Kukla's Korner

Will Team Canada Hockey Players Grab The Canadian Spotlight?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CBC,

The accomplishments of some Canadian athletes at the 2010 Winter Games may be overshadowed because of the attention on the men’s hockey team, a multiple Olympic medallist said Friday.

Senator Nancy Greene Raine, who won gold and silver medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics, said hockey is such a huge part of the Canadian culture it sometimes pushes other sports out of the picture.

“I always felt it was good to be a female athlete because you were never compared against the hockey superstars,” Greene Raine told a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Vancouver board of trade.

“There is no doubt in my mind a lot of great Canadian male amateur athletes, Olympic athletes, what they’ve done has not been properly recognized because they are not hockey players. That is something you have to live with as a Canadian.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nancy+greene+raine, team+canada, winter+olympics

The Oilers And Their Cap Problems

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The team is sitting in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 16-25-5 and just 37 points. They’ve lost three in a row, they’re eight points below the next-lowest team in the Blue Jackets, and their playoff prospects are impossibly bleak.

Normally, a team mired in that bad of a situation can at least look forward to a brighter future - the idea being that they can really only go up. But when it comes to the Oilers, could things be looking equally shaky for the long term?

“I get the idea that they want to peddle hope - and they should - and there’s a major rebuild that’s going to go on here,” says TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. “But this is a last-place hockey team with a first-place payroll, and they’ve got some serious financial issues they have to address.”

Those financial issues are going to provide a major obstacle for a team whose immediate priority is simply to climb out of the NHL’s basement. The first step?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Let Ovechkin Fight His Own Battles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Matt Bradley is being hailed around the capital as a hero for cutting in on an impending knuckle-duster between Steve Downie and national treasure Alexander Ovechkin.

He shouldn’t be.

If anything, the fourth-line banger’s impetuous intervention embarrassed the team’s newly-minted captain and set him up for a potentially more dangerous confrontation down the road.

continued with more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Talking The Game Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Penguins scouting heavily Maple Leafs’ Alexei Ponikarovsky

Blog: KK Members Blog By Slasher98

According to Pittsburgh Insider William Depaoli, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been scouting the Toronto Maple Leafs in the past month. Head scout Derek Clancey has been seen at Air Canada Centre many times with winger Alexei Ponikarovsky being a player of interest for the Penguins.

Alexei Ponikarovsky (Getty images)

Ponikarovsky, 29, is a big winger (6′4”, 220 lb) with great hands that has 15 goals and 14 assists for 29 points in 48 games with the Maple Leafs this season. Poni is in the final year of his contract that pays him $2.5 million this season; his cap hit is $2.1 million.

The Kiev-native had a career-year last season in Toronto, recording 23 goals and 38 assists for 61 points in 82 games. He would surely complement well Evgeni Malkin on the Penguins’ second line who is forced to play with pluggers Maxime Talbot and Ruslan Fedotenko. Talbot only has five points in 25 games this season, while Fedotenko only has 16 points in 47 games this year.

The Penguins also need help on the power play; as of today their power play ranks 29th in the league with a dismal 14.8% efficiency. You have to wonder what’s wrong in Steel Town when you have talented players like Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, Bill Guerin and Alex Goligoski on your first unit. With his large frame, quick hands and great vision, Ponikarovsky would certainly help the Penguins in that department.

Ponikarovsky, a fourth round (87th overall) pick of the Leafs at the 1998 NHL entry draft, has spent his entire career as a member of the Maple Leafs.

Does Brian Burke envision him as a core player of the Leafs’ future success or does he use him as a trade-bait to get back some of the high draft picks he traded to acquire budding star Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins before the start of the current season?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: burke, crosby, fedotenko, goligoski, gonchar, guerin, kessel, malkin, ponikarovsky, talbot

Bobby Ryan Hit On Oscar Moller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch the hit and reaction to the hit from both sides.

Want more background, check out the KK post from this morning.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan, oscar+moller

Pascal Leclaire Took A Shot To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen,

Judging from the way he looked when he spoke to reporters in Montreal Friday morning, Ottawa Senators goalie Pascal Leclaire is going to be out for some time with what looks like a serious concussion.

During a two-on-one drill during Thursday’s morning skate, Leclaire took a shot from Mike Fisher square on the forehead.

Leclaire said it temporarily knocked him out. When he recovered he quickly left the ice.

a bit more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pascal+leclaire

All This For 11 Minutes Of Action

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal,

Football fans everywhere are preparing to settle in for the NFL’s biggest and most electric weekend of the season—a four-game playoff marathon that will swallow up at least 12 hours of broadcast time over two days.

But here’s something even dedicated students of the game may not fully appreciate: There’s very little actual football in a football game.

According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.


thanks to a KK member for the pointer

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Worst Penalty Kill Ever

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the worst penalty kill in the NHL this season.  They have killed 68.9% of opposing team’s penalties.  The second worst team is the Edmonton Oilers who are over 7% better with a 76% success rate.  The NHL has recorded penalty kill success rates since the 1963/64 season and this year’s Leafs team has the third worst rate in history.  Behind the Net Hockey has a nice summary of the worst penalty kills in history

The two teams that were worse in raw percentage than this year’s Maple Leafs are the 1979/80 Los Angeles Kings and the 1982/83 Kings who came in at 67.7% and 68.24% respectively.  With a bad game or two, the Leafs could be in that range.  In fact at times they have fallen behind the 83 Kings penalty kill rate only to recover a bit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Not Many Sellers In The Northwest

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roger Phillips at NHL.com,

After the Olympics, the next big event on the hockey calendar will is the March 3 trade deadline. It’s a time that will have ramifications for teams hoping to improve themselves before the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as for those beginning the process of preparing for next season.

Right now, it looks possible every team in the Northwest Division will be a buyer leading into the deadline. Every team, that is, except the Oilers, who have fallen to the bottom of the Western Conference standings and would need a miraculous run just to draw within sniffing distance of a playoff berth.

continue for more Northwest Division talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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