Kukla's Korner

Morning Line - Chad LaRose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"But I couldn't give somebody me, I couldn't give them 100 percent of me. I wasn't into the game anymore and I didn't think it was fair to give somebody 60 or 70 percent of me.

"I had just built up a lot of anger towards the game. I wanted to get away. I didn't know that I would ever play again, to be honest. … I fell out of love with the sport and didn't have any passion for it. But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had."

-Chad LaRose who is trying to make a comeback in the Carolina Hurricanes organization.  More on LaRose from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chad+larose

Edmonton Oil Kings Start Season Off With Win

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa McRitchie

The reigning Memorial Cup champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings packed the house at Rexall Place with a record breaking 11,024 in attendance, the most ever recorded for a home opener. Led by a handful of veterans, and a new WHL head coach the Oil Kings opened their 2014-15 season with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Hockey, Edmonton Oilers, WHL, Edmonton Oil Kings, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: edmonton+oil+kings, memorial+cup, whl

No Goalie Issues In Philadelphia With Steve Mason In Net

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers have questions about their Kimmo Timonen-less defense; questions about Claude Giroux's health and who will replace left winger Scott Hartnell; questions about whether young players such as Sean Couturier, Luke Schenn, and Michael Del Zotto can take their games to another level.

But for the first time in a while, there are few questions about the team's most important position.

That's because goalie Steve Mason rediscovered his mojo last season, and even outplayed the great Henrik Lundqvist in the Flyers' seven-game playoff loss to the New York Rangers.

"There's not one person in the organization that doesn't believe in Mason," forward Brayden Schenn said after the Flyers opened camp Friday in Voorhees. "You see what he did last year. When he's on his game, he's one of the better goalies in the league. Just shooting on him in practice, there's no holes. And the thing about him is that he never quits on a play, even in practice."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Dustin Byfuglien Playing Two Roles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

I asked Byfuglien a simple question about his expectations for the season.

"Um, be back on defence anytime, right away," quipped Byfuglien, before getting serious again. "No, just have a good start and do what I do and bring to the table what I usually do. Provide a little bit of everything. Focus on defence first and the offence will come."

Just how productive Byfuglien can be during a full season in the hybrid role of playing forward at five-on-five and defence on the power play and in other situations like four-on-four on occasion is anyone's guess.

But Byfuglien's blend of size, skill and strength obviously has Maurice believing it can lead to some impressive things.

"There's really nothing this man can't do on the ice," said Maurice. "He's a Top-six forward and he can play defence, if you need him to. He's big, he's strong, he's exceedingly smart -- in terms of his reads on the ice."

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

Red Wings morning news: on Babcock, the ‘young guns’ on defense, etc.

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Ahead of today's expanded training camp activities and what will probably be a Team Howe vs. Team Lindsay Red vs. White game:

It's been a wee bit frustrating to get answers from Mike Babcock that don't involve, "There are 8 exhibition games to watch and I'm going to find out then" regarding any of the Wings' young players competing for jobs on the roster.

We've already had a "Media Can't Go Through There" issue, and I can certainly tell you that Babcock's press conferences are 8-10 minutes shorter than Jeff Blashill's, and if one asks a non-pertinent question, you get one or two, "Anything else?" warnings before a, "See you, guys" means he's done for the day.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Studying The Video

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Consider a simple dump-in. For a video coach, it’s far from simple.

A defenseman retrieves the puck while an opposing forward forechecks. The defenseman turns it over. The opponent gets a chance.

In this scenario, which takes seconds to unfold, there are multiple events to log: retrieval, pressure situation, turnover, defensive-zone coverage, scoring chance against.

A good video coach logs all those events and identifies the players involved. He grades the quality of the chance. He notes the locations where mistakes happened.

During intermission, an assistant can call up the play, identify what went wrong, and make the corrections. A bad video coach misses those events. What might have been a teaching clip between periods is lost.

The work continues after games and during offdays. Coaches can view clips and write comments on plays and players. They can rate players’ shift quality.

