Kukla's Korner

No Quit In Claude Julien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The losses pile higher, the hope of a playoff berth grows slimmer, and Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he is fully aware of the ongoing rumors that have him on the verge of being cashiered from Causeway Street.

Sounding somewhat philosophical about his future, and resolute about his commitment to improve his club’s faltering record, the 56-year-old Julien made clear that he’s committed to the job and intends to remain here until or unless told otherwise.

“My job is to coach this team and do everything I can,” said Julien, less than 24 hours after his club fell again at home, 1-0, to the Blackhawks. “And if I become one of the reasons that we are not doing well, then I think management has to make that decision — it’s not my decision to make.

“So I am not quitting on this team. I am not quitting on anybody, I am not quitting on management.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+julien

Saturday Afternoon Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, 

- Tough break for the Wild, who will be without second-pairing defenseman Jonas Brodin for at least one month. The left-shot defenseman was diagnosed with a broken finger after Minnesota’s 4-3 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday. Through 43 games, Brodin had three goals and 13 assists while averaging 19:46 of ice time. It had been a much better season for Brodin. Last year, he fought through a 2-5—7 line in 68 games. But under first-year coach Bruce Boudreau, Brodin has recovered to the point where the Wild face a tough decision regarding expansion. The Wild are not likely to use the 7-3-1 format to protect three defensemen....

- If the GMs are serious about improving their rosters, they would not hesitate to accelerate next year’s trade deadline by at least two weeks. This year’s deadline is March 1, which likely means another month of inactivity while teams debate whether they’re buyers or sellers.

Five weeks of regular-season play isn’t enough for deadline acquisitions to assimilate with their new teams. But the bigger issue is how the lousy points system creates massive clusters in the standings until it’s too late.

The Red Wings, for example, still believe they can extend their playoff streak to 26 seasons, even though they’d have to vault over five teams. More than a half-season of stagnant rosters does nothing to engage trade-hungry fans. Owners fume over gear-grinding while their executives have their hands tied. The solution seems simple: make the deadline earlier.

- As tempting as it might seem for Detroit to re-sign Thomas Vanek, the wiser decision would be to sell the UFA-to-be to the highest bidder. Given Vanek’s resurgence (12-19—31 in 34 games), the rebuilding Red Wings could ask and receive a good return. GM Ken Holland’s problem is the preexisting condition of long-term dough on his books: Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Justin Abdelkader, and Jimmy Howard. Bringing back the 33-year-old Vanek would only compound the problem.

more topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Bo Horvat Took A Puck To The Back Of His Head Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bo+horvat

Underperforming Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Jamie Benn, a scoring champion in 2014-15 and 41-goal scorer last season, has 11 goals in 43 games this season. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, averaging 28 goals per season in his career, has seven this season.

Future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton has scored only three goals and each one has been an empty-netter.

“There are quirky things going on,”  Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill told USA TODAY Sports. “Why are some of the best players in the game struggling right now? It’s hard to believe.”

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar only has four goals in 39 games. Corey Perry, who netted 50 in 2010-11, only has eight goals, putting him on the lowest scoring pace of his career.

Is this is a coincidence, a World Cup hangover or just another natural changing of the guard? Young players such as Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers are all thriving this season.

Calgary Flames president Brian Burke doesn’t believe anyone should read too much into it.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goaltending Is Not The Only Problem For The St. Louis Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Fixing the Blues’ goalie situation is priority No. 1, but here’s the thing — remember when the Blues were still considered good? They still had some major issues, which persist today.

And these issues are quandaries.

Consider that the Blues have been shaky on defense. Struggling to get the puck out of their zone, to get bodies on opponents, or even, as we saw with Carl Gunnarsson against Washington, to stay upright (to be fair, it is slippery out there). Coach Ken Hitchcock continually mixes up his pairings. St. Louis must improve at defense … yet a smart move is to, effectively, make the defense worse by trading Kevin Shattenkirk, a free-agent-to-be.

Also, the Blues could use a sturdy centerman. But to get one who could truly make a difference, such as the desirable Matt Duchene from Colorado, the Blues might have to trade one of their young pieces, a piece they hoped to build around (and part of the reason they didn’t feel the need to sign David Backes long term).

read on

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

Another Loss By The Boston Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks scored with 1:26 left in the 3rd period for a 1-0 win over the Bruins.

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Videos- 1000 Points For Henrik Sedin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

“It’s something I will remember forever,” Henrik said, two hours after he slid a goal through Luongo’s five hole, igniting a crowd that rose to the occasion, and appropriately shook the city with a chilling ovation that was 16 years in the making.

“When I saw my teammates come onto the ice, I lost it a little bit. It was very special.

“If I retired today, I think it was the most memorable moment for me as a player.”

more

 

 

Two more video below regarding Henrik Sedin...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+sedin

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
Chicago 1, BOSTON 0
BUFFALO 3, Detroit 2 (OT)
Pittsburgh 7, CAROLINA 1
Montreal 3, NEW JERSEY 1
Nashville 3, EDMONTON 2 (SO)
VANCOUVER 2, Florida 1
 
HENRIK SEDIN SCORES TO REACH 1,000-POINT MILESTONE
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin scored in the second period to become the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point milestone (233-767—1,000).
 

 
* Sedin also became the fourth Swedish-born player in NHL history to register 1,000 career points, joining Mats Sundin (564-785—1,349), Daniel Alfredsson (444-713—1,157) and Nicklas Lidstrom (264-878—1,142).
 
* MUST SEE: Panthers goaltender and former teammate Roberto Luongo skated over to congratulate Sedin shortly after the milestone goal.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up—hold ‘em up in Buffalo

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' 3-2 OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres was...let's say it was officiated according to "old time hockey" rules, and Danny DeKeyser was stripped of the puck by Ryan O'Reilly twice, once in overtime, a hand-on-body grab and then a stick-to-the-hands play. On some nights, those plays are called textbook obstruction-and-or-interference plays, and on some nights, they're kosher.

To the Sabres' credit, O'Reilly and his teammates played whistle to whistle, and as a result, plays helped the Sabres secure two points to Detroit's one (and Detroit got to stew in its juices a bit as the team was "fogged in" in Buffalo).

Buffalo was delighted by the development and damn proud of O'Reilly's grit, as they told Buffalo Hockey Beat's Bill Hoppe:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Wings fogged in, this time literally

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

According to the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan, the Red Wings will spend the night in Buffalo due to weather-related reasons:

Here's more from St. James:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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