Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

What Do the Blackhawks Need?

From Tim Sassone at the Daily Herald:

According to the blog and comments posted on stories at our Web site, these are the 10 hottest issues on the minds of Hawks fans:

1. Dustin Byfuglien: There are a lot of fans unhappy with the big guy and want to see him packaged in a deal.

There are two problems: One, Byfuglien has two years and $6 million left on a contract general manager Dale Tallon never should have offered last summer. Two, he is a wide body on a team that is somewhat small and needs all the size it can get for the playoffs.

read on for the rest of Chicago’s wish list

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: trade+deadline, trade+rumors

Western Conference Odds

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News (h/t MSNBC):

There just isn’t a night off playing in the West.

“You look at the teams out there, even L.A. is playing good right now,” Chicago forward Patrick Kane told SportingNews.com. “They’re competing for a playoff spot. All those teams out there are pretty good, especially when you go to Canada, too, and you see those hostile environments. ... You have to be on your game and mentally focused.”

With help from SportsClubStats.com, which uses a formula to predict playoff probabilities, and a little inside information from Chicago winger Adam Burish, whose Blackhawks are wrapping up a road trip that took them to half the Western cities, we break down the bubble teams.

Dallas Stars
Games played: 52
Points: 59
Probability of making the playoffs: 71.4 percent

read on to find out everyone’s chances

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, western+conference

Nittymaki Edging Into #1 Spot in Philly

From Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The Flyers will continue to use goalies Marty Biron and Antero Niittymaki the rest of the season.

But it has become clear that the order has changed.

Biron, who was the main reason the Flyers reached the Eastern Conference finals last season, will now have to play his way back into the No. 1 spot.

Until further notice, Niittymaki is the main man.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antero+nittymaki, martin+biron

Sutter, on Brodeur’s Impending Return

From Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

[Coach Brent Sutter:] “Like I said, this is not training camp and it’s not the first 10 games of the regular season. This is the real deal here now. Teams are playing at the elite level. Teams are competing to get into the playoffs. Teams are trying to get different seeds in the standings and everyone has to be at their best and that’s including the goaltender.

“Yet. we’ll monitor this the right way. There’s been a course in place and everything has gone along very well. We just have to stay the course and I have tremendous confidence when Marty comes back that he’ll be very solid. Yet, there might be some games we have to get through. There’s no need for anybody to think he’s going to be an every-day goalie when he comes back.”

Sutter’s comments seemed to be in direct response to what Brodeur said Monday about his expectations for playing, particularly with his mentioning of training camp and the first 10 games of the season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter, martin+brodeur

Bright Future for Okposo

From Mark Herrmann at Newsday.com:

When everyone looks back on it, this Islanders season might not seem a total loss after all. Aside from possibly helping them ace the draft lottery, 2008-09 looks from here as if it will be remembered as the season Kyle Okposo really earned his NHL sweater, and a USA Olympic jersey.

It is not too early to think about Okposo’s future, which looks brighter by the day. It definitely is not too early to think about next February and the Vancouver Winter Games.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+okposo, olympics, team+usa

Sergei Gonchar Cleared to Play

From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar today received medical clearance to return to the [Penguins} lineup.

Gonchar, the team’s top defenseman and quarterback of the power play, will not play tonight against San Jose. He said he will continue to practice and judge himself day to day to determine when he believes he is ready to return.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+gonchar

Flashback with Glen Sharpley

From Kevin Glew at The Hockey News,

If anyone has a right to be bitter about the way their NHL career concluded, it’s Glen Sharpley.

The former Minnesota North Star and Chicago Blackhawk had his six-year NHL tenure all but end after a stick slammed into his left eye during a game against the Washington Capitals on Dec. 19, 1981.

“It was basically a dead pupil,” said Sharpley, who was just 25 years old at the time of the injury. “It stopped working and I couldn’t see.”

And if that wasn’t devastating enough, Sharpley’s agent, Alan Eagleson, embezzled a reported $15,000 of the resulting disability insurance benefit. Eagleson’s actions would prompt Sharpley to testify against his former rep in front of a grand jury in Boston in 1992.

continued with an interview with Sharpley on his career and life after hockey

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alan+eagleson, glen+sharpley

Sean Avery Making Personal Changes

From Arthur Staple at Newsday:

“It was just a real important time in my life,” [Sean Avery] said today. “Just one of those things where I took some time to sit back and help myself become a better person. It was amazing. It was something that was important for me as a person, as a man. Actions speak louder than words.”

It’s Avery’s actions that will be scrutinized when he does get into a game with Hartford. That likely won’t happen until Saturday, or possibly a week from today—he said he did not do much skating in his two months away—and then, he’ll have to show he can be the abrasive, sometimes abusive, edge player who got himself that multi-million dollar deal.

“I’ve been playing hockey for a long time, and my on-ice game has never been an issue,” he said. “It’s other things I was working on. But I’m sure there’s still going to be an element of Sean Avery hockey that’s exciting to watch.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Talking Hockey Songs

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Met Dave Bidini for the first time at Monday night’s Calgary Flames-Montreal Canadiens game and we both agreed it was about time our paths finally crossed. Bidini is a musician (mostly with the Rheostatics) with a big interest in hockey; I write about hockey, but remain hugely fascinated by rock music. Dave knew my eons-ago roommate, James Muretich, when the Rheostatics were just starting out and James was one of the more influential rock critics in the West; he said James was always good to the band in their early starving artist-days….

He’s currently in Calgary, preparing to re-launch The Five Hole Stories (subtitle: Tales Of Hockey Erotica) in Calgary next Monday at the Jack Singer concert hall; they are currently in rehearsals in preparation for that…

Instead of producing a list of songs for Barack Obama, maybe the CBC can count down the best hockey-themed songs of all time. I can think of at least two that invoke Gump Worsley – one by Huevos Rancheros, one by the Weakerthans, plus the usual Tom Cochrane and Stompin’ Tom offerings. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

more

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Round Of 16

from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,

If the playoffs started today, here are the matchups – and predicted outcomes.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Boston Bruins (1) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (8)
The Bruins have come too far, too fast this season to see it all end in the first round. The Canes have the edge in experience, given their Stanley Cup run in 2006, but history lessons don’t win you hockey games.
Outcome: Bruins in five games

read on for all the matchups…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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