Kukla's Korner

GDT - Game #76: Red Wings host Oilers (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The Red Wings have won a season-high five consecutive games and are 12-2-1 in their past 15 tilts. Jimmah has been a huge part of the Wings recent success, and he was named the NHL’s #2 star this past week.  His obscene (in a good way) numbers:  a 4-0-0 record with a 1.22 goals-against average, .958 save percentage and one shutout - - not too mention his ridiculous (and sort of “abnormal”) saves in the NSH shootout (10/11).

The Oil are awful, really they are; it is just that the Wings don’t seem to know it (or maybe they do).  They come limping into the JLA having gone 3-6-1 in their last 10, and losers of 2 straight. The Oil have the leagues worst record at 24-44-7, and the lead the league in road futility at 8-25-3.  Their 2.44 G/G is ranked 29th, and their 3.33 GA/G is worst in the league. In spite of their ineptitude, the Oil have won all three of their games against DET this season. Uncle Mike doesn’t like that fact one bit:  “They beat us like a rented mule.” “They just slap us every time we play them and I’m not joking here. We’re usually down two goals, six minutes in. I hope they let us touch the puck.”  Ironically, DET’s record against the teams in front of them in the standings is 14-4-4: San Jose (3-0-1), Chicago (2-2-1), Vancouver (3-1-0), Phoenix (2-0-2) and Nashville (4-1-0) - - go figure.

Before you get to the numbers, and on a personal note, I want to thank all of the organizers of H2H (too many to name, and I do not want to slight anyone), and the public relations people from the Organization for the coolest ever experience.  I also want to thank the Emperor for all of his behind the scenes help in making H2H an insanely cool event, and in inviting the 19 into the hockey cave HQ - - err, home office.  What a privilege it was to finally meet all you Bitches, including my personal taxi drivers. Rambo and I had the time of our lives and it was that much better because we got to share it with other Red Wings fans (an exceedingly rare commodity here in OK), we both thank all of you so very much.

Game On Bitches, and the karma continues.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

NHL Loses A Prospect

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The KHL is a threat to the NHL.  It is not going to put the NHL out of business, but it is drawing an ever increasing pool of talented players who could be successful NHL players.  Assuming the KHL cannot steal away current NHL stars - though it has had success drawing Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Yashin, Alexander Radulov and others - the key for its growth is to draw young potential laden young players to the league.  It seems to be succeeding with Kirill Kabanov.

Kirill Kabanov was once considered a potential first overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.  He came to play in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats this season.  He missed most of the season with a wrist injury that required surgery.  It kept him out of the World Junior Championships.  He played only 22 games this season, scoring 23 points.  The problem for the NHL is that Kabanov appeared unhappy in Canada and has been allowed to depart his Moncton team during their playoff run so that he can return to his native Belarus and prepare to play for them in the World Championships next month.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Luongo Needs To Be On His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Things sometimes look worse than they are because the urgency to win simply isn’t there. It’s human nature. Of course, if you’re Chicago, and you’re talking goaltending, well, that’s a problem that isn’t necessarily overstated regardless of how meaningless the games are at this stage of the season.

Which brings us to Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo, who took a rare home game off this week after looking shaky in a loss to Edmonton and talked to reporters about how he needs to be more consistent and how mentally and physically draining the past few months have been. Fair enough.

But these past few days have to make Vancouver fans more than a little nervous. Even though Luongo did manage to come on and help lead Canada to an Olympic gold medal in Vancouver last month, there remains a niggling doubt about the mental toughness of the Canucks’ franchise netminder.

The Canucks are as good a team as there is in the Western Conference when Luongo is on. Would it surprise anyone if they marched to a conference final or beyond? No. But as good as the Canucks might be, unless Luongo’s head is in the right space, they aren’t good enough to beat a team like Detroit or Nashville, one of whom they’ll likely draw in the first round, or frankly anyone else.

more plus other NHL topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

H2H Comes To An End

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My views on H2H at NHL.com today.

Tony of the Confluence mentioned a few days ago that he would be interested in doing something like this for the Penguins fan base and I urged him to do so.

Unless you where there, you really don’t know how great of an event it was.

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

You Can SAY You Wanna Be Our HuckleBerry, But You Really, Really Don’t

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Hooooo boy.  Guess who wants the Wings? Guess who wants the Wings in the first round.  Say it with me. Nobody.  That’s who. Nobody wants ‘em now, nobody’s gonna want ‘em in late April, May or those delicious early days of June. 

“Who’s the best team in the West?’‘

That’s Uncle Mike. I know that because Khan(!) told me so.  And he’s asking that question because he already knows the answer and he’s known it for a good while now. 


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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Devils Need To Sign Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Lou Lamoriello has a tiger by the tail, and if he lets go of Kovalchuk, it could come back to bite him. Imagine the fan fallout should the Rangers sign him up, as they did Scott Gomez and Bobby Holik.

The Devils have not won a Cup since they lost Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Gomez to free agency. They probably never possessed an offensive star in his prime, like Kovalchuk, in their history. He surely never had a team with such immediate aspirations or possibilities.

Kovalchuk has yet to win a playoff game, and this seems his chance. If the Devils are serious about promoting themselves to the status they’ve earned, but never embraced, he is their chance.

Still, it is believed that not much has happened regarding negotiations. The Devils’ failure to move in advance of July 1 has been blamed by many departees as a needless launch towards free agency

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Columbus Has Been Bad, But Not Bad Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets’ spotty drafting record has played an integral role in their lack of success. The club has traded away four of its 10 first-round selections. But only their 57-point second season has earned them a top-three pick, which they traded for the right to select Nash.

Meanwhile, Jackets fans have watched clubs such as Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago evolve from rock bottom to rock solid by hitting on dynamic high-end picks.

The Penguins, the reigning Stanley Cup champions, drafted Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin, Crosby and Jordan Staal in a remarkable four-year stretch from 2003 to 2006. No pick was lower than No.2 overall, although they traded up to get Fleury.

“When you are picking that high, it does reduce the chance of error,” Jackets general manager Scott Howson said. “We got a real good one with Rick (Nash).


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ducks Honor Selanne’s 600th Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

Leafs Going In The Right Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

With apologies to Buffalo Springfield, the last few weeks showed when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs there’s something happening here.

What it is may not be exactly clear, given the rebuilding touches that still need to be done and the youth of the team, but this is definitely a team that is starting to open some eyes around the NHL.

The young, speedy, hard-working Leafs (and when’s the last time you could use all that in an adjectival phrase about them) gave the defending Stanley Cup champions fits on Sunday before falling in a shootout. It broke a seven-game streak of overtime wins and afterward the Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute to a team that should be in the playoffs next season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Names You’ll Be Hearing About

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

The regular season winding down also means 14 teams will be missing out on the Stanley Cup playoffs. As a result, some owners will start wondering if they have the right people at the helm of their franchises. Rather than pointing fingers at who is out, it’s probably fair to look at who will be in or back in the NHL. We’ve already talked about Steve Yzerman here, so add Doug Risebrough, Craig MacTavish, Greg Gilbert to the list. As well, Bob Boughner from Windsor in the OHL and Mike Johnston of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks have to be given some consideration. And while he’s a valuable member of the Oilers coaching staff, Tom Renney might just get another head coaching opportunity.

more plus additional hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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