Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Panthers Get A Wake-Up Call

from Dave Joseph of FloridaPanthers.com,

The message has been sent.

“I think everyone here should be on notice,” said Panthers’ coach Peter DeBoer early Sunday afternoon. “The status quo isn’t good enough… It’s not good enough where we’re sitting and there’s going to be consequences throughout the lineup because of that.”

It’s no secret that something has to be done and soon. The Panthers have the worst record in the NHL and have scored the fewest goals. And DeBoer and GM Jacques Martin said Sunday they will do whatever they need to “get this team to the level we think they should be competing at,” DeBoer said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalchuk Needs To Play Like A Super Star

from The Falconer of Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons,

lya Kovalchuk has the talent to be a superstar. He has the speed, he still has that ungodly release. He will certainly expect to be paid like a superstar when he negotiates his next contract. But if he wants to be treated like a superstar, he should play like one.

It is time for him to show up. The season started 19 games ago. I don’t want to hear any baloney about Kovalchuk not having quality linemates. Last season, Kovalchuk was centered much of the year by Todd White (who has never even been considered All-Star Game material), and a 40-year-old right winger who was dropped to waivers by his previous club (Mark Recchi).

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

Scoring Up!  Why?

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

• Yes, scoring is up, and it’s most likely the result of the pared-down goalie equipment - even if there is no way to prove it. Through games of early last week, clubs were combining for 5.9 goals per game, up from 5.6 over the same number of games in 2007-08. In 2003-04, the number stood at 5.1 over the same period. Me, I’m good with 5.1, as long as there is plenty of action and at least a little bit of hate.

• Brian Burke’s stepping down as general manager in Anaheim was abrupt but not unexpected. Look for the ex-Boston agent to get into serious talks in Toronto this week about taking over the Leafs. If there is a hiccup (read: money too light), watch for either the Blackhawks or Senators to get after him. Total dark horse: Habs.

more

I would think another reason scoring is up is the face-off always taking place in the defensive zone when a penalty is issued and the no TV timeout when an icing takes place.  Your thoughts?

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

Goalies & Their Equipment

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Goaltenders have an unusual relationship with their equipment. Some pieces—like Biron’s skates and pants—are preserved and protected like a favorite childhood blanket. Others are changed as often as a car’s oil.

In the case of Biron, he’ll typically go through three sets of leg pads, four catching gloves, four blockers, two chest pads and two sets of arm pads in a season.

Right now, Biron is breaking in a new catching glove in practice, while in games he still uses the one that worked so well for him in the playoffs last season.

“Probably in another week or so I’ll start using it in games,” Biron said.

“In practice I love it. In a game situation, you don’t have time to think.”

The same goes for Biron’s blocker.

“My new one feels really good in practice, but if you use it in a game and misplay the puck, it’s in the net,” he said. “You need to make sure you’re really into it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Have You Heard

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There’s a lot of action in the Sunshine State. Florida GM Jacques Martin is scouring the NHL, looking for a centre, but the asking price is usually D Jay Bouwmeester and the Panthers haven’t given up hope they can re-sign him.

• The talk is the Blackhawks will have a revolt in their room if they decide to move G Nikolai Khabibulin. But they’ve been discussing that possibility because the club wants to clear off his $6.75-million salary to bring in Capitals C Michael Nylander. There were whispers the ‘Hawks had a deal done to send Khabibulin to the Devils, but decided to hold off because G Cristobal Huet has been less than spectacular.

read on for more hockey trade and signing talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Notes From Larry

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Take it for what it’s worth, but you might want to know that Len Barrie, pres ident of the Lightning, has been telling people in the industry that Mats Sundin will be playing for Tampa Bay when and if No. 13 resumes his career.

Yeah, right. As if.

• Wonder how the NHL’s general managers feel about Brian Burke announcing his candidacy for one of their jobs - and by Thanksgiving, no less! - after being granted accelerated free agency two weeks ago by Sixth Avenue?

If the Ducks’ ownership wished to release Burke from his contract that originally ran through the season, that was mighty magnanimous of them, but it doesn’t mean Gary Bettman or the NHL was obligated to allow Burke to seek employment at this time.

more hockey talk…

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

Total Cheap Shot

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Total cheap shot by (John) Zeiler. (Adam) Foote is going to play a puck with Zeiler chasing, and Zeiler throws his right arm and shoves Foote’s head into the boards from behind.

Lappy just challenged Zeiler to drop them and fight, and Zeiler wants no part of it!

(After a few minutes)…They’ve tossed Zeiler from the game, giving him 5 for boarding and a game-misconduct. Probably a smart thing by the referees, although it’s not going to make Lappy happy wanting his pound of flesh in revenge.

Zeiler can definitely count on a suspension by the NHL for this - probably something very severe I bet. The NHL has been taking a lot of heat for the amount of head shots and hits from behind - and now Zeiler lays one of the dirtier hits of this or any other season on Foote.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote, john+zeiler

Don Cherry’s Fashion Secrets

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

Lucic Had Orders Not To Fight

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Georges Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.

Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque.

“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sabres Should Fix Their Problems Now

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

I’m not talking about blowing up the ship so much as throwing a few broken chairs overboard. The Sabres aren’t desperate for an overhaul. They merely need to rid themselves of persistent problems that either A) can’t be fixed; B) no longer work in their long-term plans or C) need a change in scenery.

Afinogenov is all of the above. Ruff started pushing Afinogenov toward the door by benching him Friday, a year too late, and it’s time for General Manager Darcy Regier to close the door behind him….

Connolly should be gone, too. He has played less than 30 percent of the games since signing a three-year, $8.7 million contract. Enough is enough. Maybe another team would claim him off waivers once he’s healthy, saving the Sabres a few bucks.

Could the Sabres build a package for struggling Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on the condition he signs a long-term deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent?

more

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

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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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