Kukla's Korner

A Little Give And Take

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Justin Bourne at USA TODAY,

Alright, old school coaches. Maybe Gordie Howe was the greatest hockey player to ever live. I’ll make the concession that it’s at least a possibility (though I highly doubt it), but you’ve got to come together with me on a few things:

I’ll admit that Gordie Howe was one of the greatest to play the game if you admit that the new sticks are better than the old ones — because they are.

Today’s sticks don’t break more frequently than wood ones; in fact, they break less often. NHL players used to go through 100 of the wood ones per year. People see that newer sticks are made of a composite material and then somehow think that means they should last for all eternity. They’re made to be better, not indestructible. You do know they’re better, right?

continued

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

Flyers Hope Briere Can Spark Offense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Briere has missed the last three games - two because of an NHL-mandated suspension and one because of the flu. He was back at practice yesterday and will return to the lineup Thursday against visiting Vancouver.

His return is welcomed. Without him, the Flyers had a total of four goals in the three games. Briere is second on the team with 10 goals, even though he has played in only 17 of the 24 contests.

“You don’t change a team with one guy, but I hope I can help out in that department. That’s my game, the offensive side,” said Briere, who will try to ignite a power play that has failed in its last nine chances.

“Goals have been tougher to come lately, but there’s always stretches like that in a season,” he said. “You have to try to go back to the basics.

“We put a lot of pucks on net in Atlanta, but maybe [we should be] trying to get around the goalie a little more, trying to screen a little more - get our noses dirty in that area to find loose pucks instead of giving the goalie a chance to see everything.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Photographer Takes A Clearing Pass To The Cheekbone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Toronto Star photographer Steve Russell is used to shooting the story, not being shot at.

Midway through the third period of Monday night’s Leaf game, Russell took a shot off his right cheekbone from Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

Miller, clearing the puck, shot toward the glass. In a kind of million-to-one shot, the puck somehow went through a little cutout area in the glass where photographers aim their cameras.

“He wasn’t shooting it hard, he was just throwing it into the corner,” said Russell, whose camera was slightly lowered at the time while he followed the play. “If it was a hard shot, I would have got a lot more messed up. It went right straight through the hole and hit me square in the cheekbone.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Financial Issues In Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

David Freeman, the chairman and governor of the Nashville Predators, has a $3.35-million (all currency U.S.) tax lien on his house and admits to cash-flow problems but both he and the NHL claim there are no concerns about the financial health of his hockey team.

However, since the Predators owners have to maintain a guarantee of up to $50-million with the city of Nashville that is based on their net worth along with other obligations, the lien raises a number of red flags.

There is also the security that has to be maintained with the team’s major lender, CIT Group, which is owed at least $85-million. CIT is in the middle of bankruptcy reorganization, which further complicates matters. Another problem is a drop in attendance this season, which could lower the amount the Predators earn from the NHL’s revenue-sharing plan.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+freeman

Strange Night In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Although the NHL rulebook does not specifically stipulate a fine or suspension for kneeing, supplementary discipline can be applied at the discretion of the commissioner.

And you’d have to think that’s exactly what will happen, given that Georges Laraque of the Montreal Canadiens recently received a five-game suspension for his knee-on-knee hit that injured Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. One big difference was that Gleason came back to play the rest of the game (Kronwall’s out for at least a month), while Ovechkin looked to take the worse of the hit, leaving the game and not returning.

Ovechkin also received a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding last week when he drilled Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres head-first into the boards. Ovechkin did not receive supplementary discipline for that hit, but likely won’t be that lucky this time around.

Although NHL vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell would not say whether Ovechkin will face a hearing, he did say that Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard will not be suspended for hitting his own goalie, Tomas Vokoun, with a two-handed baseball swing in the Panthers 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.

“It will be on every sports highlight show for the next week,” Campbell said. “If that’s not enough of a punishment…”

more Ovechkin and Vokoun talk…

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

All Lindy Ruff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Question: Considering that the Sabres missed the playoffs last season primarily because goaltender Ryan Miller was injured for a lengthy period, can we assume that having Miller healthy and performing at an elite level is key to the Sabres leading the Northeast?

Ruff: He has played very well, but I think the team has played very well in front of him. He can play aggressively in certain situations because of the confidence he has that he has protection around him. For us, it’s been a combination. We have played more solid defensively, and when we do break down, he has made key saves at the right time. That has given our team confidence.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lindy+ruff

Vokoun Hit In Head By Stick Of Teammate Ballard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP at TSN,

Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was accidentally hit in the head by the stick of teammate Keith Ballard in the opening period of Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Vokoun had a laceration to his ear but was alert when he was placed in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital, a Panthers spokesman said.

The incident occurred after Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk scored a goal at 8:54 of the first period, knocking in his own rebound. In apparent frustration, Ballard swung his stick at the net, inadvertently striking Vokoun in the head.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: keith+ballard, tomas+vokoun

Ovechkin Knee-On-Knee Hit On Gleason

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In case you just follow KK Hockey, David Lee of Red and Black Hockey on KK has the video and commentary on the hit tonight.

added 8:47pm, Another video of the hit…

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

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Almost two minutes of the best goals, saves and hits from the past week in the NHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Waiting in the Wings, Vol. 2: Fantasy Left Wingers

Blog: KK Hockey By Hippy Dave

After posting my last entry on right wingers, I discovered a couple of folks are in deep enough leagues where finding talent at left wing is also a challenge.  With that in mind I’m going to assume your league has already snapped up those left wingers whose unexpected rise from obscurity has already been noticed and find out what other wire bait might be useful to your team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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