Kukla's Korner

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (March 18, 2013) – St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Stewart, Ottawa Senators center Kyle Turris and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 17.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Disappointing Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,

Before the puck dropped on the 2012-13 season, it wasn't hard to find prognosticators willing to say the New York Rangers were going to win the Stanley Cup. On this web site alone, six experts picked the Rangers to reach their first Cup Final since 1994 with three of them choosing the Rangers to win it all.

It wasn't tough to see why the Rangers were among the favorites to win the Cup. They were coming off a season in which they finished first in the Eastern Conference with 109 points and reached the conference finals. The Rangers did it all with a young, developing core and appeared to improve in the offseason, adding Rick Nash in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets without losing a top-six forward or key defenseman in free agency in the process.

An unexpected bonus to the offseason was the delayed start to the season, which allowed Marian Gaborik to recover from shoulder surgery that would have sidelined him for at least the first month of the season.

Yet through 27 games, the Rangers are 13-12-2 and sitting in 10th place in the East, three points out of a playoff spot. They have lost three in a row in regulation for the first time this season, and despite the addition of Nash, are scoring fewer goals per game this season (2.33) than they did last season (2.71).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings demote Gustav Nyquist to make room for Darren Helm

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 2x at 11:54 AM: Good sign or bad sign?

The Grand Rapids Griffins are confirming (as are the Red Wings)...

NYQUIST REJOINS GRIFFINS

The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned right wing Gustav Nyquist to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

A native of Halmstad, Sweden, Nyquist still leads the AHL with 60 points (23-37—60) in 57 games, despite missing the Griffins’ last three contests after being recalled by Detroit last Tuesday. The 23-year-old forward recorded one assist and seven shots in four games with the Red Wings this season and has eight points (1-7—8) in 22 career NHL games.

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Ryan Suter’s Game Is Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

Game 11 was Feb. 9 against his old Nashville Predators. Suter assisted on both goals, including Devin Setoguchi’s overtime winner, and ever since, not only has Suter taken off, so has the Wild. The Wild is 11-5-1 since, and leads the Northwest Division heading into Monday night’s clash with the Canucks.

In those 17 games, Suter has 19 points and is plus-4. He not only leads the Wild with 23 points in 27 games (Jared Spurgeon led Wild defensemen with 23 points in 70 games last season), Suter is second among all NHL defensemen in both points and assists (21)....

Suter leads the league in average ice time per game (27 minutes, 16 seconds). And by catapulting to legitimate Norris Trophy contender status he has shown exactly why Parise aligned himself with Suter during last summer’s free-agent frenzy.

“He’s been unbelievable,” said Parise, who leads the Wild with 11 goals. “He’s really gone to another level the way he’s controlling the game and controlling the play — and producing offensively, that’s just a bonus for us. I mean, he plays 30 minutes a night. It’s pretty impressive.”

Suter, who spent his entire career in Nashville, admits he was “just overwhelmed” the first couple of weeks.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+suter

Standing By For Helm?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated below: Khan(!)'s going nuts with paragraphs on MLive.  He says Nyquist would have been sent down regardless of Helm's condition, and he tells us that because it's exactly what Ken Holland told him to tell us.  More below. Seriously.

Looks like it...

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Sabres’ On The Edge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrinngton of the Buffalo News,

“I’m pissed off. I want to play,” Kaleta said. “And especially after watching some things, sitting there watching the game, I want to play. They don’t need me right now, I guess. I’ve been pissed off watching for the past couple weeks. No matter if you’re a fan, a player, you guys know what’s going on.

“You should be pissed off. You should play with a little piss and vinegar. You shouldn’t be happy. We’re not in position we want to be in. We have to work harder, come in and do something about it.”

Kaleta spoke after taking extra drills with fellow healthy scratch John Scott. No other players were in the locker room to hear the Angola native question if the team wants or needs him at this point. As the media was talking to interim coach Ron Rolston, multiple observers said Kaleta was howling in anger on the ice while finishing his work.

The locker room cauldron bubbled even more after the game when goaltender Ryan Miller was asked about Kaleta.

