Kukla's Korner

KK- A Donation Push

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Time for another push for the KK Donation Drive.

At this point we are at 53% of a very lofty goal of $10K.  To all of the 132 persons who have made a donation, I can't thank you enough.

I am planning a complete rebuid of KK over the summer and funds donated will allow me to achieve that goal.

If you can spare any donation amount, it will be greatly appreciated and will be put to good use.

Thanks.

Here is the original post kicking off the GoFundMe drive along with numerous comments made by KK members.

Also, do remember if you donate $25 or more, I will remove the majority of ads for you over the next year.  Also, if you have donated in the past, $20 will get the ads removed for you too.

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Duff speaks with Larkin about…Larkin, St. James speaks with Holland about Mantha

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Prospect talk remains the theme of the week: the Windsor Star's Bob Duff spoke with Dylan Larkin about possibly turning pro after the World Championships, where he's playing very solidly for Team USA...

Babcock and Detroit GM Ken Holland are en route to the Czech Republic to check out their future star in person and while many expect Larkin to return to Michigan, where he’d likely be the No. 1 centre and a Hobey Baker Award contender, he’s not ready to make that commitment at this time.

“Not 100 per cent,” Larkin said. “I’m still in between and weighing the options.”

He admits that his performance in the world tourney will have a significant impact on his ultimate choice of direction.

“Yeah it does,” Larkin said. “I wanted to wait until after the tournament to make a decision.”

Duff continues at length, concluding with this...

“I really feel like there’s not a wrong choice or a bad option,” Larkin said. “Either way I’m still going to be playing hockey and doing what I love. Well see what’s best for me.”

And in light of Jimmy Devellano's comments about Anthony Mantha and Mantha's comments about his struggles, the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Wings GM Ken Holland about his take on Mantha's difficult rookie pro season:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Darren Dreger On Mike Babcock

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press,

Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are always jetting off somewhere, either to Grand Rapids to see the Griffins play — well, that one was by I-96 — or now to the Czech Republic for the world championships, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

And reading the tea leaves, Dreger says these road trips are a good sign for Babcock's contract talks as coach of the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's interesting, isn't it?" Dreger told an Edmonton radio station. "You know, they had conversation on the weekend … I was told by Babcock it was good conversation but there's more to come. No timeline on when he intends on making a decision or what have you, but the more that these guys spend time together … "

Dreger continued: "You know, Babcock's not going to the world championships because he purely wants to scout and all of that. And if he were going, wouldn't he go alone? He's going as a representative of the Detroit Red Wings. So he's still invested and, frankly, he's still under contract. But if this relationship was straining because of an ongoing negotiation, I would think that Babcock would want to lay low, stay back in North America. …

read on

Update: Here's the audio, and you can read the Buffalo News's Bucky Gleason's Mike Babcock plea on your own:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Damien Cox

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Power outage at XCel Energy Centre overnite reduced rink to a puddle. Got it back for skates, but likely slow for tonight.

For the Wild against mega-talented Hawks, maybe it will work a little like letting the infield grass grow long, if you get my drift:)

-Damien Cox via Twitter.

But I do believe the Wild are considered the faster team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

I NOW Consider Ilya Kovalchuk A Hall Of Famer

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of my favorite questions is to ask when currently active players make it to the level where they are worthy of Hall of Fame induction regardless of what happens in the rest of their career.  Today I will argue that Ilya Kovalchuk has made it to that level.

Kovalchuk was clearly on a Hall of Fame track when he left the NHL.  He was a point per game player with 417 goals and 816 points in 816 games played.  His career numbers are likely lower than they should be because Kovalchuk played in the dead puck era and missed time in his NHL career with two lockouts.  He should have bigger offensive numbers to show for his career.  Without lockouts he could have 500 regular season NHL goals.  Nevertheless his NHL accomplishments are impressive.  He had won a Richard Trophy, a Calder Trophy and made the first and second team all star.  It was reasonable to project that if he stayed in the NHL he would have been a 600 or 700 goal scorer.  The problem was he abruptly ended his NHL career to "retire" and then play in the KHL.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Brandon Prust On The Comments He Made About Referee Brad Watson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust apologized on Tuesday for the comments he made about referee Brad Watson following a Game 2 loss on Sunday.

