Kukla's Korner

Grand Rapids Griffins-Sled Wings game scheduled for February 9th

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins, via RedWingsFeed:

GRIFFINS AND SLED WINGS TO PLAY IN 11TH ANNUAL SLED HOCKEY GAME

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Grand Rapids Sled Wings will face off in their 11th annual sled hockey game on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:40 p.m. at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park (30 Coldbrook NE).

The two sled hockey teams will be comprised of players from both the Griffins and the Sled Wings Junior Team.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. Prior to the game, fans can try out a sled on the ice for a minimum $1 donation (5:15-6:25 p.m.) and get autographs from their favorite Griffins players (6-6:25 p.m.). The game will consist of two 20-minute periods with a running clock. At 7:30 p.m., following the Griffins and Sled Wings Junior Team game, the Sled Wings Adult Team will take the ice against Davenport University.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A Q and A with Dylan Larkin

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sportsnet Magazine's Kristina Rutherford engaged in a Q and A with Dylan Larkin at the All-Star Game:

You’re being compared to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, and you can brush that off? It’s pretty cool but I’m just trying to play hockey, you know?

Do you like pressure? I guess I do. [Laughs.] As a hockey player you like being in that moment. When it comes from outside the rink and outside of a coach or a teammate, it’s something you kinda just listen to, and you have your own opinion about it.

What’s been the biggest surprise for you this season? How close the league is. Every team, no matter where they are in the standings, is a good team. It’s so tight. It’s crazy, you know, you play college and there’re some teams where you know you’re gonna win that game. Here, every game’s a battle.

When you have questions, who do you go to? I live with Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan. They’re pretty young guys but they’ve been around for a few years, so they’re a good help. We share a house; it’s nice. They have two dogs, so it’s a full house.

Rutherford continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Being Max Domi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kristina Ruterford of Sportsnet,

Max Domi skates along the boards at morning practice and flashes a grin before he stops short of the blue-line. A kid wearing glasses and a white Coyotes sweater runs over and pushes his face up against the glass. When No. 16 moves up in line for a passing drill, the kid moves with him, shuffling in his sneakers.

This is not a scene you’d expect to see in Hockeytown. In Arizona, maybe. But here in Detroit there are only five Coyotes fans in the stands watching an off-day skate, and three of them wear the sweater of the dynamic winger who’s played just half a season in the NHL. After practice, Domi signs autographs and talks with his fans. He’s the last Coyote to take his skates off.

Domi looks like a natural because he is. The 20-year-old is as prepared as one could possibly be for this life, thanks to being the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs fan favourite, Tie. But Domi is the first to admit you can never be entirely ready for your rookie year in the NHL, even if you text regularly with Mats Sundin.

continued

Rutherford also has the same type of feature on Jack Eichel and Nikolaj Ehlers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: max+domi

Red Wings recall Andreas Athanasiou

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings:

Update: Here's the text:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

One fine mess, or a completely salvageable situation?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among discussion suggesting that the Wings need to make a big trade (they don't have the cap space necessary to make one unless it's dollar-in-dollar-out), or that they're plain old using players incorrectly (there's a ton of merit to Kyle McIlmurray's argument, but the Windsor Star's Bob Duff offered a rebuttal of the, "Why Pulkkinen's being scratched" discussion, too), I feel that I have to throw my hands up in the air, and wave 'em like I really care...

Before suggesting that it should not be a surprise that Jeff Blashill comes from a similar school of player evaluation and belief system about "team needs" in terms of line match-ups and special teams play, and noting that the latter topic--the Wings' dreadful special teams play--isn't something that can be blamed solely on the players or solely on power play coach Pat Ferschweiler.

Just as the Wings' personnel decisions are made in concert between Blashill, the coaching staff and the management, and then those players have to go out on the ice and execute to make the coaches and management look good, special teams take on a life of their own, and there really is a sense that after the halfway mark of the regular season, there's only so much that can be done to stop a runaway train of bad momentum from propagating itself in a manner that escapes correction.

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Afternoon Line- Michel Therrien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"We know it's going to be tough to make the playoffs, but we see that as a challenge. We're going to give all we've got."

"If anyone doubts our intensity, our desire to succeed, and our desire to win tomorrow, I'd be disappointed."

"We're going to fight. We're going to fight until the end."

-Michel Therrien, head coach of the Montreal Canadiens via tweets from the Canadiens.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michel+therrien

Sean Couturier Out A Month With Lower-Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+couturier

It Could Be A Slow Trade Deadline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Trades are going to be completed before the Feb. 29 (3 p.m. ET) deadline because contending general managers can’t resist the temptation to improve their teams before the playoffs.

But here are five reasons why we may not see as many deals this trade season:

Too many teams in contention

Several teams that were supposed to out of contention, including the New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers, are still in the playoff hunt. If the Devils are competing for a playoff spot, how can they move Lee Stempniak, who is tied for the team lead in points? The Hurricanes might have to keep Kris Versteeg, their highest-scoring forward.

Impending unrestricted free agents Mikkel Boedker and Boyd Gordon would seem like prime rental players if not for the fact that the Arizona Coyotes can still make the playoffs in the forgiving Pacific Division. The Coyotes need Boedker, the team’s top point producer, up front. The Vancouver Canucks may not move Dan Hamhuis, an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The point: There could be fewer players available.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Vezina Trophy Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It was a week before Christmas when I picked Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals as the Vezina Trophy leader.  Listening to commentators in the All Star Game it seemed as though Holtby had already been coronated as the top goalie in the NHL.  However things are not so clear, Holtby is leading the league in wins.  Potentially he could set a wins record this season.  However he is only one win ahead of Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks, so that doesn't make him unique.  Wins are not a great individual stat.  Teams win games.  Neither Holtby nor Crawford would be wins leaders if they didn't play for top teams.  Also wins today are easier to obtain since no games end in ties creating more wins for goalies to pick up.  When we look at his other numbers, Holtby is not the league leader.  He is not the saves percentage leader.  His .928 saves percentage is good but a few goalies are doing better.

I think Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers is the Vezina leader at this point.  He does not have the same quality of team in front of him as Holtby or Crawford but he is still putting up very good numbers.  Luongo has a .930 saves percentage and a 2.11 goals against average.  No goalie has more games played and a better saves percentage.  Florida's success so far this year is largely built on Luongo's back.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

WiiM: Niklas Kronwall talks about retirement and more

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Zeb Habs from Habs Eyes on the Prize found a video interview with Niklas Kronwall, from Expressen, that he shared with Winging It in Motown. Among Kronwall's comments:

How long  do you think you will be going?

NK – That’s a bit early to talk about, but I hope to play as long as possible. I know

it isn’t the best of answers but I haven’t really had that thought (about ending my

career) in my head yet. And I really don’t want to think about it either. But

everyone you talk to that has had to retire early, for one reason or another, all of

them say the same thing; "play as long as you can" because the grey boring life

after your career makes you realize that there is nothing better than to play

hockey. So I will try to hang on to this career as long as I possibly can.

Kyle McIlmurray continues with the transcript...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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