Kukla's Korner

The Losing Continues In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Welcome to Edmonton, Todd Nelson.

Losing has become an art form here.

It’s creative. It’s inventive. It’s ingenious. It’s inspired.

And Sunday night’s latest was a game to be framed in terms of the way it is in the late great City of Champions.

How long will Nelson have to wait to get his first NHL win as a head coach?

Well, he only has 48 games left to coach in his interim job replacing Dallas Eakins for the rest of the season.

The way this is going, it might not be long enough.

The Oilers have now lost 18 of their last 19. And while they have two coming up after Christmas against the Calgary Flames, losers of their last eight in a row, nobody is holding their breath on Edmonton winning either game.

continued

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

Goaltender Rob Zepp’s A Winner In His First NHL Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Galvanized by Zepp’s long and winding road, the Flyers put together an equally improbable two-goal rally and stunned the Jets, 4-3, in overtime to deliver him a win.

Zepp, 33, became the oldest goaltender to win his NHL debut since 1926. He compared the experience to climbing Mount Everest.

"I think that’s the beauty of sports," Streit said. "Everywhere you look, there’s always exceptions to the rule. Some guys make it to the NHL at 18 or 19 years old and some guys have to stick with it and work a lot harder. I think it’s important. Guys like him never lose sight of their goal. They always believe in themselves."

Most players in Zepp’s skates, even with the comfortable pay in Europe, would have quit long ago. There were 98 players taken ahead of him in the 1999 NHL Draft. Only five of them are still in the NHL this season: Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Martin Havlat, Jordan Leopold and Chris Kelly.

His story resonated with every player in the Flyers’ locker room - from young to old, from entitled to hungry, from role player to star.

Hollywood-type storylines don’t usually go over very well in NHL dressing rooms. Players today are usually immune to the narrative in their sterile bubble.

more and watch the game highlights below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+zepp

The Chicago Blackhawks Played With Heavy Hearts Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune,

The Blackhawks played Sunday night for a man Jonathan Toews said was so integral to the team, "he might as well have been wearing one of these sweaters."

Toews said the team dedicated its 4-0 victory over the Maple Leafs to Clint Reif, the club's assistant equipment manager since 2005. Reif, 34, died Sunday morning shortly after returning to Chicago from Columbus with the team.

"I commend the guys," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was an emotional, draining day. They channeled their emotions properly, which was good to see."

Those emotions were plain to see after the game. Asked what made Reif so special, Patrick Sharp began to answer but then apologized and walked out of the dressing room.

Duncan Keith, who was perhaps the player closest to Reif, said: "It was tough. To lose a close friend and have to try to play a hockey game on that same day, it wasn't easy."...

Reif, the father of four children, was found unresponsive in his home at 8:32 a.m. Sunday, according to the DuPage County coroner's office. Lombard police and DuPage County officials are investigating the death.

"It's something that has not sunk in for a lot of us yet," said Toews, who scored a third-period goal, his 13th of the season. "We played with heavy hearts out there."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: clint+reif

Tracking Stats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrea Bellemare of CBC,

One Canadian company is doing more to change organized hockey than any one player, scout or general manager, but you've probably never heard of them.

HockeyTech, headquartered in Guelph, Ont., is a hockey analytics company that tracks massive amounts of player information and data, which it integrates that with scouting reports and player testing. HockeyTech is used by 29 of 30 NHL teams, excluding the New Jersey Devils, as well as Hockey Canada and many junior leagues like the OHL. Even the Boston Red Sox are a client.

The 50-person company has several arms that together make it possible to track individual player progress and quickly and easily sort through piles of data. HockeyTech uses a web-based login for clients to access its database, and clients can customize what they see and how they use it. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Don Cherry On His Kingston Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rogers' Hometown Hockey was in Kingston, ONT. last night, the home town of Don Cherry.

In a four-minute segment, Don Cherry basically took us down memory lane....

