Kukla's Korner

Schneider A Canadien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenceman Mathieu Schneider to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for second and third round picks.

Schneider previously played for the Canadiens from the 1989-90 season to the 1994-95 campaign.

added 3:15pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

For the Thrashers, the deal clears salary and helps the team stockpile draft picks. Considering that just a few months ago, Atlanta traded spare parts Ken Klee and Brad Larsen to Anaheim for Schneider, getting multiple draft picks is a good return. It’s GM Don Waddell’s belief that there will be teams looking to clear salary this summer and by getting additional draft picks now, he puts the Thrashers in position to acquire some of that talent. One of just a few sellers at this point in the season, the Thrashers could still be active after this deal. Waddell is getting calls about Niclas Havelid and there would be a strong market for Colby Armstrong if the Thrashers decide to move him…

more

added 3:30pm, via the Montreal Canadiens,

“We were looking for a defenseman who could contribute offensively. Mathieu, an experienced player with a lot of offensive upside, will bring depth to our core group of defensemen and will be an asset on our powerplay,” said Bob Gainey.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mathieu+schneider

Time to Fire Chris Osgood!!!!

Blog: KK Members Blog By Primis

OK, so that’s not an option like firing the head coach is.  I just wanted to feel like I belonged here, since the previous two blog posts were about firing someone.

However, there definitely is a problem in net for the Red Wings, as yesterday’s miserable performance showed once and for all.  And it’s not going away.  While the Red Wings have now finally stopped giving up quite so many shots a game, the Goal Against have stayed steady.  And that points the finger then squarely at the goalies.

So what is Osgood’s problem?  (I’m focusing on Osgood because Conklin, while not stellar, hasn’t been so terrible either).

#1, Osgood is not controlling rebounds.

We’ve seen some goals scored on him lately that involve crazy bounces, including a terrible one yesterday against Colorado.  Ozzy is not playing it as safe as he needs to and is still trying to force things, that’s clear.  He still needs to simplify his game some more and control those rebounds.  He not a Hasek-twitch-reflex goalie and never has been, and it almost looks like that’s what he’s playing like as of late.

#2, Osgood is not 100% square on shots.

I’m not sure why this hasn’t been mentioned more, but he’s not getting good positioning on some of the shots.  This is sometimes leading to the rebounds mentioned above, if not the puck just blowing by him outright.  Again, simplicity… just get square.  Going back to some fundamentals would help him immensely.

#3, Osgood, despite everything he says, is NOT relaxed out there.

Osgood’s best trait is his relaxed demeanor.  Last season during the Cup run he never panicked, never looked frantic in net.  This year, he looks both, and the rest of the team is feeding off it negatively.  If he can get back to basics, the calmness will likely follow.  But until then, he’s going to play and look like a wounded duck out there.

So what to do?

I’m not sure.  Conklin is not the answer, that much is still clear.  He’s a good backup… but not going to take the starting load and not consistent enough himself.  Howard and Larsson aren’t ready for Cup runs either.  With that in mind, as well as DET’s lack of cap space, I think at this point it’s safe to say that the Wings are going to ride Osgood, for better or worse, and hope that he can straighten himself out.

In the meantime, if you’re a Wings fan reach for the Pepto.  You’re going to need it for at least a while yet….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: goalie+drama, osgood, ty+conklin

Glen Wesley- HHOF Material?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

No matter what sport you pick, players with special defensive skills are often overlooked when it comes to Hall of Fame balloting. A defensive second baseman like Bill Mazeroski, regarded as the best glove man to play his position in baseball history, was overlooked for years by Hall voters for guys who couldn’t field at lick but belted homers or hit for average.

Same is true for NHL defensemen. Point men on the power play, who pile up gaudy offensive stats, often come away with the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.

So, where does a player like Glen Wesley fit into his generation of defensemen?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+wesley

The Vezina Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

So what do the league’s GMs do (they decide on the award)? Well, if Columbus pushes its way into the playoffs (the Blue Jackets were among three teams tied for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference on Monday morning), the award has to go to rookie Steve Mason….

