up in Canada, hockey is a religion and I was a fanatic from the day I could walk like so many other kids.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
KD: In Canada, you were either a Maple Leafs or Canadiens fan. I was a Leaf fan, and I liked Darryl Sittler because he was a good all around player. My real favorite was Bobby Hull of the Blackhawks. He was electrifying and had the booming shot.

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  Tags: ken+daneyko, new+jersey+devils

Happy to be Back

Well folks, it is finally over.

With a new CBA agreement in place, we can now look forward to what should be a very interesting New York Rangers' season. With a shortened season and the Rangers known for being a streaky team, a good start out of the gate could end up leading to something special for the Blueshirts.

What's interesting is that after the 1993-94 season when the Rangers won the Cup, the New Jersey Devils ended up winning the their first Cup in franchise history by sweeping the Detroit Red Wings. With the Devils getting to the Stanley Cup Final last season, may be the Blueshirts will return the favor and get back to the Final for the first time since 1994.

Anyways, now is not the time to look far ahead. For the Rangers, they will more than likely use head coach John Tortorella's approach of one game at a time and will make sure they play well in all areas of the game and are consistent game in and game out.

With a grueling schedule on tap, it might be hard for the Rangers to do all those things but if one thing is certain, it is that they have a roster capable of getting the team to the next level. The addition of Rick Nash up front should also help the team put more pucks in the net both on even strength and in an area they struggled the most with last season, the power play.

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  Tags: 2012+nhl+cba+agreement, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash

Please Come Back

If you are a hockey fan and have been following the lockout, then you know that we have seen this before.

An offer is made, it seems like a solid one and one that could be used as a framework for a deal and then just like that, it is rejected and followed by another offer that is not what the league is looking for. It's happened a few times during this lockout and each time, it is tough to swallow.

With that said, however, it is time to start being positive. The NHL took the first step and made an offer in which it looks like they made a few concessions and took steps towards what the NHLPA is looking for. Yes, it came a lot later than expected but at least they are stepping up now.

For the NHLPA, now it is time to see just how smart they are. Players seem to be clamoring at the bit to get the game back on the ice and hopefully, they will be able to put some pressure on Mr. Don Fehr to make that happen.

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  Tags: 2012+nhl+lockout

I miss it…

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I had found different ways to survive this current lockout. 

It turns out that may be I was wrong. Sure, I have taken up a new interest in the NFL and sure, I don't find myself living and dying by these CBA negotiations but the truth of the matter is that the more I think about it, I am a hockey guy through and through.

I miss the NHL. I miss waking up every morning and checking out the latest NHL news, notes, blogs and chatter of the hockey world.

I miss watching NHL games on the tube. It could be  the New York Rangers on MSG (same with the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils), national coverage on NBC Sports Network or the games they do once in awhile on the NHL NHL Network. If it has to do with NHL viewing, I miss it.

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  Tags: nhl+lockout

A Rangers’ Fan point-of-view on the Islanders move to Brooklyn

As everyone in the hockey world already knows, it was announced two weeks ago that the New York Islanders will be moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York beginning in the 2015-16 season

While Islanders' fans more than likely have mixed views on the move, I was curious to see what a New York Rangers' fan felt about the move. As such, I reached out to Dave Shapiro of the great Rangers' fan blog Blue Seat Blogs to get his thoughts.

PH: What was your first reaction when you heard that the New York Islanders were going to be moving to Brooklyn? Why?
DS: I thought it was the inevitable move, and I'm happy that they found a new home. It keeps the Islanders in the division and gives their fans a much nicer arena to visit. This is one of the best rivalries in the game, and it needed to be preserved.

PH: In what ways could this move benefit New York Rangers’ fans? How
DS: It makes Islander games easier to get to, which does help for the three games the Rangers will play at Barclays. It's just a subway ride away for those in the city, or an LIRR trip for those on Long Island. It's really a win-win.
 

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Tortorella Likes This Blueshirts’ Team

From Larry Brooks at the New York Post:

“A camp next week would be designed differently than one in three weeks,” Tortorella said. “But that being said, I’m not going to map out camp without communicating with the players.

“The quality of our core leadership and of our young guys is one of our greatest assets. There’s a reason I’ve said so many times that I really like and trust our team. It would be ignorant not to converse with the players to make sure that we get it right."

Click here for more on Tortorella's thoughts on potential training camp issues, the team's core leadership and more.

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  Tags: john+tortorella, new+york+rangers

A Sad Realization

Good afternoon, folks. Sorry I have not written anything in awhile but as you can clearly tell, there just is not much to write about these days.

Over the past month or so, I have come to a sad realization: I can survive without the sport of hockey. I am sure many other hockey fans out there have to come to this same realization but let me tell you why it is so sad.

I have been a hockey fan since I was born (1983). As I got out of diapers and learned to walk and understand what was going on around me, I became an absolute hockey nut. 

I watched as many games as I possibly can, I went to many, many New York Rangers' games since my dad was a season ticket holder, I joined a Rotiserie hockey league, I bought hockey highlight tapes and much, much, more. When it came to being a hockey fan, I was an absolute fanatic about the sport.

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  Tags: nhl+lockout

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.

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