Kukla's Korner

Bucci And The Griffs

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

John Buccigross has a couple Wing references in his mailbag today. * I hope a new Red Wings' rink is better than the Tigers' Comerica Park. Of all the "new" old ballparks built since Camden Yards opened in 1992, Comerica is a second-tier park. I wouldn't expect a new Red Wings' arena for some time. Municipalities are not building millionaires arenas and stadiums any more. Plus, Ilitch probably has a lot of debt from Comerica since he financed half of it himself and the Tigers didn't really draw until this season. * Who are your top five best hockey commentators (both play-by-play and color) around the NHL? I base this on the strength, listen-ability, and likeability of the play-by-play man and the color man. 1) Dallas Stars 2) Detroit 3) Buffalo 4) Vancouver 5) 26 tied for fifth. Hmmm...no mention of Abbott and Costello in Nashville. And, over at On The Wings Megan Hirdes breaks down the freefall in Grand Rapids.

So what’s going wrong? Well, everything, apparently. While Howard hasn’t been horrible, he’s not playing like we know he can-like he did last season. Jimmy was outstanding during the playoffs, but he doesn’t have the same confidence. Liv has been terrible. He lets in weak goal after weak goal, and when he does that, it seems like the team gets frustrated and self-destructs. The offense is not scoring and the defense is not helping the goaltenders.

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Eliot: Analyzing Shot Totals

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

It's something we've been discussing here for weeks. The paltry number of shots the Wings are giving up, and the small number of those that are of quality, is raising eyebrows. SI's Darren Eliot looks at Detroit's success in that area so far, and how it translates to overall success.

The Wings, tied with Nashville for the top spot in the Central Division with 26 points, have allowed a league-low 20.9 shots-against per game while firing an average of 32.7. That nearly plus-12 disparity is far and away the best ratio in the NHL (see chart below) and, correspondingly, the Red Wings have only been outshot twice thus far.
More

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Talking Groins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Metro News,

Medically speaking, it's the juncture between the abdomen and the thigh, a group of five muscles that pull the legs together and assist with movements like sprinting and kicking. And skating. Generally speaking, these adductor muscles are better known as groin muscles. Hockey poolies also know these muscles are easily pulled or strained. And are a powerful pain in the butt. Groin injuries are as maddening in fantasy hockey as they are common in the NHL. Healing time is always uncertain and players listed as day-to-day can be off the ice for weeks and weeks.
continued

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Ricci Back With Yotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have recalled center Mike Ricci from the San Antonio Rampage, the club’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.

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One Quarter Way Through

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail looks at the first quarter of the NHL season, writing about...

1. The rise of the expansion teams 2. Attendance woes 3. Woe Canada
read on...

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Looking Back At The Summer Of Ken

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I whined like a little girl. I stomped my feet and pouted and fretted. Free agents were being gobbled up like possum steak at Bubba's. Ken Holland was asleep at the switch!! I invented a cynical term and used it again and again. It's the Summer of Ken. The Summer of Ken is sucking. The Summer of Ken is passing us by. I wrote things like, "tick tock Kenny". Because sitting here in Memphis, with the internet at my disposal and KNOWLEDGE OF MY TEAM, I knew exactly what should be done, who should be signed and, by god, how they should be used. Well, let's take a look at some of the players that would have made my Summer of Ken a bit more palatable, and how they're faring with the teams who--in some cases--got suckered.

Continue Reading »

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Coversation With Brind’Amour

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rod Brind'Amour took part in an NHL tele-coference call today...

Q. Do you feel like the local fans in Carolina are becoming more educated in hockey? ROD BRIND A'MOUR: Oh, yeah. Q. They're well versed in the game now? ROD BRIND'AMOUR: For sure. I mean, it's a great thing for us not only to win, but in the area, the community, how they all rallied around their team. It's become hip now to be a 'Canes fan. It's kind of we're the in thing right now. We have good crowds and, you know, there's a lot of talk and buzz about our team, so that's nice. Q. You been with this team for several years and you were there 2002. I'm just wondering how you feel your role as leader has evolved over the years. You took over the role from Ron Francis and there been a progression up to last year and even beyond into this year as well. ROD BRIND'AMOUR: You're right. Whether or not Ronny was here, it was definitely his team and he had his fingerprint all over it and did a great job. You know, and I kind of don't want to say sat in the back, but just went about my business. He stepped down, and I guess I had to fill in. But the beauty is we brought in a lot of new players last year, and who we brought in were good leaders in their own right. It's never been a situation where I have to do something drastically different than I was comfortable with. I think we lead by committee kind of thing with a lot of guys. It's a pleasure just to be around them, because we do have a lot have good, veteran players here.

Continue Reading »

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Flyers Find Their Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday that the team has reached an agreement with head coach John Stevens on a new two-year contract. "Over the course of the last month with John Stevens moving in as the head coach, we have had time to settle some issues and we have officially come to an agreement with John on a two-year contract," said General Manager Paul Holmgren. "We are very excited about this, as is John. This stabilizes the situation in terms of his leadership of the hockey team. We are looking forward from this point on as we march ahead."
continued

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Kronwall, Homer Look Good For Wednesday

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Both practiced hard today, according to Helene St. James; and the Wings expect them to play Wednesday against Vancouver.

The two, both recovering from groin injuries, practiced Monday and both said afterwards they felt pretty good about being able to play in two days. The only one not so happy was Chris Osgood. He was out for part of practice but said his left wrist bothered him and he was going to get it checked out during the afternoon. X-rays last week were inconclusive because they were taken while his wrist was too swollen. With a full house back on the ice, the Wings returned Josh Langfeld to Grand Rapids.
Khan(!) goes into more depth on the Osgood wrist issue.
Goaltender Chris Osgood practiced Monday for the first time in eight days but said his sore left wrist didn't feel good. He will have it looked at by doctors on Tuesday and said he doesn't know when he'll return to the lineup. Osgood said he doesn't think the wrist is broken, but X-rays in Vancouver were inconclusive because of the swelling. He hurt it in practice last Sunday, getting hit by a shot.

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DiMaio Still Dealing With Concussion Symptoms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Tribune,

Lightning RW Rob DiMaio has rejoined the team for the time being, but he is still nowhere near returning to action. Though DiMaio is making progress, he is still suffering from the effects of post-concussion syndrome and any attempt at coming back this season seems a long way off. "It just won't let go," DiMaio said Sunday. "That's what makes this tough to understand and makes it difficult to deal with." DiMaio, who is scheduled to undergo more testing early next month in Pittsburgh, has spent a lot of time at home in Toronto with his family. But the 38-year-old welcomed the opportunity to be around his teammates just to be back in the normal hockey routine he has experienced for the past 18 years in the NHL.
read on

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