Kukla's Korner

What Will The Winnipeg Jets Do With Jacob Trouba?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Cheveldayoff’s most important decision will be the future of Jacob Trouba. Like Byfuglien, Trouba is a three-zone, right-shot defenseman.

But while the Jets have a good projection of Byfuglien’s next five seasons, they don’t have the same clarity with Trouba. Nobody does with 21-year-old defensemen. Trouba could develop into Winnipeg’s version of Drew Doughty. Or he could round into more of a muted but still dependable defenseman like Erik Johnson.

Trouba will be restricted after this season. His asking price will start at Dougie Hamilton’s six-year, $34.5 million contract. It will be up to Cheveldayoff whether sinking $18.85 million into three right-side defensemen (Byfuglien, Trouba, and Tyler Myers) is a good investment. If Cheveldayoff can stomach that price, Toby Enstrom could be the defenseman to go. If not, the Jets will reluctantly put Trouba on the market and expect a Ryan Johansen-type return.

more on the Jets and additional hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacob+trouba

Jonathan Ericsson Questionable For Sunday’s Game And Niklas Kronwall Needs More Practice Time

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Ericsson was hurt late in Friday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche and didn't practice Saturday at McCann Arena.

If he can't play, Jakub Kindl will take his place. Kindl skated Saturday with Alexey Marchenko.

Blashill said Petr Mrazek will make his fifth consecutive start in goal – on his 24th birthday.

The Red Wings are 3-0-1 during a five-game homestand that concludes on Sunday.

Blashill said he'll use the same 12 forwards who have played the past several games, so Teemu Pulkkinen will be a healthy scratch for the sixth game in a row....

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who had his knee scoped on Jan. 18, didn't skate Saturday and won't play the next two games.

"Kronwall is at a spot right now where it's a matter of getting into game shape," Blashill said. "It's somewhat difficult to do when you're not practicing. We're going to have to take that day by day. (He) didn't feel as good yesterday, so he didn't skate today. Hopefully he can get to where he can skate on consecutive days and then back into game shape. Obviously, he's not going to play tomorrow. I don't expect him Monday (at the New York Islanders) and then we'll take it from there going into next week."

a bit more on the Wings...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- Joseph Blandisi With A Great Move- Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nice move and it is a power play goal.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joseph+blandisi

Practice Tweets: Wings regroup; Ericsson ‘questionable’ with lower-body injury; Mrazek starts Sunday

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings regrouped from their 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon, skating at Joe Louis Arena in preparation for a pair of matinee games against Boston (3:30 PM Sunday on NBC) and the Islanders (1 PM Monday on FSD).

The Wings have lost something like 10 of 11 games against the Bruins, who sit one point behind the Wings today (with a matinee game scheduled for 2 PM in Minnesota), so the Wings must emphasize the importance of defeating the Bruins; defeating the Islanders going into a 2-day break wouldn't hurt, either, as that game kicks off a 4-game road trip.

Detroit hit the ice just after noon, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

Ericsson not skating today as #RedWings on ice for practice.

...

Kronwall also not practicing. He needs a few practices before being cleared to play.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Working For The Original Six

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe McDonald of ESPN,

Walk into almost any locker room, and there will be a tribute to the organization's history somewhere on the walls.

This is especially true with Original Six teams. Pictures, artifacts, retired numbers and replica Stanley Cups are all part of the décor within the sacred homes of the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

But each of these organizations has something better than a sign to keep its rich history alive: an alumnus serving as a conduit connecting generations of players.

Check a team's registry, and you'll find former players working in a variety of roles, including advisory and development. It's normal to find Hall of Famers walking around the rinks, speaking to current players about the past and the current state of the game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings’ players eagerly anticipating Stadium Series game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

NHL.com's Paul Harris spoke with the Red Wings' players regarding their participation in the Stadium Series game against Colorado later this month:

"I think it's going to be great. A lot of my friends [from Detroit] are going to come," said Red Wings defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who has previous outdoor experience. "Always great to play outdoor game. Great atmosphere, lots of people, should be fun. I played with the (Grand Rapids) Griffins (of the American Hockey League) two years ago. Not such a big crowd, but still it was fun."

