Kukla's Korner

Burke To The Rescue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has come to the defence of Ryan Getzlaf, the new Canadian captain.

Getzlaf was big news in Finland Monday morning as a result of an alleged incident in a Helsinki night club called ‘Circus’.

“I saw Getzy late Saturday night (actually early Sunday morning). I left for the airport between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. from the hotel where we (Team USA) stayed, the same hotel as Team Canada, the Hotel Sokos Presidentii,” said Burke in an e-mail defending his former Anaheim Duck player.

“Getzy was not intoxicated and was not with a woman. We had a brief and pleasant conversation and then I headed to the airport.


No proof Burke rode off on a white horse to the airport.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, ryan+getzlaf

Who Will Be Watching The Conference Finals?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,

During the 2011-12 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings led the league in local television ratings. The Penguins, Bruins and Red Wings were ousted in the first round and the Blues were eliminated last night by the Los Angeles Kings (the Sabres did not make the playoffs). Moreover, among the playoff teams whose ratings increased more than 50% this season (Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Flyers and Bruins), only the Predators might make the conference finals.

Further challenging the NHL’s ability to continue to produce impressive television viewership figures are that the Los Angeles Kings made it to the Western Conference Finals and New Jersey Devils, up 3 games to 1 against the Flyers, appear headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Kings had the 26th-worst television ratings among the league’s 30 teams this season while the Devils were 28th.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Potentially Significant Signing

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Hockey pundits are always on the lookout for the best player who is not in the NHL.  For most of the last few years the consensus choice for this honor was Alexander Radulov.  Now that he is back in the NHL (at least temporarily), these pundits have been looking for another player to give this honor.  One candidate that many chose was Roman Cervenka.  He is a 26 year old Czech forward who was last playing in the KHL.  He was a member of the 2010 Czech Olympic team.  He has appeared in the two KHL All Star Games that occurred when he was in the league.  In 2011 he was the top goal scorer in the league.

Last week he signed a one year entry level contract with the Calgary Flames.  This deal has been incorrectly reported as being worth $3.775 million but Cervenka will not earn anywhere near that amount.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Knuble Wants To Remove The ‘Asterisk”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Somewhere in a safety deposit box in Michigan sit Mike Knuble’s two Stanley Cup rings.

He gets them out to show the kids at his summer hockey camp every year. And his own kids, now ages 7, 10 and 11, like to try them on occasionally, feel their heft and marvel at the diamonds.

But there’s a reason these rings do not feature more prominently in Knuble’s life and the answer is both simple and reflective of the nature of the man: he doesn’t feel he has earned them.

At the time, in 1997 and 1998, Knuble was a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He did not play in the 1997 playoffs and in 1998 played just three postseason games but the Ilitch family, which owns the Wings, bestowed on Knuble and other players rings marking the back-to-back championships regardless. His name appears on the Cup for the 1998 win but for Knuble, “you’ve got a mental asterisk” when it comes to thinking about those championships, he said.

If anything, the experience of being at least peripherally involved in those championship runs has instilled a burning desire to return to that level again and this time make a difference.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+knuble

Video- A Massive Hit From Sacha Treille Results In A 5 Game Suspension At The World Championships

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP at CBC,

French forward Sacha Treille has been suspended five games at the IHHF World Hockey Championship for a vicious head shot on Roman Starchenko of Kazakhstan.

The six-foot-five French forward — who will likely miss the rest of the tournament — caught his smaller opponent with an elbow to the head in the neutral zone midway through a game between the countries on Sunday.

Starchenko was knocked out cold and a stretcher was brought on the ice, although the Kazak was helped off by teammates.

Treille earned a game misconduct and was given a match penalty, which came with an automatic one-game suspension.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sacha+treille

Holtby’s Transformation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington,

About an hour before every game, Braden Holtby will find a spot in the arena and transform it into his personal reflection garden.

At the Verizon Center, it is often behind the Capitals bench. At Madison Square Garden, it is in the front row of seating directly behind the goal he will defend.

Holtby will stand there, leaning on his goalie stick, and begin a lengthy routine of rapid eye movements, hip rotations and quirky body movements. At some point before the game, he will close his eyes and visualize himself in a calm and quiet place.

