Kukla's Korner

Reality Might Be Failure, But Neither Is Guaranteed

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

This is no eulogy. Not yet.  And even if the circumstances called for it, I’d leave that for vultures, trolls and search engines.

But optimism isn’t the answer right now either.  Reality is.  Like it or not there’s something chemically wrong with this team as it stands right now. It’s not physical. It’s wiring and it’s devastating.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

A Non-Hockey Fan Vents

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Vancouver Courier:

I don’t even understand team loyalty. With so many hockey players traded across the franchise, the concept of “home team” has about as much connection to actual geography as Middle Earth to Merritt. But obviously we’re not in the realm of reason here. We’re in the rumpus room of the subconscious, where tribal thinking compels fans to paint themselves blue like ancient Celts or Na’vi of Avatar.

For instance, a relative alerted me to a story last week about Canucks fans who set fire to a Blackhawks jersey on Granville Street. The buzz on social networking sites is that these puck-obsessed pyromaniacs are not “true hockey fans.” Stupid me, I never knew followers of the game came in two varieties, like diamond and zirconium. But what about the fans who cheer on violence at games? Do they fall into the “true” or “false” hockey fan category?

The NHL suits know that they’re not selling tickets for figure skating events, but for gladiatorial competitions—and you don’t tamper with tradition. Just as you don’t mess with the Catholic mass, you don’t discourage generations of overpaid sports stars from trading blows like Looney Tune characters.

read on

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Regulating Hitting Doesn’t Take Hitting Out of the Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From John Vogl at the Buffalo News:

Regulating hitting—and hits to the head, in particular—is among the foremost topics on Regier’s mind. He called upon his fellow GMs to ban all head shots during their March meetings. He says eliminating a small number of injury-causing hits won’t fundamentally change the sport.

“We have a tremendous amount of hitting in the game,” Regier said last week. “By the league’s own totals, there are 55,000 hits in the NHL. We’re going to end up with 110, probably, concussions in the league, plus or minus.

“To the extent you can go in and identify those hits ... ideally you’d like to remove 110 hits, but if you remove a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand you’re still left with over 50,000 hits. So for the people that claim that you’re taking hitting out of the game, I think that’s on the ludicrous side.

read on

*hat-tip to Sportsnet.ca’s Hockey Hearsay for the pointer.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+regier

Would the Oilers Leave Edmonton?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Staples at the Edmonton Journal:

This issue is alive because the Oilers will be restricted free agents in 2014, able to move on if the city and the Oilers aren’t effectively working together to keep the team here. For the NHL and the Oilers, that means a new downtown arena must be built here with some amount of public subsidy from the city and the provincial government.

Oilers owner Daryl Katz made just such an implied threat last July, when he said the Oilers would not be playing in Rexall Place after 2014.

In a recent radio commentary — which aired after city council laid down its conditions for negotiations on a new arena — Oilers employee and broadcaster Bob Stauffer, who has far closer contact to Katz than anyone in the news media, made it clear on his Team 1260 radio show that the Katz Group wasn’t happy with the city’s bargaining position.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers on a Mission

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Sam Carchidi via The Gazette:

Facing elimination, the Philadelphia Flyers have a simple goal tonight at TD Garden: Win a game and plant some seeds of doubt in the collective minds of the Boston Bruins.

In other words, get the Bruins to start thinking about last year’s colossal collapse, when they lost the last four games to the Flyers in the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals -and blew a 3-0 lead in Game 7.

Boston leads this year’s rematch, three games to none, just as it did at this point last season.

Game 4 is tonight in Boston. “I think just one win would give us that confidence and it’s going to make them think about what happened last year,” Flyers centre Claude Giroux said after Thursday’s practice at TD Garden. “Just one win would just put us back in the mix and then, going back in front of our fans, I have no doubt that we can get a win” at the Wells Fargo Center.

more

Update 2:00pm ET: On the other side of things, WEEI radio talks to Brian Leetch for his thoughts on this matchup. [audio]

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

One Game at a Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Bruce Garrioch of QMI via lfpress.com:

As they stood, defiant in their dressing room, the Wings maintained they can’t afford to look at the big picture. Instead, they’re going to focus on trying to get a victory Friday night and then worry about Game 5 Sunday.

“The mindset is: Win one game. Take it to San Jose and go from there,” said Detroit veteran Kris Draper. “We’re living game-by-game. That’s how it is. We know it. It hasn’t been done a lot, but it’s not impossible. It has been done.

“All you want to do is win one game, create some momentum and see what happens.”

read on

Update 1:08pm ET: No lineup changes for Detroit.

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

Unsung Playoff Scorers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Chris Iorfida at CBC:

What follows is a look at 20 surprising playoff goal totals over the past 70 years of playoff hockey. There are some good players on the list, some highly regarded prospects and some journeymen. or didn’t go on to have fine NHL careers. It’s a list concerning players who exceeded goal scoring expectations.

Matthew Barnaby, Buffalo Sabres, 1998: 15GP, 7G, 6A, 13PTS

This one is more surprising years later than it was at the time. Barnaby had showed promise with 43 points in 68 games in his second season (although he dipped to 25 points in 1997-98, the year that followed). He never reached such offensive heights again, settling for a career spent mainly as a provocateur. Or in hockey parlance, a pest.

continued…

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

Patience in Tennessee

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Damien Cox in The Spin at the Toronto Star:

If there is an advantage to running a team out of here, however, it’s the patience a hockey man can have.

GM David Poile, you may or may not remember, turned down overtures from the Maple Leafs to take the job of starting the Preds from scratch. His draft-and-develop, take-your-time, no rush here approach has probably been exactly what has been required given the financial restrictions faced by the team over the years.

It’s also easier to take that approach here than it would have probably been in Toronto. You can bring young players along slowly without them being declared instant superstars or total flops before they’ve even learned what it’s like to be a pro.

more

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Home Teams, Beware of OT

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From John Kreiser at NHL.com:

With two rounds yet to play, we’ve already seen 20 overtime games through 63 games, a pace that would threaten the record of 28, set in 1993. The 20 overtime games in the first four weeks of the playoffs already are more than the 18 played all last year—in fact, they are more than any full playoff year since 22 of 89 games went past regulation in 2003.

Unlike the last three years, when home teams did well in overtime, road clubs have had the better of play this year. Of the 20 overtime games so far, 13 have been won by the visiting team—the most since road clubs won 13 of 21 in 1999.

read on

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canucks Can’t Hold a Lead

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Roy MacGregor at the Globe & Mail:

They get a lead; they can’t hold it. They might win the game, but every time they play they lose a little more faith in their position as not only the best team in the National Hockey League, but the most effective third-period team the regular season produced.

They had a .927 winning percentage in games in which they led in the third period. They scored 100 third-period goals – tops in the NHL.

But that was then and this is now. And this is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Twice this week against the Nashville Predators the Canucks let third-period leads slip away – both tying goals absolute groaners – and had to settle matters in overtime, losing once and winning once.

more

Update 1:25pm ET: The Yankee Canuck at Nucks Misconduct takes on MacGregor’s article and shreds it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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