Kukla's Korner

Red Wings announce local TV and radio broadcast schedule

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Red Wings...

RED WINGS, FOX SPORTS DETROIT AND CBS RADIO ANNOUNCE 2014-15 BROADCAST SCHEDULE
… 74 Wings Games On FOX Sports Detroit – 85 On 97.1 The Ticket or 1270 AM …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings, FOX Sports Detroit and CBS Radio today announced the 2014-15 Red Wings local television and radio schedules.

For the 15th year, all Wings regular-season and playoff games will be carried live by CBS Sports Radio with Ken Kal and former Red Wings captain Paul Woods providing the call.  CBS Radio will broadcast the games on a combination of 97.1 The Ticket and 1270 AM with 68 games simulcast on both stations.

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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If Trotz and Kuznetsov (not to mention new D-men Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen) can elevate the Caps, Washington will definitely get back to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. And if Kuznetsov is as good as he has trended in his young career, who knows how good the Caps can be in the future.

-Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News where you can read more on Evgeny Kuznetsov.

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  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

The Latest On The CHL Union Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

The Canadian Hockey League's top official is fighting back against Canada's largest private sector union, which says it wants to improve working conditions for the 1,300 mostly teenaged hockey players who compete in the country's three major junior leagues.

Unifor, which represents workers in industries such as the auto and media sectors, is trying to convince the Ontario government to organize a task force to examine the junior-hockey industry.

David Branch, president of the Ontario Hockey League, has sent a series of emails to OHL players and their parents over the past few weeks to thwart Unifor's efforts.

In three emails obtained by TSN, Branch advises players that they do not have to sign union cards, are not required to attend any non-team off-site meetings, and can refuse requests from third parties for their personal information.

continued

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  Tags: chl

All Ben Bishop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Do you feel the fact that you were a Vezina Trophy finalist last season means you're a proven goalie in the NHL, or are you still of the mindset that you have to prove yourself the way you've had to your entire career?

"I think I proved to myself and other players that I can play at that level, but I think every year you're trying to go out and prove yourself. You're never going to be satisfied with the past year, you're always trying to build on it. I'm going to approach the year the same way, the way I have the last three years at least. I'm going to go in, win the job out of training camp. You always have people competing for jobs. When I was in St. Louis I was trying to take people's jobs and make the team. You always have that competition. So I have to go into camp the same way I have been doing the last couple of years. I'm not going to change anything. I'm not going to try to do anything different."

But can you treat this training camp the same way when it's obviously different for you to know that you're heading into the season as the unquestioned No. 1 goalie on a team expected to win? This is a first for you.

"Yeah, I mean, if you word it like that it's a first, but personally the way I prepare and the way I play, there hasn't been a change from when I was a backup, or when I was able to start in Ottawa for a month, or last year when I was a starter for the season. You still approach every game the same way. Whatever is going on around you as far as expectations, where you are in the standings, if you're first or last, who you're playing against, I still approach the game the same way. There is nothing different. It's the same routine and preparation no matter where I am, if I am a backup in Ottawa or a starter last year. So I don't see there really being any difference going into this season. I think the experience last year will help me even more this year."

three more questions...

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Season Outlook For Brendan Smith

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

A puck-rushing offensive defenseman in college and the AHL, Smith's transition to a more stay-at-home style in the NHL has been bumpy. He's experienced puck management issues and made his share of mistakes, not unlike many young defensemen. But he's still inexperienced and should improve over time.

He's a tremendous skater and has offensive potential. He might be able to help the power play, but he probably won't get that opportunity because the team wants him to focus on improving defensively. He is not particularly physical but sometimes plays with an edge. After a rough start last season, he settled down a bit in the second half.

Being paired with Niklas Kronwall during Jonathan Ericsson's absence due to injuries helped Smith. Ericsson likely will be reunited with Kronwall, putting Smith back on the third pairing with Jakub Kindl.

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Blues Happy To Have Paul Stastny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Louie Korac at NHL.com,

"You don't see him really doing the flashy things or anything like that, but playing with him at the [Winter] Olympics, he makes every part of the game so much easier on his linemates," forward T.J. Oshie said of Stastny. "... He makes the game easier, he makes it more simple and everything's more clear on the ice."

General manager Doug Armstrong got the blessing from team leaders, including captain David Backes and alternate Alexander Steen, to go out and acquire a top-notch player regardless of the cost. If Stastny, who is the highest-paid player on the team, can push the Blues over the edge, then the investment will be more than worth it.

