Kukla's Korner

Feels Like Home On The Road

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Not only will the Penguins players have their names over their stalls, but the coaches’ room will have a label on it with a Penguins logo, as will the training room and the video room.
Heinze also hangs signs bearing the slogans that are prominent around Mellon Arena; sayings such as “Attention to detail,” “Pride,” “Respect,” “Commitment,” and “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
“When we go on the road, I try to make their experience as comfortable as possible,” Heinze said. “I want them to walk in and see the Penguins logos everywhere. It really does dress up all the visiting locker rooms and I like it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.”

read on

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hasek Flops

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Call this one a gift from one of the greats.
The Calgary Flames can thank Dominik Hasek’s tribute to Keanu Reeves last night for helping the hosts out of a tailspin that threatened their playoff chances….
While Hasek tried to defend his juvenile actions after the game by suggesting he was walloped by someone’s elbow as two players fought for goalmouth position, a furious coach Mike Babcock would have none of it.
“It wasn’t interference at all—our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” spat Babcock, who said he’s warned Hasek of such well-known hijinks in the past.

more

Filed in: Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s Good To Be Hated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Tennessean,

The Predators have certainly seen their share of controversy over the past few days, with forward Jordin Tootoo getting suspended and Dallas president Jim Lites firing a broadside of criticism at the organization.
That’s okay with Trotz, who figures a team has to have achieved a certain status if it’s begun to irritate opponents.
“When you’re not a threat to anybody, people let you be,’’ Trotz said. “Now when you’re a threat to people, that’s where you start getting the rivalries. It’s good to be hated. You’ve got to be doing something right.’‘

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

4th Line For Yashin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Newsday,

Yashin lost track of Vincent Lecavalier just before the NHL’s leading goal scorer netted his 49th of the season to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead at 1:50 of the second period. Yashin had only 12 shifts and 9:22 of ice time. “Whether it’s our captain or not, you have to perform,” Nolan said. “At this time of the year, there’s no excuses.
“He’s been back now for [six] games. Losing a guy on the second goal, that’s inexcusable at this time of year. You can lose certain people, but we have to play with a certain urgency, with some grit, and whoever doesn’t won’t get too much ice time.”

Filed in: New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ducks Win - Still Lose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

The Ducks are in the red, despite sponsorships and suite and club seating at the highest levels since the team’s inaugural season in 1993-94, a 44 percent increase in season-ticket sales since July 2005 (from 7,000 to 12,500) and a rise in average attendance from 15,026 at this point last season to 16,323 now.
“With all of that said, with all the arena revenue and all the revenue from the team, even if we go deep into the playoffs, we’ll lose several million dollars,” Ryan said.
While the club declined to reveal specific figures, the sense is that the losses will be less than last season and markedly less than in the final years of Disney’s ownership. The challenging bottom line is a surprise to no one involved.

more

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Two Controversial Calls

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of St. Louis Today,

The Blues are working hard to the end. They are busting their tails night after night. They are establishing team pride and integrity during the final weeks of the season.
So it is only fair that they expect the NHL officials to maintain their integrity while working their games -– and to not hand victories to the other side, as they did Tuesday night.
This team has been on the wrong side of poor calls and inexplicable non-calls in recent games, culminating with the fiasco against Ottawa at the Scottrade Center.
NHL referees Mick “Mister” McGeough and Dennis LaRue refused to acknowledge one obvious goal, then waved off a second obvious goal. The first goal would have given the Blues a 3-2 lead and the second would have tied the game 3-3.

continued

Filed in: St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Redneck Heaven

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Janssen knew the drill, so he dropped his gloves and turned to face Belak. He was about to pay the price for knocking Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle out of the lineup on March 2 with a late, blindside hit that left Kaberle with a concussion and the Leafs without their best defenceman.
The 19,518 fans at the Air Canada Centre rose as one to revel in the show. This was the moment the mouth breathers were waiting for. It was redneck heaven, as good as macaroni and cheese and a cold Lakeport with the rasslers on the tube. It’s a wonder even the sushi eaters in the platinum seats did not break into a chant of “Git ‘er done.”

read on

Filed in: New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Takes Concussions Seriously

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser at the New York Times,

“That first week, some people were saying I was done for the season, some saying maybe I was done for my career,” Shanahan said. “One week stretched into two and two weeks stretched into three. I started to wonder who was right. And then suddenly it went away.”...
Like football, hockey has a culture of athletes playing hurt, but the National Hockey League has tried to take a more cautious approach on concussions since the mid-1990s, when several star players sustained serious injuries. League officials say the N.H.L. has been studying concussions — hoping to publish its results next year in a medical journal — and assembles its team physicians at least once a year to discuss the latest findings….
“I happen to think the N.H.L. has shown some leadership in some regards, establishing a study group and committing time and energy to the issue,” said Dr. Karen Johnston, a concussion specialist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who has treated some of hockey’s most famous concussion patients, including Mike Richter and Eric Lindros. “Just by looking into an issue, you keep the attention focused on it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Are They Talking About

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Wings radio flagship station decided to talk some hockey before the game tonight.  They would have been better off listening to their program director, who has told them to keep the hockey talk to a minimum because no one cares about it.
First, the host asks the listening audience, “Can the Wings Compete?”.  Uh no, Mr. radio host, they win tonight, they are back on top of the NHL standings.
Then he decides to talk about Bertuzzi and mentioned he was schedule to return this Thursday, but won’t play until Saturday or next Monday (reports are Bert will play on Thursday night if his morning skate goes well).
He then stated he would try to get more information on the Wing injury status at the Joe tomorrow, if they practice. 
If they practice?.  Hey, they are playing in Calgary tonight, won’t arrive home until 3-4am, Babcock may whip them into to shape at times, but believe me, tomorrow will not be one of those days.
On air guys at the Wings radio flagship station, listen to your PD, you are embarrassing yourselves.

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Slight Scoring Slump

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,

A year after sporting five 50-goal scorers, the most in a decade, only one player is currently on pace to top the magical barrier.
Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning carried 48 goals into Tuesday night’s game against the New York Islanders and should have no problem cracking 50 for the first time in his career.
After that, the league needs a few players to get hot in the remaining three weeks of the season. Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne has the best shot sitting at 44 goals with nine games left. He’s on pace for 49.
Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley (42 goals before Tuesday night’s game), Atlanta Thrashers winger Marian Hossa (41 goals) and Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin (41 goals) have an outside shot but aren’t currently on pace for 50.

read on

added 7:07pm, from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

What LeBrun doesn’t get into is a breakdown of how scoring has changed from last season to this one, something that shows unequivocally that the reason for the drop in scoring is fewer goals scored on special teams. While the number of power-play and shorthanded goals is on pace to fall significantly short of last season’s totals, even-strength scoring is actually on pace to marginally surpass the 2005-06 totals:

read on for a breakdown…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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