Kukla's Korner

Who Better To Ask About The Trap Game Than Jacques Lemaire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Petersburg Times,

Here is what former Devils and Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said about the criticism of Lightning coach Guy Boucher from Versus commentators Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Pierre McGuire Wednesday night about the team’s 1-3-1 trapping system, which they said makes for such boring hockey the Lightning and Boucher should be embarrassed and even “punished.”

“Myself, I laugh at this,” Lemaire told the St. Petersburg Times in a phone interview. “I laugh at it this because are we supposed to coach as we please the people who are announcing the games or make comments on the games? Is that a new style or what? Do we have to please Milbury when we coach? It’s the first time I hear of this.”

If anyone knows about criticism, it is Lemaire.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Making The Most Of Their Time On The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated,

Calculating the numbers, I became curious to see who the most efficient scorers in the league are. The results aren’t too surprising. In terms of points, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom led all forwards with 100+ minutes of ice time through the games of Sunday, Nov. 6, scoring a point every 12 minutes. Toronto’s Phil Kessel is not far behind, at one point every 12:52 he’s on the ice. Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek, Boston’s Tyler Seguin, Tampa Bay’s Teddy Purcell and Phildelphia’s Claude Giroux each have been picking up a point every 14 or 15 minutes played.

The only intriguing name on that list may be Purcell, who averages less than 14 minutes of ice time per game. The winger may have “a tendency to fall asleep,” as Lightning coach Guy Boucher remarked to the St. Petersburg Times, but he is certainly doing more with less. His average shift length (45.6 seconds) is also the shortest among the league’s top 10 most efficient point-getters, much closer to the league mean (44.9 seconds).

The NHL’s leading scorer, Kessel, also ranked second in goals per minute, finding the net every 27 minutes, behind the Islanders’ John Tavares, who led the league with a goal every 24:52. Behind them comes Maple Leaf Clarke MacArthur, who was averaging a goal every 27:18, which is surprising considering that the winger went goalless in the first five games of the season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

127 Players On NHL All-Star Ballot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

With impressive starts this season, the Dallas Stars and the Pittsburgh Penguins—leaders of the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively - hold a combined 11 spots on the ballot in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting™. The ballot includes first-time career appearances from Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson and Penguins forwards James Neal and Jordan Staal and defenseman Kris Letang. Joining their teammates are ballot veterans Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins and Kari Lehtonen, Mike Ribeiro and Sheldon Souray of the Stars.

Among the total 127 players on the ballot, Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr makes his first appearance to the fan voting platform since his campaign for the 2008 NHL All-Star festivities; the Ottawa Senators, the first-time hosts of the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, have five representatives; and the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers and Penguins each have six players vying to be named first NHL All-Stars in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29. Polls open to hockey fans worldwide Nov. 14 online at NHL.com/vote and via mobile devices.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bertuzzi Bothered By Dizziness

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Roose at the Detroit Red Wings website,

Bertuzzi has been battling dizziness on top of a sinus infection that has kept the Wings’ forward at home for the last week. He said the dizziness began after he was struck in the face by Minnesota forward Devon Setoguchi’s stick Oct. 29.

“It started in Minnesota when I got hit,” Bertuzzi said. “Played two (more) games and it kept getting worse and worse; lighted-headed, dizzy and didn’t feel myself. Then I got a sinus infection and I went and got my ears checked. Got a little bit of swelling in there, so I got some pills to try and get the swelling down.”

Bertuzzi skated for only the first half of Thursday’s practice before heading to the locker room.

“I felt OK. Then everyone came out and things were going pretty quick,” he said. “I don’t know, they said three or four days, the medication should kick in and hopefully I can get my balance and stuff back.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+bertuzzi

A Must Game Win For The Avs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Mike Chambers of All Things Avs,

I rode the coattails of radio dude Marc Moser on this one, and Giggy kept ‘er going for about five minutes. Since Moser was asking the questions, I don’t want to publish his entire interview, but you can listen to it pregame.

“This is a must-win for us. We have to stop the bleeding right now,” Giggy said. “We can’t let this go on any longer. We need to establish ourselves at home. Enough talking. Right now it’s time to have some action. You have no chance in (heck) in this league to make the playoffs if you don’t (win at home).”

