Kukla's Korner

Johan Franzen Takes A Knee From Orpik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In the first period of the game between Detroit and Pittsburgh….

18:17 PIT Brooks Orpik : Kneeing (maj)  - 5 min
18:17 PIT Brooks Orpik : Fighting (maj)  - 5 min
18:17 DET Todd Bertuzzi : Fighting (maj)  - 5 min
18:17 DET Todd Bertuzzi : Instigator - 2 min
18:17 PIT Brooks Orpik : Game misconduct - 0 min
18:17 DET Todd Bertuzzi : Misconduct (10 min)  - 0 min

Franzen stayed on the ice for some time before skating off, but no updated report yet.

added 8:06pm, Franzen not on the bench for the start of the 2nd period.

added 8:31pm, from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen suffered a charley horse late in the first period of tonight’s exhibition opener at Pittsburgh and will miss the rest of the game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brooks+orpik, johan+franzen

Ruff Talking Big at Sabres Camp

Blog: KK Hockey By @DaveDavisHockey

If the Buffalo Sabres are supposed to falter and fall short of once again being a major player in the Eastern Conference, someone forgot to tell head coach Lindy Ruff..

“Our goal here is to win the Stanley Cup,” Ruff told the local media this week.  “We might as well talk about that - because I think our team, with the additions we’ve made and where we were at last year, should be able to challenge for it.”

Here is the latest from Sabres training camp:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrej+sekera, chris+butler, jochen+hecht, lindy+ruff, mike+weber, zack+kassian

The Years Have Flown, The Plants Have Changed, But We’ve Still Got The Best Team In Hockey

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

And that means we live blog meaningless exhibition games against one-trick Cup winners.  The angry Pens fans have come back out of the woodwork today and, as always, it’s been fun to watch them scurry about and sputter while they defend their “captain”, his daddy and their team.

Yes, a meaningless game to open up The House That Gary Built in front of 18 or 19 thousand fans who have no clue what pre-Rosby hockey is or was.

Awesome.  Live Blog it.

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Senators Prospects Get A Crash Course On How To Handle The Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Pivotal Year For Mike Green

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Two years ago when the Caps blew a 2-0 series lead against Pittsburgh in the second round, there were questions about Green’s conditioning and lifestyle. Last season, it seemed as though he was trying to do too much, perhaps trying too hard to prove people wrong (the Caps fell off the map against Montreal after leading 3-1 in their first-round series).

Regardless of the root cause of the drop-off in performance at critical times, this is a seminal season for Green. And to his credit Green, who won’t turn 25 until the second week of the regular season, seems to have embraced the challenge of turning critics into believers.

Some of the changes are obvious. He looks leaner. He has been a leader on the ice during training camp scrimmages and drills. Part of the physical changes can be explained by a new offseason workout and diet regime.

“I think in past years I’ve trained hard, but me and my trainer Doug Crashley out of Calgary really focused this year on being powerful and I feel great,” Green said in a recent interview.

more

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

Mike Fisher- One Of The Top Second Line Centers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,

The average second-line centre in the NHL had the following statistical line from 2009-10:

18 goals, 30 assists, 48 points

My guess is that most people would predict those numbers would have been a bit higher. But try to remember, this isn’t 1994 anymore.

Mike Fisher’s season total of 25-28-53 put him well ahead of the average second-line centre in goals. Fisher’s five-year average since the lockout has seen him produce an average of 21 goals and 45 points. (Numbers that would be higher if you removed his atypical 2008-09 season when he was an underachiever and suffered through an off-year. It’s safe to call him a fairly consistent 20-25 goal scorer in the NHL.)

Fisher’s offensive production put him alongside some of the best second-line centres in the NHL last season. He fits right in with the following list of players whom I feel are the best second-line centres in the game. (This includes players like Patrick Sharp and Daniel Briere, who often switch between centre and wing, but for the purposes of this piece, I considered them centres).

Ryan Kesler: 25 goals, 75 points ($5 million cap hit)

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+fisher

Michal Neuvirth Extended By Capitals

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed two-time Calder Cup-winning goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Neuvirth, 22, was 9-4-0 posting a 2.75 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in 17 games with the Capitals last season. He went 7-1-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a.914 save percentage at Verizon Center last season.

The 6’1”, 203-pound native of Usi Labem, Czech Republic, was 17-3-1 with a shutout, a 2.24 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 22 regular-season games with the Herhsey Bears in the American Hockey League (AHL). During the playoffs Neuvirth was 14-4 with a shutout, a 2.07 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 18 Calder Cup playoff games en route to his second Calder Cup championship. Neuvirth is the first No. 1 goalie to win back-to-back Calder Cups since former Capital Pete Peeters did so with the Maine Mariners in 1978 and ’79.

Neuvirth, who wears No. 30 for Washington, made his NHL debut on Feb. 14, 2009, earning a win at Tampa Bay. He is 11-5-0 with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 22 NHL career games, all with the Capitals. Neuvirth received the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the AHL’s playoff MVP in 2009 with a 16-6 record and a 1.92 goals-against average during the playoffs. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: michal+neuvirth

Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

The Best Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

When it comes to the best player in the league, it is a two-horse race.

Here is my top 30 for the coming season and the ranking is based on how they have played thus far in their careers as well as how they are projected to play this season:

1. Sidney Crosby: It’s all about winning and Sid the Kid has a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medal.

2. Alex Ovechkin: The most dynamic player in the world needs to find a way to lead his Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship.

3. Jonathan Toews: The Hawks’ young captain demonstrated last season at the Olympics and NHL playoffs why he is looked upon as one of the best young players and leaders in the game.

4. Evgeni Malkin: Look for big things from this powerful centre who played most of last season with a bum shoulder.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Still A Force In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

It’s far too early in NHL training camp to get into the silliness of predictions and who will finish where, but I suspect the Detroit Red Wings are going to be a much better team this season than last.

Could they return to their halcyon days at the Best in the West? Perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me, even though there are bound to be many who think the aged Wings are more likely to be on the slide than the rise. 

Defending Cup champion Chicago is still a force in spite of the players it lost. The Hawks’ core is still very much in place. Vancouver should be better and many will see them as a legit contender this season. San Jose will still be a handful. But if the Wings can maintain some semblance of good health, they could be back in a big way.

One has to imagine that Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will revert to form after off-years, where Zetterberg and Datsyuk had only 70 points apiece.

continued

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

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