Kukla's Korner

Western Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Of all the questions to consider as the 2008-09 NHL season heads into the home stretch, the one on everyone’s mind in Western Canada is: Is this the year the region’s three Canadian-based teams qualify for the playoffs together?

At the all-star game break, the Calgary Flames were third on the Western Conference list, with the Edmonton Oilers holding down sixth place and the Vancouver Canucks, despite a six-game losing string, hanging on to seventh.

If the playoffs began today, the Flames and Oilers would meet in the opening round, setting up the first playoff Battle of Alberta since their memorable 1991 meeting, won by the Oilers in seven games.

continued with a look at the Wings, Ducks and some trade options…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Murray Not About To Blow Up The Senators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

With a leg dangling over each side of the fence, Bryan Murray claimed yesterday he is prepared to do both some buying and some selling.

But he also adamantly insisted he’s not about to put a stick of dynamite to the Senators roster.

“I read and hear the comments being made ‘blow up the team’ or ‘start over’ or ‘lose all the games so you can get the first pick’. I don’t think that does any of us any good at this point,” the Senators GM told an Ottawa media scrum yesterday. “Maybe four years down the road it may make a difference, but this year and next, I don’t think you people would be very happy writing and talking on a daily basis that we’ve gone into the tank or whatever….”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If we play well, and do the things we’re capable of doing, and play like we can and get the goaltending we need to have, I think we’re as legit as anyone else in the league.  But you have to have everything fall in place for that to happen. I’m very confident in this team and I have a lot of trust in this team.”

-Devils coach Brent Sutter.  More on the Devils from Mark Everson of the NY Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

Gordie With A Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via David Pollak of Working the Corners,

Detroit legend Gordie Howe was at the party, one of several places I saw him holding court over the weekend, talking with players, having his photo taken with fans. My favorite moment came in the lobby of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, the NHL’s home base, when two older women walked past him, and the ever polite Red Wing legend, nodded to them and said, “Hello, girls.” They continued on, and then Howe looked up, smiled and said to no one in particular (me): “My age.”

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe

Keenan Shoots Down Gerber Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Flames Insider,

Coach Mike Keenan was present . . . explaining to assembled media why percolating gossip about the Flames chasing down veteran G Martin Gerber is poppycock: “I think it’s out of the question. I think his contract is a little heavy. So if you look at contracts and players available in that position, I think that Curtis is the best solution for us.”

more on the Flames…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Race In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Razor With An Edge,

Tuesday night the race in the Western Conference resumes.

And right now just about everybody has a nag in the race. Eleven teams (from 5th to 15th) are separated by eleven points.

Only eight make it to the post season, the other seven will exhaustedly saunter over to retire in the paddock, and a couple of their coaches will join John Paddock in unemployment. (To my knowledge none will see a glue factory – which is good.)

So here, with apologies to Norm Hitzges, is my handicapping sheet:

#9 Minnesota- Only Boston owns a better GAA…but the Bruins have scored 51 more goals. Gaborik would help this pop-gun offense.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking At Scary Contracts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

It was a six-year extension that would pay Legwand, 27, an average salary of $4.5 million a year until the end of the 2013/14 season, a salary fit for a medium-to-high-end NHL star.

The contract loudly announced a few things: that the Predators were locking up their franchise center, their American-born ace; and that the NHL was booming, the cap was rising, and Nashville was in the game….

Some teams, such as Nashville, Phoenix, Florida, Tampa and Atlanta, will likely have trouble just making the payments on these massive contracts, if you go by the poor revenue streams of these teams. For the wealthy teams, the Philadelphias and Edmontons of the world, it will be the cap implications that really hurt when it comes to massive pre-recession contracts like the one Daniel Briere signed, or Shawn Horcoff for that matter.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lemieux Returns To Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

The return of Lemieux to the NHL, at age 43, certainly has had the hockey world abuzz. Tonight at the Pepsi Center against the Avalanche, he will play his second game for the San Jose Sharks since being called up from the team’s minor-league affiliate in Worcester, Mass., last Monday.

There will be no need to check his water bottle for an elixir from the Fountain of Youth, Lemieux says. Hard work and dedication are responsible for a comeback nearly everybody scoffed at.

“I proved to myself that you never say never,” said Lemieux, who retired from the Dallas Stars in 2003. “For the last few years, I’d wake up every morning saying to myself, ‘I know I could do this. I quit too soon. But I can make it back if I put my mind to it.’ And once I finally decided to really put my mind to it, I had no doubts I’d make it.”...

His weight swelled to 250 pounds. His once-chiseled cheekbones disappeared under the soft flesh that comes from one-too-many slices of pizza.

“I definitely got fat,” Lemieux said with the characteristic bluntness that made him one of the NHL’s most colorful and controversial players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+lemieux

Catching Up And Catching On

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Good god. 1 to 4 inches of snow expected in DC today.

It’s “Winter Storm ‘09.”

And this would be the Doug Brown edition, the 17th consecutive post devoted to the ASS.G.

Let it serve as a warning to you Wing faithful: they’ll be coming out of the woodwork today.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Canadiens Watch All-Star Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

Canadians tune in when the NHL all-star game is in a Canadian city.

With Montreal as the host, Sunday’s all-star game drew its largest television audience since 2000, when the game was played in Toronto.

The CBC telecast was watched by 1.516 million viewers, just less than the 1.557 million who tuned in for the 2000 game.

The CBC drew its largest audience ever for Saturday skills competitions, 1.358 million, bettering 1.327 million in 2000.

added 5:48am, via Sports Media Watch,

Versus drew a 0.8 overnight rating for coverage of the NHL All Star Game on Sunday, up 12% from last year, according to USA Today. While it is tough to quibble with a double-digit increase in ratings, the 0.8 is still very unimpressive. As USA Today notes, “six weekend ESPN/ABC X Games shows drew higher ratings than the NHL All-Star Game.”

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

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