Kukla's Korner

Afternoon Line- Bob Ford

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Choosing a college coach isn't what will define Hextall's courage. He could have chosen a Labradoodle and won the same number of Stanley Cups if he doesn't have the guts to defy owner Ed Snider (or at least fool him) with a plan that will require a patient rebuilding of the roster. Snider is still wed to the patch-and-fill philosophy that kept the franchise from becoming relevant on a long-term basis under general managers Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren. If that doesn't change, then the coach will. Again....

Coaches don't change cultures in the NHL. It isn't about the coach. Players create the culture and they are the ones who decide whether it will rise or fall. The rest is just yelling from behind the bench and putting the cones on the ice at practice.

-Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer where you can read more abou the Philadelphia Flyers.

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

OT Games May Be Slowing Marian Hossa Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

In three games following the multiple-overtime games in this year’s playoffs coming into Game 5 of the conference final, Hossa has no points and a minus-2 differential. In the 11 other playoff games, he has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and a plus-6 differential.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has been cognizant of managing Hossa’s time on the ice in recent seasons. Hossa was given several “veteran’s-practice-off” days during last year’s playoffs. And it was working magnificently — Hossa scored nine points (one goal, eight assists) and was a plus-7 in six games against the Wild in the second round of the playoffs.

But eventually, Hossa wore down at the end of the conference final against the Kings. In the final six games, Hossa scored one point (an assist) and was a minus-5. After the 5-4 double-overtime victory in Game 5, Hossa had the lowest Corsi percentage (29.0) of the season in  Game 6. He wasn’t all that much better (41.1) in Game 7.

Hossa as much as any Hawk gives it all he’s got. You can see the determination in his game. But the reality is that after 17 seasons in the NHL, he is challenged more than most to maintain his level of impact as the minutes pile up. In nine games after playing 20 or more minutes in the last two postseasons, Hossa has one point (a goal) and is a minus-8; in the other 24 games, he has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) and is a plus-12.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Things that go bump

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

Mother’s Day weekend should have exactly what my mom and I planned: a weekend in the country, enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty and perhaps a spa treatment or dip in the pool. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about best laid plans, it’s that they always go awry. And so they did two weeks ago, and instead I spent Saturday in an emergency room. The diagnosis: one fractured ankle, the other sprained. For the first time, I finally understand how one false move can change your whole year, that hockey players’ belief in superstition should be taken seriously and that the most devastating part of injury isn’t necessarily physical.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink

Those Hard Hitting Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Powers of ESPN,

The Ducks entered the series with the game plan of being physical on the Blackhawks and especially taking it to their top-4 defensemen -- Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has become even more reliant on those four defensemen after Michal Rozsival suffered a season-ending injury in the second round.

The Ducks have followed through with that plan and put 99 hits or 45 percent of the hits on the Blackhawks’ top-4 defensemen. Hjalmarsson has absorbed a series-high 32 hits and is followed by Oduya at 29, Seabrook at 24 and Keith at 14.

Seabrook acknowledged Sunday what the Ducks were doing.

“They're coming hard, they're being physical, got a fast team,” Seabrook said. “But we got a pretty good group back there. Our forwards are doing a good job at helping us out, making it a little easier for us coming back, and limiting odd-man rushes, coming back and presenting themselves so we can get the puck out of the zone quick, not take as many hits.”

As for whether he can feel the hits affecting him?

“You know, I feel fine,” Seabrook said.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville also thought it was a non-issue.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

‘How did Larkin do?’ Part 2

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Dylan Larkin regarding his pro debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins last night, and this afternoon, Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples checks in with Larkin to discuss both is pro debut and Larkin's reasoning behind his decision to leave the University of Michigan and turn pro after his freshman year:

“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” Larkin said of the moment he officially signed his name on his new contract. “I kind of felt relieved to finally make a decision, and go along with it. Obviously it was one of the days that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

The decision to leave school wasn’t any easy one for the 18-year-old.

“Yeah, it was probably one of the more difficult decisions of my life,” Larkin said. “It was tough. I’m going to miss it. I think it will all work out, and I’ll always be a Wolverine. Hopefully one day I can go back and finish school.”

Larkin said that his experience at Worlds – his opportunity to compare himself with NHL-caliber talent – wasn’t a solidifying factor in his decision, saying it was decision made over the few days leading up to the contract signing between him and his family.

“Probably a day or two before, you know, I didn’t really know, I was still thinking about it and weighing the options and talked to my teammates at Michigan and I just kind of made the decision.”

Caples continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Grand Rapids Griffins-Utica Comets game 2 game-day preview and notes

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Utica Comets in Game 2 of the AHL's Western Conference Final this evening (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/WOOD Radio), hoping to rally from last night's 2-1 loss, and the Griffins posited a game-day preview video in which Bob Kaser reports that Colin Campbell will replace Marek Tvrdon...

And the AHL posted a set of series notes as part of its "Morning Skate":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Amazing Stat

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I haven't seen sufficient discussion of this fact.  The Anaheim Ducks have yet to lose a playoff game in regulation.  Their two losses to Chicago came in multiple overtimes and their loss to Calgary was in overtime as well.  They swept the Winnipeg Jets.  That is quite a run.  How long will it last?

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Coaching Search For The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Nichol's of Today's Slapshot,

Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Monday morning.

On what he expects with the San Jose Sharks in terms of their coaching situation, and how Dan Bylsma has been making the rounds:

“Honestly – that’s a great way to phrase the question – I honestly don’t know. I was told he was going to interview about 20 guys and I think he’s taking a good run at that.

“I believe he’s interviewed Bylsma. Somebody told me he hasn’t, but I believe he will or has. I know he’s interviewed Peter DeBoer. He’s interviewed Dave Lowry. I heard he did a phone interview with Rob Zettler, but he’s probably not the candidate. Another name I heard they’ve been talking to out there is Dave Quinn, who’s the coach of Boston University. Adam Oates was out there last week.

“I think it’s still possible that he may interview some guys who are still alive in the playoffs, like Trent Yawney in Anaheim. I also wonder about a couple of guys – Kevin Dineen in Chicago and Scott Arniel in New York. These are guys who are legit candidates and I wonder if anybody is going to wait to speak to them after their teams have been knocked out.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Drafts Petr Mrazek

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,

The Detroit Red Wings drafted netminder Petr Mrazek in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2010 draft. Less than five years later and Mrazek’s draft stock has risen significantly – at least in the KHL.

In Sunday’s first round of the 2015 KHL draft, Mrazek, who met the criteria for the draft by virtue of being under the age of 24 and not having his rights owned by any club in the league, was selected seventh overall by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, after a season in which he may have possibly pushed fellow goaltender Jimmy Howard out of the Detroit net for the number one job, it’s probably safe to put his chances of heading to Russia next season at about zero percent....

The Red Wings have Mrazek locked up for the 2015-16 campaign on a one-year, $737,500 pact, but he’ll be a restricted free agent following the upcoming season. If he were to move on, that would likely be the time for him. With Howard’s play raising questions about how much longer he’ll be battling for the starting role in Detroit, it seems as though Mrazek will likely get another deal with the Red Wings, even if only another short-term contract.

read on

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ben Bishop stopped all 26 shots he faced and the Lightning scored twice in the second period backed by 1-1—2 from captain Steven Stamkos to take a 3-2 series lead over the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.

* The Lightning, who have now won five of their last six visits to Madison Square Garden (regular season and playoffs) dating to Jan. 14, 2014 (2-1 W), sit one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history. The club’s previous appearance was in 2004, when they defeated the Calgary Flames in seven games to capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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