Kukla's Korner

Morning Line- Eric Staal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’ve been here a long time, it’s a place that I hold in my heart, and obviously if I was asked differently or it came to that, you cross those bridges when you come to them. As of right now, I’m a member of the Hurricanes and that’s what I’m hoping to be, but you never know what can happen as you move forward.”

-Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes.  More on Staal, who is now playing left wing, from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal

The New Landscape For Minor League Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Hockey’s two primary minor league circuits had quite the dance this week, with the American Hockey League and the ECHL trading towns like hockey card collectors at a trade show.

When the dust settles, we’ll have a Pacific Division of five teams in the AHL and a migration in the ECHL — which at one time stood for East Coast Hockey League — to the Eastern side of the continent. Then, over time, I believe we’ll see Vancouver bring their AHL affiliate from Utica into British Columbia (likely Abbotsford), Colorado open up an AHL affiliate in-state, and the Coyotes go from Portland, Maine to Tucson or the Prescott, Arizona area.

Expansion Las Vegas will set up an AHL farm club somewhere nearby, and if Seattle ever comes on board we could see as many as 11 AHL clubs out West, including the Texas Stars in Austin.

For now though, the five-team Pacific Division will have some growing pains.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Petr Mrazek Knows He Has To Be Better

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Mrazek has played well during spot starts the past three seasons. After Howard suffered a groin injury on Jan. 10, Mrazek stepped in and won three games in a row.

At that point he was sporting a 2.12 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. After allowing five goals on 15 shots through two periods in Thursday's 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay, Mrazek emerged with a 2.77 GAA and .904 save percentage.

"Of course I'm not happy with that," Mrazek said. "I let in a few goals I probably shouldn't have and made the game change. Just stay positive and battle hard.

"You have to flush it and not think about it and get ready for (Saturday) and stay thinking positive. Sometimes the pucks go in and you don't know why, so you just have to battle."...

Mrazek has a 5.36 GAA and .842 save percentage his past four games. He doesn't believe he's getting worn down mentally by having to carry the load in the absence of Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, who should return next week.

"When I played in Grand Rapids I played every game and now here it's the same process," Mrazek said. "I'm trying hard work, on the ice before the game and in the game."

more with comments from Mikc Babcock on Mrazek...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Watching Rogers/Sportsnet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

From the first week of December through the NHL all-star break last weekend, the early Eastern games on Saturday nights on the CBC and the Rogers networks had an average audience of 1.696 million, down 6 per cent from the same period a year ago when the games were only on the CBC and drew an average audience of 1.803 million. A lot of this can be blamed on the dismal performance of the Toronto Maple Leafs, whose audiences drive the ratings more than any other team.

Things are worse for the Western games, as the average audience from December through January was 765,000, a 19-per-cent decline from the previous year. And audiences in the most prized demographic for advertisers, ages 25 to 54, are down 25 per cent compared to 2013-14.

Another big event did not go well for Rogers, as the audience for the Winter Classic outdoor game between the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 1 drew just over 1 million viewers, down almost 2.6 million from the 2014 game, which had 3.6 million viewers. However, that was understandable because the 2014 game featured the Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings.

Since Rogers budgeted for a 20-per-cent increase in viewers this season and went to advertisers with a similar increase in rates, the declines are continuing bad news.

more

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rogers

Preview And Notes- Wings vs. Islanders, Puck Drops Just After 2pm

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

via Brian Hedger at NHL.com,

Season series: After beating the Detroit Red Wings in the first game, the New York Islanders have won five straight at Joe Louis Arena. They are 8-1-1 against the Red Wings since 2005-06 and haven't lost in Detroit since the 2002-03 season. Forwards Brock Nelson and Anders Lee each scored a goal and had an assist to lead the Islanders in the first game.

Islanders team scope: New York is coming off a rare loss at Nassau Coliseum, where the Islanders are now 17-5-0 following a 5-2 defeat against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. It was New York's first loss on home ice since Dec. 23. Center John Tavares scored in the second period, his 23rd goal, and extend his goal-scoring streak to four straight games. Tavares has points in five straight games (four goals, five assists). Center Casey Cizikas missed practice Friday and forward Colin McDonald was recalled on emergency basis from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. Coach John Capuano said Cizikas needed a maintenance day and will make the trip to Detroit. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body) is day-to-day. He practiced and could play. Capuano said his lineup will be determined Saturday, including his starting goalie.

Red Wings team scope: A six-game win streak for Detroit came to a crashing halt at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday. The Lightning won 5-1 to move back into first place in the Atlantic Division, and the Red Wings (65 points) dropped behind the Montreal Canadiens (65 points) to third based on games played. General manager Ken Holland made a couple of transactions before practice Friday. Defenseman Brian Lashoff was placed on waivers, rookie defenseman Xavier Ouellet was sent to Grand Rapids of the AHL and rookie defenseman Alexey Marchenko was recalled from Grand Rapids to take his place. Goalie Petr Mrazek will get the start, despite allowing all five goals against Tampa Bay and getting pulled after the second period.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Video- Duncan Keith Goal Or Not?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The goal stands...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: duncan+keith

Video- An Almost Bad Goal Of The Night For Jake Allen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Did he lose the puck or just relax?

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Latest Health News On Nathan Horton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

It’s way too early to say if Nathan Horton is on the road to a full recovery from his debilitating back condition, the Blue Jackets cautioned.

But Horton’s presence at the morning skate on Thursday and his general outlook and attitude when he lunched with members of the front office this week have raised optimism that his career might not be finished.

Horton did not speak to the media on Thursday, and his agent, Paul Krepelka, said all comments on his situation would come through the Blue Jackets. President of hockey operations John Davidson said Horton had a “little light in his eye” when they had lunch with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen.

“There’s been some progress there. He is feeling a little better,” Davidson said. “I don’t know what that means in the big picture, but he’s better now than he was earlier this season. His whole attitude was different — better — than the last time we saw him.”

Coach Todd Richards chatted only briefly with Horton on Thursday, he said.

“In my heart, I’ve always believed he’s going to play again,” Richards said. “I still feel that way.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+horton

Video- Recap Of The Five NHL Games On Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A little over 2 1/2 minutes of highlights...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A “Valuable Opportunity” For Ads On Sweaters For The World Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at NHL.com,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says advertisements could be included on jerseys at the World Cup of Hockey.

The league has so far resisted putting ads on the sweaters of its 30 teams, but Bettman said Friday that corporate logos on jerseys are possible for the tournament in 2016.

"World Cup, international competition, I don't know," Bettman said at a press conference at Rogers Arena. "We may take a look at it. It might be a valuable opportunity."

None of North America's four major professional sports leagues currently have ads on jerseys, but the practice is widespread elsewhere in the world.

Bettman said that won't be happening any time soon in the NHL.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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