Kukla's Korner

Keane Remembered In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Is Mike Keane not one of the best sports stories out there?

Keane returns to Denver on Tuesday night to be honored by the Avalanche as part of its Alumni Night series this season. Of course, the Avs had to find a night on the Moose’s schedule when they weren’t playing to get Keane to visit.

Keane is in the middle of his fifth consecutive season with the Moose, playing for chump change after 1,161 games of making NHL money. At this point, Keane really is playing for the love of the game, as it seems hopeless any NHL team will give him another chance.

He has been eyed by many NHL teams, but only as a coach or a front- office guy. But Keane stubbornly resists, believing he can still be of good use to a team in a jersey and skates, not a suit.

I have a lot of great memories as a writer covering Keane. He was always a personal favorite, not just because he gave a great quote — who can forget his “They’re all a bunch of homers” rip on the Red Wings in 1997? — but because he was smart and funny and a merciless needler.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+keane

Flyers Trying To Adjust To New System

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

“There’s good players in that room,” Laviolette said, pointing to the Flyers’ locker room. “I’m not looking for a trade. We’ve got good players coming back at some point this week. I’m looking for our guys to dig in.”

He says that his system - which includes a risky offensive style, a strong and structured team concept and rigid discipline - takes time.

“These guys don’t like change,” Laviolette said. “Change is hard. Change is tough. This is a complete change in philosophy. In Carolina, it didn’t happen right away.”

Laviolette called out Danny Briere yesterday for his crosschecking penalty against the Devils and made him skate in front of the entire team.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers In A Fight To Make The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Henrik Lundqvist, who shares the distinction with Michal Rozsival of being the only two players who have been Rangers since the first training camp following the lockout, is under no illusions about what’s ahead in his fifth season on Broadway.

“I didn’t think we were going to be one of the top teams at the start because of all the new guys we brought in over the summer and the time it was going to take everyone to get used to a new system,” The King told The Post. “Now it looks like it’s going to be a year where it’s going to be a battle to make the playoffs.

“If you look at the standings you can see that there are a lot of teams in the middle. We’re one of them. We’re not up with Washington or Pittsburgh. We’re going to have a fight on our hands the whole year to make it.”

continued

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

No Urgency In Flames Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Sutter didn’t explode like Mount Vesuvius after his team’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, but he came awfully close.

“It was a carry over from the other night,” he said. “We played three terrible periods at home the other night and it carried over for two periods here tonight. That tells me a little bit.”

Asked what it told him, Sutter said: “I don’t want to get into it.”

But he did give a solid hint.

“There was a sense of urgency in the third (period) that hasn’t been there for five periods,” he said.

read on

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

Monday Morning Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

• On Saturday, the NHL’s holiday roster freeze goes in effect for eight days, meaning the last day for GMs to do their pre-Christmas player shopping is the 19th. In recent years, the Christmas deadline hasn’t elicited much action on the trade front, and with the Philadelphia Flyers signing goaltender John Grahame to a minor-league contract as insurance until Ray Emery gets back, it pretty much puts an end to speculation that they are in the market for netminding help.

• How can 14 of the 15 Western Conference teams go into today’s eight-game schedule with winning records – more points in the standings than games played? Obviously, the answer is three-point games – the bonus points awarded for shootout or overtime losses that distort the standings and create the illusion that no team is really struggling, even if they are.

more

added 8:28am, from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

You are Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi. You wake up yesterday to discover your team, one of the NHL’s sad sacks not so long ago, is tied for top spot in the Western Conference at 45 points with the suddenly free-falling San Jose Sharks, the club you ran before being replaced by Doug Wilson.

Life certainly is good in Mr. Lombardi’s world these days.

A huge key to the Kings’ meteoric rise up the standings can be attributed to their success in the shootout. Los Angeles has reeled off six consecutive shootout victories.

more

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

Those Are Some Serious Michigan Accents

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

For some reason, and I can’t explain it, I think this is gonna be really frigging cool.  Wing bloggers, a podcast, a weekly thing, babbling.  Brought to you by a new Wing site called The Obstructed View dedicated soley to hosting the writers you read every day, talking about the Organ-I-zation.

Three different bloggers every week, with a new episode every Monday morning.

Michael Patrella from The Production Line, Casey from Winging It In Motown and Kris from Snipe, Snipe, Dangle, Dangle....they’re first on the docket.

The Obstructed View Podcast, episode 1.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Coyotes Could Be A Success In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Cybulski of TSN,

The Coyotes saga had to be one of the most painful to follow in 2009 so there’s no point in trying to rehash the NHL versus Jim Balsillie saga, but the end result may yet have a happy ending. With Ice Edge Holdings signing their letter of intent with the league on Friday, it shows that there is reason to believe that hockey may yet live in the desert. No people, I’m not drinking while writing this.

Here’s why it has reason to work. Despite what others may say to the contrary, these new owners are legit.

read on

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

Hossa Plays A Little ‘Stick Hockey’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Marian Hossa catches the puck, tosses it down and puts it in the net before it hits the ice.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Save Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Antero Niittymaki gets the puck with his stick before it completely crosses the goal line.

thanks to DayWalk3r (Twitter) for the pointer.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antero+niittymaki

Spend To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal,

Many sports fans assume baseball is the game that’s most driven by owners’ pocketbooks. For proof, they could point to the 2009 playoffs, where the final four teams were all near the top of the league in payroll. But the sport where spending money most closely equates to winning games is played on ice, not grass and dirt.

From 2000 to 2008, NHL teams’ winning percentage has a 0.49 correlation to their payroll (where 1 represents a direct correlation and 0 represents no correlation at all). This number doesn’t suggest an airtight relationship, but it’s a stronger correlation than the three other major sports leagues. Major League Baseball has a 0.43 correlation, and the NFL is at a nearly meaningless 0.15, according to a new study by Dave Berri, a professor of economics at Southern Utah University.

continued

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

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