Kukla's Korner

A bit about Datsyuk’s first day with the Russian national team

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Pavel Datsyuk practied with the Russian national team on Friday in Moscow, and while I'm not about to transcribe every second of every interview, Datsyuk was his playful self while speaking with Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov, Sport-Express's Mikhail Zislis, Championat's Vladislav Utkin and R-Sport, playfully dodging questions as to whether he's going to sign with SKA St. Petersburg, suggesting that the World Championship is not his "farewell tour," and revealing that he was told that his ankle would take 18 months from the date of surgery to completely heal, and it's only been 10 months...

And Alexey Marchenko was as bland as Datsyuk was playful while speaking with Zislis and R-Sport, stating that yes, he feels a little more confident going into the tournament having played a lot, and no, that he hasn't spoken about his contract extension with the Wings, but that there are four months to figure things out.

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Evening news: Regarding the new rink, Radulov and locker room clean-out day remarks

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's James Jahnke shares some of the online petitions demanding that the Red Wings' follow-on rink be re-named after Gordie Howe, to be re-named a "Colisseum," etc. and Free Press editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson suggests that the name may not fly with Al the Octopus;

The Red Wings did post a video explaining the "evolution of the logo" that will adorn the arena:

2. The Free Press's Helene St. James also shared her opinions regarding hockey-related topics in a chat on Freep.com earlier today;

3. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts" are where MLive's Ansar Khan's Alexander Radulov rumor came from, and I can't say that I'm a fan of Radulov given his turbulent history not with the Nashville Predators, but with his present employer, CSKA Moscow, which has benched bad-boy Radulov for on and off-ice behavior:

Continue Reading »

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Your James Norris Memorial Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 29, 2016) -- Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators are the three finalists for the 2015-16 James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards, hosted by actor Will Arnett, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:

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LeBrun speaks with Nicklas Lidstrom and Scotty Bowman for an article about Kris Letang

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun penned an article about Kris Letang's learning process as an NHL defenseman, but LeBrun's column also includes a significant amount of commentary from Scotty Bowman and Nicklas Lidstrom:

From the eight-time Norris Trophy-winning Orr to the seven-time Norris Trophy-winner Nicklas Lidstrom, the idea of wearing down the opposing stud blueliner, putting pucks in his corner and making him pay a price while retrieving it has been a go-to for teams.

"In a playoff series, you figure it out pretty quick that they might be trying to put the puck in your corner a little bit more, or they're coming after you to finish checks a bit later than maybe they normally do," Lidstrom said Friday over the phone from his native Sweden.

"From Game 1, you figure it out pretty quick. In my case, I always tried, first of all to move my feet, but also expect to be hit. You know you're going to be hit, you know you've got to go back and move the puck. I played with some good partners over the years, you tried to move the puck real quick and make a good first outlet pass. But just expecting to get hit, you know it's going to be a grinding series, where they're going to come after you more than they do in the regular season. Really expecting to get hit really helps your mindset."

LeBrun continues...

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No surprise: Tomas Jurco isn’t a happy camper

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Tomas Jurco attended his first World Championship practice with Team Slovakia on Friday, and both the Slovak news agencies TASR and SITA posted interviews with Jurco, who stated the following:

"Nobody explained to me why I didn't play, even after the season at the exit meeting with the general manager, he remained silent. In other words, the coach decided. In March I almost played no games, and it was annoying. We'll see what happens in Detroit in the summer..."

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Walleye’s Paterson, Chouinard, Jenks join Grand Rapids Griffins’ playoff cause

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

RED WINGS REASSIGN PATERSON;
GRIFFINS RECALL CHOUINARD, SIGN JENKS TO PTO

release160429.jpgGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned goaltender Jake Paterson to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, while the Griffins have recalled defenseman Joel Chouinard from Toledo and signed forward A.J. Jenks to a professional tryout.

Continue Reading »

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If The Edmonton Oilers Hit The Lottery Again Tomorrow Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Do they really need another centre in Auston Matthews?

Do they need Matthews to saddle up with their other three young horses up the middle in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

They’d have to shop the No. 1 pick, right? Or would they take Matthews and try to move King Leon instead for a ready-made defenceman?

Teams are calling more on Draisaitl than Nugent-Hopkins because he’s bigger.

There are other draft scenarios in play, of course.

There are three separate lotteries Saturday and the Oilers could get the No. 2 pick or the No. 3 and still take the left-shooting right-winger Patrik Laine, who is like the Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne only bigger at No. 2, or fellow Finnish winger Jesse Puljujarvi, who is more like an all-round Jari Kurri type at No.3 and be perfectly happy to keep either of those choices because they can play immediately, and either could play with McDavid.

The Oilers are the one team that could take Laine first overall and play him with McDavid and still have Draisaitl at centre, but Matthews would get them that sorely needed defenceman in a trade.

more

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

Do You Want Alexander Radulov On The Wings Roster?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Russian star Alexander Radulov wants to return to the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings are on the short list of teams he is interesting in joining.

The Red Wings have spoken to his agent and are doing their due diligence, trying to determine whether to make the free-agent forward a contract offer, a source told M-Live.

The Red Wings have no doubts about Radulov's ability. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger turns 30 on July 5 and is coming off a strong season in the Kontinental Hockey League with CSKA Moscow (23 goals, 65 points in 53 games).

But there are concerns about his off-ice behavior and whether he would have a negative influence in the dressing room, especially with younger players. They are speaking with some of Radulov's former teammates and people who know him.

continued

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The Matchup Game In The Dallas/St. Louis Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The top two seeds in the Central Division get started tonight in Dallas, as the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues square off at 8 p.m. in Game 1. Here’s what to watch for as each team tries to get the early edge:

The Blues advanced in large part because they shut down Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as they eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games. It doesn’t get any easier for St. Louis this round, as Stars captain Jamie Benn has been red-hot this postseason. Only the New York Islanders' John Tavares has more points in this postseason than Benn's 10. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he’ll look for every opportunity to get Benn on the ice in a favorable matchup with the series starting at home.

“I’ve got options,” Ruff said Friday morning. “I can drop him on a different line, not tipping my hand. There’s different places I can play him … whether that means more offensive zone starts, less defensive zone starts, double shifting, not following a rotation, a lot of different things. It’s something we’ve been doing since day one.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock will attempt to get forward Alexander Steen on the ice as often as possible against Benn’s line.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bob Murray Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Anaheim Ducks,

Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray discussed the dismissal of head coach Bruce Boudreau and the state of the franchise on Friday, April 29....

When did you first determine that this move had to be necessary?

I started worrying in Games 1 and 2. I started really worrying. We sort of rallied, although I didn’t think we played that well. I thought our goaltender played really good. And then we won three in a row. Game 6, we didn’t play well whatsoever. As I said, the right passion was there in Game 7.

It’s easier to replace a coach than it is to replace 20 guys, but when you look at your two best players – their performances in these Game 6s and 7s over the last three seasons, is it a matter of having to change the core in any way?

There are definite concerns in that area. The core has to be held responsible. They have to be better. Maybe I haven’t been hard enough in the last few years, but they’re going to hear some different words this time.

What are you looking for in your next coach, and when would you like to have one in place?

I’m not in any hurry whatsoever. Yesterday, I met with the family. We had talked the night before after the game. I went down to San Diego, and I just decided, in fairness to Bruce, that this happen now.   

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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