That was on Dec. 30, 2013, at Detroit's Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers, when Grand Rapids lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Toronto Marlies. That game was part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, held in conjunction with the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, in which the Red Wings lost against the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 before a NHL record crowd of 105,491.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

LATE GOALS PROPEL KINGS, LIGHTNING TO OVERTIME WINS . . .
Both the Kings and Lightning scored tying goals in the final 30 seconds of regulation en route to overtime victories:
 
Anze Kopitar posted his third career hat trick, including the tying goal with 29.7 seconds remaining in regulation, and Tanner Pearson scored at 3:10 of overtime to power to the Kings to a 6-1-1 record in their last eight regular-season visits to Madison Square Garden dating to Jan. 9, 2002 (NYR: 2-5-1). Kopitar registered his first hat trick since March 11, 2011 at CBJ (3-0—3); he paces Los Angeles and is tied for 12th place in the NHL with 16-34—50 this season, including 3-7—10 in his last seven contests. Pearson notched his sixth career game-winning goal and first in overtime. At 33-18-3 (69 points), the Kings moved eight points ahead of the idle Sharks (28-20-5, 61 points) for first place in the Pacific Division.
 
Steven Stamkos (1-1—2) tied the game with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation andTyler Johnson scored at 1:04 of overtime to propel the Lightning to their ninth consecutive victory on home ice, one shy of matching the franchise record set Dec. 11, 2014 – Jan. 31, 2015 (10-0-0). Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov (1-1—2) both registered their 22nd goals of the season, tied for the team lead as well as 13th place in the NHL. Johnson notched his third career overtime goal and first since April 9, 2015 vs. NJD (2-1—3). At 30-20-4 (64 points), the Lightning leapfrogged the idle Bruins (29-19-6, 64 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division. Though the clubs are tied in terms of points, Tampa Bay owns the ROW tiebreaker (TBL: 28, BOS: 25).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Joe Thornton Continuing To Produce

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

We were talking about longevity and career plans and how, in an era when youth is being served all around the NHL, there are still a few holdouts here and there – a Jaromir Jagr, a Shane Doan and yes even a Joe Thornton – who defy the years and the era they play in and still find a way to succeed.

The one common factor is their great love of the game. You ask Thornton why, at the age of 36, he is still thriving in the NHL and the answer comes easily: there isn’t another thing he’d rather be doing. After all these years, the life of a professional athlete – competing against his peers on the ice, enjoying the camaraderie of the dressing room off the ice – still holds a certain little-boy appeal.

Thornton and Jagr share the same genuine joie de vivre when it comes to playing the game, which is what inspires them to keep doing it long after many of their peers have stepped aside.

“I don’t think you play the game at that level at their ages unless you genuinely love the game,” said Sharks’ coach Peter DeBoer, who also coached Jagr for most of two years with the New Jersey Devils. “Joe loves everything about the game. He’s the first guy at the rink on game days. He’s preparing 3 1/2 hours before the game starts. Every time we have an optional practice, he’s on the ice, working on some part of his game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Scoring From The ‘D’

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

The Red Wings blue-line corps is putting the puck in the net with more regularity than it has all season.

Jonathan Ericsson's goal in Friday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena gave the Red Wings' defensemen five goals in the last five games and seven in the previous eight.

That's been a big boost from a group that struggled to put the puck in the net early in the season.

"When us defensemen contribute, that extra goal ... maybe is the difference at times," said Mike Green, who has been an offensive specialist throughout his 11-season NHL career. "I know when other teams' defensemen jump up into the play and shoot pucks it causes a lot of confusion.

"I noticed we've done it a little bit more and pucks are going into the net for D-men, which is nice to see."

During the aforementioned five games, the Red Wings have scored 16 goals – an average of 3.20 per game – while earning seven of a possible 10 points with a 3-1-1 record.

By comparison, the Washington Capitals lead the NHL with an average of 3.30 goals per game while the Dallas Stars are second at 3.24. An average of 3.20 would rank third in the NHL.

Getting the defenseman to become more offensive is something coach Jeff Blashill and his staff have been preaching.

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Playoff Chances For The Montreal Canadiens Slipping Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

The Canadiens playoff hopes almost certainly ended Friday night in Buffalo.

Not with a bang, but a sorry-ass whimper.

Playing against a terrible team that had lost in Philadelphia Thursday night, the Canadiens blew an early 1-0 lead, surrendered four unanswered goals, changed goaltenders, fought their way back into the game and then were held off the scoresheet in a third period that a desperate team should have dominated.

The Canadiens outshot Buffalo 7-4 over the final 20 minutes. They hit two posts.

The late surge wasn’t enough to overcome earlier lacuna that had handed Buffalo its lead.

The loss dropped the Canadiens into 11th place because Carolina got a loser’s point in Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes and Canadiens each have 58 points, but Carolina has 55 games to 56 for the Canadiens.

With 26 games left in their regular season, the Canadiens need at least 34 points to sneak up into a wild-card spot.

Can they do it?

Mathematically, yes.

continued

Below, watch what caused P.K. Subban to receive a misconduct after the Sabres scored an empty net goal.

Continue Reading »

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

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