Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Teams

Wings Head West Looking For Their Defensive Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The western Canada road trip can be tough, but the Detroit Red Wings have felt right at home there. So it was understandable that they were a little anxious to get out there, especially after picking up only one point in two home games over the weekend.

“We’re more disciplined defensively and we’re playing more of a simple game on the road,” Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “For whatever reason, we’re playing more north-south and getting the puck in deep and not having those turnovers in the neutral zone (on the road).”

Coach Mike Babcock, whose team has allowed three or more goals in nine of its past 11 games, said, “Where we get in trouble defensively is when we turn the puck over in the neutral zone. Then we don’t have enough people to sort things out.”


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

Top Line Rides The Pine

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

With his club down three goals in the third period Sunday in Nashville, Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel decided to shorten his bench and play the three lines he’d come to trust the most.

It’s only noteworthy because the Blue Jackets’ No. 1 line - left winger Kristian Huselius, center Antoine Vermette and right winger Rick Nash - wasn’t part of Arniel’s mix.

Arniel benched the line, featuring the team captain and two of the club’s most accomplished veterans, for the final 14:07 of the 4-1 loss, saying their play in the neutral and defensive zones was not good enough to justify continual ice time.

After describing the play of those three as “awful” after the game, Arniel had warmed only slightly yesterday, saying with a smile, “I’ll go back to loving them again (today).”


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

Avalanche Have Needs

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

What will need to happen for the Avalanche to make the playoffs again this season? Now that we’re almost to the halfway point, we have a good idea about this team’s strengths and foibles.

The Avs need another defenseman. It has gone a bit underreported, but the loss of Kyle Quincey on defense has hurt the team and needs to be addressed via trade.

Quincey wasn’t having a very good year but was starting to play better when he was lost for the season because of a shoulder injury. The Avs have missed his size in the defensive zone. They had allowed three or more goals in eight of the nine games he missed entering Sunday’s game with Vancouver. There is concern about overkill with three of the same type of D-men (John-Michael Liles, Kyle Cumiskey and Matt Hunwick) and that Kevin Shattenkirk is starting to fall back to Earth.

The Avs need to use some of that significant cap room to get a veteran rental guy, one with some size and toughness, at the trade deadline or sooner.

Craig Anderson needs to be Craig Anderson of 2009-10 again, or somewhere close. The worry among Avs fans is that Anderson’s superb play of last season will prove to be the aberration year of his career.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Serious Trade Talks At This Point

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The names that rival execs are inquiring about are mostly players that Burke himself signed or traded for.

Loyalty is a tenet of the Burke credo, witness his iron will where Wilson’s critics are concerned.

His players will likely get every opportunity to play their way out of individual funks, though it’s likely too late in the playoff chase to worry about exchanging bodies for bodies where draft picks could be the ultimate prize in talks that could go until the actual deadline.

For the short term, Burke is not denying a Hockey Night In Canada report from Saturday that another team made an offer for winger Kris Versteeg, but he e-mailed the Toronto Sun on Sunday that deals of any kind are not yet at the serious stage.

Some minor swaps are taking place around the NHL, but the real action should take place around the Jan. 27 all-star break. The salaries of future UFA’s will be dropping further and there will be a gathering of many GMs at the board of governors meeting in Raleigh, N.C., in concert with the all-star game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Three’s Company in Tampa Nets - For Now

For now, the Tampa Bay Lightning will roll on with three goaltenders.

But with Dwayne Roloson now in the fold, joining Dan Ellis and a still mending Mike Smith after Saturday’s trade with the New York Islanders, eventually, something will have to give.

Early indications seem to suggest Smith, who is close to returning from a recent knee injury, is the most logical odd man out for a variety of reasons, despite significant improvement in his play prior to getting hurt.

In the final year of a contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million dollars, it would make sense for the Lightning to try and deal Smith for whatever value the team could find before he hits unrestricted free agency at season’s end. That won’t exactly come easy, however, with the bottom line remaining some very unattractive numbers this year and overall statistics that have actually worsened consistently as the team in front of him has improved over the last three seasons. Add to that a history of injuries (Smith has appeared in less than half of Tampa’s games since the start of the 2008-09) and an unsavory dollar number for the kind of inconsistency he’s shown and it becomes awfully difficult to imagine logical trade scenarios involving the former Dallas Star.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, dustin+tokarski, dwayne+roloson, mike+smith, steve+yzerman

The Bolts Beat, 1/3/11: Roloson in the Mix, Odd Goalie Out, the Last Word on Spin-o-Rama Gate & More

In the first installment of The Bolts Beat for 2011, Jon, Mike and Mark give their thoughts on Tampa Bay’s addition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and why the deal was made now. Later, things get a little spicy when the conversation turns to what it likely means for Dan Ellis and/or Mike Smith.

