Kukla's Korner

Red Wings-Avalanche quick take: Losing sucks, but a point’s a point

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings prepared for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche with little to no excuse for not sustaining their home-ice winning streak against an Avalanche team coming off a back-to-back tilt against the Ottawa Senators, with Calvin Pickard in the net. In theory, the Avs should have been relatively easy pickings, and Detroit should have been able to win their 4th straight game with not too much trouble.

Things tend not to work out that way on the ice, and Semyon Varlamov was just ridiculously good--and the Avs were ridiculously opportunistic--as Colorado took a 3-2 shootout decision despite being out-shot 45-21 and out-attempted 87-35. Detroit did everything right but score one more goal, in regulation, OT and the shootout, and Mrazek was stellar when necessary, but the Avs just had an extra earned bounce again and again...

And losing sucks, especially when you watch your team deliver such an incredibly dominant performance, but the Wings got a point out of it. That's the key right now, to get a point out of every game possible with the standings so ridiculously tight.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Good Times

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

Any time you play against a Team you have a history with, it reminds you of all the good times that were had by one and all. Although those days are long past, there's still an added excitement whenever the Wings face off against the Avs.

The rivalry was one of the very best in Hockey with a certain amount of respect coming from both sides. Hard to believe it was twenty plus years ago when it first started. Where has all the time gone?

This is one of the many times the 19 really miss our Chief. He always had the best Live Blog for the "Dive" bar none. Good times.

But here we are, making do. So let's make the most of it.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

It's a live blog. Bitches!

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Kris Draper discusses the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed, Kris Draper gave a 7:44 interview to Fox Sports Detroit regarding the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, and Draper is refreshingly blunt about the hatred between the two teams and the way the rivalry pushed both teams to be better:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening news: Regarding the Avs, Smith, Green, DeKeyser, Mrazek and…Stamkos?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Wings' game-day preview video:

2. On the Avs' side of the ice, the Denver Post's Terry Frei reports that Colorado will start Semyon Varlamov, not Calvin Pickard, in the crease this evening:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Lowest Scoring Games

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The New Jersey Devils are both the lowest scoring team and the team with the fewest goals against.  It makes for some low scoring New Jersey Devils games.  The Devils franchise is famous for slowing down games and keeping scoring down.  They popularized the trap in the NHL with their 1995 Stanley Cup win and survived for years behind Martin Brodeur's goaltending keeping goals against down. 

This year's team is a continuation of that style even though the players have changed.  Cory Schneider is one of the best goalies in the NHL and he has kept goals against down.  New Jersey plays a solid defence.  They have allowed the eighth fewest shots against.  Andy Greene and Adam Larsson are strong defensive defenders who have little offensive value.  Travis Zajac is the defensive leader of a defensively responsible group of forwards.  The problem is New Jersey lacks any significant scorers.  Lee Stempniak is their top scorer with 40 points.  He is 46th in the league.  There isn't much scoring depth.  They have only four more players with more than 15 points on the season in Mike Cammalleri, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Second Phase Of The Rebuild In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

And, that’s a wrap.

On Episode One. Phase One. Chapter One. Whatever you’d like to call it.

The End of the Beginning?

With the trading of captain Dion Phaneuf this week, Brendan Shanahan and Co. effectively completed the opening stage of the most ambitious, aggressive rebuild in the long history of the Maple Leafs, one that has not yet moved the club closer to becoming a champion again one day but has emphatically ended a frustrating decade of drifting no closer to that goal.

From May 2004 to May 2015 there were two CEOs, four general managers, five different head coaches, 18 starting goalies, one major ownership change, three years when the club didn’t draft in the first round, a period of investment in muscle when the rest of the league was going in the opposite direction and, lest we forget, one seven-game playoff defeat.

Phaneuf’s departure, however, ended any uncertainty the Leafs really have embarked on a definitive new path. They’ve taken it down to the studs, intentionally getting much worse in the hopes of getting much better some day.


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

The Coaching Change In Pittsburgh Is Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Berkshire of Sportsnet,

The resurgence of Sidney Crosby has dominated the headlines surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. Croaby’s slow start – the slowest of his career – was undoubtedly a big factor in the firing of Mike Johnston as head coach on December 12.