“He’s being dramatic. We’re not discussing what Patty says to you guys,” Miller said, anger flaring in his eyes. “That’s just drama and he needs to just grow up if he’s going to say that.

“You know what? He had a stupid play in a game. He sat, he was punished. He has to get over it and move on. We handled it. He doesn’t have to go to you guys and say that stuff. There, I’m addressing it right now.”

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Chris Stewart Raises His Compete Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“You just have to worry about competing for your teammates and really bearing down. When you do those little things, that’s when you get that room in the offensive zone to make that move. I think that’s one of the best things that has hit home in my career for me.”

Stewart has realized the means can justify the ends. He has focused on the process and the production has come complimentary.

“What we’re trying to do with Stewie is change his value system, and he’s really starting to embrace that now,” Hitchcock said. “You can still be a good player in the game and not get points. You can still have an impact, even though you don’t score.

“It’s about not playing the game looking to score, but playing the game looking to compete and know that when you have a high skill level, like Stewie does, there’s going to be times when you score. But don’t drop your competitive base. Don’t base everything on points.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+stewart

Something Doesn’t Add Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It doesn’t compute that Marian Gaborik can’t thrive playing under Tortorella’s defense-oriented, hard-on-the-puck philosophy; not when the winger scored 40 or more goals in two of his first three seasons playing for this coach.

But it also does not compute that Tortorella would have shifted Gaborik, who had spent his entire career at right wing, to left wing ... and moreover, would have stranded him there for more than two dozen games even after it had become painfully obvious the move was detrimental to the winger’s performance.

By doing this, Tortorella put Gaborik in a position to fail, which he has, stunningly, now with three goals in 22 games since Jan. 26, with all of them coming against the Islanders’ Evgeni Nabokov. Indeed, Gaborik has scored in only five of the Rangers’ 27 matches.

And now, the Blueshirts are seeking to move Gaborik again ... this time out of town by the April 3 trade deadline. It’s going to be a tough sale at $7.5 million on the cap through next season, even tougher because the Rangers need value in return for No. 10, who has provided management with a list of 10 teams to which he cannot be dealt under terms of his no-trade clause.

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Monday Morning Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

- With rookie Jake Allen bailing the St. Louis Blues out of their goalie woes, they’re the only team carrying three netminders, with Jaro Halak backing up and last year’s top dog Brian Elliott (nine shutouts) in the press box. They don’t want to put Elliot on waivers, figuring he’d get picked up, but maybe not off his $1.8-million salary for this year and next. Never a good thing fiscally when $5.5 million worth of goalies are watching a kid making $816,000.

- There are five NHL teams better than everybody else this season. With the dog-pile of teams in the playoff hunt, I don’t see a lot of action on April 3, trade deadline day. There aren’t enough obvious sellers right now, only the Florida Panthers and the Sabres, for sure in the East.  In the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche look like they’ll be on the outside looking in. The Oilers, the Calgary Flames and the Columbus Blue Jackets are only a couple of wins from eighth, but could still become sellers if they lose two or three in a row. Same with Nashville, if they don’t get out of their tailspin.

more hockey observations...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings overnight report: Wings discuss progress made over Western swing, return to ‘health’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings sit in fifth place in the Western Conference standings as the team will practice today at Joe Louis Arena, ahead of tonight's Toast of Hockeytown, thanks to a back-to-back wins over Edmonton and Vancouver, assuaging their crappy performance against Calgary last Wednesday.

The packed nature of the Western Conference standings probably means that the 14-10-and-5 (with 12 regulation or OT wins) Wings will be out of the playoff pack by the time the Wings and Minnesota Wild tangle in an NBC "Rivalry Night" game on Wednesday, and today, we can expect to find out whether Kyle Quincey will require surgery for his broken cheekbone and whether the NHL will name Pavel Datsyuk one of its Stars of the Week after scoring a goal and adding three assists over the course of a dominant pair of weekend performances.

As noted in Sunday's entries, Wings GM Ken Holland and his charges offered gushy praise for Datsyuk and Zetterberg's leadership over this past weekend, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

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