Kukla's Korner

Watching Toskala

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Burke knows what it’s like to have the wrong goalie. He lived too long with Dan Cloutier in Vancouver to know better, and enjoyed the fruits of Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s labour while in Anaheim. One goalie was at his best when it mattered most. The other was just another guy.

What Burke needs to determine sometime between now and the end of the season is: Can Toskala be a starting goaltender on a winning team in Toronto, or will he have to look elsewhere for the next Leafs goalie?

This is the end for Curtis Joseph and with Pogge there is no certainty, no indication yet if there will be a beginning. Pogge isn’t, in anyone’s opinion, lighting it up in the American Hockey League. He is in the middle of the pack among AHL goalies. That is no ringing endorsement on his future. But were Toskala in the middle of the pack, which he is not right now, the Leafs concern in net would not be so substantive.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vesa+toskala

No Response After Hit On Doughty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Billy Witz of the LA Times,

When the Kings’ prized rookie defenseman Drew Doughty crumpled to the ice after a big hit from Tampa Bay’s Evgeny Artyukhin midway through the second period, his defensive partner, Sean O’Donnell, chased Artyukhin off the ice, jabbing him with his stick until he drew a cross-checking penalty.

Doughty left the game because of a bruised thigh….

After Doughty went to the dressing room for the rest of the night because of a bruised thigh, his teammates didn’t respond to the hit with more inspired play or their fists.

“That’s why the dressing room door is closed right now,” Murray said after keeping it closed for 15 minutes.

“That’s a response that players need to take into their own hands right away, through hard play, through going at it and doing the right stuff. Physically playing hard, competing harder.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

More Cost Cutting For Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The Phoenix Coyotes’ losses this season are expected to hit $45-million (all currency U.S.) once their debt servicing is taken into account, according to two sources, and the club is making further cutbacks after layoffs last week.

Among the austerity measures pushed on the club by the NHL, which is monitoring the Coyotes’ financial and player-personnel moves, is a reduction in travel by the club’s scouts, according to sources. Last week, the Coyotes laid off 18 people in the front office, about 10 per cent of their staff.

Sources have said the Coyotes owe about $80-million to SOF Investments LP, an equity fund owned by computer tycoon Michael Dell and his family. The club has pledged almost all of its assets and revenue to the company as collateral.


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

Big Price Tag On Vinny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

Tampa wants the world in return for Lecavalier, of that there is little doubt.  No one is completely sure of the package begin demanded, though you’ve probably heard the names being tossed around:  Higgins, Plekanec, Komaserik, a top-flight prospect (P.K. Subban?), draft picks.  Perhaps they’re not asking for all of them.  Perhaps they are.  Heck, perhaps they’re asking for more. 

If it’s either one of the last two, it sounds like too much.

Lecavalier is a wonderful player, certainly among the top handful in the world.  But in an age when depth in everything, giving up four (five?  Six?) quality assets for one superstar is a massive risk.  Especially when that superstar has a new contract that will pay him 85 million dollars over the next decade (the 11-year deal kicks in after next season, and will pay Lecavalier huge dollars until he is 41 years old).  In Capland, the country the NHL now resides in, that kind of contract could handicap you for the next decade.


from Lightning Strikes,

In the meantime, the rumor mill will churn. Canada’s TSN already has a trade mapped out having to do with the Canadiens, though it does not include shut-down defenseman Mike Komisarek, who, logic says, would have to be included in any deal of this magnitude.

If Lecavalier thinks the rumors and speculation are bad now, wait till the Montreal native goes home for the Jan. 25 All-Star Game. As he said Monday, “I’m just glad we’re in California and not Canada. I haven’t even looked at the Internet.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Lady Byng Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I track the player’s I consider award winners as the season progresses, in part to see at what point in the season the eventual winner takes over as a front-runner.  I had been picking Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks as the Lady Byng leader.  He is a good defenceman, who was chosen to be an All Star Game starter (thanks to some ballot stuffing).  He is tied for sixth in scoring among defencemen with 29 points and has only six penalty minutes.  This is a good case for the Lady Byng and a rare case of a defenceman front-runner for that award.  However, there is a better case right now.  That case is Martin St Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

St Louis is the Tampa top scorer with 40 points in 41 games (which is quite an achievement given how dysfunctional the team has been).  His +8 makes him the team +/- leader as well.  If Tampa needs a skater as their All Star Game representative it should be him and not the more famous but not playing as well Vincent LeCavalier (I would argue that goaltender Mike Smith has been the team MVP and would be the best Tampa choice for an All Star Game).  While doing all this, St Louis only has two penalty minutes.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Vigneault Getting To The Frustration Point

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,

In Monday’s practice, Demitra was dropped to the fourth line where he skated with Ryan Johnson and Darcy Hordichuk. By the sound of Vigneault, it seems there’s a good chance Demitra could draw fourth-line duty tonight when the Canucks play host to the New Jersey Devils.

“He has been given quite a few minutes here and I really gave him quite a few chances,” Vigneault said. “For me, if you are not getting points but you are getting scoring chances, that’s a different thing. There’s not much going on there right now.”

Vigneault is particularly disturbed by his team’s play at home. After weathering a difficult start, which saw the Canucks play 19 of their first 30 games on the road, most expected Vancouver to make hay at home.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavol+demitra

Best Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch the best goals, hits and saves from last week- five minutes and 21 seconds worth…

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

Marty…We’re Not Kidding.  Put The “V” Away.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Dude.  You gave up like 11 goals to the Wings last week.  Enough is enough.

Put the V away.  And to all you transplants out west?  Good on ya.

Bob Duff

It also doesn’t hurt that many ex-patriot Michiganders make their homes in some of those opposing towns. “It helps,” Osgood said. “In San Jose, they don’t like us there and it’s the same in Dallas, but there’s a lot of (Wings) fans in Anaheim and L.A. and especially in Phoenix, which just makes it fun and enjoyable for us to play. We enjoy the support and we want to perform well, because they only get a chance to see us once or twice a year.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Bruins Make Moves, Kessel Out With Mononucleosis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has assigned defenseman Matt Lashoff and goaltender Kevin Regan to the Providence Bruins and recalled goaltender Tuukka Rask and forward Martin St. Pierre from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis. Additionally, the club has placed forward Phil Kessel on injured reserve (mononucleosis).

added 10:46pm, from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Bruins Blog,

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said tonight that third-year forward Phil Kessel, diagnosed this afternoon with mononculeosis, could be out of the lineup for approximately a month.

‘‘The general assessment of mononucleosis is that a guy is typically out around a month,’’ said Chiarelli. ‘‘That said, it could be longer, could be shorter…all based on how an individual recovers.’‘


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

Hockey Play?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski aka Puck Daddy,

Chris Pronger of the Anaheim Ducks has eight suspensions (and as far as we know, zero NHL-mandated anger management therapy sessions) to his credit. Last night against the New Jersey Devils, Pronger once again had a questionable hit, this time on Zach Parise at the end of the game:

continued with video and I swear I have seen that type of hit before!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

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