Kukla's Korner

Red Wings-Maple Leafs game-day articles: On Mantha’s ‘dry spell,’ the ‘stacked’ Leafs and more

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 1:20 PM: The Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM), and after the Wings' morning skate (Toronto did not hold a morning skate after losing 2-0 to the Minnesota Wild last night), it appears that Detroit will go with its usual lineup tonight...

And the first article to hit the wires from today's morning skate comes from the Free Press's Helene St. James, who discussed Anthony Mantha's "dry spell":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A Mrazek trade rumor from Friedman via Nichols

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From FanRag Sports' Chris Nichols: Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman appeared on Calgary's Sportsnet 960 recently, discussing the Oilers' goaltending problems, and he stated the following:

“Guys, they just don’t have the goaltending right now. Brossoit – he’s getting better, but he’s not there. I heard they were looking at Mrazek last week, and somebody told me after we mentioned it that it was a lot closer than I kind of thought. I think they’d worked out that Detroit was going to keep about half of the money, and they were trying to figure out the draft pick. Nick [Kypreos] told me he heard that he played a couple of games and Edmonton saw it and didn’t like him. And I think that’s true. But I think they’ve been looking for a goalie. They still haven’t found what they’re looking for, I guess.”

Mrazek counts as a $4 million hit for the cap-tight Detroit Red Wings.

The goaltender can become a restricted free agent this summer and he is eligible for arbitration.

Nichols continues, and the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy weighed in as well, as did MLive's Ansar Khan. Here's Kennedy...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Maple Leafs morning skate Tweets and articles: Howard vs. McIlhinney, few changes for DET

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice at Little Caesars Arena for a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 PM on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM).

The Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan was the first to say, "Hello" from the morning skate...

MLive's Ansar Khan and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji issued "no surprise here" Tweets...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

100 Years, 100 Reasons To Love The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

In no particular order…

1. Sudden death overtime

2. The way Erik Karlsson skates, passes, does his hair

3. Watching warmups and taking note of which player goes off last for each team (also looking for who doesn’t wear a helmet because they want to be seen and/or enjoy the breeze through their hair)

4. Connor McDavid gathering steam around his own net with the puck on his tape

5. A couple days after a club’s elimination when you hear the long list of the injuries players’ were pushing through


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wallner: Zach Nastasiuk’s trying to make the AHL jump

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Wings prospect Zach Nastasiuk regarding his attempts to "stick" in the AHL after an up-and-down couple of seasons' worth of ECHL play:

Zach Nastasiuk knew where the line of questioning was headed.

The forward has been on a yo-yo the past couple years, unable to stick with the Grand Rapids Griffins and returned to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL. Transactions show he's been reassigned to or from Toledo 16 times since 2015-16.

Not a good look for the Detroit Red Wings' second pick (48th overall) in the 2013 NHL draft.

The 22-year-old is aware of his journey. In the latest turn, he was called up to the Griffins last Friday, scored a goal in his first game and then had a second goal overturned in his second game Wednesday.

A good start.

"I think I'm in a lot better spot than I have been in the past," Nastasiuk said. "You know, it's all part of the journey, right? I try and look at the big picture and enjoy every day and, at the end of the day, we're playing hockey for a living and there isn't anything better than that."

Wallner continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The State Of The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Regarding the Rangers, who with 16 wins in 31 games entering Friday’s Garden match against the Kings, are precisely the ordinary team their record indicates:

1. Stretches such as this one, in which the Blueshirts have played well in one of their past six matches (good versus the Devils while poor against the Panthers, Penguins, Capitals, Stars and Senators) should create clarity for Jeff Gorton as the general manager weighs his options with the Feb. 26 trade deadline coming into view.

Because no matter the paucity of formidable teams in not only the Eastern Conference, but also in the NHL, it is unrealistic to reach the conclusion the Rangers are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, or even an affordable piece away from becoming one. Hence, it is incumbent upon Gorton to cash in on the expiring assets under his control and accelerate the team’s remodeling, whether it costs ownership a couple of playoff dates or not.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Discussing The Next Contracts For William Nylander And Mitch Marner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Nylander will need a new contract after this season, and based on last season, it wasn’t hard to imagine he might have been eying something approaching the eight-year, $68-million contract signed by Leon Draisaitl in the summer. Certainly something north of $7 million per season.

Instead, Nylander may have to accept considerably less on a long-term arrangement, or even a bridge deal to get him through the next couple of seasons.

That alone would be very helpful to the Leafs given some of the choices they’ll have on their plate the next two summers. If they imagine taking a shot at John Tavares or Drew Doughty, they’ll need all the room they can get.

Marner, meanwhile, has one more season left on his entry-level deal, and more time to get his numbers in shape for his next negotiation. He has seen the riches bestowed on Connor McDavid (eight years, $100 million) and Jack Eichel (eight years, $80 million), the first and second picks of the 2015 NHL draft in which Marner was the fourth selection. McDavid’s contract would be out of reach, but based on Eichel’s play and numbers, he might be an easier comparable for Marner. That’s if Marner’s stats improve.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mitch+marner, william+nylander

A Much More Confident Pavel Buchnevich

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrate,

Brushing aside some shin guards from the adjacent stall at the New York Rangers’ training facility, Pavel Buchnevich waves a visitor over. 

Welcome. Sit downAn interview? With pleasure.

He hadn’t always felt so comfortable. Seventeen months ago, Buchnevich leapt into an unknown land knowing only his agents, lugging just a small bag of skates and workout clothes, carrying no command of the local tongue. “Zero English, zero understand,” he says. “When I’m kid, at school, parents tell me you need English. I think, ‘What the f---? I never go U.S.”

But look at him now. For the next 15 minutes following a recent practice, Buchnevich winds through subjects ranging from European soccer to Russian saunas, superhero movies to video games. He pauses every so often, recalling certain words, but plows through without apology, adapting on the fly like always. Moving to the Big Apple at 21 years old? “Little scary.” Spending half of his rookie season shelved with an injured back? “Big problem.” Addressing fellow Rangers at the start? “Tough communication.” Talking to teammates today? “More confidence. Very easy.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+buchnevich

From Bad To Good, Winning Streak Hits Five For The Philadelphia Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Philly.com,

Call them Team Yo-Yo.

With their tight-checking 2-1 win Thursday night over Buffalo at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers are the NHL’s most up-and-down team in the last 12 years.

They became the first team to register five straight wins immediately after losing 10 consecutive games since San Jose in 2005....

If they sweep the last three games in the homestand  — after facing the Stars, they host Los Angeles and Detroit  — they would become the first team in NHL history to win eight in a row right after it lost 10 straight, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

read on

Watch the game highlights below...

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

Video- Virtual Tour Of The Rink Build At Lansdowne Park In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The 2017 Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic will be held at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa with the Montreal Canadiens playing the Ottawa Senators.

The game starts just after 7:00pm ET this Saturday and is on NBCSN, CBC, SN and TVAS.

Click away on the virtual tour of the rink build.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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