Kukla's Korner

KK- Thanksgiving Plans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Before you start traveling to your Thanksgiving destination, I wanted to wish you save travels and a joyous Holiday.

I will be around until around noon tomorrow, then head out to my uncle’s home for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

I should be back sometime in the early evening and back to work.

Stay safe and let us all be thankful for what we have and keep in mind all who are less fortunate than us.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks In Need Of Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

The Sharks are off to a slow start. If you are pondering when to officially become concerned about that, coach Todd McLellan can tell you.

“A month ago,” he said Tuesday.

All right, then.

Fortunately, the Chicago Blackhawks are in town tonight, to give us an excellent barometer about our beloved Los Tiburones, who have compiled a meandering 9-6-4 record to date. The Sharks have looked good, bad, sharp, awful, brilliant and sloppy “... often within the same period.

McLellan has not been shy about expressing frustration over his team, saying it can work harder and execute better.

continued

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

Blackhawks Enjoy Their Vegas Stay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

The final tab remains a mystery for the Chicago Blackhawks’ epic party at Lavo (Palazzo) on Sunday.

So too, for now, is the identity of the ‘Hawk rookie who spent the night in an awesome replica of the “Iron Man” suit of armor.

But this much is known: it was a bubblicious night of such magnitude that the 11 a.m. workout at the Fiesta was canceled. Blackhawks down!

And that 6-liter bottle of champagne they ordered goes for $35,000.

It appeared to be the club’s annual rookies party, an NHL tradition that calls for the team’s first-year players to split the tab.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Put The Red Line Back In Play To Cut Down On Head Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

Brett Hull, now an executive vice-president with the Dallas Stars, used to be a font of goals. Now he is a font of ideas. He thinks the NHL can use an old approach to open a second front in its war against blindside hits that target the head: reinsert the red line.

The red line topic has cropped up in passing in discussions among GMs—Ottawa’s Bryan Murray is said to be a proponent of the idea—but it never has gained any sort of traction. Then again, the argument in favor of the return to the red line never has been made quite in the way Hull frames it.

Hull says players are increasingly vulnerable to the Rule 48 hits because they continually turn their heads to look back for the long passes that are encouraged by the increased open ice. The old-time zone-to-zone-to-zone passes, he posits, would help alleviate the problem.

Just a thought. Certainly it’s worth examining some videotape to gather empirical data.

read on for more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+hull

Byfuglien Settles In On D

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Manasso at NHL.com,

Twenty-one games into the NHL season, the marriage of Dustin Byfuglien on defense in the first season of Craig Ramsay’s tenure as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers looks like a match made in heaven.

After Byfuglien arrived during the offseason from Stanley Cup champion Chicago via trade, Atlanta elected to move the 6-foot-3, 265-pounder, fresh off a dynamic performance in the playoffs as a forward, back to defense. General manager Rick Dudley made the trade and hired Ramsay within a whirlwind 24-hour period in June.

Maybe somewhere in the hockey savant mind of Dudley, the vision of Byfuglien paired with Ramsay’s system, which encourages defensemen to join the rush, such a potent mix had first bloomed. Entering Wednesday’s games, Byfuglien ranks third among defensemen in points with 19 (only 15 shy of his total for all of last season), trailing the League co-leaders by a single point and leading all defensemen in goals with seven.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

GDT - Game #19: Red Wings at Thrashers (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

After a 5-0-1 home-stand, game 19 finds DET (13-3-2) atop the Western Conference standings, ATL (9-9-3) are 9th in the East.  DET leads the league in point percentage at .778% (believe it or not the BJ are second at.684%), and DET also lead the league in G/G at 3.67. The Wings PP, has gone top-shelf lately going 6-of-16 in the past three games;  they have scored at least one power-play goal in 15 of 18 games. 

