Kukla's Korner

The Softer Side Of Ian Laperriere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,

About a dozen current and former patients from The Children’s Hospital in Denver, along with family members, strolled through the room to pose for pictures with players who happily chatted with the youngsters and signed autographs.

Not surprisingly, forward Ian Laperriere’s locker was the most popular destination for the kids. A hard-nosed agitator on the ice, “Lappy” is a soft touch away from the rink, especially when it comes to children.

“Everybody stopped by and talked to the kids and put a smile on their face,” he says. “I just can’t imagine being in their shoes. For me and my teammates, we know we’re lucky in life, being in the NHL. If we can change these kids’ lives for even a minute ...

read on and nice to see Rick (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News) continue his hockey writing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+laperriere

Notes & Zingers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Speaking of talent, Dominic Moore misses (Jason) Blake and Blake misses Moore. The two were far more productive together than they are apart.

• Not coming up with an adequate backup goalie will cost the Buffalo Sabres a playoff spot.

• Some of their biggest names will tell you that whatever playoff success the Sharks have will come in direct proportion to how much Roenick can play and how healthy he will be by playoff time.

• Trying to put the lid on Alexander Ovechkin, the most entertaining player the league has seen in decades ... And yeah, I really care what Rick Tocchet, the former bookmaker, thinks of Ovechkin showing people up. Like his values make him a quality judge.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Saku Koivu Could End Up In Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The future of Montreal captain Saku Koivu is in question. Among 10 looming UFAs on the roster, there’s a strong belief Koivu won’t be back—especially if the Habs miss the post-season. The talk is Koiuv could join brother Mikko in Minnesota. The Wild will need scoring help ... Former Islanders C Alexei Yashin could return to the NHL next season. He has been one of the top players in the Kontinental Hockey League and would be willing to accept a one-year NHL deal.

more and a look at a few coaches who soon may be out of work…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Big Game Kicks-Off NHL Schedule For Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers, boosted by Danny Briere’s return to good health, and the sizzling Pittsburgh Penguins will meet today in a nationally televised game that could be a first-round playoff preview and might factor into who gets home-ice advantage in that round.

The teams are tied for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with 86 points, though the Flyers have three games in hand.

“If we win this game, it’ll be a huge swing for us,” Briere said.

continued and below find the NHL schedule for today…

Continue Reading »

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

Early Sleeper Pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

With 10 games left in the franchise’s eighth NHL season, the Blue Jackets need simply to hold serve the rest of the way—a 6-4-0 or 4-4-2 record, for instance—to finally reach the Stanley Cup playoffs.

If that happens, don’t be surprised to see the Jackets mentioned by analysts as a sleeper pick to pull off a first-round upset, or go deeper into the playoffs than most expect.

Even at this stage of the season, the Blue Jackets are popping up on teams-that-nobody-wants-to-face lists as the playoff picture starts to come into focus.

Why? Two reasons.

First, rookie goaltender Steve Mason.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bruins Must Play The Emotional Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

This is not a team that needs a new coach, and the parts are the parts, the same ones that were almost good enough 2-4 months ago to run away and hide. But it is a team that needs a surge now in its compete level (read: effort) and an attitude adjustment. Skill got them to a point, but they then turned a little lazy, and that led to confusion. Lazy and confused are the left hook and right uppercut that lead to quick KOs.

They have to play bigger and they have to play dirtier and nastier, which is always what makes for playoff success. This is a team with enough goods to extend the season into June. What the Bruins must find now is an inner anger, an emotion that will rain down on their heads in sheets and buckets, or else they’ve turned 2008-09 into nothing but a tease.

more plus othe NHL notes, including Sakic in a Canucks sweater next season…

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

A Decade Of Chelios In Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Chris Chelios was the pain in the neck the Detroit Red Wings hated to play against and their fans loved to hate.

Then, suddenly, he joined them. Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the day Chelios, a player so closely identified with the Chicago Blackhawks, switched allegiances, following a surprising trade to Detroit.

And though he is playing sporadically as his career winds down—this surely will be his final season, at least with the Red Wings—he has left his mark as one of the cornerstones of Detroit’s defense since 1999.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios

You Read It Here First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of he NY Post,

• Guaranteed to happen at the Entry Draft in Montreal, or the money back you spent to read this on the Internet: Vincent Lecavalier traded to the Canadiens.

There remains no more overrated coach in the NHL than Jacques Lemaire, whose teams have combined to win three playoff rounds (one with the Devils as a conference No. 1 seed in 1997, two with the Wild in 2003) since leading New Jersey to the Stanley Cup in 1995.

• But that’s what happens when a coach believes systems and not players win championships.

more from Brooks including ‘tanking’ & Tortorella…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Heads Up To Our Denver Readers:  Don’t Read The Post Today

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Terri Frei’s got a good look (good…as in good for Wing fans) at the performance of six teams who could have been considered the league’s “elite” prior to the lockout, with a special emphasis on one team that has maintained that label.

Frei points out that the Wings notched a league-best 446 points the four seasons prior to Gary’s Legacy, and 455 in the four seasons since, also first in the NHL.

The Red Wings, as often has been noted, have been brilliant in making the transition, making tough decisions on buyouts or allowing proven players to leave while retaining a young and talented core and reaping the benefits of many years of astute scouting and drafting, especially of European talent.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

It Is Hard To Tank

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As the NHL regular season draws to a close, some teams find themselves outside the playoff picture.  There are a few malcontents around these teams who suggest that their team should now try to lose as much as possible to increase their chances at a top draft pick:  While it is true that a top draft pick might improve the team’s chances in the future - especially given the potential of John Tavares who should be the first pick in the draft - this is a stupid idea for the Colorado Avalanche.  The Avs are eight points up from last pace with ten games left in the season.  If they followed Dater’s advice and tanked, most likely they would wind up with a worse record and no first overall pick.  The most likely long-term result is a hit to the Avalanche public relations.

Tanking is not an easy thing to do.  If anyone is doing it this season, it would be the New York Islanders.  The Islanders do not have a very good team.  They knew that coming into the season.  They knew they didn’t have the veteran stars to compete and they didn’t have the deepest group of prospects either.  I picked them to finish last in the conference at the beginning of the season and wasn’t alone in that prediction.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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