Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line - Dave Nonis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"He's gotten better and more consistent, but if he's truly going to be a top guy and he wants to fall into that high-end category, those players don't go for swings where they are not competing, preparing and being prepared."

-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nazem Kadri.  More on Kadri from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis, nazem+kadri

Dreger: Red Wings’ Holland, Babcock to talk contract turkey shortly

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

When I tried to make a joke about analytics at training camp, I got an, "I'm sick of talking about it; you're done" from Mike Babcock, and given his most recent comments to the press, I'm guessing that he's going to cut off questions about his contract that way quite shortly. Thankfully TSN's Darren Dreger reports that there's a reason he and Ken Holland have been quiet on the contract front--because the gents apparently plan on negotiating closer to the time period between the end of the exhibition season (Saturday night) and the start of the regular season (Thursday, October 9th):

[Edit: More Dreger: sounds like this is gonna be a get 'er done situation:

/end edit]

Update: The Hockey News's Adam Proteau's addressed Babcock's supposed "lame duck" status:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings Tuesday practice post in progress: Nyquist progressing

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 13x at 5:17 PM: The Grand Rapids Griffins have actually "broke camp" with a roster of mostly AHL-contracted and ECHL-bound players, but the Red Wings won't split up the "A Team" and "B Team" exhibition game rosters until Thursday or Friday, so a pair of "teams" are still practicing at Joe Louis Arena.

MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the "A Team" includes two injured players who may play against the Boston Bruins tomorrow (7:30 PM on FSD) but excludes a third...

Gustav Nyquist (knee) on the ice as first group practices for Wings, those who didn't play last night.

...

Jonathan Ericsson not practicing for second day in row due to groin/hip flexor. Listed day to day. Helm skating again.

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Ryan Miller In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nancy MacDonald of MACLEANS,

Miller, in some ways, is an anti-athlete: complex, loquacious, cerebral. He’s an amateur photographer. He reads. He loves playing the guitar. He drives a hybrid. But he also makes pains to establish that he’s no hermit, conscious, perhaps, of his position’s stereotypes: “I’m trying to be a little more social, to be around friends and not be the weird goalie who sits in his house all day and wears the cushions out on his couch,” he’s said.

His loyalties lie with his family, his “pit crew” of core pals, and his wife, television actress Noureen DeWulf.

He spent the summer training and clearing his head. Conscious of the strain that travel exacts on players in the Western Conference, Miller put together an off-season regimen carefully designed to ramp up as the season approached. “Every year, you have to prove yourself,” he says. “You’re not handed a job.”

Although a popular narrative says Miller is fading with age, his numbers tell a different story. He hasn’t posted a save percentage under .915 in six seasons, while topping the league in shots against for the past two. He’s done this almost exclusively while propping up a basement dweller. The truth is, Miller is a difference-maker. And he’s hungrier than ever.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Petr Mrazek’s ‘fish story’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Last week I was sitting in the "press area" at Centre Ice Arena, and a gentleman wearing camouflage from head to toe happened to be editing pictures next to me. I asked him about his pictures and he informed me that he was actually a fishing guide for the Wings' players, and we got to talking about their fishing preferences.

He said that some of the pictures we've seen of Pavel Datsyuk or Jordin Tootoo involved catch-and-release efforts, but the Europeans preferred to eat what they caught (i.e. no "trophy fish").

Today, the Midland Daily News's Jake Vanhouten offers a fish story regarding the Wings' training camp endeavors, which were slowed but apparently not fully doused by the rainy weather at the time:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Previewing The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of Sportsnet,

Biggest story line to watch: There’s really only one thing people are waiting to find out: What happens with deposed captains Thornton and Marleau? (That’s right. Did you forget that Marleau wore the “C” from 2004 to ’09?) Will management get its way and be able to move them. And will Wilson and McLellan have the cojones to play their veterans less if it helps make that happen? If they do, San Jose is sunk, because while they’re on the downside, Jumbo Joe and Marsie (or whatever Marleau’s nickname in the room is) are still effective players who’d be top six on just about any team in the league.

A secondary story here is goaltending. If Stalock continues to push Niemi, who will end up the starter?

Finally, is Hertl the real deal? A possible Calder nomination was scuttled by injury last year, but he scored the fifth-most goals in the league per 60 5-on-5 minutes last season. Can the 20-year-old keep that kind of production up?

2014-15 prediction: Anaheim, Dallas, L.A., Minnesota and St. Louis will all be stronger this season, while Chicago remains a standard—that’s six Western teams better than San Jose. You do the math.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Good news!

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa McRitchie

The Edmonton Oilers sent another five players to their AHL affiliate team the Oklahoma City Barons Monday. Sent down were Martin Gernat (D), Curtis Hamilton (LW), Kale Kessey (LW), Iiro Pakarinen (RW), and Jason Williams (C). Why is this good news? It means that the Oilers feel confident enough in their defence that there is no need to rush Martin Gernat through the system and have him play in the NHL just quite yet.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: kale+kessey, martin+gernat, oscar+klefbom

A Name From The Past Returns

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Don't ask me why I left. It wasn't my finest hour, though I did have the privilege of watching a fine city and a great big state fall hopelessly in love with hockey when the Stars won the Stanley Cup in Dallas in 1999. For the last decade or so, I've spent most of my time in front of a classroom rather than behind a keyboard.

You teach, you learn. So I like to think that in my encore as a sportswriter I'll deliver something a little better. Suffice to say, I am grateful beyond words that we have this opportunity again.

For starters, I suspect I'll have to overcome some misconceptions. 

That's Keith Gave now of FoxSports Detrot where you can read more...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Tomas Nosek’s hit on Stuart Percy was ill-timed, possibly ill-spaced?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

During the Red Wings' 3-0 win over Toronto last night, Tomas Nosek got 5 and a game for this hit on Stuart Percy (which thankfully didn't result in an injury)...

And it instantly brought to mind this hit Teemu Pulkkinen made on Mike Kostka a year ago at this time--and Pulkkinen was suspended for the hit--making me wonder whether European players coming to the NHL assume that there's more space between the net and boards than there really is on an 85-foot-wider rink:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Two Injuries And An Unsigned RFA Leave The Columbus Blue Jackets Without A #1 Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The hits keep on coming for the Blue Jackets, and the real games haven’t started yet.

Left wing Boone Jenner is expected to miss significant time because of a broken left hand, an injury suffered when he was struck by a puck on Sunday during practice. Jenner will have more tests this week to determine the severity of the break and how much time he will miss, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.

The break is below his middle finger, likely the capitate, which can take six to eight weeks to heal.

Jenner’s absence means the Blue Jackets’ entire projected No. 1 forward line is out. Center Ryan Johansen is embroiled in a contract dispute with the club, missing his 12th day of camp today. Right wing Nathan Horton has skated since suffering a back injury while jogging this summer in Florida, but there is no timetable for his return. A source said he hasn’t seen any improvement.

“That’s why we have a second line, a third line and a fourth line,” Kekalainen said. “It’s an opportunity for some of our other guys now.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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