Kukla's Korner

#1 & #2 Prospects Meet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

All season long, hockey people have debated the merits of Hall and Plymouth Whalers centre Tyler Seguin, rated to go1-2 in the draft.

Starting Thursday, these bird dogs will be offered the chance to see these two young men go head-to-head at the most important time of the year, as the Spitfires and Whalers open their best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Western Conference semifinal at the WFCU Centre.

Expect the rink to be populated with enough scouts to fill a jamboree.

“That would be something you’d like to see,” said Pat Quinn, coach of the Edmonton Oilers, who lost 5-4 at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday and figure to be the team with the first choice in the 2010 draft.

“I would like to see that.”

Word in hockey circles is that the Oilers, in dire need of strength down the middle, are leaning slightly toward Seguin.


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

Tuukka Rask Or Tim Thomas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe,

Yesterday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, host Gary Tanguay suggested Bruins coach Claude Julien should be fired for starting Tim Thomas in net Monday night against Buffalo.

I’d comment, but the sheer inanity of such a statement sort of just speaks for itself.

Today though, he’s probably ready to award the man a new three-year contract extension for starting Tuukka Rask last night in Boston’s stellar 1-0 overtime win over the Devils, a victory that some feel means we’ll never see Thomas in between the pipes ever again.

Until, you know…this weekend maybe.

But didn’t you know, Thomas is washed up. Finished. It’s time for Rask to take the reins, and end the nonsense of flip-flopping them in net. Otherwise, Julien should be…nah, forget it.

But even the staunchest supporter of Thomas has to realize that this perceived goalie controversy is over.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Vancouver’s Goalie Was Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

Roberto Luongo haters, you’d rather have Ilya Bryzgalov in goal heading into the playoffs?

No one’s been better since the Olympics than Bryzgalov, but the Russian backup at the 2010 Games was beat by Alex Burrows from a bad angle at the top of the circle on the game’s first shot, then by Mason Raymond on a no-look whip-around along the ice on the game’s second shot Tuesday night.

And, just when his team had gotten back into the game with a power-play goal, Bryzgalov handed the puck to Henrik Sedin behind the Coyotes net and Sedin tucked it in short-handed to make it a two-goal Canucks’ lead again heading into the second period.

“My goalie was better than their goalie,” Alain Vigneault stated simply.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Can’t Call This Luck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

I received a very interesting email from a local sports fan today. It snarled that the Caps were good just because we were lucky that we got to draft Alex Ovechkin. I disagreed on the overall sentiment of the email but I do agree that luck has a lot to do with success. Not as much as having a plan, a strategy, a culture, and an infrastructure focused on excellence but luck is a key component. We did also draft Semin, Green, Backstrom, Carlson, Schultz, Varlamov, Nuervirth, Fehr, and Alzner too. Lucky bastards that we are grin. Malkin was the second pick in that draft that Ovechkin went number 1 too. Penguins got lucky too, I guess.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Aaron Ward Nearing Retirement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,

And Ward, like Selanne, seems to be in the twilight of his career. An unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, Ward, 37, can’t help but think about his future.

“When you get to this stage of your career, you let the season end and then you let everything settle and you go from there,” Ward said.

“First off you have to generate interest and then you have to determine whether or not you’re ready to play. At this point I’m ready to play. I’m looking forward to next season.”

Whether that would be with the Ducks remains to be seen as a transition stage looms for the club. Selanne and captain Scott Niedermayer might retire, and the Ducks could use Ward as a mentor for their younger defensemen.

But if Ward retired no would blame him.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward

Watch Out For Detroit

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Detroit Red Wing season has not gone according to plan.  They spent much of the season just outside the playoff positions in the West Conference.  Detroit’s problems have been due to age, injuries and player losses due to salary cap constraints.  They have recently been able to avoid any key injuries and this has helped the team to get on track.  They have climbed into sixth in the West with a 40-36 record (with 13 regulation tie points - the highest total of any playoff team).  They are one point back of fifth seed Nashville, with two games in hand. 

It is clear that Detroit is going to make the playoffs, barring a major collapse.  Most likely they won’t be a bottom seed looking to knock off a team that just won the conference; they will likely face a team that had approximately the same record they had in the regular season.  As things stand, they would face the Vancouver Canucks and if they slide into fifth seed they would face the Phoenix Coyotes.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Is It Time To Start Worrying In D.C.?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

For those keeping score at home, tonight’s 5-4 loss to the Senators marked the 10th time in the past 18 games in which the Caps went to extra time.

While annoying - particularly for writers on tight deadlines - going to OT isn’t the reason fans should be getting concerned. This is why: For the second straight season, the Caps are closing out the regular season with a thud instead of a bang.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blackhawks Continue To Stumble

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,

So it’s come to this for the reeling Blackhawks, trying to find positives in a loss.

That’s so five years ago.

“That was a major progression from the last two (losses) for me,” coach Joel Quenneville said after Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Blues.

The Hawks have lost seven of their last nine games and right now don’t look like a team that’s even going to get out of the first round of the playoffs.


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

Gordie Howe Turns 82

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Happy Birthday Gordie Howe

thanks to Snapshots for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

Ryan Kesler Hit On Derek Morris Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kesler received 5 for boarding, a 10 and game misconduct.

Kevin Bieksa and Morris received 2 for roughing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+morris, ryan+kesler

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