Kukla's Korner

San Jose Sharks Continue To Fade In The Standings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

Despite outshooting Arizona 43-25, including 91 shot attempts to 48, the Sharks lost 4-3 in a shootout to a rival that is now threatening to overtake them in the Pacific Division standings. The Coyotes (9-10-2, 20 points) have played two fewer games than San Jose (10-9-4, 23 points), which still sits in fifth place in the division but is fading fast.

A homestand that was supposed to get the Sharks going in the right direction after some miserable efforts on the road has yet to produce the desired results. San Jose has lost both games, including a shootout to Florida on Thursday, and is just 2-3-2 at SAP Center.

“To have the record at home that we have now is unacceptable,” Joe Pavelski said. “Can’t really make excuses. Come back from a long trip, you’ve got to find a way to win at home, especially if you’re not going to clean up on the road. You’ve got to clean up at home.”

Coach Todd McLellan pointed out that his team has won just six of its last 18 games (6-10-2).

“That’s not a record that puts you in the playoffs, and that’s not a record that allows you to challenge for anything,” he said. “We’re concerned. That’s pretty obvious.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stephen Weiss Is Healthy And The Latest On Anthony Mantha

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Zach Kukkonen of Mlive,

"It's always nice to score, but it's just nice to play in the game and feel healthy," Weiss said. "Starting in training camp last year I was playing with one leg and pretty much no stomach, and it's a hard enough league to play at that level when you're healthy, let alone when struggling with injuries."

After scoring at least 49 points from 2008-12 -- and playing at least 76 games every season -Weiss only participated in 44 games the past three seasons due to a myriad of injuries. While his physical health appears to have returned to form, the mental half of his recovery was part of the process of his conditioning stint with the Griffins.

"Coming off a seven-hour travel day in Cleveland, it was a little worrisome, as I was worried that (the groin injury) would tense up," Weiss said. "I was a little tentative early tonight, but that stuff has got to get out of my mind. I just have to trust that everything's fine, and go play."

read on

Dana Wakiji of Fox Sports spent her Saturday night in Grand Rapids and filed a story on Anthony Mantha,

"He's obviously got really good size and he uses it well down low, protects the puck really well," Weiss said. "He's smart, he sees the ice well, he moves the puck well. He's a fun guy to play with. For a young guy, the sky's the limit for him. He's going to score a lot of goals in the NHL."

"Like anything for young players, it's the speed, adjusting to the speed of the game at both ends of the ice," Weiss said. "I think that'll be a big thing for him. Not saying he's not good defensively, but you can always get better defensively. That's so huge in the NHL is being able to play without the puck. He's got the offensive part down, there's no question about that.

"If he just continues to get better at the little things and defensively, he'll be a star."

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

After The Edmonton Oilers 7-1 Loss To The Chicago Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The Oilers have had five coaches since they were last in the Stanley Cup in 2006 — current general manager Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and now Eakins — and Hall won’t abide with anybody saying this is Eakins’ fault.

“Absolutely not. I would be extremely disappointed if that (Eakins being fired for the Oilers’ woes) happened. It would be so unfair if that was the case. For Dallas to take the brunt of the blame is not true. It’s on us as players, what we do on the ice,” said Hall.

Eakins knows a coach is always in the crosshairs, and with a team that has had a four-, a five- and now a six-game losing streak after just 21 games, this a hellish start, for sure.

“I face this head-on. If I wasn’t up to the task, I’d go do something else. I’d have taken another line of work,” said Eakins, who signed a four-year contract in 2013. “For me, I’ll get out of the rink, probably won’t sleep much, spend a day with my family, then be back at work (Monday). This is the only way we can go about it. If we’re going to sit and cry over the losses, then we’ll never, ever get out of them. The whole feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work. The pain I feel is for our organization and our city.”

