Kukla's Korner

Zach Werenski’s First Year In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daneil J. Friedman of Sports Illustrated,

The 19-year-old blueliner from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, says the entire thing still feels like a whirlwind.

“I don’t really think it’s hit me yet,” says Werenski. “I feel like when you dream about playing in the NHL, it never really hits you.”

The NHL experience can be a challenge for those new to the circuit, even away from the rink.

“The change off the ice is the hardest part,” he says. “Going to college, where you have classes and a full day, then practice later and then homework, you’re pretty much busy six or seven days of the week. You get to the NHL and you go to the rink for two hours a day, and then you have downtime. I think the hardest part for me is finding hobbies and things to do. You want to rest whenever you can, but at some point you also want to do things.”

Werenski has had to adjust to another big change from college hockey: less practices and optional morning skates.

“We don’t really practice much and, when we do, it’s pretty short,” he says. “At first, I didn’t like it. I felt like I wasn’t getting enough puck touches and wasn’t feeling good on the ice with the puck, but now that I’m used to it, I really enjoy it. I feel like the rest is needed and that it’s only going to pay off in the long run.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+werenski

Since Andreas Athanasiou Was Benched

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

The speedy forward was back in the lineup the next night and responded by picking up a goal and two assists in a 4-0 victory at Los Angeles. He scored in the Red Wings' next two games as well, was blanked Thursday in a 4-0 loss at Dallas and then brought the Joe Louis Arena crowd to its feet vs. the Penguins.

Athanasiou said he hasn't done anything differently since being benched.

"Just stuck to my game plan and not trying to force anything," he said. "When the play is there, make it and if not just be in the right position."

Blashill credited Athanasiou for single-handedly producing the winning goal.

"It's a big goal kind of out of nothing," Blashill said. "The one thing Double A has is he's got the ability to break people down and score goals on his own. Obviously he took it end to end and scored a goal on his own.

"It's hard to score goals in this league and when you get somebody that can self-create and do it on his own, it's a big thing."

Added captain Henrik Zetterberg: "He has that skill and he has that speed. He's been close before and it was a really nice finish on this one. I don't think confidence is an issue with him. He's always trying stuff and he's got a lot of skill so he's a fun player to have on your team."


Below, watch the extended highlight of last night's win over the Penguins...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Saturday Headlines And Coach’s Corner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Saturday Headlines segment last night discussed the Kris Letang injury, Andrew Shaw's night and Shane Doan would consider waiving his NTC.

Also discussed the situation in Winnipeg and a few more topics.

Watch here at Sportsnet

On Coach's Corner Don Cherry and Ron MacLean discussed Hayley Wickenheiser, Curtis McElhinney, Carey Price, Brad Marchant and a bad line change by Edmonton.

Maz-a-Rack never had a chance on Chicago's OT win over the Wings,, Cherry saying don't block the goaie's line of sight, the play of Chad Johnson then a few more topics to close the segment.

Watch here.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

What The Islanders And Red Wings Should Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

fom Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- Now is the time for the Islanders to get in on the bidding for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, both placed on the block by the dysfunctional Avalanche, both dynamic, highly skilled offensive players who would jump-start an attack that has produced the fewest five-on-five shot attempts in the NHL.

Landeskog, the 24-year-old captain, would fit neatly on Tavares’ left side. Duchene, the 25-year-old who went third in the same entry draft in which No. 91 was first overall, could either play on Tavares’ wing or center the club’s second line.

Colorado is seeking a top-four defenseman, but who isn’t? And while it would be unwise for the Islanders to move Travis Hamonic in a deal for either player, Snow should be willing to discuss sending Nick Leddy — a very good one whose annual $5.5 million cap hit through 2021-22 meshes neatly with Duchene’s $6 million per through 2018-19 and Landeskog’s $5.57 million per through 2020-21 — out west as part of a deal that would reshape the team, reset the season and reenergize the franchise.

Or Snow could stand pat and pledge allegiance to the status quo. What does he have to lose? Only his job.

- Surely the Red Wings’ focus is not on extending their playoff-qualification streak to 26 seasons when the team is nowhere close to Cup contention and hasn’t been for years.

The fact is, Detroit has not won a single playoff round over the past three seasons, has won one in the last five and three in seven years since losing their title defense to Pittsburgh in the 2009 final.