“Everybody’s desperate level needs to go up a bit, and hopefully we should see that tonight,” Giguere said. “My job is to try to give the team a chance to win. I’m going to hopefully do that.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

Pegula’s Silence On Penn State Is Overstated

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

Just over a year after Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula and his wife Kim donated $88 million to help the university build an ice arena and establish men’s and women’s hockey programs, the Buffalo media is looking for a reaction from the Sabres owner on the child rape scandal that is currently engulfing his alma mater.

To be honest, the expectation for Pegula to come out with definitive or substantial comments (other than, like everyone else, shock and condemnation) so soon after this all became public knowledge isn’t realistic.  If he does happen to speak today, great.  But let’s be clear about this - folks are interested in much more than the inevitable bland and cliché-filled reaction that we’d expect in this situation. 

People want to know if Pegula is going to pull his rug of money out from under the school’s hockey program.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink

Selke Trophy Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

A little over a week ago I picked Maxim Lapierre as the Selke Trophy leader.  Being early in the season, we do not expect that to last very long.  With Ryan Kesler back from injury, Lapierre is no longer playing against as tough competition.  He is no longer in as strong a roll that would help him to win the award. 

My current pick is a defensive forward who is somewhat “off the radar” because he is not a top scorer.  I think the best defensive forward in the league so far this year has been Boyd Gordon of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Gordon has six points in thirteen games.  He has a +8 +/- rating that leads the Phoenix forwards.  He has done this playing in a tough defensive situation.  Gordon plays against very tough competition and he starts a large percentage of his shifts in the defensive zone.  He plays well over three minutes a game on the penalty kill on Phoenix’s solid penalty kill.  He has a 58.6% faceoff percentage, which is fifth best in the league.  Gordon is a prime Selke candidate right now.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Presented By NHL Original Productions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Nov. 10, 2011) –  The National Hockey League today announced the creation of NHL ORIGINAL PRODUCTIONS, an initiative that will join forces with renowned executive producer Ross Greenburg, through Ross Greenburg Productions.

Greenburg, who has won 51 Sports Emmy awards for his pioneering work at HBO over three decades, will work with the NHL’s Content Group on NHL Original Productions initiatives.

NHL Original Productions will create original, long- and short-form hockey programming for NBC Sports and the League’s media assets, beginning later this season. The new venture reflects the partnership forged between the League and NBC over the past six years and reaffirmed by the 10-year media rights deal signed in April, 2011. The launch of NHL Original Productions is the latest collaboration between the NHL and Greenburg – an alliance that produced two critically-acclaimed programs on HBO: Broad Street Bullies and the Emmy Award-winning 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.

NHL Original Productions also will develop original content for use by the League’s media platforms (NHL Network and NHL.com) as well as national and regional rightsholders.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hard To Win A Faceoff In Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

What’s the worst road rink for getting credit for a faceoff win?

The Motor City, according to Spezza.

“You go into Detroit, it’s impossible to be over 50 per cent,” he says. “I don’t know what those stats guys are doing, but they’re definitely giving the benefit of the doubt to (Red Wings centres) on the 50-50s (tossup draws).”

more on faceoffs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

Jets Have Their Good And Bad Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,

They spent almost two weeks on the road, visiting seven cities in four states. Broke bread together. Went to battle on the ice together. Won some, lost some and gave us a sampling of what the 2011-12 Winnipeg Jets are all about.

“You know,” said Jet winger Chris Thorburn during the trip, “winning is contagious and I think we’re learning about ourselves and gaining confidence as games go on. What I like is everyone is contributing in different ways and the more we can play like that, the more success we can have.”

Good point, that….

Consider this, then, the six things we learned about the Jets while they were away…

NO LEAD IS SAFE- From the confounding department: this Jets team must learn—absolutely must—how to close down teams when they have them by the throats. Four times against the Sabres they blew leads, including a 2-0 advantage in the first that was wiped out in all of 11 seconds. They led 5-1 in Philly, trailed 7-6, blew an 8-7 advantage and then won 9-8. They blew a 2-0 lead against the Panthers before winning in OT. Developing a knockout punch when an opponent is on the ropes would help. But learning how to cover up and not get counter-punched is paramount.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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