Kukla's Korner

Some Teams Better Than Expected, Some Worse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

There comes a point in each season when reality sets in.

Teams that got off to surprisingly good starts continue to stay near the top of the standings and suddenly it doesn’t look quite so unusual. Other teams expected to do well that have not yet hit their stride gradually start to look right at home nesting with the bottom dwellers.

Not that anything is set in stone before the season reaches the halfway point, but surely we must now accept the fact a few teams might be much better than we anticipated and a few others aren’t nearly as good as some thought.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blame Sather

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

...this mess is on the man at the top – president/GM Glen Sather – and the owner (James Dolan) who continues to support him.

Let me dust off and update the rap sheet on Sather: Since he took over as GM in June of 2000, the Rangers have won 14 playoff games – and no more than six in a single post-season.

But here’s the biggest indictment of his tenure: As a result of summer after summer of spending by Sather, the team’s prospects for future improvement have been severely hampered.

Redden’s $6.5 million salary and Rozsival’s $5 million annual stipend are painful enough, but Rangers fans are well aware their favorite franchise has roughly $10 million in cap space (and 16 players signed) entering next season and roughly $19 million in cap space (and eight players signed) for the 2011-12 campaign.

Sather won’t be able to foist one of his numerous overpayments on another GM in the next off-season the way he did with Bob Gainey last summer. He has damaged the Rangers short-term and long-term, nearly to the same degree Isiah Thomas did with the NBA’s Knicks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather

TooToo Out With Broken Foot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

Predators right wing Jordin Tootoo has a broken bone in his right foot and is expected to miss three to four weeks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jordin+tootoo

On Helmer, On Franzen, Filppula and Williams.  Cleary and Kronwall…But At Least There’s Bertuzzi.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

When you sign a shoplifting meth head who attempted to molest the collie who lives next to the old woman he flipped off on the way to the Joe because she told him she liked his spin-o-rama?  You’re in serious trouble.  Payback will be a bitch, sooner or later.

I’m not pushing religion on you. I think you know that.

But it’s pretty motherf…front page…sorry…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

All For One In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Kiley of Blackhawks Confidential,

Individual Hawks are succeeding, but no one has stood out singly more than others. The mug shot has been replaced by the mass hysteria of team harmony, where the monster lumbers and looms ominously as one.

If that’s a cliche, so be it. But the Hawks are a collective nightmare with a very diverse group of stars coalescing rather than being a star-driven team that needs a few guys to be at their best or else fail day after day.

That’s why there should be no goalie controversy now or ever this season. It matters not whether it’s Cristobal Huet or Antti Niemi in goal, because the team defense rules. It matters not that Dave Bolland and Adam Burish are healing, the defense is driving the momentum game-in, game-out.

Do we miss Bolland and Burish? Hell, yeah. But the tumor of terror waits for no man.

Put them together and Cris and Andy spell C-Andy in net, but they aren’t as sweet as Tony Esposito or even the demented Ed Belfour by themselves. They don’t have to be. They have help unlike previous Blackhawks’ clubs where it was every man for himself.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Note To Santa: Suck It Fatass.  Down Goes Helm.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Seriously.  It’s not funny anymore. 

Ready. Set. Vomit.


The Red Wings called up center Kris Newbury from Grand Rapids Monday morning to replace Darren Helm, who is out with an injured wrist.

“It’s more of a test, for sure,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ll put Newbury out there and we’ll grind away.”

Babcock said he would move Justin Abdelkader up to Helm’s line, skating between Drew Miller and Kris Draper. Newbury will skate on the fourth line with Brad May and Kirk Maltby.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Let’s Talk Vinny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News,

Don’t look now, but the Vincent Lecavalier trade rumors have started up again.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun recently suggested Vincent Lecavalier didn’t look happy playing for Tampa Bay, noting his offensive struggles this season and claiming his coach didn’t seem to know how to use him.

While Lecavalier is in the first year of his 11-year, $70 million-plus contract, which also contains a no-movement clause, LeBrun wondered what would happen next if Lecavalier’s situation didn’t improve in the coming months.

That sparked further speculation later in the week as columnist Yvon Pedneault and former NHL coach Pat Burns also weighed in on the possibility of Lecavalier moving later in the season.

continued plus more rumor talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Stars Of The Week & More

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Raise your hand if you had the Los Angeles Kings at the top of the Western Conference standings in the middle of December….

By going 3-0-0 last week, and stopping 80 of 85 shots, Quick was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. In his last seven games, Quick is 6-0-1 with a 2.20 goals-against average.

Second Star: Daniel Sedin—Daniel had a hat trick in a 4-2 win against Atlanta and had a goal and an assist in each of the Canucks’ other two games last week, giving him 5 goals and 2 assists for 7 points. He has 18 points in the 14 games he’s played.

Third Star: Ilya Bryzgalov—The NHL’s hottest goaltender continues to play brilliantly. Bryzgalov allowed just three goals in three games for Phoenix last week, going 2-0-1 (the only loss came in an eight-round shootout) with a shutout. Bryzgalov is 6-0-1 in his last seven games, allowing just 10 goals.

continue reading for more hot players, NHL notes, etc…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wake-Up Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Perhaps, before tonight’s home encounter with the Atlanta Thrashers at MSG, John Tortorella ought to hire a bugler and a drummer.

Prior to his club taking the ice, the drummer would knock off a rousing roll on his snare while the bugler would toot that wake-up call of all wake-up calls, “Reveille.”

It might help because (No News Department) this is no time for comedy. You can look it up; the Blueshirts now officially are in No-Ifs-Ands-Or-Buts Land.


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

Attendance Issue For Avs Continue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Not going to keep beating this horse, but…11,448 last night for the Flames-Avs game, a showdown for first place in the Northwest Division. Folks, what gives? That was on a Family Night deal, too, where tickets and a meal averaged less than $25.

One question I have is: has the advent of HDTV made it less imperative to go to the games? Is the picture so good on TV now that, in effect, teams are hurting themselves by looking so good on TV?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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