Kukla's Korner

Kovalev the Comeback of the Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP via TSN,

If the National Hockey League had an award for comeback player of the year, a prime candidate could be Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens.

Last season, the skilled but unpredictable right winger scored only 18 goals and looked to be on his way out of Montreal and perhaps even the NHL.

But Kovalev has rebounded to become the Canadiens scoring leader, as well as acting as mentor to young Belarus forwards Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.

“You can’t be perfect all your career - there’s going to be ups and downs,” the 34-year-old Kovalev said Thursday after the pre-game skate. “Last year was one of those years where you can’t find your game and nothing’s going your way.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+kovalev

Ryan Smyth Out 8 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Colorado Avalanche,

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that further medical evaluation on the injured right ankle of forward Ryan Smyth revealed a fracture and that he would be out approximately eight weeks.

“The fracture was discovered following additional medical tests which included an MRI exam,” said Avalanche Head Trainer Matthew Sokolowski. “We expect him to make a full recovery.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Hockey TV Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

In case you missed it, NHL Network U.S. will air two encore presentations of the AMP Energy / NHL Winter Classic game in HD this weekend. NBC’s broadcast of the historic game will re-air Saturday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, immediately following NHL Network’s live broadcast of the World Junior Championship Gold Medal game. The second airing will be Sunday, Jan. 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT.

About that World Junior Championship, here’s a complete schedule listing (below) for remaining games to be broadcast on the the NHL Network U.S.  (note: for Canadians, TSN broadcast schedule is here).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, tv+schedule, winter+classic, world+junior+championships

Numminen On Schedule For Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Teppo Numminen’s surgically repaired heart is pumping fine after the Buffalo Sabres defenceman’s latest medical checkup.

It’s his stamina that still isn’t there yet, leaving Numminen unable to predict Thursday when he might be ready to play.

“I don’t know. Still on the same schedule, day by day, week by week,” said Numminen, catching his breath after a 90-minute practice. “But things are getting closer. We’re moving in the right direction. ... They checked things out and things are like they should be.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teppo+numminen

First Half Awards & Events

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont at MSNBC,

Before we go too far — and, remember, Feb. 26 is this year’s trade deadline — let’s take a look at how the first half has unfolded and size up some of the potential award winners….

Most significant franchise-changing moment

At the risk of sounding insensitive, the Sept. 26 death of long-time Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, 77, triggered a number of changes that have aided the franchise in returning to relevance.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ha- Sound Familar Wings Fans?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

So what is the reason for fans not attending?

The Pistons are currently 10 games ahead of second place Cleveland in the Central Division and in position to have one of the top two spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are also in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and are the only team to beat the 27-3 Boston Celtics at the Garden.

Many people might say it is because of Michigan’s poor economy. If you are having a tough time paying your bills, you are certainly not spending $30-$40 to watch professional basketball.

But for everyone that wants to blame the economy, they will need to look no further than the attendance numbers this upcoming summer at Comerica Park. Middle of the week games against the Kansas City Royals will be near capacity. The Tigers also play twice the home games at a venue that is twice the size of the Palace….

Fans are cautiously optimistic because they have seen this movie before. They expect long playoff runs and know that is when the real Pistons’ season begins.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

In Memory

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From The New York Times Slapshot blog,

Many hockey figures, young and old, passed away in 2007. Some were internationally renowned, some were locally famous and some appeared only briefly in hockey’s lower ranks, but all were and always will be part of the game. The roll call below of those departed was compiled by the Society for International Hockey Research…

continued… with a sad list of those who died this past year.  (More details of their careers can be read at SIHR.)

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: society+for+international+hockey+research

Winter Classic Does Well In Canada Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CNews,

The Winter Classic was a hit in Canada as well.

A day after NBC reported the largest hockey viewing audience in more than a decade watched the outdoor game south of the border, CBC announced Thursday it drew its second-largest audience ever for an afternoon NHL game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

The Big Hitter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson at ESPN,

Phaneuf’s renown, however, rides on his ability to sap people of their senses. He currently sits a comfortable second in Western Conference All-Star voting among defenseman, trailing only the inevitable and unavoidable Lidstrom. And Phaneuf isn’t getting that kind of broad-based love at the ballot box for nimble poke-checks, stylish tie-ups or witty repartee.

He will develop over time and become a more well-rounded defenseman. He may even add some curly-cues to his repertoire. But what fans relish, and opposing forwards dread, is Dion Phaneuf, the Terminator.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Adam Proteau Talks With Paul Kelly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adam Proteau of the Hockey News concludes his interview with Paul Kelly.  In case you missed the firat part, a link is available on the page….

THN: Improving the marketing of the game has been a common goal of the NHL for decades, yet little progress has been made. What are some of your opinions on ways to finally make some headway in this area?

PK: I’ll make three or four quick points:

One is U.S. television. I commend Versus for their broadcasts, but we need broader reach, broader coverage, reaching a greater number of homes, on more nights, with more highlights. We need something that’s even half of what you have here in Canada, and we don’t have it in the United States.

If I’m in a certain city and I want to watch a hockey game, I go hunting around the TV dial, I go past ESPN – which has a poker game on – and I can’t find a hockey game because many of the places I go to don’t have Versus on the dial. It’s unacceptable.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+kelly

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