Kukla's Korner

Penguins Will Wait To See If They Need To Make A Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Pittsburgh will likely wait until the 11th hour to make its roster tweaks, in part so that it can get a clearer idea of how much – or how little – it will get out of two players - Chris Kunitz and Max Talbot - who made big impacts in last year’s playoffs. Kunitz was scheduled to return to the line-up this week, perhaps even Friday night against the Montreal Canadiens, after recovering from abdominal surgery.

Kunitz has 20 points in the 30 games he’s played, and will likely go back and play left wing with Sidney Crosby. Talbot, meanwhile, has been in and out of the line-up and has just five points (and one goal) to show for his 28 NHL appearances.

Talbot starred in last year’s playoffs on Evgeni Malkin’s line and appears to be struggling with a groin injury, after missing the start of the season recovering from surgery. In theory, the Penguins could keep Talbot out until after the Olympic break, just to ensure everything heals properly. Talbot had 19 points in 24 playoff games last season and was a major force in the Penguins’ championship drive. If healthy, both are top-six forwards in Pittsburgh’s scheme of things. If not, then general manager Ray Shero may have more work to do.

more hockey talk highlighted with Kovalchuk notes…

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

Devils Rent Kovalchuk

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The trade deadline is still almost a month away.  It is on March 3rd.  With a roster freeze during the Olympics, teams have begun trading early.  Perhaps the biggest trade of the deadline period occurred last night.  The Atlanta Thrashers traded Ilya Kovalchuk and Anssi Salmela to the New Jersey Devils for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier and the 2010 Devils first round draft pick.  This trade is seen as disappointment for the Thrashers who find themselves forced to trade a star player who is about to become an unrestricted free agent for the second time in recent memory (Marian Hossa in 2008 was the other).  Under the circumstances, they did well.

I think they would have done well in the Hossa deal as well if it were not for Angelo Esposito having knee problems.  Should he recover and have a significant NHL career, they will still come out well in the deal.  The problem is that you cannot replace a talent like Kovalchuk or Hossa at trade deadline time when they are about to leave via free agency.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Canada - A United Voice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Canadian fans- You can now post your own video to the Nike Training FanPage and earn a chance to have your message included with those of the Nike athletes in the final kick-off video.

The end result: a video that shares the voices of Olympians, athletes and Canadians alike. The goal of this is not just to kick-off the games but unite the voice of the country and provide the ability for kids across the nation to join the movement and have a voice during this epic time.

Start here at the Nike Training Facebook page.


Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, winter+olympics

Sabres Hope Help Comes From Within The Organization

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Improvement is needed for the Sabres to make a run at the Stanley Cup. The defensive breakdowns and other problems that have hurt them during their 2-5-1 slump need to depart, with the next chance coming tonight when Carolina visits HSBC Arena.

Regier said the improvements can come from within. Though several teams began trading players this week, Regier isn’t interested in that route yet.

“The focus isn’t to look right now for outside help,” he said. “It’s how do we all get better internally. I think we’re all focused on that.

“You’re always looking at ways internally within your own organization, first and foremost, how you can become better. You’re looking at your minor-league club. You’re looking at players in positions, which are the things [coach] Lindy [Ruff is] doing. We sit down and talk about how we can become better internally or on the outside.”

read on

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

Streaks The Talk Of The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Washington Post,

With 12 wins in a row, the Capitals have the longest such streak since the New Jersey Devils won 13 straight in the 2000-01 season, and Washington is two victories away from the third-longest streak ever. Here are the longest single-season winning streaks in NHL history:

17 games: 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins

15 games: 1981-82 New York Islanders

14 games: 1929-30 Boston Bruins

The Ottawa Senators and LA Kings are also on extended winning streaks.  The Sens have won 11 in a row and the Kings stand at 8.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bruins Can’t Quit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins haven’t won in nine straight games, the franchise’s longest streak without a victory since an 11-match string of futility from Dec. 3, 1924, to Jan. 5, 1925.

“We have to stay positive,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “You have to, because you don’t have a choice. You don’t get out of this by just quitting and saying that we don’t have answers. We have to keep working at getting those answers. Part of those answers is finding a way to finish.’’

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Screw Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

This one against the powerhouse Caps came on a night on which the Blueshirts actually scored five goals, four of them on the power play, and even led by 5-3 in the final minute of the second period before collapsing in a heap of penalties on their way to 6-5 doom.

“For sure this is very, very tough to take, but we screwed it up ourselves,” Marian Gaborik told The Post after the Blueshirts yielded three power-play goals while shorthanded nine times overall, including three times in the second period and five times in the third.

“We have to be disciplined; we can’t take that many penalties against anyone, certainly not against a team like that.

“It’s our own fault.”

read on

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

Devils Now A Different Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

There is no question they got a top offensive player in the league, the kind of player they’ve never had. He can create goals for himself without the need for a playmaking center, so that eliminates the Devils’ need to get a playmaking center.

Lemaire had someone similar in Marian Gaborik in Minnesota and, though they sometimes butted heads, it didn’t hurt Gaborik’s production. Lemaire talked earlier this season about there being some players that aren’t as responsible defensively, but that you have to live with it because they are so talented offensively and produce. You just have to get someone else to watch their backs defensively. (He never mentioned Gaborik by name, but someone in Minnesota told me that there was no question he was talking about Gaborik.)

Anyway, Kovalchuk might end up surprising me with his defensive play, but I think Lemaire will probably put someone defensively responsible on his line to be safe. I can see it being Dainius Zubrus as his center. Zubrus did pretty well playing with another left wing who can create offense all by himself in Washington.

Regardless, Kovalchuk changes everything for the Devils.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Why Was Phaneuf Traded?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

A candid Olli Jokinen suggests Dion Phaneuf may have been railroaded out of Calgary because of the loathing of disgruntled Flames supporters.

Speaking just minutes after he had made his New York Rangers home debut Thursday night, Jokinen strongly rejected the notion that Phaneuf was shipped to Toronto last Sunday because he was a cancer in the Flames dressing room.

“No, no, no. Not at all. He’s a great teammate,” Jokinen said after the Rangers’ 6-5 loss to the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

Okay, then why did general manager Darryl Sutter trade the young defenceman?

“The biggest thing is, (Phaneuf) wasn’t accepted by the Calgary fans, even though he was once a Norris Trophy candidate,” Jokinen said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf, olli+jokinen

Stamkos With A Booming Shot & Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This goal brings back memories of Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy and others streaking down the wing and just firing.

We don’t see as many of these type of goals as we did in the past, but they sure are nice when they happen.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

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