Kukla's Korner

Wings Rolling And Can The Blues Make The Playoffs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Godon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Mike Babcock’s team is finally healthy. The Red Wings finally turned to Jimmy Howard as the lead goaltender, moving Chris Osgood aside.

They will fly past Nashville next, then take aim at Colorado and Los Angeles on the conference pecking order. Before the season ends, that team will secure a decent playoff seed and the opportunity to take another run at the Stanley Cup.

So what does that mean to the Blues?

Despite Detroit’s takeoff, the traffic between the Blues and postseason play is starting to clear. To reach the playoffs, the Note must overtake Dallas, Calgary, and Nashville and hold off Anaheim.

That will be a difficult task, but hardly impossible. Let’s look at those teams:


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Carter & Hartnell Going In Opposite Directions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,

Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell have been linked together in many conversations this season, both on and off the ice.

Some of that chatter has been fair. The rest of it could sometimes borderline slanderous.

But whatever had people talking about them is irrelevant now, since the two couldn’t be any more the polar opposites than they are.

Carter is in one of his noted scoring outbursts. He has goals in seven of the past eight Flyers games and has reached 30 goals in back-to-back seasons….

The same can’t be said for Hartnell, who is stuck in the worst drought of his professional career since he was a 20-year-old neophyte grinder with the Nashville Predators in 2002-03.

Now a handsomely paid winger on the top line of a playoff team, Hartnell has fallen well below expectations.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+carter, scott+hartnell

A Battle For The 8th Spot In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

A Flames win would vault them over the Red Wings, the defending conference champs and 2008 Stanley Cup winners, into eighth spot with the race to the playoffs nearing sprint time.

A Wings victory would put the Flames further back in the Wings’ rear-view mirror.

Is it pressure-packed? You bet.

But Flames head coach Brent Sutter is sending the message to his team to enjoy the tension.

“You want to be intense, but you’ve also got to enjoy what you’re doing. It’s like playoffs, and playoffs is a fun time, right?” Sutter said, as a half-dozen skaters went through the paces of an optional practice Monday afternoon. “All we did was move the calendar up

30 days. Let’s enjoy it and enjoy doing it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Culture Change Needed When It Comes To Head Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mark Spector of Sportsnet on the head hits topic.

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

Power Skating 101

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I discovered these videos today and after you view them over the next few days, your powerskating should improve.

Hopefully some KK readers will benefit from the instructions.

Today we feature the first three videos:How to Power Skate for Ice Hockey, Balance and Edges of Hockey Power Skating and The Backward Stride of Hockey Power Skating.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The NHL Needs A Forward Thinking Leader

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

What a thing it would be for hockey to have someone at the helm who could ride the momentum from the Olympics, who could grab the owners by their lapels and say forget your dead-end ideas, now is the time to take a leap, to think internationally and reap big rewards down the road. Someone who could forge a relationship with the players based on real mutual interests rather than threats.

Why leave Europe to the KHL, close the doors opened by the Olympic experience, when the alternative is the same-old, same-old game of diminishing returns?

Barring a remarkable transformation, Bettman just isn’t that guy. And for hockey and those who love it, that’s too bad.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Best Of The Week- Goals & Saves Edition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The best goals (first video) and saves from the past week in the NHL.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Junior Fans Are Bringing Out The Knives, While Wings Fans Want Another Win

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The Hawks and their fans had a taste of succes last season making the Western Conference Finals.  This season, their palate will find anything less than a Stanley Cup Finals appearance distasteful.  With high expectations, comes high stress.  It is a slippery slope to have expectations of Stanley Cup appearances from the outset.

Red Wings fans are blessed with the perpetual expectation of greatness, but it was not always this way.  Certainly not when I became a fan.  Since the Organ-I-zation hit its stride, there is no group with higher annual expectations than the Red Wings along with their fans.  This is why the 19 have the Stress Train.  While it barrels down the tracks, we gather in the Hasek Club to console ourselves as we imagine every possible scenario which will lead to our postseason demise.

In years past we had doubts about our goaltending and grit.  This season we have doubts about overcoming that cruel bastard Jobu and how he has cursed the health and well-being of the Wings.  Our playoff appearance, often a certainty, is now in doubt.  Yet I believe the vast majority of the 19 remain optimistic.  Heavily intoxicated, but optimistic.

In Chicago, the fans are losing their optimism and are becoming a fractured mess.  Doubt is taking over and they do not have the experience to overcome it. 

The knives have come out in Chicago and there is a call for blood.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Stamkos`s Star Rising

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL season has been rather disjointed since February because of the Olympic break.  Nevertheless there have been a reasonable number of games played since February 1st to look at which players have been hot lately.  Some teams have played as many as twelve games in that period.  The top scorer in that time period is Steve Stamkos.  Stamkos has eleven goals and nine assists for twenty points in ten games played to lead the league.  He is one point up on linemate Martin St Louis and four points up on any other player. 

This Tampa Bay twosome has played very well, with Stamkos being the better of the two.  Unfortunately, their team has not capitalized on their success, as Tampa has been 5-5 in that period.  Tampa has had defensive problems.  They have allowed 34 goals (which is second highest in the league since Feb 1st - behind Edmonton`s 37 goals allowed in 12 games played).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Someone needs to wake up the kids who have committed to the Indian. Wake up everybody. Someone needs to remind them that management either failed to trade for a goalie or chose not to because the organ-I-zation didn’t want to yank anyone out of what appears to be a tight-knit dressing room.

If your best players are going to be some of your worst, then your goalie—whoever it is, doesn’t matter, it’s clearly your weakest position—has no chance. And if your goalie has no chance, you can forget about June, and maybe even May.

Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune.  More on the Blackhawks at his RosenBlog.

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

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