Kukla's Korner

Early Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

With teams starting to sort out in the NHL standings, there are folks in the hockey world that deserve more recognition for what they are doing:

5. NHL fans: Considering the uncertainty of the economy, the league’s attendance seems strong. Seventeen teams are playing to 97% or better capacity, and only four teams (Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta and the New York Islanders)

    6. Detroit Red Wings coach Mke Babcock:  GM Ken Holland usually, and rightfully, receives plenty of credit for keeping this franchise on to. However,  Babcock’s coaching plays a big role. We can see that this season as the team has overcome defections to stay in the mix as one of the league’s best teams….

more

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

The Jersey Trap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

New Jersey’s trap is perfectly designed for winning on the road during the regular season — though having Martin Brodeur between the pipes is a nice part of the equation.

Watch how the Devils trap under head coach Jacques Lemaire, the godfather of its modern-day standing. His players are seemingly never out of position. They almost always know when to flip the switch from patient to aggressive. Opponents are left shaking their heads by midway through the first period — because the Devils’ trap not only denies time and space to force turnovers; it also causes frustration that leads to unforced turnovers.

In its own way, the Devils’ trap is a thing of beauty.

Full disclosure: Given the choice, I’d rather watch the Penguins play than the Devils, especially if I was a paying customer. Still, count me out of any discussion that begins with, “The NHL needs to do something about the trap ...”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early Season Top Coach

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As usual, Jacques Lemaire is doing a great job coaching.  This happens every season and is usually overlooked.  It required some first class coaching to keep the Minnesota Wild in the playoff race as long as they were last year.  Last year, the Minnesota Wild finished ninth in the West Conference.  They were two points back of a playoff berth despite having played without star forward Marian Gaborik most of the season.  This year roughly the same Wild team exists (Gaborik is now a New York Ranger) and they are sitting last in the West Conference.  That is one way to measure the Jacques Lemaire effect on the Wild.  Notice how far they have dropped without him.

Lemaire has come to New Jersey where he is doing his usual great job.  The New Jersey Devils are first in the East Conference with a 14-4 record.  Lemaire teams are always defensively responsible.  This year the Devils have the top defence in the NHL - with a 2.06 GAA.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Kid Ready To See His First NHL Game, Misses Start By 5 Hours

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Glen McGregor of the Ottawa Citizen,

Ten-year-old Yehya Eldidi arrived at Scotiabank Place yesterday wearing his new Ottawa Senators jacket, flushed with excitement about seeing his first NHL game.

But instead of watching his favourite player, Daniel Alfredsson, skate against the New York Rangers, Yehya looked on through locked doors as cleaners changed garbage bags and vacuumed the carpets in the lobby.

Like a handful of other ticket-holders who showed up Saturday night, Yehya and his cousin, Abraham Issa, didn’t learn until too late that the start-time of the game had been moved up from the 7 p.m. printed on their tickets to 2 p.m.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Z With Three

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Free curly fries for everyone.

Henrik Zetterberg with the hat trick to top off a five point night and Wings fans are happy too.  Arby’s offers free curly fries if a Wing gets a hat trick.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+zetterberg

Lightning Win In OT… Celebrate.. Oh Wait…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Lightning lose in shootout to the Kings.

The goal by the Lightning was waived off, goalie interference…

Team, player and NHL reaction on the non-goal can be found here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Monster Could Go To The Highest Bidder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,

You see, it was Burke who threatened the Bruins with a Group II offer sheet before making a deal for winger Phil Kessel in September.

The Leafs could easily be sitting in the same position if they don’t get the 25-year-old Swede signed. Gustavsson, who is making $810,000 (all terms US) on a one-year deal this season, has emerged as the club’s No. 1 goalie ahead of Vesa Toskala.

There would be more than an NHL GM or two who wouldn’t mind put the screws to Burke by signing The Monster to an offer sheet worth $5 million a season.

Gustavsson was the most sought-after free-agent goalie on the market before he signed with the Leafs last summer. Every team in the league scouted him. Most made a pitch for him. The Stars thought Gustavsson was going to sign there to push Marty Turco for the job.

“Don’t think for a second there wouldn’t be a lineup of teams again offering up big money if he gets to restricted free agency,” said a league executive.

more rumors/talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Savard Expected To Re-sign With Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

• Much like Milan Lucic in October, 32-year-old center Marc Savard later this month - most likely around Thanksgiving - is expected to extend his contract with the Bruins. At the end of a four-year deal that brought him $5 million a season, Savard is likely to average in the $6 million-$6.5 million range for another four or five seasons, bringing Boston’s payroll to upward of $49 million for next season…

• During a recent NHLPA conference call, superstar Alexander Ovechkin, with a cap figure of $9.538 million, groused about having to surrender the 12.9 percent escrow on last year’s pay. The same hit this season would see Ovie surrender $1.23 million. It’s his privilege to gripe. But that kind of giveback is about equal to the combined gross pay of Vladimir Sobotka and Byron Bitz. As on the ice, sometimes it’s best just to take the hit and shut up.

much more hockey talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

Prime Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Letters To A Nimrod

First of all…

For some reason, you just knew after those three words that you were gonna be irritated back on October 22nd. If someone had just given John Buccigross an open-handed bitch slap right then?  All would be well.  Didn’t happen.  Steve Phillips’ production assistant was busy.  Matthew Barnaby was repeatedly stabbing the exclamation point key. No one stopped Buccigross and now he just looks like a tool.

Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are no longer in their NHL prime.

Oh, and dick? It’s Zetterman.  He dreams in colors.  Red ones.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Leafs Take On A Retro Look

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

Who knew the Eighties would be looked back on fondly as the good old days?

Or that the Toronto Maple Leafs would try to emulate them?

You remember the ‘80s: Mullets, glitter-rock, linebacker padded shoulders on ladies, cocaine and the absolute nadir for Leaf hockey – 56 points in ‘81-82, 57 points in ‘85-86, 52 points in ‘87-88.

Toronto, following Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Calgary – another of those ‘80s Tribute Nights, Wendel Clark and Russ Courtnall saluted on this occasion – is on pace for a 50-point season circa 2009-2010, if the calculations of someone who dropped math in Grade 10 can be trusted.

continued

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

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