Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line - Ilya Bryzgalov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Friday Afternoon Hockey Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Katie Strang of ESPN held an online chat today...

Who will win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes and finish at the bottom this year?

Katie Strang  I don't think it will be Buffalo. That team made significant strides. Don't see it being Calgary or Buffalo, either. Both teams have talented youngsters and solidified their goaltending. I'm really not sold on Ottawa this year, but that would be a pretty precipitous decline. Edmonton, perhaps? Shoot, even Arizona could really take a tumble if Mike Smith has a bad year.

Rebound year for Letang - is he arguably the most important piece for Pitt to make a deep run?

Katie Strang  His performance is key, especially with the loss of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, but he'll have help along the blue line from Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff. Two most important pieces? Crosby, duh. And Marc-Andre Fleury. Quite the test with him entering the last year of his contract without an extension. Has to prove himself to earn that.

The most important question tonight:Who will win Lord Stanley?

Katie Strang  Hard to pick against Chicago, but I like the Lightning as my sleeper team in the East.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Claude Giroux Injured On First Day Of Camp And Will Miss Around Two Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+giroux

Ryan Whitney On a PTO With St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ST. LOUIS - The Blues have invited defenseman Ryan Whitney to training camp as a professional tryout.

Whitney was invited to Blues training camp last season. He played in seven games in 2013-14 with the Florida Panthers.

The Boston native has appeared in 481 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers and Panthers, registering 50 goals and 209 assists (259 points).

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

All Henrik Samuelsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Cullen of Shnarped,

This week, John chats with Henrik Samuelsson, one of the stars for the Edmonton Oil Kings during their run to the Memorial Cup last season, and one of the prospects considered to have a very good chance to make the Arizona Coyotes this fall. Henrik is both a native of Arizona(he was born in Pittsburgh but grew up in Scottsdale) and the son of former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson. He also grows a playoff beard that makes him look like a Viking.

How would your most hated opponent on the ice describe you as a player?

HS: I think most of my opponents would probably describe me as a nice, caring guy. I’m never really trying to hurt anyone out there.

JC: (laughs) You’re not serious.

HS: (laughs) No, I’m being incredibly sarcastic. I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone that’s played me, they’ll call me any name they can think of, say that they hate me, stuff like that. I’m pretty chippy out there, I have some moves.

JC: Is that something that’s genetic? I feel like your dad pissed some players off out there.

HS: I don’t know, but my dad was a chippy player, my older brother is a chippy player, so maybe that’s it. I just love pissing people off out there, it’s fun to get other players off of their game.

much more and not your same old interview...

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+samuelsson, shnarped

My Kingdom For a Centreman

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa McRitchie

Edmonton Oiler’s head coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media Thursday afternoon expressing his concern that at this point, the team only has two NHL centremen. Finally, a coach that sees it and says it like it is. It’s not that the team doesn’t have a few options down the centre, but most are young and inexperienced and likely to gain more from another year of seasoning in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons than another year of struggles and losses with the Oilers. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: anton+lander, centremen, edmonton+oilers, ryan+nugent-hopkins

Get Ready For

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

- We want to get off to a fast start.

- Our goal is to improve defensively.

- Get into the playoffs and we have a chance to win the Cup.

- I feel great, tried a new off-season training program and/or changed my eating habits.

- I worked on my skating.

- We did a lot of fishing or golfing.

- The players here in camp are the ones I am concerned about.  The others, they are not here so until they get here, not part of our plans.

Any more?

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New York Islanders Have Had Enough Of The Losing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Lorenzo of the New York Daily News,

The Islanders entered training camp in 2013 with some optimism after reaching the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. But after a season in the basement of the Metropolitan Division in 2013-14, the Islanders arrived at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday to open training camp with a bit more fire and a sense of urgency.

“We all want better,” defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “I’m tired of going home and watching the playoffs on TV, man. I’m just real sick of it. I think everybody in this organization, and I think we want to be back in the playoffs and pushing for a championship and it’s something that I honestly think we can do. I’ve believed it for a numerous amount of years and that’s part of the reason I signed my contract (a seven-year deal signed last season) for as long as I did. I think we can we win with this group.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just Like That, Korean Hockey Teams Are In The Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Steiss of IIHF.com,

The Korean men’s and women’s national teams will be competing on home ice at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeonChang, following a decision by the IIHF Congress to grant the country automatic entry into the ice hockey events.

“After careful deliberation and discussions with the IOC and the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA), we have decided to grant an automatic qualification to the men’s and women’s national teams for PyeongChang 2018,” said IIHF President René Fasel.

The decision came following meetings held during the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress, where the KIHA presented a comprehensive four-year plan to intensify the development of the men’s and women’s teams. The plan has the backing of the IOC, the Korean government, and national sponsors, who together with the KIHA have pledged to invest over $20 million U.S. into the national team program in the leadup to the Games. 

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: south+korea

Enough Of The Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Stinson of the National Post,

NHL training camps opened on Thursday, so there was the requisite talk about working hard, making the best of opportunities and, of course, “compete level,” since a law was passed two years ago that prevented anyone associated with the league from saying “competitiveness.”

There was little talk of luck. No one really wants to open a 10-month slog by saying their team needs luck, but it remains that every team in the NHL does. Luck matters more than it should in this league, because it still settles regular-season games with the shootout.

Rather than eliminate the game-ending coin flip, the NHL instead chose to tinker around the edges: a quick scrape of the ice after regulation time to improve ice quality and a change of ends for overtime that will force each time to have to use the further bench, which increases the chances of poor line changes that lead to odd-man rushes.

Will these moves have a noticeable effect on cutting down the number of games — almost 15% of them — that are decided by hockey’s version of a home-run hitting contest? Possibly. But the changes aren’t going to catch teams by surprise. Having to make long changes just might encourage teams to be extra cautious when making them, rendering overtime periods less exciting than they already are, when too often it seems that both sides are willing to take their chances with the dice roll at the finish.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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