Kukla's Korner

Burke Believes In His Group

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

...even today, Burke has no qualms about the price he paid to get Kessel out of Boston last month—a pair of first-round picks and a second-rounder.

“Well, if I had known we’d be 0-6, I still would have done that trade,” Burke told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “I can’t draft a player who is going have that kind of impact this year in this draft. This is about being better this year. But I’m not annoyed at any reaction from the fans. When you’re 0-6, you should be grateful they’re still coming to the games.”

Because the Bruins do own that first-round pick this year, you can forget the Leafs pulling the plug early, if at all. No point making that pick look even better for Boston. Instead, I suspect Burke will continue to try to improve this team. One NHL GM told ESPN.com on Tuesday the Leafs boss had contacted him and undoubtedly others. But when your team is winless in six games to start the season, great deals are hard to find.

“The ones that are calling, it’s not a helpful group,” Burke said of talks with other GMs. “I haven’t got anything but anchors thrown at me. We’re not in a hurry. If I didn’t think this group could get the job done, I’d be more concerned. But I believe in the group.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

They’ve looked very ordinary, there is cause for concern.

-Kevin Allen on Fan590 this morning talking about the Detroit Red Wings.

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

Surprise!  The Rangers Are Scoring

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Early season trends often do not last for the whole season, but one of the more surprising ones so far is that the New York Rangers are scoring.  They have more goals than any other team in the NHL with 24.  They have averaged four goals per game, which ties them for the league lead with the Atlanta Thrashers (who have fewer games played).  This is a surprise because last season the Rangers scored the fifth fewest goals with 210.  They had the least potent offence among teams that made the playoffs in 2009.

It looked like things would be worse this season as most of their top offensive players from last year are not returning.  Nikolai Zherdev, Scott Gomez, Markus Naslund and Nik Antropov were among the highest scoring Rangers last year (among returning players only Chris Drury outscored some of those players) and all have moved on to other teams.  The question of who was going to score goals for the Rangers was a big one.  It was one I wrote about this summer.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

What Has Burke Done?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Burke has traded away one of the early picks in June’s entry draft. And it’s one thing to trade away a first-round pick, it’s another when that pick could be converted into Taylor Hall or someone of that ability.

And the more the Leafs lose, the more focus there will be on Kessel to make certain the deal is not the embarrassment that it’s starting to look to be.

Yes, the draft watch already has begun in earnest, and yes, with 76 games still to play, with almost everything about this Leafs team looking wrong, there is little even an optimist can believe after a promising pre-season.

This team can’t score, can’t defend, can’t kill penalties, can’t stop pucks, and can’t pick first in the draft.

more

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

Shootout Musts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

GOALTENDER

• Grab your water bottle and enjoy a refreshing celebratory swig of H2-Oh am I sick at this!

• Take a moment to wink at irate fan banging on glass behind net if on the road. Give a knowing nod to elated fan behind net when at home.

CHOSEN SHOOTER

• Shoot it where the goaltender is not.

• Look back at the just schooled goalie to remind him who owns who.

• Do a tight fly-by the opposing teams bench with a cock-sure grin on your face (add a verbal or physical taunt if your name is Ribeiro or Kovalchuk) then glove punch glide along your own bench.

read on for some serious tips…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals & Their Season Ticket Holders Taken For A Ride

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Rucki of On Frozen Blog,

For the second year running, the Washington Capitals hosted their annual Season Ticket Holder “Meet the Caps” party at Six Flags America. Once again, the team provided fans with a night of fun for all ages.

The timing of the event was impeccable—a perfect Autumn evening, perhaps our last before a spate of rain and cold arriving tomorrow. The crowd was large and enthusiastic, though the autograph lines were far longer than those for the many rides. It’s easy to forget how exhilarating a good rollercoaster can be when one doesn’t wait in an hour-plus queue, melting on an August afternoon. Waiting two minutes to fly 20 stories high at 75 mph? Sign me up!

continued

The Capitals sure do an awful lot for their fans.  What other NHL teams go the the extra-mile with their fan group?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blue Jackets Lose Jan Hejda To Knee Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Blue Jackets defenseman Jan Hejda is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a sprained left knee, The Dispatch has learned.

Hejda was injured with 1:24 remaining in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Calgary in Nationwide Arena, when he and Flames winger Curtis Glencross inadvertantly collided—left knee on left knee—as they crossed through the slot in the Flames’ end….

It’s a huge blow for the Blue Jackets, who already are without defenseman Mike Commodore because of a groin injury. Hejda and Commodore formed the Blue Jackets No. 1 defensive pair last season.

Hejda has a plus-8 rating in five games this season, tied with Dallas Nicklas Grossman for tops in the NHL.

a bit more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jan+hejda

Shaky Starts For Huet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

It’s way too early to give up on Cristobal Huet less than two weeks into the season.

But the clock is ticking.

Huet has made four starts and been shaky in all of them. His exit seven minutes into Monday’s game against Calgary after he allowed 3 goals on 5 shots was the right move by Hawks coach Joel Quenneville even if the defensive play in front of the goalie was shoddy.

It’s a goalie’s job to come up with big saves after defensive breakdowns, especially the goalie on a team that’s supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet

Mike Komisarek With A ‘Head Shot’ Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

The Re-Birth Of Wade Redden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If Wade Redden looks like a different player in his second season with the Rangers, and he does, much of the improvement can be credited to the fact that he is now playing in a system that maximizes his skills as a skater and puck mover while minimizing his deficiencies in defensive zone coverage and reading the rush.

Redden might as well have been on an island last year, so lost was he playing coach Tom Renney’s safety-first system, in which the defense invariably seemed to be backing up or battling for survival in its own end of the ice.

But now, six games into Year Two on Broadway, which continues tonight at the Garden against the Kings, Redden appears liberated by the puck-pressure system installed by head coach John Tortorella.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wade+redden

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