Kukla's Korner

Barnaby Responds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Matthew Barnaby of ESPN participated in a chat earlier today…

Matt what is up with the Flames lately should I be as concerned as I am they just don’t seem to have that same pop like they did right after the trade deadline.

Matthew Barnaby: This is a banged up team right now. With all their injuries and problems with the salary cap, they have been playing the last few games with 17 players, which is one below the number that is supposed to be the norm. Cory Sarich and Robyn Regehr are two important parts and have been out along with a few forwards and that is why they have been struggling.

There are always seem to be some unexpected upsets in the early rounds. Do you see anything like that this year?

Matthew Barnaby: I think if there is one team that could get upset early it would be New Jersey or Washington. Washington’s goaltending still scares me and New Jersey could end up facing a six seed in Pittsburgh. I do not know if that is an upset, but by the seedings it would be.

more questions & answers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

From Colgate To Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

In a surprise move today the Flyers signed an inexperienced defenseman and thrust him into the playoff race.

The Flyers signed 6-foot-4, 220-pound David Sloane, an Ambler native, to an amateur tryout under emergency conditions and said he would be in the lineup tonight against the host New York Rangers.

Sloane, 24, who played this season for Colgate University, will replace the injured Ryan Parent. Parent is listed as day to day with a strained groin.

Under emergency conditions of an amateur tryout, Sloane is available to play for a 24-hour period beginning with tonight’s game.

It was unclear this afternoon why Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren chose to use Sloane instead of calling up a player from the Phantoms.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+sloane

Kings Governor Wants “To Get Back On ESPN”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable,

Briefly stopped by the opening of ESPN’s snazzy new Los Angeles digs last week, and stuck around just long enough to hear a prominent National Hockey League team executive indirectly trash league television partner Versus, which picked up a hockey package as its main asset when ESPN balked a few years back.

On stage at the opening of the new complex, Anschutz Entertainment Group (owners of the Los Angeles Kings) CEO Tim Leiweke turned to ESPN chief George Bodenheimer and said, “We made a huge mistake with hockey - we need to get back on ESPN with the NHL.” While many people agree, I wonder how that comment went over back at Comcast, which has shelled out quite a few scheckels to the NHL?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Out of Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated:

The end is plainly in sight even if, with just days remaining, we don’t yet know all of the teams that will join the second leg of the biathlon. But before we say goodbye to a marathon regular season that needed nearly all of its 1,230 games to eliminate slightly less than half the teams that thought they had a shot at the playoffs, a few items deserve your upright attention:

Let’s start with the Calgary Flames, the franchise that most American hockey fans know only as the first family of hockey failure in Atlanta.

The Flames have been playing shorthanded for several games, including a crucial loss earlier this week to the surging Canucks that may have decided first place in the Northwest Division. Now, there are a number of reasons why that can happen. Penalties incurred during a contest is the one that comes most readily to mind, but there can be injuries or a called-up player not getting to the arena on time.

The Flames are shorthanded simply because they are out of money.

continued… with thoughts on several teams

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

The Future of Hockey Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy interviews Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings and David Pollak at Working the Corners:

In a general sense, where do you think print media hockey coverage is headed in the U.S. in the next few years? Can or will blogs fill in the holes in coverage for some fan bases?

HAMMOND: As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I don’t see how there’s going to be an increase of print coverage for hockey. Newspapers staffs are only going to continue to shrink, and as we’ve already seen, hockey coverage is one of the first things to go. Unless newspapers enjoy a huge resurgence, I don’t know what will turn that around.

Blogs most certainly have an opportunity to fill in the holes, even blogs that aren’t affiliated with newspapers or major media outlets. Bloggers who can develop credibility with their audiences have a wonderful opportunity to provide coverage to hockey fans who are hungry for it.

much more

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Says Fenway An Option For Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com,

The National Hockey League’s now famous “Winter Classic” could be staged at Fenway Park this coming New Year’s Day, although a decision hasn’t been made by the league to play the annual outdoor game there yet, an NHL spokesman said on Thursday.

“We’re looking at Fenway,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president of public relations, said in a telephone conversation about the 97-year-old home of the Red Sox. “But we’re looking at a variety of options.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Manny Legace Ready For Another Chance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The guy never has had the red carpet of life rolled out for him. For virtually his entire hockey career, he’s been dissed, dismissed, doubted and degraded. Even the person who engraved his name on the Stanley Cup engraved his surname as ‘Lagace’.

But like the famous movie producer Robert Evans, the kid has found a way to stay in the picture.

“You get used to it,” Legace told THN.com. “It’s been that way my whole life. ‘He’s too fat, he’s too small, he’s too this or that.’ So you get used to having to prove yourself every day. And that’s fine with me; that’s made me a better person and a better goalie.”

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manny+legace

Sharks True Test Coming Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lindsay Berra of ESPN The Magazine,

Q: What do the San Jose Sharks and the Titanic have in common?

A: They both look good until they hit the ice. [Harsh? Try this one.]

Q: What do you call 30 millionaires watching the Stanley Cup Finals on TV?

A: The Sharks!

Hold the applause—these comedic gems aren’t ours. They are but a sampling of the wit posted on message boards by Sharks fans who are tired of San Jose’s beast-in-the-regular-season, belly-up-in-the-postseason play.

Too harsh again? Hardly. In November 2005, GM Doug Wilson traded for Bruins center Joe Thornton, who notched 125 points and won the Hart. In the playoffs? The Sharks lost in the second round to the eighth-seeded Oilers. In 2006-07, they posted a franchise-best 51– 26– 5 record … and lost again (to Detroit) in the second round. Last season, they picked up coveted blueliner Brian Campbell in late February, won the Pacific—then lost to the Stars in you-know-what round.

continued

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

Blues Have Made The Right Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Collectively, the hockey staff decided to exile veteran goaltender Manny Legace to Peoria. That was a difficult decision. Legace is a pretty good guy. But Manny wasn’t happy and he wasn’t playing well.

Since his exit, the Blues have seldom lost.

Collectively, the hockey staff elected to keep Tkachuk at the trading deadline and not collect some additional future assets.

Since then, the Blues have seldom lost.

This run from 15th to eighth place in the Western Conference has taken on a life of its own. The Blues transformed into an entirely different team.

Sometimes it seemed supernatural forces were at play -– like when the team rallied improbably at Boston for one of the most freakish victories in franchise history.

And here is the best news: The fun has just begun.

more

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

From Out For The Season To Could Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

But with puck-moving defencemen Mathieu Schneider and Andrei Markov on the shelf, the Habs have scored just three goals in their last two contests. Also, Montreal has been held to two or fewer goals in each of their last four games against the Bruins.

Some good news, however could be on the horizon. RDS reports that Schneider, who suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, practiced with the club this morning and could be back in the lineup.

more on the Canadiens…

added 12:35pm, from Pat Hickey at Habs Inside/Out,

Coach Bob Gainey says there is a “good possibility” that defenceman Mathieu Schneider will be in the lineup tonight when the Canadiens face the Bruins in a “must-tie” game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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