Kukla's Korner

This Week With The Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0 with victories over Toronto and Carolina, but tougher tests await them this week with Tampa Bay and Montreal, clubs that finished ahead of them in the Atlantic Division in 2014-15.

Here are five things to watch this week:

1. Roster move looming with Helm's return

Darren Helm (concussion, separated shoulder) got in a couple of full practices last week and said he's close to returning. If he's not ready this week he should be back by next week.

Unless the Red Wings have another injury, they'll need to trim a player to open a roster spot for Helm.

The most likely candidate is center Joakim Andersson, a healthy scratch the first two games. He would need to go on waivers before being assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Another option is to send down Alexey Marchenko, who is waiver-exempt. But that would leave them with six defensemen and they're not likely to travel anywhere without a D-man in reserve.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Prospect news: Saarijarvi’s starting to dominate in the OHL

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

Catching up (sorry), on Saturday, in the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin didn't play in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-0 loss to Lokomotiv;

In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom had an assist in 16:12 as Skelleftea AIK defeated Linkopings HC 3-2 in a shootout;

On Sunday, in the Swedish J20 league, Joren Van Pottelberghe stopped 16 of 17 shots in Linkopings HC's 5-1 win over Malmo;

And I don't know where Hampus Melen is playing at this time, but DRW Prospects does:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The overnight report: On a refreshed Zetterberg; Pulkkinen’s job and ‘fantasy Larkin’ island

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In both English and Swedish, Henrik Zetterberg's been the most outspoken Wing in terms of explaining that the leadership group both knew what was going on with Mike Babcock's "job search" and knew most surely that the Red Wings could use a new voice, and after a summer spent training harder, Zetterberg's been the most energetic forward not named Larkin or Abdelkader on the Wings' roster.

That's not a surprise to the man himself, as he told the Free Press's Helene St. James...

"It's been a good start," he said. "But I have been playing with some young, fresh guys too, so that keeps me younger."

Zetterberg is intent on having a better season than his last one, which saw him lead the team in scoring with 66 points in 77 games - but with just three goals after Jan. 27.

"Last year I had a good start," he said, "and then I was nowhere to be found in the end. But I had a good summer this year, I was able to do a lot workout-wise and not spend so much time rehabbing my back as the year before. So hopefully that will translate to a steadier season."

And the Red Wings' new coach has suggested that Zetterberg's been a huge reason why Jeff Blashill's transition from the Griffins to the Red Wings' bench has been so seamless:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Hockey Tech And Kitchener Go Together

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Hometown Hockey,

The Kitchener-Waterloo area is a hub of innovation. From Research in Motion, to Google, some of the smartest people in the world congregate here. At the University of Waterloo, science and sport go hand in hand, and Dr. Kristine Dalton is helping athletes perform better and recover smarter at theSchool of Optometry & Vision Science.


Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Toronto Maple Leafs Have Some Time Off To Regroup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

A day off Sunday, maybe some turkey.

Then, starting Monday, four days of practice — of a go-go-go Mike Babcock practice.

That’s what the Maple Leafs face this week — they don’t play again until Friday in Columbus. So they get a chance — a mini training camp, if you will — to go over some of the basics that Babcock wants to instil in them as habits.

“What I’m looking forward to is no one has to think,” Babcock said Saturday. “You earn your confidence when you do a good job every day put in the work, you do the preparation. When you get to the exam, you’re not in a panic. You did all the preparation and feel good about yourself.

“Keep doing the work. Don’t get soft between the ears.”

What he wants is a team that reads and reacts, a team that knows what it has to do because they’ve repeated it so often.


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

Dan Boyle And The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Boyle, one of the least publicly accountable players to come down the pike here in a while (which is not to suggest he is or is not accountable in his interactions with the coaching staff, for that’s a behind-the-blue-door kind of thing), is 39 and on the final season of his two-year, $9 million, over-35 contract that includes a no-move clause.

This means that unless he volunteers to go, and unless there is a team out there willing to take the righty defenseman, Boyle’s $4.5M cap hit will be on the books for the remainder of the season. But that shouldn’t guarantee him a spot in the lineup....