Since the coaching change that brought in Mike Sullivan, Crosby has been on fire, and the team as a whole has risen from 20th in the NHL in score-adjusted Corsi at just 48.3 per cent, to second in the league since December 12 at 54.8 per cent, with only the powerhouse Los Angeles Kings ahead of them.

It took a while for the Penguins’ record to look as impressive as their domination on the shot clock, but even with Evgeni Malkin out with an injury, Pittsburgh has been impressive.

Part of the reason for this improvement is the upgrades they’ve made on defence. Specifically, swapping the shot-blocking Rob Scuderi out for mobile puck-mover Trevor Daley made a big difference, but surprisingly the bigger difference has been among the forwards.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wakiji: Red Wings, alums gearing up for Stadium Series

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

With the Colorado Avalanche in town, it is getting people's appetites whetted for the Stadium Series outdoor game in Colorado in two weeks. Drawing perhaps even more attention than the Stadium Series game is the Alumni Game, which will be held the day before, on Friday, Feb. 26.

"It seems the closer it gets to the date, it's definitely exciting," said Kirk Maltby, a member of the Grind Line and a current pro scout for the Wings. "It's going to be fun to reminisce. I'm sure the pace of the game will be a little different and the physicality, but I expect it will get a little competitive as the game goes on, especially if it's close because at the end of the day, I don't think either team wants to lose."

The Wings' alumni have been practicing at Joe Louis Arena.

On Friday, with the Avalanche holding an optional skate because of their game Thursday night in Ottawa, current Avalanche coach and Patrick Roy and general manager Joe Sakic were on the ice in Detroit.

The Wings are scheduled to practice at Coors Field a few hours before the Alumni Game.

Some might stick around to watch.

"That will be a lot of fun," Danny DeKeyser said. "It’s good to see, you know, some of the names that are coming in to play in that game. I’m sure it will be a fun game to watch for anybody who is going to it."

Wakiji continues, speaking with Kris Draper, Jeff Blashill, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green and Alexey Marchenko...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Does The Color Of Goalie Pads Matter?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,

Ryan Miller is joining the dark side, but only for one game.

Miller has a stylish new set of pads, gloves and a mask ready to match the retro black skate jersey the Vancouver Canucks will wear Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations at Rogers Arena. But as good as the gear looks, with an orange and yellow "V" set against the black pads, Miller has no intention of switching from his usual, predominantly white equipment.

He's not alone. If it seems like a lot of NHL goaltenders are wearing mostly white these days, that's because many believe it looks bigger compared to darker options.

"This is a one-off, so I thought why not have fun with it?" Miller told NHL.com. "I thought it would look good with the jerseys. I wasn't thinking big or small. It's just one game."

Asked if the possibility of looking smaller was one reason he wouldn't consider darker equipment beyond that game, Miller, who added more blue to his pads this season, admitted the difference might matter more over time. 

continued with more goalies talking about the topic...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kulfan: Wings-Avs dislike lives on in players’ memories

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Danny DeKeyser, who grew up in Metro Detroit, was just like every other Red Wings fan around here during the 1980s and 1990s. DeKeyser did not like the Colorado Avalanche. Hated the Avs.

“I wasn’t a big fan of them,” DeKeyser said Friday, when asked about the legendary Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, ahead of Friday night’s Detroit-Colorado game at Joe Louis Arena. “Being a Red Wings fan, they had some good battles over the years, in the playoffs, and it was fun to watch. But being a Red Wings fan, I didn’t like (the Avalanche).”

It’s different now. The Red Wings and Avalanche are in different conferences, and they only meet twice in the regular season. But the videos are on YouTube, and most of the current Red Wings grew up following the rivalry.

It’s still special when the Red Wings and Avalanche play, even many years later after the bad blood was flowing.

“A lot of good battles,” DeKeyser said. “(Colorado goalie Patrick) Roy and (Mike) Vernon, some of those battles, and it was a lot of entertaining hockey, a lot of fun to watch.”

Kulfan continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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