The point of all this is that when a staff can’t figure out why a 30-point player only has five after 20 games, they fire up their laptops. If the quality of the data is good, coaches can run a filter and compile, for example, every even-strength shift the player has taken that’s resulted in a chance.

more plus additional hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Questioning Some Of The Signings Made By The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Apparently, hiring all of the hockey analytics people west of Toronto wasn’t enough to save the Oilers from signing Group II free agent Justin Schultz to the single most illogical contract of the summer and, by extension, to save every other NHL front office from Edmonton.

But what else is new from this dysfunctional operation that for year upon year has whined, whined and whined some more about the collective bargaining agreement, but apparently doesn’t have the barest insight as how to apply the NHL’s governing document?

The Oilers sign unrestricted free agents to contracts that appear cockamamie (Benoit Pouliot, five years for $20 million; Nikita Nikitin, two years for $9 million) because they have to pay players more in order to entice them to move to Edmonton. They’re not the only team in that situation, cough, cough, Charles Wang’s Islanders. Fair enough.

But for no discernible reason whatsoever, the Oilers under Kevin Lowe’s watch have doled out a flurry of questionable second contracts to players straight out of Entry Level lacking any leverage, including the twin seven-year, $42 million deals with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

continued plus more NHL topics....

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

Red Wings early overnight report: training camp day 2 video, photos, quips and quotes

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In the, "It's a Saturday night in Traverse City and I've been on my feet for 13 hours, so where the hell do you think I'd go on a Saturday night? Damn straight back to the blanket fort, I mean hotel" vein:

As a complement to this afternoon's MSM and Blog Takes entry, the audio and player analyses...I'm not a fan of making readers wait for anything, so this is your early overnight report. I will probably add some "morning" stories if there's not enough stuff out there for a second entry.

First, Red Wings TV's Dan Mannes did a fine job of summarizing Day 2 of training camp in visual form (and again, please remember, if you're going to the Red vs. White game, that's now really just a 3rd full day of training camp--Team Howe vs. Team Lindsay plus practices prior to and after the scrimmage; and yes this makes sense given that training camp used to be four days long and not three):

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Celebrity and Alumni Game Tweetcap

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I wish that Pointstreak had kept  a box score of the Red Wings Celebrity and Alumni game, but you're going to have to count the word of myself and all of the hockey types in attendance that the red team, a.k.a. Mike Babcock's team, won 12-10, and this guy played one of the two 25-minute halves...

I thought he looked like trouble--and I can assure you that on the radio, Ken Kal's game was fantastic...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

St. James: Good news, bad news for Mark Howe’s dad

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Mark Howe's spent the last 10 days in Traverse City, and he's going to be taking part in tonight's Celebrity and Alumni game at Centre Ice Arena. Ahead of said game, Howe delivered some "good news" of a sort regarding his father to the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Son Mark Howe spent part of Saturday afternoon searching for someone to fix his iPad, specifically, to get FaceTime up and running, because this is the only way he can communicate with his dad when the two are apart. Mark is in Traverse City in his role as scout for the Detroit Red Wings, while Gordie is in Lubbock, Texas, being taken care of by his daughter, Cathy, and her husband, Bob. Gordie, 86, suffers from dementia, and was in such poor shape that in late August, he had outpatient surgery to help with spinal stenosis (an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal), which had rendered him in debilitating pain.

​"He had a very bad summer," Mark said. "Weekly, I would send updates to my brothers and sister and my dad's friends, let them know.

​"It was pretty discouraging, pretty disheartening. If the surgery didn't help, and he didn't respond to it, then ... it wasn't good. There wasn't anything good going to come out of it."

This much is to be expected, however...

The encouragement is measured, though, because there was a seizure 10 days ago, and "he's had little mini strokes," Mark said. "There are days he's totally out of it mentally, and then he'd start getting back into it. Things are progressively getting worse for him, but I can live with that, that's part of life."

And St. James continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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