Also, the guys give their thoughts on the stellar NHL debut of yet another goalie, Cedrick Desjardins, and discuss how he might fit into the Lightning’s future plans.

And, finally - no, really, for the last time - the gang reluctantly entertains the controversy that should never have been over Steven Stamkos’ penalty shot goal against Montreal.


All that, plus more (including a special announcement!) after the jump…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, denis+savard, dwayne+roloson, linus+omark, mike+smith, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos

Thinking Out Loud

Pierre LeBrun mentioned on Saturday night the Toronto Maple Leafs received an offer for Kris Versteeg and it appears it made some sense to them.

So the Leafs put the word out, seeing if they could get a better offer than the one that was made.

Now let’s look at this from as a Detroit/Toronto scenerio.  Leafs need help at center, Wings could using some scoring on the wing.

How does Valtteri Filppula for Kris Versteeg sound? 

Filppula is 26 years old, makes $3M per year and is signed through the 2012-13 season while Versteeg is 24, earns just over $3M and is signed through the 2011-12 season

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+versteeg, valtteri+filppula

Monday Thoughts

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Jim Rutherford - a huge fan of Alexander Ovechkin’s - believes Ovechkin is making a conscious effort to save himself for the playoffs. The Great 8 denies it, but Rutherford isn’t the only one who feels that way. One of the reasons I think the Hurricane GM may be right: when asked about his lower goal totals, the Russian forward said, “It can change like that” and snapped his fingers. It would be foolish to write him off.

• Okay, let’s do some non-Winter Classic stuff: The aftermath in Calgary is really ugly. Sounds like Darryl Sutter wanted to fire brother Brent as head coach, but ownership decided to remove him instead. Scott Oake reported that, as of Saturday, Darryl had refused to talk to Brent or replacement Jay Feaster. Jarome Iginla did have a brief conversation with the former GM.

• Quietly, the NHL cleared Paul Devorski of any wrongdoing in last week’s weird Columbus incident. From what I understand, there was an acknowledgement that he did laugh at the taunting, but no errant finger. “He’d get fired if he did that,” I was told.

more plus the Caps trapping?

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

Why Leighton Was Waived

from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,

Holmgren talked to the media today about waiving Leighton.

“We thought about it the last few days. At the end of the day, I think that this is a move that is in the best interest of the Flyers and the best interest of Michael Leighton,” Holmgren said. “We need to get him playing at a higher level. More than anything, he is probably still iis n training-camp mode.”

Holmgren was asked if Leighton was waived based on the Kings’ game. “We probably all believed he’d be a little rusty,” Holmgren said. “This is more to do with how the other guys have played. At the end of the day, it’s best for the organization.”

On interest in Leighton around the league?

“I’d be very disappointed if he were claimed, because that means we’d be losing a goalie for nothing,” Holmgren said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michale+leighton

How About The Winter Classic In Columbus?

from Derek Zona of SBNation,

If the NHL is dedicated to the expansion markets, as Gary Bettman has said time and time again during interviews, then the league should use the Winter Classic to solidify the Columbus market.  The league would be hard-pressed to find a better venue than Ohio State’s venerable Ohio Stadium, a.k.a. The Horseshoe, a 102,329-seat college football stadium filled with history, lore and beauty.

Columbus would give the league a Western Conference host, yet the city isn’t far from the Eastern media, and it’s within driving distance of a number of NHL markets who would help Columbus fill the enormous Horseshoe. The Blue Jackets could certainly use the revenue, the media attention and the raised profile within hockey.The NHL needs the city and fans to see hockey on the second-biggest stage the league can offer and hopefully drive more hips through the turnstiles.

The league could pit Columbus against the defending Stanley Cup Champion (unless it’s a Canadian team), Detroit or Pittsburgh (both cities are a short drive away from Columbus and would bring plenty of fans), or New York or Philadelphia (if television ratings are the overriding concern).


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

« Previous       ‹ First  < 2804 2805 2806 2807 2808 >  Last ›      Next »

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


Recommended Sportsbook


Most Recent Blog Posts