Kukla's Korner

Back To Back: Bitterness Then A BJ

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You know what’s even better than watching the Blues sit cross-legged in a puddle of their own waste at the bottom of the Western Conference standings (where the Dive currently are)?

Seeing them get all pumped over a playoff run only to be able to laugh when they fall just short.

And if the Wings contribute to that?  All the better.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

GDT - Game # 69:  Red Wings at Blues (2:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Matinee game today.  The Blues are making a serious charge for a playoff spot, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games; and are coming off a 3-1 win over SJS on Thursday.  The Blues are 5-1-1 in their last seven home games, allowing just 11 goals in these contests. Chris Mason is 12-5-4 with a 1.96 goals against average and .930 save percentage since the All-Star break. He was just 5-13-1 with a 2.99 GAA and .904 save percentage before the break.

The Red Wings are amazingly consistent at playing ridiculously inconsistent hockey, and are coming off a 6-5 OT loss, and a 3rd period collapse against CGY on Thursday.  DET outshot CGY 39-13 in the first two periods only to see CGY outshoot DET 17-2 in the 3rd.  DET surrendered 3 goals in the 3rd and barely managed to salvage a point on Dan Cleary’s goal, after Conklin was pulled at 19:18.

DET is 6-0-1 in the last seven meetings against STL.

Despite all that ails the Red Wings, they find themselves tied with BOS for 1st overall, and DET has a game in hand; go figure.  Numbers below.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Chicago Fans Held Their Breath…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

... when Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane collided during last night’s game against Columbus. 

Both seemed to be OK and played the remainder of the game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews, patrick+kane

Flames Prove They Can Play With Any Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

As outlined in a handful of player meetings leading up to the game, the Flames not only wanted to stop a three-game slide, they knew this was their chance to prove to themselves, the Wings and the league they could skate with anybody.

The comments from the hosts following the game revolved around the relentless forecheck and aggression of the Flames, which eventually wore them down in a third that saw the road-weary visitors outshoot the Wings a stunning 17-2.

While that aggressiveness should have cost them the game, it ultimately won it for them, setting the tone for a playoff mentality that should see the even bigger, faster Flames focus on physically punishing whomever they play.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Marty St. Louis A Plus Player During A Bad Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

“I try to be a complete player on both sides of the red line,” said St. Louis, who has 67 points, with 25 goals, and is plus-6.

Besides, he added, “Offense comes from good defensive positioning.”

Plus-minus is a tricky statistic in that it depends so much on one’s teammates and situations that can be out of one’s control.

In short, a plus is awarded for being on the ice when a player’s team scores. A minus is assessed for being on the ice when the opposition scores. So in a season in which Tampa Bay has been outscored 175-224, a differential of minus-49, being plus-6 is pretty extraordinary.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+st.+louis

Smyth Hopes To Quiet The Edmonton Crowd

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

“Of course, we want to go in there and beat ‘em, be a spoiler,” Smyth said. “And we’re still not mathematically out of it ourselves. So, it’s a big game for us too.”

The Avs entered Friday in 15th place overall in the Western Conference, 11 points out of the eighth — and last — playoff spot with 14 games left.

A “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast, in front of what will be a sold-out crowd, is always a great time in a city such as Edmonton. Smyth, who experienced many such nights with the Oilers, said few things compare.

“It’s an awesome atmosphere,” he said. “It’s going to be an energized building, and it’s exciting to play in. But we want to come out with the win, and we want to make it a quieter building.”

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

Don’t Touch Hartnell’s Hair

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Flyers teammates don’t call Scott Hartnell “Samson,” but maybe they should. As the power forward’s hair has gotten longer, he’s gotten better.

The ever-thickening mane of curly brown locks hasn’t been trimmed in about 18 months, and is pushing his helmet to maximum capacity.

“It’s just kind of a fun thing I’ve been doing,” Hartnell told NHL.com. “It’s pretty crazy in the mornings, but I have fun with it. I’ve gone this far into the season, so I might as well let her go.”

continued and the Flyers will be holding a Scott Hartnell Wig Night later this month.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+hartnell

Leafs Coach Thinking Next Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson held a meeting yesterday to suggest summer vacation plans.

Essentially, Wilson reminded his players that the organization will expect them to report to training camp next fall in much better shape than last year—and that means they’ll be given off-season training regimens to follow, which will be probably be more intense that what they’ve had in the past.

“I want to keep hammering this point home until everybody realizes what’s going to be expected of them this summer,” Wilson said yesterday, following practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena. “This isn’t, ‘Thank God we got through the season and I’m taking two months off, and you’ll see me on the beach in the Bahamas.’ No. We’re talking right now about making sure that everybody understands the importance of conditioning and taking care of themselves.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Did Someone Mention Reality?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I could have sworn I read something about that. Oh yes. Now I remember.  We’ve been big into the “reality of the situation” here the last few days.  Tempers have gotten short.  Lines in the sand have been drawn. 

Yes, we’ve discussed the “reality” of the Wing play of late.  Got it.

But you know what else is real?  Less than a year ago, this identical team with the exception of one notable addition, did this….

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Zherdev Salary Demands May Be Lower Than Expected

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

There’s an unintended consequence to Nikolai Zherdev’s disappointing production that, unlike the winger’s mediocre 19-31-50 numbers, actually stands to benefit the Rangers.

Barring a goal-scoring spree over the final 14 games, which the Blueshirts would more than welcome, the impending 24-year-old Group II free agent will not be in position to hit a salary arbitration home run should he fail to reach a contract agreement with GM Glen Sather before July 1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+zherdev

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