Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sharks Primed For A Cup Run

from Steve Cameron of the Merced Sun-Star,

The Sharks are not just a hell of a hockey team—we knew that already—but perhaps better positioned for a run at the Stanley Cup then at any time in the club’s relatively short history.

San Jose was perhaps the best defensive unit in the league last year.

What the Sharks lacked—and what cost them dearly in a disappointing second-round playoff loss to Dallas—was the kind of relentless attack that can produce goals against good teams and in tough situations.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Raycroft To The Rescue

from Woody Paige of the Denver Post,

He hadn’t won a game since Nov. 9, 2007 and only two games all last season. Two years ago Raycroft had appeared in 72 games, won 37 and lost 25. Last year he dropped to third goalie, fourth, if you count the popcorn salesman.

But the Avs threw him a goalie’s mask, a glove and a life jacket. Their starting goalie at season’s end, Jose Theodore, had moved on to Washington, and backup/ ex-starter Peter Budaj was penciled in as the No. 1 goalie.

Penciled in, not Magic Markered in.

Budaj was burned like a Roman candle in the home opener, then fizzled in the next two.

Enter Raycroft.

“I’ve worked very hard since August with Jeff (Hackett, the Avalanche goalie coach), and I felt like I could come in and play well, but I knew I couldn’t put us in a 0-4 hole,” Raycroft said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+raycroft

Everything’s Right In Buffalo

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

One of the many reasons the Sabres are 3-0 with only three goals allowed is the improved play of their defense. The blue-liners have dramatically reduced their mistakes from last season, a trend they hope continues tonight when Vancouver visits HSBC Arena.

Numminen and Rivet have become indispensable parts of that corps, but not just for the obvious reasons. Sure, they provide leadership, poise and grit. But they have something else the Sabres lacked: right-handed shots on the blue line.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Life Of Don

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

If you liked Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, you might be interested in what Tim Cherry has in mind for a biopic about his father….

“Surprisingly, I feel that the story is pretty close to Goodfellas,” he said. “You have Henry Hill in this crazy world of the mafia. In dad’s case, it’s the crazy world of the minor leagues.

“And you have Henry Hill’s wife who kind of marries into it and has to adjust to it. Mom [the late Rose Cherry] had to do the same. She had never been to a game before she met dad. There are a lot of similarities to the two stories.”

There are certainly parallels in terms of the workplace. The minor leagues, when Cherry played, were extraordinarily violent and also populated by kooks, such as Eddie Shore, who, in addition to owning and operating the Springfield Indians, imposed medical treatments on the players.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Let Them Play

from Lightning Strikes,

I’m not even going to write about the game tonight because I believe you’re starting to see some good things happen for the Lightning, I really do. I know, they lost again, but, I don’t know, just seemed like a little different team….

So, let’s get on the refs.

The NHL is cracking down on stick and obstruction fouls and the referees are calling anything, no matter how small. Seventeen minor penalties were called in Thursday night’s game, 10 on the Lightning. Some were barely touch fouls. And can we please have some sense of game situations?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hot Wild Line

from Russo’s Rants,

Again the Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen line, which needs a better nickname than the one I used tonight, were tremendous. Ten points. 8 goals, 24 points for the season! Very unWildlike. Those eight goals are on 23 shots, by the way.

Koivu had a career-high five points, a team-record-tying four helpers. Miettinen had his second straight two-goal, three-point game. He’s the first Wild player to score goals in his first three games.

more on the Wild…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rolston Out With Sprained Ankle

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils right wing Brian Rolston left tonight’s 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers with what he said was a high right ankle sprain.

Roslton left the building on crutches with a boot on his his right foot. I tried to ask Rolston twice if he had an X-ray on the ankle and both times was cut off by the Devils’ senior director of communications.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+rolston

Just In Case The Stars May Want To Trade Someone

from Mike Heika at the Dallas Stars Blog,

I believe Richards, Zubov, Turco, Morrow, Modano, Lehtinen, Ribeiro and Avery all have some sort of non-movement clause. And, would you be interested in trading any of them?

My guess is they would move Philippe Boucher, but he’s injury-prone and makes $2.5 million a year. Plus, you would be taking away from the defense to fix the problem on defense. I guess if you wanted to move him and then sign a Keith Carney type for less money, that’s an option.

As far as forwards go, you could move Steve Ott ($1.425 million), but what can you add for that? You could also trade Loui Eriksson ($1.6 million) or Joel Lundqvist ($725,000), but again you have to ask if you can get anything worthwhile with that amount of money and you also have toa sk if it’s too early in their careers to risk moving them.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

An Obvious Team For Khabibulin- Colorado

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The obvious choice as a possible Khabibulin suitor now is Colorado, with Budaj struggling horribly out of the gate in his latest opportunity to nail down the Avalanche’s No. 1 job. Colorado has about $5.5 million in cap room available, so it would take some tinkering or sending the Blackhawks a significant salary in return to make room.

Simply sending Budaj to Chicago to serve as Huet’s backup wouldn’t quite be enough, because Budaj’s cap figure is “only” $800,000 this season. In fact, how’s this for a contrast in allocating resources in the cap age: Chicago’s two goalies are making $12.3 million this season; at Colorado, Budaj and Andrew Raycroft are pulling in a combined $1.6 million. But Colorado could find a way to pull it off.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Barnaby Says More Promotion For AO & Crosby

Matthew Barnaby of ESPN believes the NHL needs to promote Ovechkin and Crosby much more than they are now.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, sidney+crosby

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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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