Coach Babcock is being coy about his forward rotation:  “We’ll look at that again.” “We’ve had a two-man rotation with Miller and Eaves (and) they’ve both played excellent. Maybe it’s time to go a little deeper.”  And don’t look for Tyler to get up off the barroom floor anytime soon, especially after Scott Cullen has placed DET #1 in his Power Rankings, and taken note of Sparty:  “One regulation loss in the last ten games and, living up to Assistant GM Jim Nill’s prediction at the end of last season, LW Justin Abdelkader is on his way to a breakout season with seven points in the last nine games.”

Tonight marks DET’s first game against an Eastern Conference opponent.  Danny Cleary, who will be in the lineup tonight, said of the Thrashers:  “We definitely don’t know a lot about them, except for standings and highlights.”  I don’t either, other than their goalie is brilliant.  The AJC certainly doesn’t give them much ink. 

DET are 91-0 all time in game 19 of the schedule.  They never, ever, lose game 19.  Game On, Bitches(!) - - - and Happy Thanksgiving.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Start Planning Your Hockey Viewing Now

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

13 games tonight, 1 tomorrow and 13 on Friday.

Friday is a hockey lovers dream.  First game begins at noon and the final horn should close out all the hockey action about 12:30am on Saturday.

Normally when games are scheduled throughout the day and night, we get a break of about an hour or so in the late afternoon, but not on Friday.  That is 12 1/2 hours of action, and non-stop action.

I know what I will be doing all day and hope to have some leftover turkey to enjoy the day even more.

See the schedule below, which starts today and runs through Friday.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Won’t Overpay For Brad Richards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

You know what, if Rangers general manager Glen Sather cares to pony up Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto and Brandon Dubinsky or Ryan Callahan, then the Blueshirts undoubtedly would have Richards, the blue-chip Dallas first-line center in the final season of his contract at a $7.8 million cap hit, in time for tonight’s opening faceoff at Tampa Bay.

The Post has learned, however, that Sather has no intention of offering the financially distressed Stars that absurd combination of young guns, or indeed any permutation of emerging Bluebloods to fill the need for an upper-echelon playmaker to skate with Marian Gaborik, though the absence of such a pivot wouldn’t seem to have had anything to do with No. 10’s puzzling disappearing act against the Flames in Monday’s rollicking 2-1 victory at the Garden.

There is no doubt Sather will mount up, cry giddyup, and pursue Richards—who won the Conn Smythe playing for coach John Tortorella’s 2004 Stanley Cup-winning Lightning—once he hits the open market on July 1.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards

Shot Blocking Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kelly Hrudey of CBC,

I have a dilemma. I’m not sure if I like all the shot blocking, or am just so used to it that I expect it now.

Long ago, there was a time and place for it. But now, it seems it’s the most likely way to defend, although I’m not going to say it’s the easiest way to stop the opposition from scoring because it sure takes its toll in terms of injuries.

I really commend the players and their bravery because getting in the shooting lane takes courage, for sure. But the art of blocking shots is at such a high level, it has forever changed the game and I’m not sure I like it much.

Shot blocking in today’s NHL is to the game what “clutching and grabbing” was before the last lockout.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hammer Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Jon Jordan

I only have a few minutes this morning, with a houseful already in town for Thanksgiving and the pressing need of locating some genie-style parachute pants in time for tonight’s game, what with M.C. Hammer in town for a postgame concert and all. (Rumor has it, if things go well for the Lightning, their very own “Hammer”, one Steven Stamkos, could join the genius behind “U Can’t Touch This”, “2 Legit 2 Quit” and “Here Comes the Hammer” on stage. Hope he’s been practicing that trademark Hammer shuffle…)

Anyway, I simply wanted to point out that, prior to their recent three-game road sweep of the Islanders, Philadelphia and Buffalo, I had noted that the Lightning were actually two points behind their record through 17 games last season and that they’d need to win two of three just to match that club’s pace at the indicative “quarter pole” of the twenty-game mark. Of course, they managed a perfect road trip and added a win over Boston on Monday night to run their win streak to four and to pull them within four points of division-leading Washington.

So forget that last year stuff, as all seems well, presently, in Lightningland…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, martin+st.+louis, mc+hammer, mike+smith, steven+stamkos

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