Kukla's Korner

Sabres React To Plane Tragedy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Buffalo Sabres discuss the tragic plane crash in Clarence as they prepare for tonight’s game.

The Sabres will also be observing a moment of silence to respect those lost in the tragedy of Flight 3407 prior to tonight’s game vs. San Jose.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bobby Ryan Talks Kyle Turris

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“I’ve played against Kyle numerous times and I’ve seen him play, he’s going to have a heck of a career,” Anaheim Ducks rookie Bobby Ryan told ESPN.com. “Depending on how long he’s down there, he’s going to be able to learn to be a pro in a less stressful environment and that’s certainly going to do nothing but good things for him.”

Ryan, who has exploded with a huge rookie season since his mid-November call-up from the AHL, understands how Turris may be feeling right now, given the high expectations. Turris went third overall in the 2007 NHL draft, while Ryan went second overall in 2005. Be patient, Ryan’s advice was to Turris.

“I think it’s a very important step to take, to spend some time in the minor leagues,” continued Ryan, who turns 22 next month. “You learn a little bit about yourself and you learn a little bit about yourself as a player. There’s ups and downs with that. It’s emotional. You want to play at the highest level, but there is a time frame that you spend down there [in the AHL] and you get to breathe a little easier and certainly progress.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan, kyle+turris

What Will Niedermayer Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, .

..Even Steve Yzerman, the team’s executive director, confirmed as much. When asked about the scrutiny and attention, even a year away, he said he’s been monitoring the coverage on television and the Internet and doesn’t mind it at all.

“It’s a good thing that people are interested,” said Yzerman. “I love sitting and listening to people’s opinions on who should be there and who should be coaching and this and that. More information is good.”

That’s just as well, since the discussion will continue right up until the team is selected – early December is the projection, which would give the organizers enough time to do accreditation, security checks, drug tests and deal with all the minutiae in terms of protocols that come into play when preparing for a competition of this magnitude.

Of all the questions percolating about the roster selections, the most intriguing may revolve around the availability of Scott Niedermayer.

more plus additional NHL notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+niedermayer

The Top Lines

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cullen of TSN,

Early in the season, we took a look at which line deserved to be called the best in the NHL.  Now that the NHL season is well into the second half, it’s a good time to take a deeper look at which lines have been best.

Given that some lines have played together much more than others, I’ve set a minimum number of 400 even-strength shifts to qualify a line for this list.

While the most value of a line comes from even-strength production, that doesn’t mean that other production is irrelevant in determining the value of an individual player, so overall production (including power play and shorthanded) counts towards an individual player’s rating.

continued and more hockey topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talking Carey Price

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Hockey at CBC,

It was the NHL lockout, and the co-owner of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans needed somewhere to practice. So, he went back to Washington, and met the team’s goalie. His name was Carey Price.

“I remember thinking, ‘When I was 18, I was nowhere near as polished as this guy,’” Olaf Kolzig said Friday. “I knew right there how good he was going to be. Goalies don’t mature until their mid-20s. To see where he was then ... you could see how special he was going to be at 25.”

We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of Cristobal Huet’s trade from Montreal, the day Bob Gainey made Price his number one man. Ron Tugnutt remembers watching as Price led the Canadiens to a stunning regular-season Eastern Conference crown.

“I said, ‘This is the guy who will lead Team Canada for years.’ His footwork is incredible.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Looking At The Wings Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Having previously examined the needs of those jockeying for postseason berths in the NHL’s two conferences as the trade deadline approaches, here’s a look at the needs of the top seeds in the conferences.

Detroit Red Wings: The defending Stanley Cup champions are sticking close to the Conference-leading Sharks in the standings. Offensively they’re still powerful, leading the league in goals and power-play percentage. Injuries have taken a bit of a toll as defenseman Brad Stuart and workhorse forward Tomas Holmstrom are out indefinitely although both should return in time for the playoffs. The real area of concern is between the pipes, where playoff hero Chris Osgood has struggled this season although they’ve gotten good goaltending from backup Ty Conklin. They rank 18th in goals against despite giving up the fifth-fewest shots, but GM Ken Holland insists he’s not in the market for a goalie.

read on...

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

Will Green Eventually Score 50?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News:

“Right now,” [Mike] Green told the Washington Post recently, “if it’s on my stick, I’m shooting it.”

The question that needs to be asked now, though, is if Paul Coffey’s record of 48 goals, the hallmark for markers by a defenseman in one season, is going to be in jeopardy in the next few seasons? Are we looking at a defenseman who is capable of becoming the first 50-goal scorer in NHL history?

Don’t laugh; it could happen. Green is only 23 years old, which means he could still be five years away from hitting his peak as a player. And look at what he’s doing already.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green, paul+coffey

Game Still On In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Pollak at Mercury News:

A very sad day here in Western New York, but there will be hockey tonight.

Several Sabres players live in Clarence Center, the suburban-rural area where the commuter flight from Newark crashed and they talked about the experience. Defenseman Teppo Numminen heard both the sound of the plane coming down and the noise from the impact. He and his wife opened the shade on the bedroom window and could see the flames and the red sky. Goalie Patrick Lalime lived even closer. Former Shark Craig Rivet lived nearby, but far enough away that he and his family weren’t aware of the 10:20 p.m. crash until they woke up this morning.

continued… with more on the Sharks

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

St. Louis Blues Land with a Thud

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Roger Hensley at STLtoday.com

Obviously injury-riddled all season, the Blues offered early hopes, sank in the standings, then made a big run right before the All-Star break. It even had some, myself included, talking playoff possibilities as recently as earlier this week. Of course it was a long shot. But since I mapped out the “Ten Nights in February” posting a couple days back about the import of the next ten games, beginning with Vancouver, the Blues have responded with a resounding thud.

That has brought me to the precipice of capitulation. Not on the team, mind you, but on the realities of this season. This decision did not come easily, but is one that had to be made. It was either that or I end up sticking a fork in my eye during one of these games.

read on

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

The Tampa Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times,

You see Tampa Bay beat Toronto 6-4 and you begin to believe the worst is finally in the past and the future is closer than you ever imagined.

For the first time in a long while, the Lightning has direction. Not like last season, when confusion was everywhere. And not like the first few months of this season, when confusion was upgraded to chaos.

The Lightning has gone 12-9-2 since Dec. 23. Maybe that doesn’t translate into Stanley Cup fever, but it’s the franchise’s best 23-game stretch since the end of 2006-07.

After all this time, a plan is in place. An honest evaluation of assets and liabilities has been made. And the remaking of the Lightning brand is under way.

read on

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

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