Kukla's Korner

Babcock Talks Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock participated in an NHL tele-conference today.

In each of his three seasons behind the bench Mike has recorded 50 wins and he has posted an overall record of 160-55-28. With their eighth consecutive 100 point season Detroit has tied the NHL record held by the Montreal Canadiens. With 17 consecutive season in the playoffs Detroit has the longest post season streak in pro sports.

The red Wings play in Chicago tomorrow, host Columbus Thursday and finish the regular season with the NBC Game of the Week on Sunday against the Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

Q:  Are you worried about just cruising into the Stanley Cup Playoffs

MIKE BABCOCK:  I’ve been on both ends of it in the Stanley Cup playoffs. When you’re the higher seed, the other teams have usually been battling like crazy and sometimes you’ve been drifting along. The great thing for us this year is our games down the stretch here have been against teams that are good teams that have played us real difficult. We had Nashville in here the other day. We’ll get Chicago here tomorrow or there tomorrow. And they’re battling for their playoff life. So they’ve given us really good games.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Draper Bothered By Groin Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

Kris Draper left practice early Tuesday with a tight groin and definitely will miss Wednesday’s game in Chicago, and likely the final two games of the regular season, as well.

“I can’t imagine him playing until the playoffs,” coach Mike Babcock said.

more on the Wings…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+draper

Re-Think The Lady Byng

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Marek at Upon Further Review at CBC,

As it’s getting close to trophy time in the NHL as writers fill our their ballots, perhaps it’s time to redefine what “sportsmanship and gentlemanly” conduct is and how the Professional Hockey Writers Association should decide on the Byng. Traditionally, the lazy man’s way to vote for the award was to look at the scoring leaders in the NHL and whomever had the least penalty minutes of the bunch got the nod.

But is there not another way to look at what being a Lady Byng winner should be? Should it always be the highest scorer with the softest touch? Or should we not look at the way players in the NHL talk about playing with respect for the game and respect for one another?


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Game Has The Most Impact Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TSN says the Sens/Habs game is the biggest match tonight.

I disagree, feeling the Canes/Caps game has more meaning in the playoff race.

Please vote and your opinion counts!

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Closer To The Action

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Plans call for the fans to get a little closer to the NHL action on the ice.

Check out my NHL.com blog for the scoop.

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

“He had been getting better,” Maurice said. “He came back to practice [Monday] and we had the expectation he would feel considerably better and didn’t, so he’s not playing. If he doesn’t feel better, he won’t play the rest of the games.”

However, when Maurice was asked to reflect on Sundin’s season, one of his best since coming to the Maple Leafs in 1994, he dismissed the notion Sundin’s days in Toronto are finished.

“I’ll answer that question and someone over here will take a piece of it and say, ‘Mats might be done for the year.’ ” Maurice said. “Then we’ll spend three weeks putting out a fire that you and I just created for no reason.

“There’s going to come a point in time, in six or seven years, when Mats retires. Then you’re going to spend the next 20 years with parades, tributes, Mats Sundin nights, the ashtrays, the coffee cups, matchbooks.

“We’ll let that all happen.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Time For Smyth To Step Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

The Avalanche didn’t sign Ryan Smyth to a five-year, $31.25 million contract for him to be a third-liner.

But with Colorado in position to clinch a playoff spot tonight, when the Avs face the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place, that is what Smyth has been of late — a third-liner.

“Whatever Coach wants me to play, I’ll play,” Smyth said.

With 14 goals in 53 games in a season disrupted by a broken ankle and a shoulder injury, Smyth will likely have to be far more effective — and more often revert to his trademark gritty play around the net — if Colorado has any shot of getting out of the first round of the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Deadline Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

So we will wait to annoint Brian Campbell as the second-coming of Paul Coffey in San Jose until we see how far the 106-point Sharks go this spring. But right now the former Buffalo Sabres defenceman is clearly the best addition any team made on Feb. 26 or in the leadup to the deadline.

You can make a case for goalie Cristobal Huet in Washington (8-2, 1.83 average) and Joe Corvo (18 points in 20 games, plus-6) in Carolina, too, but Campbell has given the NHL’s hottest team exactly what they needed—a blueliner who could easily transport the puck up ice and run the power play.

He’s got 16 points in 17 games which gives him 59 points on the year, third most for defencemen after Nicklas Lidstrom’s 66 and Sergei Gonchar’s 62, and is also plus-10 in San Jose


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell

Forget Buyouts - Ship Them To The Minors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

To listen to various opinion-makers and theorists, the club is planning or should be planning buyouts of Bryan McCabe, Darcy Tucker, Andrew Raycroft, Mark Bell and Jason Blake, among others.

That would be madness.

To start with, buy out that many players and you’d end up with an annual cap hit upward of $6 million annually for between three to six years. It’s less than the $20 million cost of keeping them on the roster, but for a team that annually budgets to spend as much money as possible, paying that many players not to play becomes a significant, long-term impediment to improvement.

A far better approach – although a more expensive one for ownership – is to send unwanted players to the minors.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Media Rights

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

The business of covering the Canadiens is an industry unto itself, complicated by a time when old news is what was reported the click of a mouse ago.

This is not the same communications world as when Carbonneau played. He understands that. And it was clear yesterday that he wasn’t so much trying to control the news as he was attempting to consolidate it, a noble but impossible task in a highly competitive, insatiable media landscape.

There are confidences and trusts built between players and reporters during a long season; phone numbers are exchanged, cordial, even friendly relationships are developed. That won’t change, though the tone of conversation is bound to change, Carbonneau surely having discussed it with his team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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