Kukla's Korner

Red Wings-Coyotes game-day updates: Howard and the Wings face team in a message-sending mood

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 10x at 7:36 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (9 PM EST, FSD/FS Arizona Plus/WXYT), I’m going to skip the usual, “Wait until one team’s morning skate is over to post game-day stories” protocol because ESPN has chosen tonight’s game as its “Game of the Week,” and in the process (ESPN’s pundits may break the game down afterward) thereof, Craig Custance penned a lovely article about Jimmy Howard’s maturation into an All-Star-caliber goaltender. Custance’s article merits both must-read and, “Hell, you might want to bookmark it or print it and read it again later” status as he reveals the reasons that the Wings drafted Howard, his former coaches’ views on someone who was anything other than a “natural” athlete and the two reasons why Howard has finally calmed down and stopped skittering around the crease like a “spider monkey”

With the Lions’ season over, the Pistons an afterthought and the Tigers still months away from playing, Hockeytown is starting to act like it. Distracted sports fans in the city looking to Joe Louis Arena for entertainment are now discovering that their team is every bit as dangerous as previous versions. Only the Red Wings are doing it in a dramatically different fashion. They’re winning because of goaltending and a team defense that has consistently been among the top in the league.

Howard leads the NHL in wins, is sixth among starting goalies with a 2.04 goals-against average and ranks 10th overall with a .924 save percentage. According to Elias, his current streak of 15 straight home wins is tied for the second-longest streak since the 1943-44 season. And, he already has five shutouts, equaling a career high.

“He doesn’t have off-nights. He just hasn’t had off-nights,” said Red Wings backup goalie Ty Conklin. “There’s times when we win games 5-1 and he’s legitimately the first star of the game because of the way he plays early in games. He’s been fantastic.”

Here’s another excellent snippet…

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

All Jaromir Jagr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Miller of Flyer Files at the CourierPost,

Your agent was in town this week. Anything going on?

“No. I think it’s too early. It’s only 40-some games into the season.”

Are you interested in returning to Philly next season? So far, you’ve always said you’ll wait until after the season.

“The question is am I going to help here. I don’t want to be somewhere where I can’t help. I thought I’d be on a good team, but there are a lot of good players here.

You’re on the first line.

“So far.”

Do you want to play in NHL next season?

“Of course I want to play. I’ll see what happens.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

An explanation for the reason why Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne are skipping ASG

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

For someone who claims to not care about the All-Star Game, ESPN’s Scott Burnside joined the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren by launching into a scathing criticism of the NHL’s decision to allow Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne to skip the All-Star weekend…

I applauded commissioner Gary Bettman’s strong stance at the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, when Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom declined to show up for the proceedings after they’d been selected to participate. Bettman had previously told his GMs that he didn’t want guys pulling the plug after they’d been chosen and that if players were bowing out using the injury card, they wouldn’t be able to play in the first game back after the All-Star break. So, in effect, Lidstrom and Datsyuk were suspended for a game after the ’09 break. The Wings hated it and it was a tough call given the long years of dedicated service Lidstrom had put in on behalf of the Wings and the league.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Taylor Hall Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL Oilers tweet,

“I’m feeling better. I’d like to thank our trainers & the Columbus medical staff.” - (Taylor) Hall

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall

How Is Brendan Morrison Doing?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One sabermetric issue that I am watching this season is how well is Brendan Morrison of the Calgary Flames doing.  Brendan Morrison is a test case on the Corsi theory.  The idea behind Corsi theory is that counting attempted shots both for and against is a very strong gage of puck possession.  This is more useful that looking at goals scored based analysis because goals are strongly dependent upon shooting percentages and saves percentages of all the twelve players on the ice.  This is something individual players have little control over in general. I have written about this here.

David Johnson of the Hockey Analysis website is a proponent of the contrary position.  He has chosen Brendan Morrison of the Calgary Flames as a test case to make his argument.  Before this season, Morrison looked good by Johnson’s goals based analysis and looked like a poor signing by conventional Corsi analysis.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Arniel Still Wants To Win A Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

In the days since he was fired as the Blue Jackets’ coach, Scott Arniel said he hasn’t watched any of his former club’s games or read any news about them. He’s back in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where NHL scores and updates are hard to ignore, but that’s the extent of the connection he has maintained in his attempt to “move on.”

Arniel is a proud man, though. The moving on isn’t going so well.

“This is a whole new thing for me,” Arniel said. “One coach who called me said, ‘Arnie, you’re officially a coach now. You’ve been fired.’ That doesn’t make it any easier.

“This is something that doesn’t have a good taste to it. I don’t think I’m going to get used to it. You go through moments where you’re OK and you’re coming around and then something triggers it and you get very angry again. You get upset and you start all over with your emotions again.”

Arniel’s voice cracked more than a few times during a 30-minute conversation late Tuesday.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+arniel

Yip Claimed By Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 19, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club claimed forward Brandon Yip on waivers from the Colorado Avalanche and activated forward Jerred Smithson from injured reserve.

Yip, 26 (4/25/85), has 41 points (23g-18a) in 113 career NHL contests, all with Colorado, since the 2009-10 campaign. The Vancouver, B.C., native has been limited to 10 games in 2011-12 – going pointless – due to arm (missed 18 games from Oct. 8-Nov. 15) and groin (missed four games from Dec. 13-19) injuries. The 6-1, 195-pound right wing amassed 108 points (45g-63a) in 139 games with Boston University from 2005-09, helping the Terriers win the 2009 NCAA National Championship on a team that also included current Predator Colin Wilson.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+yip

Pre-Game Helmets Not a New Idea - Updated

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

It was a freak accident, but one that has captured the attention of the NHL, its fans and the hockey world as a whole. With on slip on a puck the Edmonton Oilers’ 2010 first overall draft pick Taylor Hall slid into a corner during warm-up and suffered an injury that was difficult for his teammates to see. Some described the cut as down to the bone, and the worst thing is that it could have been far worse.

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Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink

Video- Lauren Pronger Talks About Her Husband Chris

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CSNPhilly,

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Hot vs. Not

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Burnside: ...First, let’s talk about the B’s visit to Newark tonight where they will try and halt a mini-skid that has seen them lose two of three. But they will face a Devils team that has won five of six and has designs on overtaking Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division and perhaps securing home ice in the first round of the playoffs. It wasn’t that long ago that Boston crushed the Devils 6-1 and New Jersey looked like a team that would be scrambling around at the bottom of the playoff bracket. But they continue to play solid defense—they have allowed just 12 goals in their past six games and haven’t allowed more than two goals in their five wins over that period—and they will get surprising rookie Adam Henrique back for Thursday’s game….

LeBrun: And they’re fun to watch. For years, the criticism of the Devils—sometimes warranted, sometimes not—was that they were boring to watch. That is certainly not the case anymore. They play a quick transition game under head coach Pete DeBoer and an entertaining brand of hockey….

read on and other teams discussed including the Penguins, Rangers, Wild and Leafs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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