Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bring In The Youngsters

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

People act as if the Sabres are a sleeping giant, waiting to rediscover the magic of two years ago. How long must we wait? Going back to the start of last season, the Sabres are 49-54, including overtime and shootout losses….

The Sabres won’t admit it, but they’re in transition. The hope is in Portland, and the sooner they bring up the kids, the better. What do they have to lose, except more games? Let the kids learn in the NHL, like all those other promising young players around the league.

It’s a joke that Afinogenov is on this team. He’s been here since 1999, and he’s still making the same mistakes.

Afinogenov should have been gone long ago. He and Tim Connolly are symptomatic of the Sabres’ tendency to hang on to soft, finesse players who hold a franchise back. They need to move on and prepare for life with the young players. They’re the future.


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

What Is This!

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+zherdev, steven+stamkos

In The Playoffs Today?  Good Chance Your Team Will Stay There

via Mark Hermann of In the Crease at Newsday,

NHL teams have studied the ebb and flow of seasons and realized that teams that are in playoff position at Thanksgiving are often in the playoffs at the end of the season. Last year, only four of the 14 teams that were out of playoff position at the late November holiday eventually got into the playoffs.

So much for making a late charge. The thinking seems to be that with the point for an overtime loss, it gets harder and harder for teams to make up a lot of ground the later it gets. It also adds to the urgency that teams feel to get off to a good start.

In any case, it’s worth clipping out the standings today and seeing how they stack up with the final standings.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lemaire vs. Turco

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,

“Turco pushed the net,” Lemaire said. “It’s the third time that Turco does that, just against us. He goes like he’s going to stumble, and he just lays on the post, that’s what he does. It’s a trick, but now they’ll know. Next time, they’ll watch.”...

When told that Lemaire said that historically speaking, Turco had a history of doing that, Turco replied:

“When he played, they had steel pegs in there, and the net wasn’t coming off, And I don’t know how many times he was in front of the net, anyway…historically speaking.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire, marty+turco

Weber At The Top Of His Game

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

After an injury-marred season in 2007-08 slowed his progress and raised questions about his potential, the big blueliner is delivering like never before.

(Shea) Weber’s combination of powerful slap shots and punishing hits mean he is likely to become the first Predators draft pick to earn a spot in the NHL All-Star game.

And if Weber keeps up the pace he set in the first quarter of the season, he’ll be a serious candidate for the Norris Trophy, given to the league’s best defenseman.

“Right now he’s the total package,’’ said Versus broadcaster John Forslund, who saw Weber in person the past two games.

“His whole game seems to be in place right now, and he seems to be the kind of guy you want to build around for years to come. This kid could really be a monster player — a really physical guy that can also play offensively.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Khabibulin Injured - Status Unknown

from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,

We might not know until Friday how badly Nikolai Khabibulin and Aaron Johnson are hurt.

Khabibulin went down in the final minute of the second period of Wednesday’s 3-2 OT loss to the Sharks with what appeared to be a groin or hamstring problem. Joel Quenneville didn’t know if Khabibulin would be examined Thursday in San Jose, where the Hawks were to practice, or if he would need to return to Chicago.  If the injury is serious, Cristobal Huet would vault into the spotlight and we’d likely see Antti Niemi recalled from Rockford to be the backup.


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

Happy Thanksgiving From The KK Crew!

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, both here in the States and abroad, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Please be safe throughout the day and night and do remember to pass the car keys if need be.

I will be around this morning, although maybe a little later than normal and will stick around until 3pm or so, then it is off to dinner with the relatives and friends.


Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ducks Make Moves To Call-Up Backup Goalie

from Chris Foster of the LA Times,

The Ducks find themselves doing a salary-cap tap dance again.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere returned to Montreal because of a personal situation unrelated to hockey and will not rejoin the team until Sunday when the Ducks play at Carolina. That left the Ducks needing a backup goaltender for Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Honda Center.

Team officials had to move money, and bodies, around. Defenseman Brett Festerling will be sent back to Iowa today to make space under the cap to recall goaltender David Leneveu.

The NHL would have allowed a player exemption for the Ducks, who are at the 23-man limit. But the team is currently only about $400,000 under the NHL’s $56.7-million salary cap. The NHL minimum salary is $475,000.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

Early Cup Favorites

from TSN,

With a quarter of the season gone, who is the favourite to win the Stanley Cup?

Bob McKenzie: “I’ll go with the Detroit Red Wings.  Stanley Cup hangover?  What Stanley Cup hangover?  We’re seeing that at the quarter point of the season that the Wings are just as effective as they were during the Stanley Cup playoffs, so I pick them to win the Cup.  Why?  Because we know they’ve done it before, as recently as last spring.”

John Tortorella: “I like the San Jose Sharks.  I said it at the beginning of the year, and I like the pick more after the first quarter.

more questions and answers from the TSN experts…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Against the Odds

From Sunaya Sapurji at the Toronto Star:

[Gregg] Sutch, the Sarnia Sting’s rookie wrecking ball, was born with what doctors term “severe to profound” hearing loss. He uses a hearing aid in each ear to help amplify sound, but finds that once he’s on the ice his biggest asset is his finely honed hockey sense.

“I’ve learned to be a better hockey player,” says the affable 16-year-old. “To play this game you have to keep your head up and know what’s going on at all times. Because of my hearing impairment I’m not able to rely on the people who are around me. I’ve got to know myself where they are (on ice).”

Making an Ontario Hockey League roster in itself is difficult, but for Sutch to have accomplished his success with a hearing impairment is even rarer still.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gregg+sutch, ohl, ontario+hockey+league

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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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