 

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Video- NHL Action From Sunday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Six games, just south of four minutes of highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Matt Bartkowski Hit On Brian Gionta Plus The Marcus Foligno Fight Which Followed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The night’s signature play came with 5:52 left in the first period. Foligno was attempting a pass up the middle and the 5-foot-7 Gionta stretched for it just inside the Buffalo zone but was hit high by the 6-foot-1 Bartkowski.

Bartkowski’s shoulder seemed to contact Gionta’s shoulder and head before his elbow followed through on the hit. Gionta cartwheeled through the air and landed face-first on the ice, appearing to suffer a cut before skating off the ice for good under his own power.

“I was a little ahead of him so I kind of saw him just hit the ice,” winger Brian Flynn said of Gionta. “I knew it must have been bad. I got back to the bench and guys said the hit was a little early and to the head.”

Coach Ted Nolan had no update on Gionta other than to say he was “a little shaken up.” But Nolan acknowledged Foligno is going to be out a while after suffering a major hand injury while battling Bartkowski.

“The head hits are dangerous hits,” Nolan said. “We’ll let the league look at that and make the correct call.”

more on the game...

Watch the hit and fight below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+gionta, marcus+foligno, matt+bartkowski

The overnight report: On WJC exhibition play, Backman, Mantha’s fight, Kindl and an unearned bonus

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I've tended to have pretty good luck with KK's blog software, but at 5:25 AM, after writing for 90 minutes, my blog software just ate my Overnight Report.

So this is the second try, and I'm going to be *#$%@& blunt.

In prospect news, in game action:

At the Channel One Cup, Mattias Janmark was scratched in Sweden's 3-2 shootout loss to Finland. Sweden finished third in the 4-nation tournament, and Russia won;

In World Junior Championship exhibition play, Dylan Larkin didn't register a point but played on the 2nd line for the 2nd game in Team USA's 5-2 win over Germany;

Joe Hicketts had 2 assists in Team Canada's 5-2 win over Sweden, and Axel Holmstrom and Christoffer Ehn played for Sweden but were held off the scoresheet. You can watch highlights of the game via TSN's game recap, and you'll see Holmstrom deliver a hard hit on Connor McDavid that the consensus #1 overall pick for 2015 called a "cheap shot."

The Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan noted that Hicketts and his defensive partner, Jeremy Morin, embody the "long and the short of it":

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Avalanche wrap-up: the Wings’ quest for a regulation-or-OT win ran into Calvin Pickard

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings played very well despite dropping a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche, and as the Wings drop to 0-1-and-5 in their past 6 games, I think the most frustrating part of the loss involves Calvin Pickard's game-stealing heroics:

As the Wings prepare to host the banged-up Sabres on Tuesday and then play 8 of 9 games on the road, all I can tell you is that the majority of the Red Wings' roster has seen exactly what Pickard brought to the table before, and they've seen Pickard bail out the Lake Erie Monsters on a regular, repeated basis while playing against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Avalanche: Sixth straight loss bites the hardest

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings played their best game since their run-and-gun loss to Toronto a week-and-a-half ago, attempting to out-grind a viciously gritty Avalanche team that both received wonderful goaltending from Calvin Pickard and hooked, held, hacked, whacked and smacked the Wings' Swedes out of scoring chances (Darren Helm, too), but the refs decided that this was going to be a quick game...

And it wasn't, it was painful to watch for two periods, painfully slow despite the Wings' attempts at deliberate play, and after the Wings finally released the goal-scoring hounds via Pavel Datsyuk's goal--among 7 shots and 10 total attempts, as well as as 16-and-9 faceoff record, 2 takeaways and 22:27 played--Petr Mrazek, who was equally valiant in stopping 22 of 23 harder-than-they-looked shots, stopped 6 of 9 shootout shooters...

But the Colorado Avalanche mucked, ground, hooked, held and rope-a-doped off Pickard to a 2-1 shootout win that feels tremendously un-earned from a Wings perspective.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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