Kukla's Korner

Rookie Of The Year Race

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In early January, I picked Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres as the Calder trophy leader.  He has not kept up that pace.  In fact in his last ten games, Myers has only one point and -6 +/- rating.  Those are not Calder Trophy numbers.  Hence it is time to pick a new leader. 

The leader at this point is Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.  He is the clear Detroit number one goalie (due in part to Chris Osgood’s failures).  Howard has a .925 saves percentage, which is good enough for fifth in the NHL and a 2.33 goals against average (8th in the league).  Among the NHL’s successful rookie goalies this year (Howard, Tuukka Rask and Antti Niemi) Howard has been the only one who has played the majority of his team’s games.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

What Will Yzerman Do Next?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

It’s not often you can write your own ticket, but Steve Yzerman can….

The Tampa Bay Lightning might be looking with a new owner Jeff Vinik and Brian Lawton’s contract running out, or something else might suddenly pop open after the season ends or after the playoffs if a contender goes down early.

0r does Stevie Y just stay where he is for a few more years in Detroit, as a valued voice in the room with GM Ken Holland, assistant Jim Nill and VP Jimmy Devellano? Holland isn’t going anywhere any time soon, unless owner Mike Ilitch asks if he’s tired of the day-to-day grind and maybe Holland wants to kick himself upstairs.

“I don’t really have a plan. I’m here in Detroit, still learning a lot. I like being around Kenny, Jimmy and Ryan (director of hockey administration Martin),” said Yzerman. “I’m pretty happy.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman, team+canada

LB: Somebody Gotta Save Our Season

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

This is going to be one of those statement games.

The last time the Wings won against Junior, Jobu tore the Mule’s knee to shreds.  Needless to say, the Wings are looking to avenge both Jobu and the Hawks for having their way with us this season.

Although I still haven’t watched the game against Bubba on the DVR, from reading the last LB it was a barnburner.  According to Khan(!), Helm even had his first two goal game.  Thanks to RWBill for pointing that one out.  And for pointing out the the Chief Deep Digger is a complete idiot.  We all know that Helm had another two-goal game, and RWBill even went so far to point it out at mLive.  Khan(!) being the Deep Digger extraordinaire that he is promptly corrected his article and deleted Bill’s comment with no mention of the revision.

Never one to fact check, I will say that Khan(!) is a pole smoker who only uses his access to the Red Wings locker room to get free bottles of Gatorade and to catch glimpses of Chris Osgood naked.  He obviously doesn’t take his job seriously or he would actually try and do it properly.  If any one of us brought that level of professionalism to our jobs, we would be fired immediately and wind up begging for change on the street.

You know the old saying about giving a million monkeys a million typewriters and a million years, they would write the works of Shakespeare?  Well give nineteen monkeys with frontal lobotomies nineteen typewriters and nineteen minutes, they would better the work of all the Deep Diggers.  Us Wings fans are in a lot of trouble now that Cousin Bruce MacLeod is no longer covering the Wings.  At least we still have Malik kicking some ass and taking names.

And the Hawks are in trouble this afternoon as our Wings are ready for some payback.  Patrick Kane better hide his mouth guard as Franzen is back.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Nine Games On The NHL Schedule Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings/Blackhawks game starts at 12:30pm ET on NBC and 8 games follow.

The schedule for today can be viewed below.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

GDT - Game #65: Red Wings at Blackhawks (12:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

“Detroit has been Chicago’s nemesis. The Blackhawks have challenged the Red Wings but have never been able to overtake them. But this year, Chicago leads the Central. The United Center will be filled with 20,000-plus fans screaming their lungs out. It will be raucous,” so says Mike “Doc” Emrick.  Doc is also a subscriber to Uncle Mike’s theory:  “Detroit is starting to get healthy and you wouldn’t want to run into them in the first round. They will be one of the foremost interesting teams to watch down the homestretch.”

All of that presupposes that the Wings can survive the Peloton of Suck.  Since the Olympic break DET looked very good at COL, then imploded against VAN, and followed that up with am impressive win against NSH.  DET, when they are on their game, look dangerous.  But, shockingly, their play has been erratic and inconsistent.  The stress train siren, she is calling again, and it is sure to be a wild ride.  Todays destination CHI, where the ‘Hawks are an obscene 25-6-2.

Matinee today bitches, all aboard.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

When It Comes To Crosby Against Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

...a pattern is developing: When defining moments present themselves, Crosby’s teams rise up; Ovechkin’s melt down.

Ovechkin is (Wilt) Chamberlain, a larger-than-life scoring machine who racks up so many individual awards that we begin to lose track by his mid-20s.

Crosby is (Bill) Russell, the consummate winner, the guy who does a million little things (and some really big ones) to lead his team to championships.

A week ago today, Crosby’s team left Vancouver with gold medals; Ovechkin’s left in disgrace.

Crosby has helped his NHL team to seven playoff series wins, two appearances in the Cup final and one title. Ovechkin has helped his team to, ah, let me break out the calculator here ... one playoff series win.


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

Covering The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In a letter to the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA.) a hockey fan wants more NHL coverage.  Their response-

...we understand the Kings are one of the top teams in the NHL and are closing in on their first playoff berth since 2001.

One of our most difficult challenges in the sports department on a daily basis is to balance the various interests of our readers.

From an in-depth high school and local sports report to college sports, the various pro leagues, auto racing, golf, tennis, soccer and horse racing, readers turn to us for the daily news that interests them.

In our diverse market, satisfying everyone is a challenging task as we try to slice up the sports section and please every reader.

Hockey still faces its own challenges as it tries to attract a fan base.

read on

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

Colton Orr Proclaims Himself As The Winner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

When Matt Carkner saw Colton Orr flash triple fingers to the Scotiabank crowd, he knew his Maple Leafs pugilist partner wasn’t signifying three wins for Toronto over the Senators in the Battle of Ontario.

Orr was trying to claim the victory in the third of four fights in as many games between them, though Carkner took exception to the signal as showboating.

“He was probably celebrating because he had three shifts in the game or something,” Carkner retorted.

continued and watch the fight below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colton+orr, matt+carkner

No Stability For Flyers Goaltender

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

Flyers goalie Michael Leighton is the only starter in the NHL who still lives out of a hotel.

The 28-year-old native of Sarnia holds that title because he landed the No. 1 spot less than two months ago, despite a seven-year career.

Before being known for hotel home, he was mostly known for being placed on waivers.

To date, Leighton has been waived four times, once after playing only 20 minutes in Nashville. He’s also been traded twice and signed as a free agent once, with Anaheim. Now, after more than two months with the Flyers, Leighton may be able to stop counting.

Despite being a lock for the Flyers job, Leighton knows how fleeting the position can be at times.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+leighton

Crosby Says No To Letterman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Maybe Sidney Crosby is a fan of Jay’s or maybe he was upset at not being invited to Dave’s Super Bowl bash with Oprah, but folks around the NHL sure would be interested in learning even one of No. 87’s reasons for rejecting David Letterman’s invitation to host his Top Ten while the Golden Boy was in New York this week.

Upon learning of the snub, Slap Shots was told that this wasn’t the first time Crosby, who last year declined to appear on NBC’s “Today” show following Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup victory, had rejected a request from Letterman’s “Late Show.”

continued plus additional topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+letterman, sidney+crosby, team+canada

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