Kukla's Korner

Season Surprises

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

As we near the Christmas break, it is time to identify the biggest surprises and disappointments to date of the 2009-10 season.

In the Eastern Conference, my biggest surprise is the emergence of the New Jersey Devils as the best team in the league. Not that we should really be surprised. Perhaps surprise is the wrong word. General manager Lou Lamoriello always has his team in the hunt….

In the Western Conference, my biggest surprise is Patrick Marleau. There were all kinds of rumours that the San Jose Sharks wanted to trade him last summer, though GM Doug Wilson insists that was never the case. Still, the Sharks did take the captaincy away from Marleau so it remained to be seen what affect that would have on the veteran in his 13th NHL season….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ready, Set…I Frigging Mean It.  Rafalski’s Probably Hugging Porcelain As We Speak

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO


The Detroit Red Wings have recalled defenseman Jakub Kindl from Grand Rapids, as Brian Rafalski, who missed today’s morning skate because of the flu, apparently won’t play tonight against Chicago.

Check this out, just for fun.  Comparing the Wing team that laid waste to the Hawks last May to the one they’ll see tonite?

12 players missing.  More than half a starting roster.  There is no way in the world the Wings should come within two goals of Chicago. 

So you know what that means.  No?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Our challenge right now as coaches is to find a way for the players to stay in the moment.  The toughest thing for the player is to get overwhelmed by the end result. It’s like playing golf; if you’re standing there worried about what tee shot you’re going to hit on 18, you’re not going to play the first 17 holes. Our job right now is to help the players really narrow their focus. They need to enjoy that and stay in the moment.”

-Ken Hitchcock, Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.  More from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Should Fenway Be The Permanent Host For The Winter Classic?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Outdoor Hockey In New England,

Do you know why the Detroit Lions host a Thanksgiving game every single year since 1934? Because it was their idea to play an NFL game on Thanksgiving! There is no more impressive backdrop for such an annual event, and the Boston Bruins− a member of the original 6− would be the perfect host for a permanent New Year’s Day game.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Devils Will Have To Go Without Paul Martin For At Least 4 More Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning that defenseman Paul Martin will miss at least another four weeks after having what he called “minor surgery” on his fractured left forearm on Tuesday.

“There has been a setback,” Lamoriello said. “The outside of the fracture has been healing, but the inside has not been healing at the rate that we wanted to see it heal. So, there’s been some minor surgery and he is recasted. So, he will be a minimum of four weeks.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+martin

24 Teams Play Today- Then The NHL Goes Dark For Two Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

12 games on the schedule today (see schedule below) and then a well deserved break in the NHL schedule until December 26th.

I am sure the players appreciate the break and I know I am going to use it to my advantage too.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Only One Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

What a horrific ending to that one tonight, eh? 52 minutes of shutout hockey against the Anaheim Ducks, finishing with eight minutes of four-goals-against hockey and a dispiriting loss for the boys in Blueberry, heading into the Christmas break.

The thing that makes this loss so much worse for the Avs was that they at least had a point practically guaranteed, even after blowing a 2-0 lead, when the puck was on Kyle Quincey’s stick with 38 seconds left and a couple of good passing options available to him. At the very least, Quincey could have flipped the puck high and killed some clock, but instead he ended up icing the puck, leading to a faceoff in the Avs’ end. That kept the same tired crew on the ice for the Avs, and Ryan Getzlaf ended up beating Craig Anderson about 11 seconds later for the game-winner. Anaheim has a lot of good little set plays off of faceoffs and they cyle the puck extremely well, so a faceoff in their own end was the worst thing that could have happened there.

But I’m not going to get all Grinch here. Let’s raise a toast to an Avs team that enters the Christmas break still in first place in their division. Did anybody predict that would happen?

read on

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

Leafs Need More From Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Three games without a point - his worst stretch as Leaf - doesn’t mean a Kessel benching is imminent, but Leafs coach Ron Wilson would like to see more soon from the team’s designated sniper.

“I agree he’s a little off,” Wilson said following Tuesday’s practice at the Mastercard Centre. “He’s not skating, he looks like he’s a little tired. He’s played a lot of games ... that’s as far as I will go.”

Kessel was willing to take it a little further while trying to shake off one of his least memorable nights with his new team. A mediocre minus-four in his past four games, Kessel was held to just four non-threatening shots on goal in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Sabres.

To add misery to the miserly attack, the winger was on the ice for Derek Roy’s game winner in overtime. Rather than help earn the valuable extra point, Kessel contributed to it going the other way.

“I just haven’t been playing as well as before,” Kessel said bluntly before the team hopped a flight to New York for Wednesday’s game against the Islanders.

“Lately, I just haven’t been the best. I haven’t been terrible, but I know I have a lot better in me. I have to pick it up.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Scoring Still A Problem For Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Before getting the boot late last February, Tom Renney was criticized for suppressing the Rangers’ creativity during the seemingly endless string of 2-1 and 3-2 games they played with him behind the bench.

But you don’t hear those same complaints leveled at John Tortorella now that his Blueshirts seem to be stuck playing those very same low-scoring games a year later.

Coaches change. Personnel changes. The Rangers’ scoring problems do not, at least not significantly, even during the three-game winning streak they will bring into tonight’s Garden match against the Panthers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

GDT - Game #37: Red Wings host Blackhawks (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

It happened last night by virtue of the Canucks 4-1 win over Bubba, and all indications are that it may happen again and again this season; the Wings are on the outside of the playoff chase looking up at the standings.  But, Lil’ Gary may have given DET a small Christmas present by scheduling CHI a game with SJS last night, which CHI lost 3-2 (Huet in net).  With the win, SJS now lead the West.

After having won 4 straight, the Wings have now lost 2 in a row.  From all I’ve read, DET looked good at DAL; I can’t say, I didn’t see it.  Unfortunately, I did watch the tilt Sunday at CHI, and it was pretty clear to me that DET were badly outplayed.  They may have been gassed from the game in DAL the day before, and the roster may be filled with Griff’s; all true.  But the long and the short of it is this Captain Obvious statement:  The Wings


start taking more points from Conference opponents, especially Division opponents; or it could be their shortest season in 18 years.

GDT Lite today - - I’ve gotta meet St Nick, several times.  Merry Christmas bitches(!), enjoy this gift.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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