Kukla's Korner

Wisniewski Not Happy With Briere’s Check

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog,

Wisniewski said he got injured midway through the third period when Flyers forward Daniel Briere checked him while he was on the ice as the two went after a loose puck in the defensive zone.

Days later, the hit still leaves the defender miffed at Briere.

“He decided to finish his check while I’m lying on the ice,” Wisniewski said.  “Well, my arms were laying straight out. Actually, he even went a little bit lower to get a little more piece of me, which to me is kind of a dirty hit.

“I mean, there’s no need to do that when a guy is in a vulnerable spot to go ahead and finish your check. But that happened. Stuff happens. My shoulder just kind of got crunched against the boards and that was it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere, james+wisniewski

Quick Vacation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Let’s tour the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+hall+of+fame

Independence In Reporting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Question: My situation is one in which the Kings have hired me to provide unfiltered coverage of the team, just as I would have for the newspaper. Knowing that there will be some stories and issues that won’t put the team or the league in the best light, do you have any thoughts about a job such as this one?

(Bill) DALY: “I think there’s been an evolution of thought on that. Obviously, as a league, we’re interested in having people cover our sport and being able to communicate and offer content, around our sport, to our fans, both existing fans and new fans. I think we recognize, and have come to recognize over time, that an important element of that is independence in reporting. I think it builds to the credibility of coverage and, as a league, I think we’re generally supportive of independence in reporting.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly

Vanek May Return Earlier Than First Thought

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erin Pollina of BuffaloSabres.com,

Lindy Ruff delivered some good news regarding Thomas Vanek on Wednesday afternoon.

The Buffalo Sabres Head Coach said the winger may only miss a few days - not weeks - after sustaining an upper body injury in Tuesday’s 6-2 win against the Red Wings….

“They thought he would feel a lot worse today, but he’s actually feeling a lot better,” Ruff said following practice on Wednesday. “He’s doing remarkably well which is good.. I wouldn’t even rule him out maybe for a game on the weekend, as well as he’s doing today.

“It’s a stretch but it’s something I won’t rule out now.”

more on the Sabres…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Believe In Holland

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Against Buffalo, coach Mike Babcock sat out two aging role players, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby, which meant that among the 12 forwards in the lineup, only five were there for the start of last season: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula and Tomas Holmstrom.

Sometimes, the answer may be just as simple as that. Trying to integrate all those new faces doesn’t happen instantly, no matter how successful you’ve been in the past. As a result, Red Wings’ fans may need to show a quality that they’ve lost familiarity with over the years, but that Maple Leaf supporters understand only too well.

Patience.

And maybe a little faith that Holland still has the right touch when it comes to moving players on and off the roster to get it right eventually.

more

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

Surprise Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Between the Avalanche, Sabres, Lightning and Kings—four teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring—they have a combined record of 13-3-4 and they’re all in first place in their respective divisions.

“We know that we have a lot of doubters out there, people who think we’re going to be terrible,” Avs rookie center Matt Duchene told the Denver Post. “But we’re not taking no for an answer right now. I don’t think there’s one guy in here who thinks we’re going to lose games. We have so many young guys that have played on winning teams and know what it takes to win, and who are almost too naive to think we can lose.”

Youth is an underlying theme with all of these teams, but so is solid goaltending.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Recognizing The Avalanche

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The first-year GM of the Colorado Avalanche walked past a gaggle of media Tuesday at Air Canada Centre in hockey’s self-proclaimed mecca.

“Who is that?” asked one high-profile NHL media member.

Greg Sherman, that’s who it was. And he, like many of the players on his team, is recognized by few people.

Just who are these 2009-10 Colorado Avalanche and how the heck have they started the season with nine out of a possible 12 points?

continued

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

The Homer Effect

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

This season, the Homer Effect is spreading even wider. In a 5-1 romp over Nashville Monday, Edmonton planted 6-foot-3, 228-pound enforcer Zack Stortini in front of Pekka Rinne on an early power play and Stortini buried one. Nary a Preds defender was near him. Did they not want to get punched in the head, or did they just assume Stortini had hands of stone? Big Zack had the answer later in the game when he scored his second of the contest on a swooping rush.

St. Louis has also experimented with a big man in front, using fourth-liner Brad Winchester on the power play. Winchester stands 6-foot-5 and had five goals on the man advantage last year, so obviously there’s something there. Buffalo even deposited giant 6-foot-8 rookie D-man Tyler Myers in front of Detroit’s net Tuesday night.

So the next time your team trots out an unorthodox fifth on the power play, take note of where he goes – chances are it’s right in front, where all the action is.

more

Last season, during the playoffs, I noticed a few teams that allowed Holmstrom to move freely, without a dman on him and thus creating less of a screen on the goaltender.  It was a more effective defense and look for teams to continue that trend this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fleury Will File Sexual Abuse Complaint Against Graham James

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

Theoren Fleury sounds ready to see this thing through.

In Toronto to launch the of his candid autobiography Playing With Fire, the former Calgary Flames’ captain said Wednesday morning that a complaint of sexual abuse against his former junior coach Graham James is in the works.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: theo+fleury

Burke Believes In His Group

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

...even today, Burke has no qualms about the price he paid to get Kessel out of Boston last month—a pair of first-round picks and a second-rounder.

“Well, if I had known we’d be 0-6, I still would have done that trade,” Burke told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “I can’t draft a player who is going have that kind of impact this year in this draft. This is about being better this year. But I’m not annoyed at any reaction from the fans. When you’re 0-6, you should be grateful they’re still coming to the games.”

Because the Bruins do own that first-round pick this year, you can forget the Leafs pulling the plug early, if at all. No point making that pick look even better for Boston. Instead, I suspect Burke will continue to try to improve this team. One NHL GM told ESPN.com on Tuesday the Leafs boss had contacted him and undoubtedly others. But when your team is winless in six games to start the season, great deals are hard to find.

“The ones that are calling, it’s not a helpful group,” Burke said of talks with other GMs. “I haven’t got anything but anchors thrown at me. We’re not in a hurry. If I didn’t think this group could get the job done, I’d be more concerned. But I believe in the group.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

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