Kukla's Korner

The overnight report: On WJC exhibition play, Backman, Mantha’s fight, Kindl and an unearned bonus

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I've tended to have pretty good luck with KK's blog software, but at 5:25 AM, after writing for 90 minutes, my blog software just ate my Overnight Report.

So this is the second try, and I'm going to be *#$%@& blunt.

In prospect news, in game action:

At the Channel One Cup, Mattias Janmark was scratched in Sweden's 3-2 shootout loss to Finland. Sweden finished third in the 4-nation tournament, and Russia won;

In World Junior Championship exhibition play, Dylan Larkin didn't register a point but played on the 2nd line for the 2nd game in Team USA's 5-2 win over Germany;

Joe Hicketts had 2 assists in Team Canada's 5-2 win over Sweden, and Axel Holmstrom and Christoffer Ehn played for Sweden but were held off the scoresheet. You can watch highlights of the game via TSN's game recap, and you'll see Holmstrom deliver a hard hit on Connor McDavid that the consensus #1 overall pick for 2015 called a "cheap shot."

The Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan noted that Hicketts and his defensive partner, Jeremy Morin, embody the "long and the short of it":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Avalanche wrap-up: the Wings’ quest for a regulation-or-OT win ran into Calvin Pickard

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings played very well despite dropping a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche, and as the Wings drop to 0-1-and-5 in their past 6 games, I think the most frustrating part of the loss involves Calvin Pickard's game-stealing heroics:

As the Wings prepare to host the banged-up Sabres on Tuesday and then play 8 of 9 games on the road, all I can tell you is that the majority of the Red Wings' roster has seen exactly what Pickard brought to the table before, and they've seen Pickard bail out the Lake Erie Monsters on a regular, repeated basis while playing against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Avalanche: Sixth straight loss bites the hardest

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings played their best game since their run-and-gun loss to Toronto a week-and-a-half ago, attempting to out-grind a viciously gritty Avalanche team that both received wonderful goaltending from Calvin Pickard and hooked, held, hacked, whacked and smacked the Wings' Swedes out of scoring chances (Darren Helm, too), but the refs decided that this was going to be a quick game...

And it wasn't, it was painful to watch for two periods, painfully slow despite the Wings' attempts at deliberate play, and after the Wings finally released the goal-scoring hounds via Pavel Datsyuk's goal--among 7 shots and 10 total attempts, as well as as 16-and-9 faceoff record, 2 takeaways and 22:27 played--Petr Mrazek, who was equally valiant in stopping 22 of 23 harder-than-they-looked shots, stopped 6 of 9 shootout shooters...

But the Colorado Avalanche mucked, ground, hooked, held and rope-a-doped off Pickard to a 2-1 shootout win that feels tremendously un-earned from a Wings perspective.

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Videos- Hometown Hockey Visits Kingston, Features On Doug Gilmour And Mike Smith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

both via Hometown Hockey,

After a Hall of Fame career, Doug Gilmour returns to his hometown to coach the cities beloved Kingston Frontenacs and somehow proves the adage that you can take the boy out of Kingston, but you can’t take Kingston out of the boy.

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+gilmour, mike+smith

Stopping the Skid

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

I know many of us are down right disgusted with the poor play/bad luck in this five game losing streak. Yes, a bona fide streak. It works both ways. I cannot think of a better way to end the streak, and, start off the Holidays than with a win against the Dive.

Our one time nemesis and a big part of one of the best modern rivalries in all of sports, is now the Coach. They are coming off a nice win, but, I would like them to leave the Joe with a lump of coal in their stockings.

I am sure all 19 of us would like nothing more than to stop the skid by defeating the Dive. An early gift so to speak.

So, on Dangle, on Abby, on Z, and on Mule. On Kronner, DeKeyser, and E52.
 

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Two Lineup Changes For Tonight And Jimmy Howard Still Day-To-Day

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Babcock said two lineup changes: Kindl in on defense and Cleary in for Andersson.

This will be Cleary's 10th game, triggering a $1 million bonus. Can be applied to next season's cap if needed.

Holland said tests on Jimmy Howard (groin) revealed no significant damage. Still day to day. Hasn't been ruled out for Tuesday's game.

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The Florida Panthers/Pittsburgh Penguins Rematch On Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

The host Penguins won a penalty-filled game 3-1 that was a one-goal game before Sidney Crosby scored seven minutes into the third.

Afterward, a number of players didn't have much good to say about the home team, with more than one insinuating Monday night couldn't come soon enough.

"We're lucky we get to play them again on Monday,'' said defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who fought Steve Downie in the second period.

"We have to find a way to win. If we want to be among the upper echelon in this league, conference and division, we have to find ways to grind out wins. All in all, we're leaving here with a pretty good mindset.''

The Panthers apparently don't like the Penguins, and by the looks of things on Saturday, the feeling is mutual.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who Is Rob Zepp?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Rob Zepp at age 33 will make his NHL debut as the starting goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Winnipeg Jets...

from Evan Peaslee of Sportsnet,

With the Flyers playing without starter Steve Mason for the weekend, who injured himself during practice on Friday, and playing back-to-back games, the club was in need of a second goaltender. Zepp dressed but served as the backup to Ray Emery for Saturday’s victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the duo will swap roles for Sunday’s contest.

Zepp, a veteran journeyman, has played professional hockey since graduating from the Ontario Hockey League in 2001, and has spent most of the past decade playing in Europe, including the last seven with the Berlin Polar Bears of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

a bit more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+zepp

Afternoon Line- Claude Julien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"My job is to make decisions. I don't have to explain everything to you. Your job is you can second-guess. That's your priority and that's the way it is. ... Let me put it this way: It's called coaching."

-Claude Julien, head coach of the Boston Bruins to the gathered media in Boston after the morning skate.  More from Julien by Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+julien

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Of the 12 games contested Saturday:
 
* Nine were tied or within one goal to start the third period (ARI-LAK, OTT-MTL, TBL-NYI, FLA-PIT, NYR-CAR, CHI-CBJ, NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).
 
* Two featured a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation: San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic (19:39) and Minnesota’s Thomas Vanek (19:12).
 
* Five required overtime, including three that were decided in the extra frame (NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).
 
* Three defensemen scored overtime goals to lift their clubs to victory: Christopher Tanev (VAN), Brent Burns (SJS) and Mattias Ekholm (NSH). In addition, blueliner Jack Johnson netted the game-deciding goal in the shootout for Columbus.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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