Kukla's Korner

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Rangers Need A Power Player

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Before last night’s slate of games, the Rangers were 27th in power-play efficiency - and last in the East - at 14.3 percent. They and the Blue Jackets are the only two teams in the NHL not to have a 10-point power-play scorer. Michal Rozsival, who leads the Blueshirts with nine power play points (3-6), was tied with many players for 120th in the league.

Scott Gomez, who leads the team with 3:54 of power-play ice per game, has not scored a power play goal. He scored nine for the Devils in 2005-06, his 33-goal season. Wade Redden, who leads Rangers’ point men with 3:44 of ice per game, has one goal and four assists with the man advantage.

The power play operation has been dysfunctional from the start. It lacks the booming shot. It lacks decisive puck movement. It lacks strength in front and at the half-wall. It lacks the ability to pound pucks on net. In short, it lacks a weapon.

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jason Williams Happy To Be In Columbus

from Puck-rakers,

Things just didn’t work out for Williams in Atlanta, he said. A power-play specialist who likes to play on the point, he was never afforded that opportunity with Ilya Kovalchuk, Mathieu Schneider and Ron Hainsey.

“I liked the city and the fans and the players but the trade is probably good for both sides,” Williams said. “It just wasn’t a good fit for me,”

Coach Ken Hitchcock said he plans to use Williams on the right point on the power play with Fedor Tyutin. He isn’t sure on what forward line Williams will play.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Go The SWAT Route

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Kris Draper discovered he would not make an effective perpetrator. Dan Cleary nearly came away with battle scars. Tomas Holmstrom realized he is better at sidestepping flying pucks than dodging rubber pellets from semi-automatic weapons.

Detroit Red Wings players and coaches left Tuesday’s SWAT team training exercise with a newfound appreciation for law enforcement….

Players always enjoy taking shots at Babcock. But he proved more elusive.

“I was (a target), but sometimes you just got to be slippery,” Babcock said. “The way it works is, if you have enough clothing on, the welts aren’t quite as bad. But there was some ammo going off.”

When Cleary’s gun jammed, he made the mistake of looking down to fix it, leaving the top of his head exposed. When he exited the room, Chris Chelios took one look and decided this game was not for him.

read on

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

Top Rentals

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

To qualify as a rental, a player must be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Here is my list of top potential rentals.

1. Jay Bouwmeester (Florida): With Marian Gaborik hurt, Bouwmeester is the big prize. He’s an unusual case only in that there are teams that would like to acquire and sign him, and they might be willing to pay more if they can talk to him and get him on the dotted line….

2. Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues): At 36, he’s still on a 25-goal pace, and he brings experience and an edge to his game….

3. Mathieu Schneider (Atlanta): Many teams are looking for a puck-moving defenseman, and Schneider still has a big shot and knows how to move the puck effectively.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

TSN Panel Chimes In

from TSN,

Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices their opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

Question No. 1: Is Jason Spezza part of the problem or the solution in Ottawa?

Keith Jones: He is part of the solution. He’s only 25 years old and has a tremendous amount of upside and skill is the key word….

Bob McKenzie: I agree. Spezza needs to be part of the solution. There’s no question he’s had some shortcomings and flaws in his game but are the fatal? No, build your team around what he gives you offensively and fill in the holes. Defensively and all the rest of the things you need elsewhere.

read on with more Q & A…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

The Situation In Phoenix

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The Phoenix Coyotes believe Arizona is a strong hockey market and are convinced this NHL team isn’t going anywhere.

However, the Coyotes are in a deep financial crisis, propped up by the National Hockey League with short-term financing protection and operating loans helping Phoenix manage cash flow to sustain their business for the remainder of the season.

It’s unclear how long the league will continue to carry this team, although league sources say contraction or a dispersal draft haven’t been discussed or considered.

Sources say the team is expected to be sold within the next two months with current owner Jerry Moyes retaining as much as 20 percent.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goalie Style May Mean More Injuries

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The frequency and severity of leg injuries among NHL goaltenders, especially those who incorporate elements of the butterfly style, are a source of concern in several hockey cities….

here is an emerging consensus on the causes: specialized leg movements, more intensive practice drills, faster play in games (less clutching and grabbing means more shots and goals) and heavier schedules.

“The game has opened up, the new rules mean goaltenders are a lot busier, the saves are harder and more spectacular, there’s more stress on the joints,” said Anaheim Ducks goaltender coach François Allaire, who popularized the butterfly style — so-called because goalies spread to keep the inside of their leg pads flat against the ice — with Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Still No Contract Talk For Wild Goaltender Backstrom

from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press (Thursday edition),

Dwayne Roloson is no stranger to the expiring contract. He is playing with one now, just as he did with the Minnesota Wild in 2005-06.

It’s not easy.

“But in that situation,” he said, “you’ve got to block it out the best you can.”

Roloson likely will be in net tonight when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. His counterpart will be Niklas Backstrom, who is looking more and more like 2009’s most eligible goaltender….

There’s no doubt Backstrom is the Wild’s top goaltender, yet it appears he’ll play in the Jan. 25 All-Star Game with a contract set to expire in July. Not only has general manager Doug Risebrough declined to discuss his contract situation, he also has declined to even say the Wild want him back.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+backstrom

Hopefully Other Teams Will Follow

from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,

From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky, who covered practice today in Brossard:

Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media.

No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.

Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.

continued with an update on the Montreal injuries…

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

Official- Shanahan A Devil

via TSN,

It’s official: the New Jersey Devils have made room for the return of unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan, signing the veteran on Wednesday.

Shanahan signed an $800,000 dollar contract, meaning he will receive about half of that for playing half of the NHL season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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