Nevertheless, Eakins looked like he’d been through a washing machine spin cycle after the game. “Probably the longest night I’ve had as a player or a coach,” said Eakins. “To come out against the Chicago Blackhawks with our players and the fans energized, then the first shots go into our net, and that will suck the life out of a team that’s been struggling. We couldn’t recover.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Top Dmen Pairings And Fitting In More Commercials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

- There aren’t many defensive pairings better than Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo. Among some of the elite duos — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty being others — Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo are probably the best at executing rapid regroups because of their skating and vision. This keeps opponents from changing lines or getting set defensively.

- The prompt canning of the dry scrape has left some networks scrambling. Because they had projected a five-minute pause after regulation, they had sold part of the time to advertisers. Now that the post-regulation window is down to approximately two minutes, the networks are trying to give back some of that sold time elsewhere in their broadcasts.

many more hockey topics including shot blocking...

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

Hockey Talk On A Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toront Sun,

- Still waiting for a hockey fancy stat that can measure gap control by a defenceman, stick positioning, angling, and players who are or aren’t on the proper side of the puck. All of those are essential in every game played.

- more Poile: “Every couple of years I make a trade for a Forsberg. This time (Filip) it seems to have worked out well. Last time, (Peter) it didn’t work out so well.”

- I was convinced Dallas Eakins would fix the Edmonton Oilers. Really, I was.

more

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Teams which are looking for goaltenders — including the Edmonton Oilers — have a limited crop to choose from at the moment. Minnesota sent down Josh Harding and would like to move him but is not sure if there are going to be any takers there at the moment. If nobody wants to sign UFA Martin Brodeur, then teams could look at the likes of Carolina’s Cam Ward, Vancouver’s Jakob Markstrom and Winnipeg’s Peter Budaj. A check with some NHL teams in the last couple of days indicates that the pickings are pretty slim. The Arizona (don’t call me Phoenix) Coyotes aren’t looking to replace Mike Smith, but they do need him to play better than he has. Backup Devan Dubnyk got a couple of starts this week because Smith just hasn’t performed the way the club expected.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Were Primed To Take Over The Game In The Third Period Last Night

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I thought our PK was good early and that gave us a chance," Babcock said. "They had some energy because we took three penalties for not moving our feet in the first.

"I thought our initial power plays were good but then we wouldn't shoot the puck at all on the power play, just pass it around on the outside. So we got to get back to attacking and a little more puck speed.

"I thought we were going to come out and dominate them in the third," Babcock said. "We should have, they were down to five D (Roman Polak was injured trying to hit Tatar just before his goal); all you had to do was attack their net and you would have been off to the races."

more

Below, looked who scored for the Hurricanes last night...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Milan Lucic On The “Gutless” Punch From Dalton Prout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Boston Bruins are irate at the altercation between forward Milan Lucic and Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout at the end of overtime on Friday and are vowing revenge when the teams meet on Dec. 27 at Nationwide Arena.

Lucic told the Boston Herald that he let Prout know he wasn’t going to fight, and he let his guard down just before Prout buckled his knees with a heavy right to the chin.

“It’s the end of the game,” Lucic said. “I let him know I wasn’t going to fight him. I wasn’t prepared, I let my guard down, and that’s what happens sometimes when you let your guard down. I’ve been in over 100 fights, and I never took a shot like that. Like I said, we get two opportunities to play the Blue Jackets, and I’ll be ready.”...

“There’s many a times when I could have done the exact same thing, and I held off because the guy’s refusing to drop his gloves,” Lucic said. “I find it to be gutless, and that’s my thoughts on it.”

more

Watch the incident below if you missed it earlier, video includes feed from both teams.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+lucic

Video- Highlights From Saturday’s NHL Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Here is a recap of the 13 NHL games from Saturday in under six minutes.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Still absent due to depression but ‘watching these games’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In the midst of this little "involuntary hiatus," I have at least watched three of the four games the Wings have played and am basically doing an, "As I watch the Leafs game I might as well do something" post hoping that it makes some sense. I hope you'll grant me the luxury of doing so.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- Jason Demers With The Hit Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Old-fashioned hip check by Demers on Jarret Stoll.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+demers

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