It’s time for GM Ken Holland and the franchise to take one step back in order to take two steps forward, even if this is the last season for what will be a hardly lamented Joe.

Joe Louis Arena: Hockey’s Shea Stadium.

more on the Islanders and other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Not The Kind Of Stick Work People Want To See From Joe Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Five for spearing and a game misconduct.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
BOSTON 6, Philadelphia 3
Nashville 3, COLORADO 2
MONTREAL 5, NY Rangers 4
Toronto 4, OTTAWA 2
DETROIT 6, Pittsburgh 3
FLORIDA 4, Columbus 3
CAROLINA 7, NY Islanders 4
Anaheim 3, ARIZONA 0
Minnesota 5, DALLAS 4
LOS ANGELES 3, Winnipeg 2 (OT)
EDMONTON 2, Calgary 1 (SO)
St. Louis 4, SAN JOSE 0
The Wild (27-9-5, 59 points) raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening 12:45 of the game and the Canadiens (27-11-6, 60 points) erased a 3-2 third-period deficit with three goals in a span of 62 seconds to win their respective games and narrow the gap on the League-leading Blue Jackets (29-9-4, 62 points):
* The Wild saw their 4-0 lead erased, but Jason Zucker scored the game-winning goal just 2:02 after Dallas tied the game to help Minnesota extend its road point streak to 11 games (9-0-2), one shy of their franchise record. Elias says that the Wild surrendered a four-goal lead and won for the first time in franchise history. In doing so, Minnesota move into a tie with Chicago (27-13-5, 59 points) – in terms of points – for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Wild, however, hold four games in hand.
* The Canadiens overcame three separate one-goal deficits to defeat the Rangers and maintain their nine-point lead atop the Atlantic Division. Max Pacioretty (1-1—2) reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season and fifth time in his NHL career, while Alex Galchenyuk scored in his return to the lineup following an 18-game absence.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: Red Wings-Penguins wrap-up: the goal (wow!) and the game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

For Red Wings fans, there was the goal, and there was the game. The goal was Andreas Athanasiou's gorgeous end-to-end rush, breakaway and goal against Marc-Andre Fleury...

And the game was a much-needed 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a victory that delivered exactly what the Red Wings needed after coming home from a 2-3-and-2 road trip.

Our friends from Pittsburgh were perhaps slightly less concerned with the loss than they were the loss of Kris Letang, as they told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Penguins quick take: a template game?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings returned from a very mediocre 7-game road trip to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, hoping that the confines of home would finally turn friendly.

The Red Wings found their offense in a big way, generating goals from six goal-scorers and receiving a superb 28-save performance from Jared Coreau en route to a 6-3 victory over the Penguins.

If the Red Wings are, as Mickey Redmond described it, to "make things interesting," the Wings absolutely must use this game--minus surrendering the 2-0 lead--as a template going forward, because the Wings' offense has to be top-notch, its power play has to strike, and the Wings' goaltending has to be superb for Detroit to make a real push here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Rumor Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

- The Islanders didn’t bring back centre Frans Nielsen (Detroit) or winger Kyle Okposo (Buffalo), who left as unrestricted free agents last summer. They were both named representatives for their respective teams in the NHL all-star game later this month in Los Angeles and that’s one reason why GM Garth Snow’s job is on the line.

- The Tampa Bay Lightning got goaltender Ben Bishop back from injury Thursday and he made 24 stops in a 4-2 victory over the Sabres to help get the club back on track. The question is: Will he finish the year there? Making US$5.95 million, Bishop, 30, is a UFA on July 1 and there’s been plenty of speculation about his future because Andrei Vasilevskiy is poised to take over the No. 1 role next season. Word is the Dallas Stars made a call to the Bolts about Bishop but, if Tampa is going to trade him, GM Steve Yzerman is asking for a host of assets in return. After a trip to the East final last year, Tampa has to worry about making the playoffs so they may keep Bishop past the deadline because without him Friday night the club dropped a 3-1 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets with Vasilevskiy in net.

more including Coyotes talk.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Athanasiou dekes and dangles through…everybody

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Andreas Athanasiou scored an elegant end-to-end breakaway goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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