Kukla's Korner

Injuries Continue For the Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune at Chicago Breaking Sports,

There was plenty of room on the bench for Blackhawks players to spread out during the third period of their 4-3 shootout defeat to the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

During the second period of a game in which the Hawks blew a three-goal, first-period lead, forwards Fernando Pisani, Ryan Johnson and Viktor Stalberg were injured and did not return.

Afterward, coach Joel Quenneville said all three had suffered upper-body injuries and were considered day-to-day. Quenneville went on to say Pisani, Johnson and Stalberg would be re-evaluated Saturday.

The first injury was to Stalberg, who left the ice holding his right shoulder after a hard check into the boards by the Stars’ Jeff Woywitka.

Pisani’s injury a short time later appeared to be the most serious as he had to be helped into the dressing room after a hard check by Dallas defenseman Mark Fistric that caused Pisani’s head to snap back against the Stars’ bench.

continued and watch the Fistric hit on Pisani below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Avery ‘Rules’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If it wasn’t one thing, it was another for Avery in the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to the Thrashers. He appeared to be yelled at throughout the match by the officiating crew, did not get a call when slashed at the end of the second period by Andrew Ladd (though coach John Tortorella, furious behind the bench at the time, said after the game it was not a penalty) and was cited for a bogus charge in the third.

Avery, who has had a good relationship this season with nearly all of the on-ice officials and who has been guarded with his comments, was furious after the match, worked by referees Frederick L’Ecuyer and Brad Watson and linesmen Darren Gibbs and Derek Amell.

“If the people watching the games don’t see that there are two sets of rules, one for me and one for everyone else, then I don’t know what they’re watching,” Avery told The Post. “I don’t play under the same rules as everybody else.

“When I go to [the officials] for an explanation, they tell me to [kiss] off.”

more on the Rangers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings-Bruins wrap-up: conditional win

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

Updated at 7-something in the morning with bunches of stuff: The Detroit Red Wings’ stirred from a mid-winter’s stupor to defeat the Boston Bruins by a 6-1 tally on Friday night, then high-tailed it back to Detroit for a Sunday matinee, and while the Wings look to have finally snapped their post-All-Star Break funk, Red Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that games like Friday’s must be the start of a trend, or he won’t hesitate to shake things up:

My colleague Darren Dreger at TSN had an interesting tidbit in his daily roundup Friday, reporting that the Detroit Red Wings might be active on the trade front in order to shake up a slumping squad.  I reached out to Wings GM Ken Holland on that.

“We haven’t played very well defensively the last month, and I’m going to watch the next two weeks to decide if I’m going to try to do something,” Holland told ESPN.com. “We’re getting players back the next week, so let’s see where we are as we get close to the trade deadline.”

So Friday’s win was a good start for the Wings, but that’s all it was.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Video- It Just Wasn’t Boston’s Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Zack Hamill and Blake Wheeler collision.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler, zack+hamill

The Battle On Long Island

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The last time Pittsburgh and the Islanders met, we witnessed DiPietro against Johnson.

Well, tonight was a carry-over.  At the time of this post, the Islanders are up 8-3 with about 7 minutes left in the 3rd period.

Some of the action and another video below along with the penalties

up to this point

for the game.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Gustavsson Underwent A Minor Heart Procedure Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via MapleLeafs.com,

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that goaltender Jonas Gustavsson underwent a minor heart ablation procedure today in London, Ontario. The determination to have the procedure was made after Gustavsson was examined Friday by the same medical specialists that treated him in the first half of the 2009-10 season. He can begin workouts in seven days.

Gustavsson was assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) for conditioning purposes on February 4. His conditioning assignment has been suspended and he has been placed on Injured Reserve.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Cue the Red Wings’ goaltending/defense controversy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

The Detroit Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen offers a slight twist on the usual, “Do the Red Wings have the goaltending necessary to win in the playoffs?” column, suggesting that both Jimmy Howard and Detroit’s defensemen are complicity to blame for the team’s poor defensive performances:

Goaltending has always been a great point of debate when it comes to Wings fans. Some claim that the only truly dominant performance they got in net was when Dominik Hasek won the Cup in 2002 with a .927 save percentage and a 1.86 GAA. But those numbers actually are worse than what [Chris] Osgood put up in his 2008 Cup win: .930 and 1.55. So was Ozzie better than Hasek? I don’t think even Ozzie would tell you that. Scotty Bowman used to dismiss the goals-against stat and focus only on save percentage and scoring chances. It’s borderline insanity to disagree with Scotty on anything, but I’ll travel down that road briefly. I say dismiss save percentage, too, when it comes to the Red Wings. True, it’s a good barometer. But the best Wings teams don’t give up as many shots as their opponents. Fewer shots can mean a lower save percentage.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Red Wings-Bruins live blog: Octagonally yours

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings begin their home-and-home series against the Boston Bruins tonight in Beantown (7 PM,FSD+/NESN/NHL Network/WXYT), and the Wings need to step up in a big way against the big, tough Bruins if they are to turn their slightly listing ship around.  The game will be preceded by a special edition of Wingspan which will include an interview with Gordie Howe. 

Live blog away!

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart says NHLPA’s role in supplementary discipline must change

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By George Malik

Both the NHL and NHLPA play contradictory roles in advocating for aggrieved players and aggressors in supplementary discipline cases, with GM’s and the NHLPA simultaneously pushing disciplinarian Colin Campbell to levy harsh suspensions and, in the case of the aggressor’s GM, minimize the length of any suspensions for the sake of teams and players’ wallets. Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart, who suffered a broken jaw thanks to an unnecessary hit by Calgary Flames defenseman Tom Kostopolous, tells the Sporting News’s Craig Custance that the NHLPA needs to advocate for player safety:

“It’s a bit of a conflicting interest,” Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart told Sporting News. “As the PA, I guess they feel it’s their responsibility to try and get the guy as lenient a penalty as possible. On the other side of it, you’ve got a guy who is not playing and is injured who is a part of the PA as well.”

Maybe it’s time the victim of a hit has more of a say when the league is handing out suspensions. Maybe it’s time to rework the entire process. It can’t be done now, but expect supplemental discipline and the appeal process to be debated in the next CBA negotiation.

“I think the PA’s best interest should be protecting players, not protecting a guy from getting a couple-game suspension,” said Stuart, who hasn’t played since taking a shot to the head on Jan. 7. He hopes to return next week.

“Protecting the players should be the main focus,” he said. “As players, we should know that.”

Continue reading for more on how the process works, a bit about the Mike Fisher trade and other tidbits.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Niemi Turns His Season Around

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Antti Niemi was the 2010 Stanley Cup winning goalie with the Chicago Blackhawks.  His reward was getting bought out by the Blackhawks and eventually signing as a free agent in San Jose.  The theory was that Niemi is not a particularly impressive goalie and was in the right place at the right time to get a successful Stanley Cup run.  With their salary cap constraints, the Chicago Blackhawks were willing to let him go.

Early in the season, Niemi was not looking like much of a goalie in San Jose.  By late October, he had a .854 saves percentage.  That has changed recently.  Niemi has not posted a regulation loss in his last ten starts.  He has a .917 saves percentage and a 2.56 goals against average so far this season.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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