Who else? Evgeni Nabokov, a finalist last season, should get some love, but it’s almost as though the Sharks are so good his play will get overlooked. Miikka Kiprusoff plays every night and the Flames are back in as Cup contenders, with the goalie leading the league in wins.

read on and other topics discussed…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (Feb. 16, 2009) —New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise, Calgary Flames center Matthew Lombardi and Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 15.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bogosian Talks Armenian Heritage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,

The LA Kings are holding a series of heritage nights throughout the season and tonight’s game against the Thrashers happens to be part of Armenian Heritage Night in LA. Why tonight? Because as far as anyone has been able to determine, Zach Bogosian is the first NHL player of Armenian heritage. To mark the occasion Zach decided to talk about his heritage in another blog post.

It’s pretty special for the Kings to have Armenian Heritage Night while I’m playing there. My grandparents are Armenian and that part of my background is really important to me, because even though I’m not from there it’s always good to go back to your roots and understand where you came from. Plus it’s special to my family so it’s special to me. I’m pretty proud to be Armenian, and there are a lot of them out in LA, so my grandfather is really excited about it. I think there’s something like 2 million of them in the LA area, which is crazy since there are only about three million people that actually live in Armenia.

continued and great job Zach!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+bogosian

Getting Personal With The Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

“When you win, no one cares if you’re running down Crescent in a thong.”

By now you have seen the photographs. They are making the Internet rounds, which means they have circled the globe a few million times by now.

These photos are part of our sneaky, peekaboo, gotcha culture. Of that whole silly world of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and the cellphone camera. They feature several young Habs players in what you would have to call an unflattering light. Even Ivy Leaguer Christopher Higgins makes an appearance or two.

The player who crops up most often, however, is Carey Price. There are various photos of Price with a drink in his hand, in the company of various attractive young women. There is Price apparently chugging a beer. There he is smoking a cigarette.

Look, this is what healthy young men do. (Well, except for the smoking.) They drink, they carouse, they chase women. Unless they’re professional athletes, in which case they get chased by the kind of young women who have calculators where their eyes should be.

continued

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

The Countdown Begins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Ready or not, Toronto, here comes Mats.

In just five days, Mats Sundin returns to the Air Canada Centre, this time wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey, not the familiar blue-and-white of the Maple Leafs.

And as the Saturday night tilt creeps closer, expect the type of pre-game hype usually reserved for a Super Bowl.

Know this: Sundin certainly won’t be sneaking into town—he comes back on Hockey Day in Canada.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Looks Like Team Canada Settles On Hockey Sweater

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail at CTV Olympics,

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee are back to being one, big, happy family. The two sides have settled their months-old differences and come to an agreement on what jersey the men’s and women’s hockey teams should wear at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. While the COC had previously declined to support Hockey Canada’s traditional jersey, the one with a silhouetted player skating inside a red-and-black maple leaf, it agreed Saturday to submit a modified version to the International Olympic Committee.

continued

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

Ducks Talk After Loss To Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

“Everything that you don’t want to happen happened,” said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer, who finished minus-4. “It’s a frustrating night to be a part of. I know I made my share of mistakes. Where it has to start is I have to be better, and we’ll go from there.”

Marchant and Pronger, whose name has been the subject of much potential-trade speculation, agreed that the pre-game, locker-room mood was seemingly no different than before recent games the Ducks have won. And yet …

“Now we’re back to the same old adage — up and down like a yo-yo with our inconsistent play,” Pronger said. “We have to be more desperate. We have to be a team that is more determined. We have to act like it’s do-or-die, and we’re just not doing that.”

And if the players had no rational explanation for the most ugly loss of the season at a most inopportune time, neither did Coach Randy Carlyle.

“You bang your head against the wall and try to figure out how we could perform to the level we performed,” he said.

more

added 8:45am, from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Ducks began this season thinking this core group had one more sustained playoff run left in it.

There’s little reason to believe that anymore. First, they’d have to make the playoffs—and at this rate, it’s not going to happen.

more

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

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