"I think it's a respect for an older, veteran player in 'Steener' and myself knowing that the free-agent market was one where you were going to have to pay a premium for a great player," said Backes, who played with Stastny on the United States team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "There was no hesitation on both parts to say, 'Absolutely, bring a guy like that in.' We're only going to be better for it. Ultimately, we're here to win. We're here to win games. We want to win a championship, and he's going to help us do that.

more

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Avs Feel Like They Are Closing The Gap In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,

Less than a month shy of its preseason opener, the Avalanche is feeling stronger than it was a year ago. The toughness and depth gaps between the Avs and the Los Angeles Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, along with the Western Conference giant Anaheim Ducks, seem to have diminished.

Executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic, defensive assistant coach Adam Foote and newly signed right winger Jarome Iginla recently spoke about the improvements while trying to maintain their excitement about defending their Central Division title and making another step in the playoffs.

"Last year we were dealing with trying to win back the trust within the community and belief in the team, and this year is a different challenge," Sakic said. "We did so well last year, but (now) it's to improve and get to the next step, and obviously the next step is not to just make the playoffs — it's to improve in the playoffs."

continued

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Questions Facing The Vancouver Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,

Can Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin be elite scorers again? -- The Sedins were so determined to prove they could be good defensively last season, and so irked by the belief their best offensive seasons were simply a product of starting so many shifts in the offensive zone, they sacrificed much of the scoring the Canucks long relied on them to provide.
"That was a little bit interesting, but it comes from just how proud they are to play defense," coach Willie Desjardins said of offseason meetings with the Sedins. "They have no problems blocking shots or playing against the other team's top line. It's not like, 'Oh, I don't do that.' They want to prove they can play in big situations defensively. They cherish those roles."

Last season, the twins embraced coach John Tortorella's request to kill penalties and play more minutes in the defensive zone, and for a while they managed to stay near a point-per-game pace offensively. But as injuries and those harder minutes appeared to catch up with them, their offense disappeared.

Henrik had 10 points in his final 24 games,...

Which Ryan Miller did the Canucks get? -- Vancouver is counting on Miller playing like he did for the Buffalo Sabres to start last season, when he had a .923 save percentage, earned a spot on the U.S. team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and became the hottest trade commodity in goal.
After signing him to a three-year, $18 million contract, the Canucks can't afford to have Miller perform like he did after a trade to the St. Louis Blues, where he finished with a .903 save percentage in 19 regular-season games and .897 after being knocked out of the playoffs in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.

There are questions how Miller's aggressive style will fit with goaltending coach Roland Melanson's more passive preferences....

more

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Shannon Hogan Moving From FoxSports Detroit To MSG

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Neil Best of Newsday,

Shannon Hogan went to high school in Northville, Michigan, outside Detroit, so working for Fox Sports Detroit for the past four years covering the Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons was a comfortable fit.

But when her agent called during the Stanley Cup Final with news MSG was looking for a new Islanders reporter, she responded without hesitation.

"I said, 'Oh my God, absolutely; whatever I can do, I have to get in there,'" she recalled Monday, the day before the network officially was set to announce she will succeed Peter Ruttgaizer, who had held the job since 2011.

Turns out Hogan, 29, is a hockey true believer, a love affair sealed during her first exposure to the Red Wings upon moving to Northville for her freshman year of high school. (She was born in Syracuse.)

"This was Hockeytown," she said. "I will never forget going to Joe Louis Arena for the first time and saying, 'Oh, my gosh, this is such an amazing atmosphere.'"

continued

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The Season Outlook For Tomas Tatar

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

He is coming off a breakout season when he provided some much-needed offense. That experience, and being in the lineup from the start of the season, should make him better and more productive this season.

He spent a good chunk of the season on the Kid Line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco. They had good chemistry and might remain intact, unless Jurco is forced to start the season in Grand Rapids due to a roster crunch.

Despite his small stature, Tatar goes to the net and has good hands in tight. He also flashes good open-ice moves. He should improve as he gains strength. He sometimes holds onto the puck too long in the offensive zone, leading to turnovers. He could be more productive on the power play, where he'll likely continue playing on the second unit.

He aspires to be a solid two-way forward in the mold of Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg but doesn't have natural defensive instincts. As long as he produces, the club will be happy.

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