Kukla's Korner

The Minnesota Wild Need To Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press,

It no longer matters that the Wild have played well in many games, including both losses Tuesday and Wednesday. The fact is, they are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference and not playing like a team positioning itself for the playoffs.

"We've got to stop losing," Parise said. "Stringing a couple wins together is the only way to get out of it."

It has put the coaching staff in a peculiar position, unsure whether to applaud the positive play -- the Wild outshot the Bruins 37-21 in regulation Wednesday -- or to become upset with the losing.

"Normally what you do is you say if we go out and play that way then we're going to get rewarded, and that's what you focus on," coach Mike Yeo said. "But obviously we know that we need wins, so it's a fine line between trying to find positives and trying to build our game and our confidence and to build that winning attitude feeling."

The Wild have struggled because of a multitude of issues: The goaltending hasn't been as good as last season, the top-4 defensemen rarely have been healthy, and the scoring only seems to come in bunches.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The First Place Team

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Anaheim Ducks are currently in first place in the NHL.  They have a 21-12 record with five regulation tie points.  That gives them 47 points on the season and a two point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.  Last year Anaheim was first place in the West Conference and finished one point out of first place in the NHL.  That makes them not a big surprise to be at or near the top in the NHL.

The biggest change between last year's Anaheim Ducks and this year's team is goaltending.  Last year Jonas Hiller was their number one goaltender.  He left as a free agent and now plays with the Calgary Flames.  Frederik Andersen has been their number one goalie so far this season.  He is an unproven goalie who started off well this season but has since slowed down a bit.  Ilya Bryzgalov has been signed to give them a veteran presence.  Goaltending is a weakness and it will likely knock this team out of first place.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Winnipeg Jets Acquire Jay Harrison From The Carolina Hurricanes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a Winnipeg Jets release...

The Winnipeg Jets announced they have acquired defenceman Jay Harrison from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Ottawa’s sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, previously acquired by Winnipeg at the 2014 NHL Draft.

Harrison, 32, is a veteran of 337 NHL games spread over 10 professional seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs & Carolina Hurricanes. The Oshawa, ON native entered the NHL with the Maple Leafs during the 2005-06 season. Harrison has accumulated 70 points (21G, 49A) and 337 penalty minutes during his NHL career. He set offensive career-highs with the Hurricanes in 2011-12, recording nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points. Harrison was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round, 82nd overall, of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

The Winnipeg Jets also announced they have placed defenceman Jacob Trouba on IR retroactive to Dec. 14/14.


RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for defenseman Jay Harrison. The pick was previously acquired by Winnipeg from Ottawa.

“We thank Jay for his time with the Hurricanes,” said Francis. “He represented our organization with class and we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+harrison

Video- Top 10 Shootout Moments

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TSN style...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oilers Break it off with the Barons

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

From Mike Johnston at Sportsnet:

The Oklahoma City Barons, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, announced Thursday it will cease operations at the end of the 2014-15 season.

The decision comes after the Barons were unable to complete a new affiliation agreement with the Oilers. The Barons have been the Oilers’ AHL affiliate since the 2010-11 AHL season.

Read more here

Filed in: | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

Ready For Another CBA Battle?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

There are still another seven seasons remaining in the NHL’s current collective bargaining agreement and the league’s business is booming to the point of serious and public expansion discussion. But as far as NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr is concerned, once the CBA ends after the 2021-22 campaign, the league’s labor history will repeat in the most unfortunate of ways.

That’s right. Prepare yourself for another lockout.

“If you put baseball to the side where there’s no cap, I don’t see anything yet which suggests any of the other three (North American) leagues are likely to break out of the phenomenon of a lockout every time, because a salary cap produces that phenomenon on the management side,” Fehr told THN Wednesday in an interview for a feature that appears in THN’s upcoming People of Power And Influence special edition. “(Owners) think they’ve got nothing to lose: “Let’s just go see what happens, and maybe we’ll get a little bit more.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

What’s Lou Lamoriello Trying To Say?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Gulitti tweets,

Lamoriello: "I have a lot of feelings about where we're at, but that's for another time."

Lamoriello: "I don't think anybody is happy with where we're at. but right now we have to deal with where we are today..."

Lamoriello cont: "... not where we were yesterday. That's all I have to say."

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Winnipeg Jets Announce Mark Stuart Out Until February With Lower-Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Paul Maurice announced defenseman Mark Stuart is out until February with a lower-body injury.

This via Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Stuart got into a fight Tuesday night late in the third period with Buffalo’s Nicolas Deslauriers. Deslauriers rocked Stuart with two hard punches to the head that knocked Stuart down and he left the ice in obvious discomfort. The game ended with Stuart still serving a fighting major and he never did return.

Here is the fight...

 

 

That makes four defensemen out for the Jets, Trouba, Bogosian, Enstrom and now Stuart.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+stuart

Practice post: Franzen will return to Red Wings’ lineup Friday; on Babcock, Callahan, etc.

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 3:53 PM: On Wednesday, Todd Bertuzzi began to pursue a post-hockey-playing career in coaching (though he's still hoping to get a call from some NHL team) taking in the practices of Tyler Bertuzzi'sGuelph Storm, and you and I discussed the Red Wings' shootout issues, Mike Babcock's future, the Mattias Backman issue and the consistency of a certain general manager's points of view.

Thursday, the Red Wings got back to work after taking Wednesday off, preparing for a 3-games-in-5-nights pre-Christmas, home-ice stretch against the Islanders (on Friday; the Isles are tied with the Wings' 41 points but have 4 more wins than the Wings do), Avalanche (on Sunday) and surging Sabres (on Tuesday).

There was good news from the beat writers in that Johan Franzen--whose bad play apparently coincided with a physical illness--skated and proclaimed himself good to go on Friday, and that Stephen Weiss skated hoping to return to the lineup on Sunday.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Shane Doan Not Even Thinking About Leaving the Arizona Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

The Coyotes have failed to make the playoffs since that Cinderella run, and barring a midseason revival, the team seems poised for a third consecutive absence.

This trajectory has led many to wonder if now is the time for Doan to cash in those 19 years of unwavering service, request a trade and seek a championship with a different team.

Apparently, though, Doan isn't one of them.

"It hasn't even crossed my mind," he said. "It's not even something I'm thinking about. I don't foresee me ever making that decision."

Doan and the Coyotes are about as interchangeable as it gets, so it'd be tough to see him slip on a sweater of another color. But no one could blame him for tagging out to chase a personal ambition after being a pillar of optimism through ownership drama and relocation rumors — especially at the age of 38.

But, believe it or not, it's that commitment to the Coyotes that gives Doan plenty of reason to stay.

more

added 1:24pm, More on Doan from Pierre LeBrun below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

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