Kukla's Korner

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Category: NHL-Teams

Monday Thoughts

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Don’t think Darcy Regier will ever fire Lindy Ruff. They’re a package deal.

• Ron Wilson said he was against the coach’s challenge idea because it “embarrasses” the referees. Now there are a few things to figure out before the NHL adopts this idea, but that shouldn’t be one. People recognize how hard it is to officiate this game. It’s not about embarrassing anyone, it’s about getting the call right.

• Why it works in Detroit: Mike Modano went eight games without a point. During that span, there was one minus-3 game and two minus-2 games. Mike Babcock could have benched him. Probably had reason to bench him. But he doesn’t do it, not embarrassing his GM, who chased Modano all summer.

more

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

Kings Making An Impression

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Are the Los Angeles Kings ready to take a page from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup playbook? Remember how the Pens matured far more quickly than anyone imagined they would, making the playoffs in 2007, going to the Cup finals the following season and then winning it all in 2009?

Many were expecting the Kings to take another big step forward this season after losing in the first round to Vancouver. What has been so impressive about their 10-3-0 start has been their commitment to team defense, the bedrock of almost all championship teams. Even with Norris Trophy nominee Drew Doughty out of action for a chunk of time (Doughty has missed six of the team’s 13 games, but returned to the lineup last week), the Kings remain one of the most difficult teams in the league to play against.

They are third in the league in goals allowed per game with an impressive 2.00 team GAA after finishing ninth in that category last season.

more plus additional hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

NEW YORK (November 8, 2010) – Vancouver Canucks left wing Raffi Torres, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Mathieu Garon and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Nov. 7.

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The Future Of UFA To-Be Alexander Semin

from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,

Two factors - Semin’s asking price and his post-season performance - will determine the Russian’s future in Washington.

If Semin has another 80-plus point season, he will command up to $8 million per season on the open market. Although, as countryman Ilya Kovalchuk discovered last summer, the market for a top talent is limited given the high number of teams with little cap space, a reality that isn’t going to change next summer.

Semin may be forced to choose between pursuing big bucks on the open market and accepting less per season on a long-term contract to stick with a Stanley Cup contender.

But he must have a much better performance in the 2011 playoffs compared to the past two springs.

more plus other names mentioned in trade rumors…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin

The Growth Continues

NEW YORK (November 8, 2010) –  Fueled by an unprecedented number of digital product introductions spanning broadband, mobile and social media, the NHL’s digital strategy continued to deliver new milestones of fan engagement in October, the National Hockey League announced today. Mobile downloads, NHL GameCenter LIVE subscriptions, Facebook fans and NHL.com traffic from around the world have all reached new heights, further evidence of the strong global demand for NHL content and the League’s reach and distribution. 

      The League continues to see growth across traditional platforms including ratings and merchandise sales for the first month of the season. Highlights from around the business include:

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

JJ’s Three Cheers: 11/08/10

As usual lately, I’m a day behind. And, really, this time, I have no excuses. (Well, I do, but I won’t bother…) So, why make sure I catch up on JJ’s Three Cheers, you might ask? (I said might, cause it’s just as likely that you won’t.) The goal from the start with this should-be daily feature of mine was to keep a running tally of those honored and to salute the top three (or more) at season’s end. With a thousand other things in the hopper, so far as content from me is concerned (most of which are waiting on a few loose ends to be tied up), I’ll probably be pulling double-duty on these little recaps for much of the season as the workload increases. That said, the need to rewind and reward those on days missed remains. After all, this is an awfully prestigious honor! (Ahem…)

From Saturday night first:
***Cheers to Carolina captain Eric Staal, who powered his Hurricanes past division rival Florida with a pair of goals in a 3-2 victory.

**Cheers to Colorado’s Peter Budaj, who backstopped the Avalanche with 31 saves as his club put up plenty of offense in front of him, beating Dallas 5-0 at home.

*And big time cheers to Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, who had a four-point night at the expense of the host Thrashers in Atlanta and also tallied in the shootout as the Blackhawks were victorious, 5-4.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal, jonathan+toews, mike+green, peter+budaj, saku+koivu, ty+conklin

Hockey Is Art

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has an exhibition called Forty The Sabres In the NHL.

Included are some essays like this one from John Massier.

But hockey is unique among team sports in a few key respects. It is the only team sport that, rather than using a ball, utilizes an elegant, hard rubber disk, its own modernist, minimalist sculpture. Hockey can be said to be the only sport in which players carry weapons (though they are called “sticks”), paradoxical objects through which a player can express his sublime talent or jostle and intimidate his opponent. (If you are an especially good artist, the way you wield your brush or camera may inspire the same fear and awe.) Hockey is the only team sport with a trophy the players actually care about, a chalice and a sculpture upon whose skin the names of champions are engraved for eternity. It is the only sport in which championship matches are concluded by facing lines of opposing players gliding past each other to shake hands, hug, and express their mutual respect. Most fantastically of all, hockey takes place not upon a grassy field or a polished floor, but upon a frozen sheet of ice, across which the players move with metal blades attached to the soles of their feet.

more

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

Nashville Notes

from Josh Cooper of the Tennessean,

You have to won­der. What’s worse? Losing like the Pre­da­tors did on Satur­day against the Kings, and get­ting beat in every way, shape and form. Or losing on a goal with 1.7 seconds remai­ning against the Ducks on Sun­day. I’m going to go with Sunday’s game. To come back from four defi­cits, score late, think you have the point wrap­ped up on the road, and then lose? That’s a tough way to go out. Any­way, here are a few thoughts from the game.

  * What’s going on with Shea Weber? He was pla­ying at a high level—I even heard one analyst men­tion him as an early Norris Trophy can­di­date—until this recent skid. Even more trou­bling is that Weber is a minus-seven since Ryan Suter got hurt. All pla­yers hit rough patches from time-to-time, and they often coin­cide with team-wide issues. Still, that plus/minus is a really tough num­ber to swa­llow for your cap­tain and best player.

continued

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Defending Ron Wilson

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

The first line has been producing like a fourth unit so what’s the solution?

Fire the coach.

The highly touted rookie hasn’t developed enough so he had to be sent to the minors to learn how to be a pro and what to do?

Fire the coach.

The team loses five in a row (the better part of three of those without the captain) and the public has spoken.

Fire the coach.

Welcome to Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke’s world after a crazy week, one in which he has had to defend both his since injured captain Dion Phaneuf and his coach, Ron Wilson.

It’s part of the deal in a hockey first city where the team has lost five in a row, but fire Wilson now? Seriously?

continued

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

Blackhawks Losing The Battles

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

“Losing two games to these guys (Edmonton) in our own building is not a good thing,” Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell said. “Losing two games to any team in our own building in a matter of a week is unacceptable. We have to get a little mad in this locker room and go out there and win some more battles.”

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The loss was the sixth in 10 home games for the Hawks and the fifth that came after the Hawks had a lead or the game was tied in the third period at the UC.

“There are no excuses for it,” Campbell said. “We have to find ways to finish chances throughout the game and work harder. We didn’t get the job done again, which is getting a little old.”

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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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