Prust said he wishes he could take back what he said about the official.

"I was emotional," Prust told the media on Tuesday.

Prust said he figures he will be speaking with the league about his comments.

Prust, 31, said that Watson verbally assailed him following a roughing penalty late in the first period of Tampa Bay's 6-2 win over the Habs in Montreal.

"I thought the original call was kind of soft and I let him know on the way to the box," said Prust.

continued

added 3:47pm, video of Prust talking to the media is below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust

Your Team Is Down 0-2, Now What?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

If you’re a Wild fan, you’re not in terrible shape. They almost certainly need to win tonight, and probably again in Game 4 on Thursday. That won’t be easy against a Hawks team that looks to finally be shifting into Stanley Cup mode right on time. But they’ve got a shot.

The Flames have a weaker case. They’ll no doubt get a boost from a loud crowd tonight, but the Ducks went into a raucous building in Winnipeg in Round 1 and did just fine. Calgary’s biggest problem is that they just don’t look like they’re good enough to keep up with Anaheim. They’ve still got a puncher’s chance here, but not much more than that.

And then there’s Montreal. The Habs certainly didn’t fare well in the various categories that made up this post, and after Sunday night they looked like a team that was closer to a full-scale meltdown than a comeback. So it’s tempting to write them off completely … until you remember Carey Price. The guy is going to be MVP for a reason, and if anyone can single-handedly steal a series his team has no right to win, it’s him. And the way they’re playing right now, the Canadiens might need exactly that.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Ken Dryden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Put all 60 of the NHL’s goalies together on the same ice, watch them move and make a few saves, and 59 look like accomplished variations of each other. Then there’s Price.

He moves only when he needs to move. At every other moment, crouched and coiled, his feet, his body, remain still. Even during pregame anthems, as teammates and opponents pump and rev, their skates bouncing from side to side, Price’s face, his skates, are unmoving. Quiet feet, quiet mind. But when the game begins, when a pass snaps from one stick to another in front of him, he shoots across his crease on his knees as if riding a cushion of air, ricocheting about like a disc in an air-hockey game; upright, his arms tight to his sides, the between-the-legs gap known as the 5-hole shut.

It is a sight to see. This year, Price is almost sure to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie, and the Hart Trophy as most valuable player. And yet, for this Canadiens team to win the franchise’s 25th Stanley Cup and first since 1993, it is not enough.

-Ken Dryden at the Wall Street Journal where you can read more on on Carey Price and the Canadiens.

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

The Wings’ ‘coffee talk’ segment with Kyle Quincey is must-watch stuff, man

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I wouldn't post this as a normal entry, but...Man alive, the Wings' "Coffee Talk" feature with Kyle Quincey yields insights into a very "Bohemian" dude's lifestyle:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Anaheim’s Depth Causing Problems For The Calgary Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the big reasons why Calgary has had such a problem against Anaheim has to do with the Ducks’ newfound depth – an element the organization didn’t really possess just a few years ago. The forward crop has been lined with young, cheap talent, and the blueline has been bolstered with a slew of talented puck-movers who can jump-start the attack.

Perhaps the most interesting addition, though, has been that of Ryan Kesler.

Acquired via trade with Vancouver in the summer of 2014, Anaheim brought in Kesler to ease some of the burden off of the Anaheim top line. The working theory was that Kesler and a couple of talented wingers would create a pseudo-checking line – one that mitigated offensive production from the opposition, allowing the Getzlaf group to run wild on others. 

It’s no surprise that, through the first two games of the Calgary/Anaheim series, Bruce Boudreau has leaned heavily on the Kesler trio to suppress the number of offensive chances for Calgary’s vaunted Sean Monahan line, which has regularly featured Jiri Hudler and, to a lesser extent, Johnny Gaudreau/David Wolf. On the road, they couldn’t get away from the Kesler group. 

Below, a quick visualization of the competition Sean Monahan saw in the first two games of the series. For the sake of this piece, we’ll limit it to forwards – I already ran the numbers on defensive match-ups, and Monahan saw a pretty even spread of Anaheim’s pairings. 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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