Boyle is a stubborn guy. He earned his no-move clause and has every right to stick to it. But he doesn’t seem to be a fit. Put aside Boyle’s issues in his own end and his difficulty winning battles. More to the point is that the predicate of Vigneault’s system is the quick first pass out of the zone, but Boyle still wants to carry the puck the way he always did. (Which he no longer is capable of, anyway.)

On a team in which everyone is a part of it, somehow Boyle seems apart from it. Doesn’t make him a bad guy, but it hasn’t exactly worked as it was drawn up here. And it doesn’t seem to be getting better....

The Rangers lusted after Boyle for years. Boyle made it clear he always wanted to play in New York. Both parties should have been careful what they wished for.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+boyle

It’s All About Genetics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ronnie Shuker of The Hockey News,

Gary Roberts had a surprise for his players when they started training with him again this past summer. It wasn’t a sleek new machine, a powerful new superfood or a funky new core exercise. It was far more scientific.

As his NHL clients returned to his gym in Toronto – Steven Stamkos, Connor McDavid and James Neal among them – Roberts had each player’s DNA tested. An ex-NHLer himself, he understands players’ mindset when it comes to training and knows they prefer to be shown, not told, what to do.

“What I like is that a player is going to see his own DNA,” Roberts said. “You can tell them something, and they won’t clue in, but if they actually see their results, they say, ‘S—, my DNA doesn’t lie.’ ”

Among the biggest benefits Roberts sees with genetics testing is that it can reveal susceptibilities to certain kinds of injuries, which allow strength and conditioning coaches to tailor players’ programs more precisely. Say, for example, a player is predisposed to hip, knee or ankle injuries. Roberts might take back squats out of his program and replace them with single-leg exercises to lessen the load on those joints.

“What we’re trying to convince these young guys of is, ‘These are your DNA results, this is what you’re going to be more susceptible to and this is how we’re going to avoid it,’ ” Roberts said. “They’re not going to avoid all injuries, because no one does, but they’re going to avoid some injuries.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Season Of Hometown Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hometown Hockey kicks off their season in Kitchener tonight starting at 6:30pm ET on the NHL Network and Sportsnet.

The game between Montreal and Ottawa starts just after 7:00pm ET and is also on RDS.

I also hope all of Canada enjoys the Thanksgiving Holiday and can spend some valuable time with family and friends.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How To Handle Jonathan Bernier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

At the end of last season it was clear Jonathan Bernier had an issue. Maybe it was focus. Maybe it was preparation.

Whatever it was, it seemed Bernier was rarely ready to start games. And in not being ready, he let early goals in game after game after game.

When training camp began this year, I asked him about how he can get to the level he wants to become as an elite NHL goalie. He said he looked forward to the challenge and what unafraid of working hard to get there.

So what's happened in his first two starts of this very young season? An early weak goal in Game 1 against Montreal. An early goal against Detroit in Game 2. An early second-period goal, another weak one, against Detroit.

The only chance the Leafs have to compete this season is have upper-echelon goaltending.

But what's clear in the early going: The problems that plagued Bernier a year ago, have not been settled through a new training camp with a new goalie coach.

If I'm Mike Babcock, I come to an terse agreement of sorts with Bernier. If he lets in the first shot of any period, and it's a weak one, I pull him. Tough love in this case. May be the only way to corral the talented but drifting Bernier.

more hockey notes but mostly Blue Jays talk...

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

Very Early Surprises

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Here's what we didn't see coming in the NHL's first week of the 2015-16 season.

1. The 2-0 San Jose Sharks looking this sharp. They have scored seven goals and given up one. They have surrendered 23.5 shots per game. Coach Peter DeBoer is having a major influence. So much for the idea that time is needed for players to adjust to a new coach.

2. Arizona Coyotes are 2-0 and creating offense like they are the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were still supposed to have trouble scoring again this season. They have six goals, with five different players finding the back of the net.

3. Oscar Lindberg of the New York Rangers leading all NHL rookies with four goals in three games. He wasn’t a lock to make the team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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