Kukla's Korner

Kings Management Faces The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,

The Kings tonight held a 90-minute ``teleconference’’ in which season-ticket holders were allowed to call in and ask questions of Dean Lombardi, Terry Murray, Luc Robitaille, Ron Hextall, Chris McGowan and Jeff Solomon. According to Nick Nickson, who moderated the event, more than 1,300 people called in, and the Kings allowed me to be one of them.

First question was about why the Kings didn’t acquire a ``big-name left wing’’ at the trade deadline. Lombardi said a number of players fit that description, but none of them were available at the deadline. He said they made a serious run at one player but that none of those type of players ended up getting moved. ``It just wasn’t there,’’ Lombardi said. ``You don’t want to end up bidding against yourself and paying too much.’‘

The next question was for Lombardi, about whether he feels the Kings are ahead of schedule or behind schedule. ``Quite frankly, I think we’re ahead of schedule,’’ Lombardi said. ``I didn’t anticipate being this young this quickly. When I came here, I talked about the dearth of young players on the back end. We not only addressed that, but they’re already playing. When you look at our defense two years ago, we had Blake, Norstrom, Miller, Sopel and Modry. That would have been a great defense 10 years ago, but obviously it didn’t have a lot of upside….

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can’t Agree More

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

With the playoffs fast approaching, can we please make a sincere request to a small, miniscule, fraction of the fanbase at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Shut up. Please. For five minutes, please put a sock in it.

Case in point: Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Heather Liscano launches into the Star Spangled Banner. And some idiot starts yelling, “Nabokov, you suck!” “Thornton, you suck!”

Very original.

Look, fans pay their money, so they have the right to hurl insults at the players, coaches and officials. That’s the way it works.

But can we please show some respect to both national anthems? As Canadians, we want American fans to act civilized during O Canada. Should we not repay the favour?

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

Devils Coach Questions Team Motivation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

With the Devils’ losing streak reaching a season-worst five games and only six regular season games remaning, Sutter rippped into his players.

“I’m trying to stay positive and trying to stay positive, but at some point you lose five in a row and you’ve got to recognize that there’s some problems here and there’s some issues,” Sutter said. “Am I (ticked) off? You’re darn right I’m ticked off because I expect more from this group,”

Sutter called on his veterans to straighten out this mess..

“The kind of leaders and experience that should be in that room, this shouldn’t be happening,” Sutter said. “It has nothing to do with anything outside of the fact that you’ve just got to want to have it a little more than the opposition. It has nothing to do with systems. It has nothing to do with anything like that. It’s strictly how motivated you are to want to have success. That’s what it comes down to. I’m disappointed in the whole group outside of our goaltender tonight, 

“In the third period, we played with a sense of urgency and a sense of desperation. Why didn’t we have that in the first two periods?”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hockey Notes On A Tuesday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of Duffer’s Dabbles at the Wndsor Star,

• The Detroit Red Wings are seeking to become the first team since the 1974-75 Montreal Canadiens to include three of their rearguard among the top 10 in scoring for NHL defenceman. Currently Brian Rafalski sits third overall with 10-47-57 totals. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom (13-40-53) is sixth and Niklas Kronwall (4-43-47) is in 11th spot. During that 1974-75 campaign, Guy Lapointe (28-47-75) finished third, Larry Robinson (14-47-61) was fifth and Serge Savard (20-40-60) was tied for sixth.

• Central Division netminders have combined to post an NHL-leading 38 shutouts. Next best total in the league is the 26 zeroes put up by Pacific Division goalies.

more hockey notes including some Steve Sullivan talk…

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

Digging Tuesday

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

And, to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure it’s Tuesday. I know the Wings played Sunday and will, allegedly, play again Thursday.  And I don’t think that day is today, so it’s either Wednesday or Tuesday and it doesn’t feel like the former so how about some Tuesday with your breakfast?

In other words…get this frigging regular season over with before I lose it completely.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Montreal’s Heir Apparent In Goal

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Montreal Canadiens have been very lucky to have some very good goaltending over the years.  Two times a rookie goalie has taken over the team and led them to the Stanley Cup and won a Conn Smythe Trophy.  Ken Dryden did it in 1971 and Patrick Roy in 1986.  Those are unique cases made possible in part by the fact those goalies are both among the ten best goalies ever

When Carey Price joined the Habs as a very talented young goalie, there was some pressure for history to repeat itself.  This pressure mounted as Montreal traded away previous number one goalie Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals, thus leaving Price the number one job in goal.  Some expected that Carey Price would now lead Montreal to the Stanley Cup and win the Conn Smythe in his rookie season.  Those are very heavy expectations for anyone.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Ducks Sign Mark Mitera

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed defenseman Mark Mitera to a three-year entry-level contract. Mitera will report directly to the Iowa Chops, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Mitera, 21 (10/22/87), served as team captain in his senior year with the University of Michigan Wolverines this season, scoring 1-2=3 points in eight contests (including five postseason appearances).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Give Bettman Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,

He’s not the commissioner of America’s most, second-most or even third-most popular professional sports league.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t even close to being the tallest figure – counting pre-teen children, ice sculptures and hockey sticks on their ends – on Saturday night at the Discovery Science Center’s opening gala for its “Science of Hockey” exhibition.

But there’s big story about Darwinian survival for the little guy running what many consider an American niche sport. Bettman and hockey aren’t hurting as much as the big three behemoths of the NFL, Major League Baseball or the NBA in this economic recession.

While the other major pro sports leagues trim luxurious budgets, lay off workers and raise some ticket prices, hockey endures largely unscathed because Bettman already had instituted belt-tightening practices after the 2004-05 season lost to a work stoppage.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Blackhawks Talk Hair Pulling Incident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

During the melee, Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and the Hawks’ Duncan Keith got tangled and Burrows yanked Keith to the ice by his hair and continued pulling on the defenseman’s mane as they wrestled on the ice.

“That’s not something I’ve ever had happen to me,” Keith said. “My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It’s kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice.”

“I don’t know what the ruling is,” Keith said. “I don’t know if the league reviews that or not. It’s pretty blatant he was pulling my hair.”

The pulling of hair is prohibited and normally would draw a match penalty. However, none of the officials on the ice saw it as they were tending to ther other fights on the ice.

“I think it’s silly,” Hawks forward Adam Burish said. “There’s no spot for that. I think that’s stupid the way he was pulling [Keith’s] hair. Especially a nice haircut like Duncan has. I didn’t see it at the time [but] I’m sure I would have been more mad than I was already.”

The video of the whole incident was posted on KK early today if you missed it.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

All Chris Mason

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Blues goaltender Chris Mason participated in a tele-conference today…

Q. Just wondering, I’m sure this is a question that you have not been asked yet, but do you think you need rest before the end of the season?

        CHRIS MASON: No, I don’t, actually. You know, I’m getting good rest on the off days, and they are taking care of me like that.

        So I’m definitely saving my energy for the games, and, you know, at this point in the season, you just find the energy. It’s just when you go out on the ice and you’re playing these games that mean so much, you just find the energy.  All of the other players are expected to do it, so I don’t see why the goalies can’t, too.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+mason

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