Kukla's Korner

Bring On The Canadians

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

One of the great aspects of covering hockey for so long is I’ve gotten to make so many trips to Canada. At first, I felt almost as awestruck as James Cook, John Cabot or Samuel de Champlain must have been in their explorations. By now, it’s old hat, yet still invigorating.

When it comes to hockey, for many reasons, the more Canadian teams involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the better. A Montreal-Calgary final would be a blast.

It’s energizing and contagious when the playoff chase involves Canadians, who have favorite-team emotional stakes in the proceedings, rather than more dispassionate fans of the sport and individual players, but not the teams themselves.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pens May Be The Best In The East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Morrison of Viewpoint at CBC,

The Pittsburgh Penguins are for real. Very much for real, actually.

And in a conference in which any of the eight teams that ultimately make the playoffs have a reasonably good chance of going all the way to the final - where they will lose to the Western Conference winner, of course - there are signs that perhaps the Penguins are just a little better than the rest.

Now, that isn’t entirely born out statistically, given they are tied with the Montreal Canadiens for first overall and have been playing at roughly the same clip for the past dozen or so games.

read on

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

All About The Scouts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

With all due respect to Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, the true real MVPs in the NHL these days are guys like Tim Burke in San Jose, or Jim Nill in Detroit or David Conte in New Jersey and others who shepherd scouting staffs on premium teams.

When the salary cap was introduced, the league was supposed to be about younger free agents moving from team to team.

Instead, it’s probably more about scouting and drafting than it has ever been.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Road Warriors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Because of the NCAA Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center, the Avs will start a first-round series on the road, even if they win the division and gain home-ice advantage - still a possibility. For that to happen, the Avs will need to beat Minnesota in regulation Sunday in their season finale, and have Calgary win in regulation tonight against the Wild but then lose to Vancouver in the Flames” final game.

Giguere said a schedule hasn’t been finalized with the NHL should the above happen, but most likely the Avs would have a 2-3-1-1 format, with a seventh game at the Pepsi Center.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Do The Canadiens Have It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,

I’ve gone on record a few times on Hockeycentral saying I don’t think the Canadiens have enough experience to go deep into the playoffs. And yet, I’ve got this unshakable feeling about this team ... like something special is going on here.

First of all, the Eastern Conference is wide open. There is no San Jose or Anaheim or Detroit in the East. Just a bunch of good teams. There isn’t a team in the East where if Montreal beat them in the playoffs you would call it an actual upset.

Then you’ve got this rookie goaltender Carey Price, who seems to fight off a yawn at the most critical moment of a game. He’s that calm.

read on

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

The NHL Hour Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NBC and TSN analyst Pierre McGuire will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.

The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement. 

*At showtime, listen live at this link.  While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: nhlhour@nhl.com.

**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, pierre+mcguire

Thank You Yashin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Moscow News,

Loko clinched its first final in five years thanks in part to the performance of acquisition Alexei Yashin, who signed a one-year deal last season, and whose arrival was greeted with great excitement by the Russian hockey world.

Here was one of Russia’s top players, a star originally from Yekaterin-burg who went to the NHL, and whose career was by no means washed up, agreeing to come back to his homeland. This even though he left behind probably more money, and disadvantaged his parents, who now live in Canada, and his girlfriend, former supermodel Carol Alt, in New York.

It signaled that the league, just as it was preparing to revamp itself into a serious challenger for hockey global supremacy, was legit. And it seems that Yashin enjoyed a bit of a lift in Russia in his slumping career

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+yashin

Abdelkader Signs With Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from College Hockey News,

Justin Abdelkader, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 Frozen Four for Michigan State, has decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility, signing an amateur tryout agreement with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

Abdelkader, a second-round pick of the Red Wings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (42nd overall), could play this evening when Detroit plays Columbus.

“It’s an amazing feeling to realize my dream of being a Red Wing, and I would like to thank the Detroit organization,” Abdelkader said in a statement.


added 11:47am, via Mlive,

The move was made because the team is short on forwards, as Kirk Maltby suffered a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s game.

Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said the team is close to signing Abdelkader to a three-year entry level contract. A deal must be done by Saturday for Abdelkader to be eligible for the playoffs.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: justin+abdelkader

Remember Them

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

The history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is filled with the stories of players having the postseason equivalent of a career year—a springtime in which everything went right.

Here are 12 players whose performances in a single spring are still memorable.

First Team: Goaltender

Richard Brodeur, Vancouver, 1982—Brodeur was a late-round draft pick by the New York Islanders in 1972 who opted to stay home and play for the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Association.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Talking Scotty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Today at my Hockey.com blog, Scotty Bowman- Consultant, is the topic.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scotty+bowman

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