Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strkes,
I know, they’re 0-2-3. They matched the 1998-99 team as the only Tampa Bay squad to start a season winless in five games, and the team lost a franchise-record third straight overtime game. It has just eight goals. But I really believe this is going to be a good hockey team.
I’m not saying it will make the playoffs or anything beyond what we can evaluate right now. And I know I’m going to hear about this on this post and at the end of the season if things don’t work out, but this team is so much better than it was even three games ago, the difference is notable.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
The current Blackhawks are a textbook marketing creation.
They very well could be the real thing, an actual competitive hockey team, but I have no way of knowing that right now. I do know, thanks to a marketing strategy that resembles an exuberant carpet-bombing, that they are new, improved, bigger and better, have less trans fat than competitors, and quite possibly will improve your posture while removing stains.
The team that has been publicized, hawked, packaged, airbrushed, Photoshopped and otherwise thrust upon us is a team that should go deep into the NHL playoffs. I happen to know this because a hefty majority of voters in a chicagotribune.com poll said so before the season began. And the voters said so because they had been hit over the head with the Hawks’ advertising campaign.
continued and I do recall a few comments left on KK over the last few months with the warning, be careful with the marketing, prove it on the ice first….
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Their engines stalled during the national anthem and it was nothing but cough and sputter for the first 35 minutes.
Then a 265-pound spark plug changed everything.
With the Oilers down 2-0, newly-acquired super heavyweight Steve MacIntyre plastered Calgary’s Dustin Boyd into the end boards, essentially turning him into a rinkboard advertisement, then beat up the guy who came to his rescue, Brandon Prust, sparking a three-goal rally that buried the Flames in a sea of Oiler energy.
more and watch the hit below…
from the CP via TSN,
A nasty hit on Andrei Kostitsyn opened the door for Georges Laraque to show why the Montreal Canadiens went looking for an enforcer last summer.
Laraque was front and centre in a rough and chippy second period as the Canadiens downed the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 on two goals from Alex Tanguay and a goal and two assists from Saku Koivu on Saturday night, although they look to have lost their gifted left winger Kostitsyn for an undetermined period.
“Whether it was cheap hit or not, when one of your best players gets knocked out like that, you’re not going to say it’s OK - you want to respond to it,” said Laraque.
continued and watch a video of the hit below…
“I’m going to give our skill guys a chance to get going, but it’s time for them to start doing the things we hoped they would do. ... It’s time for some guys in our lineup to start going. They’ve played four games now. If you’re a goal scorer and not scoring, what else are you giving our team? They have to decide. If you’re not scoring and everybody goes into a slump, you’ve got to help the team in other ways. It’s time for some of our stars to put the puck in the net and start helping us out all over the rink.”
-Barry Melrose this morning. More at Lightning Strkes…
from Iain MacIntrye of the Vancouver Sun,
Winger Kyle Wellwood has been given a few days off. He cleared waivers this morning and is back in Vancouver waiting for the Canucks to find him a place to play in the minors….
The Canucks are trying to find another minor-league team with room for Wellwood, although Vancouver will be paying his NHL salary of $998,000 US.
Bieksa is eligible to come off the injured list today will likely play Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He strained his knee early in the Canucks’ victory in Calgary one week ago.
Quick shifts. Lots of shots on goal. Acrobatic saves. Most important, I love action, on-the-fly flow and transition, good information, great tidbits, insight and wonderful stories about the marvelously talented people that make up the fastest sport around. That’s what you’ll get from this column each week.
When I hear Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock say the Sharks might be better defensively than Detroit, that tells me former Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan already has control of the San Jose bench. It made me want to watch more and more of the Sharks this season, even before they opened the season with a 4-0 record.
much more from Larry Wigge of NHL.com…
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
“When you play a team as good as San Jose, you have to be very aware that you can’t spend the night in the penalty box, and tonight we got away with it,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We have to play a little bit on the edge. We have to play nasty, but we can’t continue to take penalties. The hook on the hands and those stick-in-the-midsection penalties are something that has to be eliminated. We’ve talked about it, talked about it, talked about it, but it has to be eliminated.”
The Ducks have talked about it for years, and they haven’t eliminated it yet, so it’s foolish to think that will ever happen. Still, they need to find a way to walk the fine line between effective aggressiveness and outright lack of discipline.
The Ducks were on the right side of the fine line last night and must not cross that line in order to be considered one of the top teams in the West.
from Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane let his emotions flow Friday while talking about the dismissal of head coach Denis Savard.
Savard was Kane’s only coach in the NHL and the pair developed a bond after the then-18 year old made the team in training camp and went on to become the league’s rookie of the year.
Sitting in front of his locker following Friday’s practice at the Edge in Bensenville, Kane couldn’t hold back tears in describing the bond the two had formed.
read on and audio too…
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Leaf fans lucky enough to have a view of the team’s bench from their seats will notice something new by the end of the month.
But they may need a computer handbook to figure it out.
Tablet PCs, hard wired into a Sling Box streaming device, will be mounted at both ends of the bench, lending a bit of Bill Gates wizardry to Leaf games.
“It’s all about getting information into a player’s hands quickly and efficiently,” Leafs assistant coach Rob Zettler said, making it sound easy.
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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.
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