Kukla's Korner

Rookies With A Little Seasoning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Brassard is winning 51.3 percent of his faceoffs, compared to 42.5 in 17 games last season. Hitchcock attributes Brassard’s success as one of this season’s top rookies to the fact he took the correct path to the NHL.

Brassard, 21, played four seasons of junior hockey. He spent most of last season in the AHL. This season, the coaching staff is putting him in position to succeed in the NHL.

When you look at which rookies are struggling this season and which are playing well, there’s a common theme. Rookies like Brassard, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Kris Versteeg and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski (the top rookie scorers) all spent considerable time in the AHL honing their skills.

It’s not only on the ice, it’s stuff like managing money, managing free time and playing professional hockey without the pressure that comes from being a highly hyped young NHL player.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derick+brassard

At A Loss With Another Loss

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Five for Fighting,

We went down to the locker room and this was the scene: Guys like Krys Barch, Toby Petersen, Matt Niskanen, James Neal, Loui Eriksson… those were the ones remaining (wait, sorry, Sergei Zubov was in there, too). Now Marty Turco did come out, as did Darryl Sydor, but otherwise, most were cleared out by then.

Just don’t know what you can say at this point. There’s no building on positives with this group. They get behind and they fall apart. Coach Dave Tippett said this team needs its goaltender first and foremost:  “Everybody has to do their part. Certain players we expect a lot more from, and it starts in goal with marty. Right now with our lineup, we just have to have good goaltending to give ourselves a chance.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Theodore Gets His Revenge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Theodore was lights out, stopping all 28 shots he faced to beat Montreal and settle an old score against his former team. The 32-year-old goalie was the No. 1 star of the game for the first time as Cap, earned his first shutout as a Cap, and got his first standing ovation as a Cap….

Carbonneau on Theodore: “He was good. He was lucky at sometimes but sometimes you make your luck. He made the save when he had to, but we didn’t really test him.”

more on the Caps 30 victory over the Canadiens last night…

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

All Is Not Well

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The survival of the New York Islanders hinges on an arena deal that may be compromised by tightening U.S. credit markets.

The Coyotes’ future in Phoenix is threatened by the plight of owner Jerry Moyes’ trucking firm, Swift Transportation, during an economic slowdown.

The Atlanta Thrashers are in court daily, mired in an ownership tug of war that threatens to de-stabilize the franchise.

A 27 per cent share of the Nashville Predators is tied up in the William (Boots) Del Biaggio bankruptcy hearing….

Against this mounting evidence, amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, commissioner Gary Bettman recently reported a sunny forecast for the gate-driven National Hockey League, buffeted by increased attendance in October and brisk ticket sales in many markets.

Looking forward, the picture isn’t so cheery.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

More Equal Than The Others?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Uh oh.  This may get interesting, and we may be looking at a sure indicator as to who will be leaving when The Decision needs to be made by our hero Tick Tock Kenny Holland. 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Lady Byng Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of the final trophies that I am yet to pick an early leader for is the Lady Byng Trophy.  This trophy is for the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.  There are a few candidates for this award.  Perennial Byng Trophy winner Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings has 23 points and 4 PIMs, Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils has 25 points and 2 PIMs, San Jose’s Patrick Marleau has 26 points and 4 PIMs and his teammate Devin Setoguchi has 27 points and 2 PIMs.  All are solid Byng candidates, but I do not select any of them.

I think the current leader is Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks.  It is harder to play well and play a sportsmanlike game without significant penalty minutes on defence than it is at forward.  In fact, only Bill Quackenbush and Red Kelly have ever won the Lady Byng while playing defence.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Sakic Out Again With Bad Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

He took one shift - 28 seconds - before shutting it down for the day because his back was bad.

This is obviously a red-siren, MAJOR setback for Cap and the Avs. He has, in essense, missed eight of the last nine games now. He has yet to play a full game in any of the three he’s allegedly been healthy enough to play in those last nine.

This is serious. A bad back can very often mean the end of a player’s career. Knowing the Avalanche and their medical staff, I would bet the ranch that they will now shut Sakic down for at least another few games and try to get this thing cured.

more on the Avs loss to Phoenix today…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Ducks Statement On Brian Burke

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

Following the announcement by the Toronto Maple Leafs that Brian Burke has been named the club’s General Manager, Anaheim Ducks Chief Executive Officer Michael Schulman issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the entire Anaheim Ducks family, we would once again like to thank Brian for his tremendous contributions over the last three-plus seasons,” said Schulman.  “Brian stated on many occasions his desire to be closer to his family, which we support. We congratulate and wish him the best of luck with the Maple Leafs.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Wally’s Gettin’ Anxious About The Live Blog

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

And there’s even a Woodward Avenue reference in that one.  A mini-slump has sent us back to our roots.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

A Look At Goalie Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Doug Harrison of CBC Sports,

Through the first seven weeks of this season, injuries beset no fewer than 17 NHL goalies, including 12 starters.

The most serious injury was to Brodeur, followed by Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, who is sidelined week to week after straining his left groin on a routine save at Pittsburgh on Nov. 22.

Luongo had played in at least 72 of his team’s 82 games in each of the past four campaigns….

Healy, who retired in 2001 after 437 NHL games, suggested an argument could be made that there is no down time for today’s players.

The former Los Angeles King, Toronto Maple Leaf, New York Ranger and New York Islander recalled playing organized hockey for only seven months as a youngster.

“It’s a 12-month job now and there are lots of kids that would like your job and they’re creeping up on you pretty quick,” said Healy, now the director of player affairs for the NHL Players’ Association. “At some point, does that affect your ability to have that durability?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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