Kukla's Korner

Celebrate Hockey Day In America On Sunday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn.  – NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America this Sunday with an NHL quadrupleheader on NBC and NBCSN, as well as a collection of stories and features that explore hockey’s impact and influence across the U.S.  

Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, when Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers host Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. NBC’s HDIA presentation continues at 3:30 p.m. ET, when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins host Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc+sports+group

Fred The Scout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gare Joyce at the New York Times,

This is a story about one of those scouts, Fred. I tell Fred’s story whenever I overhear a fan talking about scouting as a dream job.

When I first met him, in the early 2000s at the World Junior Championships in Pardubice, in the Czech Republic, his scouting career was off to a promising start. He was in his early 30s, in his first N.H.L. gig.

As a player, he was short and, to be polite, stubby. On the ice, he had lived by his wits. Scouts grade prospects on “hockey sense,” an intuitive understanding of the way the game should be played. Scouts, of course, would be helpless without it. As a player and scout, Fred had hockey sense in spades.

Though he never played in an N.H.L. game, Fred believed he had found his niche as a scout, and now wanted to get made, to become a part of the fraternity, to have not just a career but a good career, to be a 25-year, maybe a 30-year hockey man.

We got to where we’d call each other up every couple of weeks or so to swap notes. On more than a couple of occasions, we shared rides to games — braving icy two-lane highways on the banks of the St. Lawrence going into the small-town Quebec. We became friends.

Fred was a good scout, industrious, conscientious, always looking for a certain type of player, like he had a favorite flavor.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time To Sell In Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

This team, well, the parts just don't seem to fit. Some of the players have aged quickly. Others have underperformed and look as if they need a change of scenery.

So what should general manager Ron Hextall do?

My suggestions:

At some point before the March 1 trade deadline, sell, sell, sell.

Try to get some draft picks for soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Mark Streit, Nick Schultz, and Michael Del Zotto, three defensemen who don't figure to be here next season. And attempt to get a team to throw in a backup goalie who can be exposed in the expansion draft, enabling the Flyers to protect Anthony Stolarz.

Deal one of the goalies. Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason also will have the potential to become unrestricted free agents after the season, and playoff-bound Edmonton is shopping for a backup goalie. Neuvirth, who didn't help his value in Thursday's embarrassing 6-3 loss to the Oilers, or Mason could fill the bill....

Listen to offers for one of the core players because the makeup of this team is not working. In other words, nobody should be deemed untouchable if the right offer came along.

Find out why Claude Giroux looks as if he's 29 going on 34.

Maybe Giroux is playing injured, though he denies it. Maybe past injures, including a concussion, have just taken a toll. Maybe he just needs big wingers by his side - he was at his best when he played between Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr - to give him more skating room.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Videos- Two Plays You May Have Missed On Friday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jaromir Jagr with puck theft against Josh Manson...

 

 

Below, the Blue Jackets thought they had a goal...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
COLUMBUS 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT)
Colorado 2, CAROLINA 1 (OT)
Florida 4, ANAHEIM 1
 
JAGR ADDS TO GAME-WINNING GOAL TOTAL IN PANTHERS WIN
Jaromir Jagr (1-0—1) scored the 135th game-winning goal of his career to extend his all-time record and help the Panthers improve to 6-1-0 in their last seven contests.
 

 

 
* Per Elias, Jagr became just the second player to score a game-winning goal after turning 45 years old. Chris Chelios scored his last game-winner with DET on Feb. 18, 2008 at age 46 (4-0 W vs. COL).
 
* Florida (26-20-10, 62 points), who has won three straight contests to begin a five-game road trip, moved within a point of Toronto (26-19-11, 63 points) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
 
James Reimer made 35 saves to improve to 7-1-1 in his last nine decisions (2.13 GAA, .930 SV%).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Griffins smoke San Antonio; Walleye win in Wichita; Hronek 1+1; Pearson 2A

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins received goals from 5 players and 32 saves from Cal Heeter en route to a 5-2 victory over the San Antonio Rampage on Friday night.

The Griffins' website posted a recap...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The overnight report: Red Wings-Capitals set-up—Wings hope to capitalize on Caps’ ‘Bye Week’ rust

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings face a unique challenge in batting the red-hot Washington Capitals this afternoon (2 PM on FSD/CSN Mid-Atlantic/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM). The Capitals boast one of the NHL's best records at 39-11-and-2, the Capitals have won 6 straight games, and they're coming off a 6-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks...A week ago.

The Capitals are coming off their "Bye Week" facing the Wings, and while the 13 teams that have taken part in "Bye Weeks" are 3-9-and-1 in their first game, the Wings--who are playing for pride at this point--lost 6-3 to Washington on February 9th.

In their first practice after the break, the Capitals told the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan that they're aware of the impediments to continuing their scintillating pace of late:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Griffins to host ‘Corks, Pucks and Brews’ on February 21st

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

CORKS, PUCKS AND BREWS SET FOR FEB. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Easterseals Michigan are teaming up for the sixth annual Corks, Pucks and Brews, a wine and beer tasting fundraiser to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Goei Center.

Griffins players will serve over 100 varieties of wine and craft beer samples to guests at the event, highlighted by live music, hors d’oeuvres and silent and live auctions. Items up for bid include two Chicago Cubs VIP packages consisting of 4 suite tickets, food and parking for an upcoming game; an autographed Jimmy Howard jersey; Griffins packages; a golf experience featuring a round at the Jewel Golf Course in Mackinac Island; casino packages; beauty packages; product baskets; wine and beer tours; gift cards and more.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Hockey In Mexico?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Gomez of ESPN,

MEXICO CITY -- In a sports bar tucked between the Roma Sur and Narvarte neighborhoods on a recent weekday night, a dry erase board lists the top three events available on its multiple screens.

Save for a very small minority, every patron is there to watch the main event, a World Cup qualifier between Mexico and Panama. Also listed is an NBA contest, with the Chicago Bulls battling the Portland Trail Blazers. And the third event on the board is the NHL clash between the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It's a small, perhaps even throwaway gesture, but the mere acknowledgment of hockey in Mexico is still notable at this point, as the sport slowly continues to build in popularity and relevance for a country that has provided leagues and sports north of the border with an apt opportunity for expansion in recent years.

In the past 12 months, Mexico City has hosted Major League Baseball, auto racing's Formula 1, UFC's mixed martial arts, the NFL's Monday Night Football, two regular-season NBA games, even wrestling's WWE. For the NHL, a league also looking to expand its brand beyond its usual sphere of influence, Mexico could provide an interesting destination and a chance to gauge future outings beyond North America in an effort to popularize the game.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sipple, Khan: Wings unhappy with challenging campaign

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Nielsen spoke with the Free Press's George Sipple regarding playing through an incredibly frustrating 2016-17 campaign:

Zetterberg, the team captain, acknowledged that this has been a tough season.

“Not just for me,” Zetterberg said. “It’s hard to go through this, but you do it as a team, and you try to get better every day.”

Forward Frans Nielsen agreed. He signed a six-year, $31.5-million deal to join the Wings this season and expected to make the playoffs.

“No one is feeling good about it right now,” Nielsen said. “We’re absolutely not where we want to be and think we should be, with the talent that’s in that room.”

Nielsen said the Wings have to play with pride the rest of the season. He thinks the Wings have “three potential superstars” in Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.

“Within the next couple years, we might have three of the best players in the league in those three,” Nielsen said. “We’ve got some great, great young players to build this team around.”

Sipple continues

Quick update: MLive's Ansar Khan also weighs in:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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