Kukla's Korner

Sabres Injury Updates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from BuffaloSabres.com,

Head Coach Lindy Ruff had some good news to report on the injury front following Saturday’s morning skate, saying that captain Craig Rivet may not miss as much time as anticipated.

The defenseman was helped off the ice in the third period of Friday’s 4-2 win in Philadelphia after being hit by Flyers’ Arron Asham.

Although the news is good, Rivet will not be in the lineup tonight due to what Ruff classified as a “little bit of ankle, little bit of knee” injury.

Paul Gaustad, however, may miss a couple of weeks with a knee injury he suffered against the Flyers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lady Byng Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As the season progresses, I like to track the player who is leading the race for the major NHL trophies.  One award I have not written about yet this season is the Lady Byng Trophy which is given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.  At this point in the season, I think the leader is Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars.  Richards is tied for fifth in scoring in the league with 30 points and has only two penalty minutes to show for his sportsmanlike game.  Richards is a former Lady Byng Trophy winner.  He won the award in 2004.

In the early part of Richards’s career he appeared to be on a Hall of Fame track.  In the 2003/04 season he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, in the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup run, along with his Lady Byng.  In the season following the lockout he scored a career best 91 points and represented Canada in the 2006 Olympics.  Things have not gone so well beyond that point.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Always Looking For Ways To Protect The Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

Kris King, the NHL’s senior director of hockey operations, had what at first appears to be an odd looking piece of equipment on his desk in Toronto this week.

It’s a clear, plastic shield, shaped like a skate boot, complete with lace holes and Velcro fasteners. The function is obvious: To help prevent foot injuries.

The shield is one of several new innovations surfacing as the pro game deals with a rash of injuries that are claiming star players.

King, as he always does with new equipment developments, will give the shield careful consideration. He’s not out to endorse it, just clear it so players and executives can be assured the shield is functional, but won’t radically alter the game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avs Need To Pick-Up Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

There are a lot of positive things about the Avs’ situation right now and I’ve written all of them. But it’s time for a trip to the woodshed.

To wit:

_Slashing penalty taken by Darcy Tucker with under 10 minutes left, leading to the winning goal.

_Guys like David Jones shying away from contact near the red line and icing the puck instead of taking the extra stride, taking the hit and getting it in deep. Those kinds of things tell one thing to the opposition: this team is soft, we can hit ‘em and win that way….

John Liles was terrible today, and has been the last three games. He’s making over $4 million a year, and simply has to be better. He needs to get the puck OUT of the zone quicker and more efficiently and he needs to make quicker decisions with the puck offensively – a frequent problem.

Craig Anderson wasn’t very good today, and probably hasn’t been all week. A couple of basketball-sized rebounds, especially on the first goal against. Can’t get on Andy as the root of the problem lately, but the magic act of the first month isn’t there right now.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Make The Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings had a goal disallowed last night because a Wings player (Dan Cleary) was in the crease and as the ref said, “The Wing player was in the crease and the goaltender could not do his job.”

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

The Mothers Are Always There

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Amy Saunders of the Columbus Dispatch,

Anna Torres recently picked the worst possible night to attend her first Columbus Blue Jackets game.

The mother of left winger Raffi Torres prepared his favorite chicken stew for a post-game meal on Nov. 11 before heading to Nationwide Arena with his sister-in-law, baby niece and wife, Gianna—who is expecting their first child next month.

Minutes into the first period, a deflected puck slammed into his unprotected face.

Mrs. Torres watched in horror as Raffi lay bleeding on the ice, her eyes locked on him and brimming with tears. He stumbled as he tried to stand, hurt more than she had seen before.

“It was so hard because I can’t do nothing,” the native of Peru said later in her thick accent. “I wanted to go jump on the ice and see him. . . . I just froze. I froze until I saw him again.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Feeling It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

When Cammalleri scored a hat trick against the New York Rangers last month – a stretch in which he notched six goals in seven games – he confirmed afterward what every fan in the Bell Centre felt that night after netting his second.

He knew it was coming, because he’d felt it before – Cammalleri calls it “the flow.”

“I can usually feel it in my legs. There’s just this level of energy you get when things are going well. When my legs feel good, I know I’m going to score,” he said in a recent interview.

Any hockey fan, blinded or not by psychological predispositions or conditioning effects, has marvelled at a player who seems to be able to score at will.

And athletes, whether there is scientific evidence or not – and there isn’t much – go to great lengths to replicate the state of grace that signifies success.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Are The Echoes From The Amplifiers Driving You Frigging Insane?  A Live Blog’s The Only Solution

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Believe it or not, one week ago we were gearing up to play Florida. Five out of six down and life was good.  Yeah…Alex Auld had shut us down two days prior but that was the exception. 

Then the bottom fell out.  Again.  Aside from the Montreal win, we’re looking at losses to three mediocre to bad teams.  Florida, Bubba and, my god, that frigging Atlanta loss on Wednesday.

We can’t buy a goal. Bertuzzi. The PK.  The top line’s a mess and Uncle Mike can’t keep his skinners off the third and fourth.  Nothing’s working. Sadness lurks.

And yet…

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Columbus Defense An Issue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Stat of the week: The Columbus Blue Jackets, a team nominally steeped in the art of defensive hockey, have given up six or more goals in a game six different times this season, a staggering total. The Blue Jackets were a respectable ninth in team defence last year, during Steve Mason’s Calder Trophy-winning season in which he recorded 10 shutouts. This year, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have a worse defensive record than Columbus, a weirdly surprising development considering the Blue Jackets were 5-1 out of the gate with a smothering defensive start to the year.

more NHL talk from Eric…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Deal For Kubina Works Out For Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

This space has fired more than a few well-deserved broadsides at Don Waddell in the past, so it’s only fair to give the Atlanta GM his due for making what’s shaping up as the most lopsided deal of the summer. It was Waddell, after all, who accommodated Brian Burke’s desire for a crankier blueline and some salary cap relief by sending original Thrasher Garnet Exelby and forward Colin Stuart to Toronto in exchange for Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton.

How’s it working out so far? The gritty, if sparsely-talented Exelby has played in just 12 of the Maple Leafs’ first 23 games, and with only one fight and a -6 rating to his credit, he’s likely to become a near permanent resident of the Foster Hewitt Gondola at the Air Canada Centre when Mike Komisarek returns to the lineup next week. Stuart, a spare part in the deal, was sent to the Flames without ever playing a game for the Buds.

And Kubina? The fleece is evident in the numbers. He’s eating up more than 22 minutes a night as part of Atlanta’s second pairing and playing a significant role on both special teams.

more plus other hockey topics…

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

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