On a beach chair, facing rolling turquoise waves, toes in the sand … gliding across a frozen lake in snow-covered northern Saskatchewan …

He will begin deep breathing exercises – taking slow and deliberate breaths, six per minute – that lower his heart rate.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: braden+holtby

What’s Going On In Philadelphia?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

You hear it all the time in sports. Often, it is applied to teams that have provided a glimpse of what they might become, uneven teams with promising talent and/or unfulfilled promise. It is figurative speech, or meant to be, but in this playoff series between the Flyers and New Jersey Devils, it is a literal description as well.

The Flyers are just not taking that next step. Specifically, they are not taking the extra step that separates a strong clear from a wobbly puck picked off in their own zone. They are not taking the extra step that would get them to the puck behind their own net before their opponents, or in front of New Jersey’s net, too.

“I don’t know if it’s panic or it’s too much pressure,” said Danny Briere, who was on the ice for two goals in the Devils’ 4-2 victory Sunday night. “I don’t know what is going on.”


added 8:57am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It is over for the Philadelphia Flyers.

You can see it their eyes, hear it in their words. They are confused, emotional, downtrodden and frustrated.

“I made a couple of soft plays,” said an almost expressionless Scott Hartnell. “If you look around the room, everyone was doing it. That’s losing hockey. It’s almost embarrassing hockey. It’s not Flyers hockey, that’s for sure.

“It’s not a joke in here. It’s not funny. It’s shocking to us, too, the way we’re playing.”


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

Kings Enjoying The Moment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

As the longest-serving current Kings, forwards Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have been through the worst of hockey times.

Brown, who made his NHL debut during the 2003-04 season, and Kopitar, who made an immediate impact as a rookie in 2006-07, have been there for all the broken promises and unrealized dreams, through coaching changes and baffling lineup shuffles. They allowed their optimism to flower when things changed for the better and persevered when the young team sometimes took two steps back for every three steps forward.

It was only right, then, that Brown and Kopitar were at the center Sunday of the Kings’ most joyous playoff moment in too many years.

Both had waited so long for this, for Kopitar to leap into Brown’s arms and body-slam him to the Staples Center ice after Brown scored an empty-net goal to clinch the Kings’ 3-1 victory and provide the final flourish of their surprising sweep of the No. 2-seeded St. Louis Blues.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Too Many Blocked Shots?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The new-age rules were supposed to promote skill, supposed to open up the game, supposed to spotlight the best and the brightest of the NHL, but in the Stanley Cup playoffs in Year Seven of the hard-cap era have largely been distilled to a matter of which team can block the most shots.

The blocked shot and coaches’ obsession with it as a means toward ending an opponents’ season have become hockey’s version of baseball’s pitch count, an art that might lead to victory but has made the game less entertaining and has perverted the framers’ original intent….

The increase in blocked shots around hockey does not equate to an increase in commitment toward winning the Stanley Cup. It’s just the latest strategy devised to negate talent, like the trap before the lockout that everyone hated with a passion.

Winning teams have always sacrificed and been committed. These days, maybe some coaches should be committed, but there has been no fundamental change over the last 30 years in the amount of effort and sacrifice required to win the Stanley Cup.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings overnight report: Ericsson injury news, Gordie; alums on retirement and Vladdie’s art

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x with a Franzen interview at 5:56 AM: SVT.se’s Marie Lehmann reports that Jonathan Ericsson will not play today, and Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros reports that he barely skated at all before leaving the ice in pain: After a “light” day at the World Championships on Sunday, the Red Wings’ Worlds participants will take part in a very, very busy day of games today, with Wings coach Mike Babcock taking in the Helsinki games

From the scheduling post (again, many thanks to MLive’s Brendan Savage for putting the “master plan” together) and adding in some new details, here’s today’s agenda, with all starts listed in Eastern Daylight TIme:

May 7: 9:15 AM—Canada vs. France; 10:15 AM—Czech Republic vs. Norway; 1:15 p.m. – USA vs. Slovakia (live on the NBC Sports Network); 1:15 p.m. – Denmark vs. Sweden

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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