Kukla's Korner

How Should The Rangers Use Chris Drury?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

When we last left the Rangers, Drury was bouncing from one line to another, one position to another, sometimes on the fourth line, sometimes on the first or second. The fourth line isn’t going to cut it the rest of the way for the rejuvenated Big Moment Kid (if that title’s not reserved for Sidney Crosby).

Tortorella needs to construct three units that he believes in and will use. The Rangers aren’t going to make it from here to there if the coach insists on doubling down on his first two lines the way he has all season.

And they’re not going to make it without production from Drury, whose success in the Olympics may not presage success down the stretch, but sure presents a more encouraging platform than the alternative.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

When All is Said And Done, Bettman Will Get A Deal Done For Sochi Winter Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

A modest prediction now that the 2010 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament is in the books: Four years from now, in Sochi, the NHL will be back with full participation - even if commissioner Gary Bettman is publicly dragging his heels over making a commitment now.

It isn’t just because the NHL got its preferred final either. Canada against the United States for the gold medal guaranteed fabulous television ratings and garnered interest in the sport across North America. (NBC even televised it live on the West Coast. That’s progress.)

Remember, Bettman is two things primarily: a lawyer and a skilled negotiator. It was his ability to craft deals that ultimately got him the job in the first place.

As a negotiator, Bettman is not about to give anything away he could potentially use as a chip - not with new collective bargaining agreement talks coming in 2012.


added 6:14am on 3/2/10, A few comments about a misleading headline and I agree, sorry for the confusion.  I changed the headline to stop the confusion.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics

Theodore Can Only Deal With His Son’s Death

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

José Theodore had managed to keep his personal tragedy as far from the ice as possible. The Washington Capitals goalie didn’t want to make his teammates uncomfortable, and the rink was a place where, for three hours a day, he could go to escape.

But last week, Theodore sat on the bench at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, took a deep breath and, through tears, gave the first interview about his 2-month-old son Chace, who died August from respiratory complications related to a premature birth.

“Obviously, it’s a tough story for anybody,” he said. “It’s not something people are comfortable talking about. People say to me, ‘I can’t imagine.’ To be honest, they can’t imagine. They can try to imagine. But until you are there, you can’t put yourself in those people’s shoes.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jose+theodore

Thrashers/Ducks Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Vivlamore tweet,

Thrashers acquire Evgeny Artyukhin from Anaheim for Nathan Oystrick and conditional pick in 2011.

added 9:09pm, Ben Wright of Blueland Blog reacts to the trade.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeny+artyukhin

LB: Kick Out The Demons, MoFaux, The Drive To The Playoffs Goes Full Throttle

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

The Wings resume their drive to the playoffs tonight against the Dive in Denver.  And from tonight onward, the playoff drive has to be pedal-to-the-metal intense.  No looking behind us or waiting for others to move out of our way.  It is time to bully our way through the standings and into our rightful place in the playoffs.

Our roster is almost completely healthy.  Franzen has had some time to condition the past couple of weeks in the tournament that NBC forgot to cover.  The Angry Chipmunk, Holmstrom, is back and as pissed off as ever.  Kronwall is back in health, as is Cleary after giving us a scare this week.

There are a couple of soldiers who will miss tonight’s battle.  Filppula has been frequenting Vancouver’s east side finding salacious crack whores to celebrate his bronze medal, and has suffered a sprained groin.  Eaves is also out due to that ankle sprain he suffered before the break.

Thanks to Okie for his roster updates in the GDT today.

And one more soldier will be out of the battle for a while, but I love that SOB even more for it.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Hockey’s Great Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

“It was a great day for hockey,” blared the headline across the top of Monday morning’s Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, and we couldn’t agree more.

The passion so evident in the players and fans at Canada Hockey Place spilled onto the front pages of newspapers across the continent Monday.

“Has your heart stopped pounding?” asked Bucky Gleason in the Buffalo News. “The hockey gods were kind enough to bless the gold medal game with overtime, bonus action in a classic matchup between the two superpowers. It merely added more drama, more intensity and more passion to what could go into the books as the most entertaining game in Olympic history. Or hockey history. Where does this one rank? Up there. Way up there.”

“I swear there was an anxious moment Sunday, during one of the greatest hockey games ever played, when hearts in both countries beat as one, at about 125 nervous thumps per minute,” Mark Kiszla wrote in the Denver Post.

read on

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

Poor Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel,

Sadly, hockey, which was once considered part of the Big Four of American sports, is now so far removed from our national consciousness that it might as well be cribbage. It used to be football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Now it’s football, baseball, basketball, golf, NASCAR, boxing, mixed martial arts, beach volleyball, badminton, rock-paper-scissors and then hockey….

Poor hockey.

Poor, poor hockey.

For one magical Sunday afternoon, the sport basked in the golden glow of the Winter Olympics.

Now, forlornly, it crawls back into the black hole that is the NHL season.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Need A Good Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPNChicago,

After guiding Team Canada to the gold medal on Sunday, Mike Babcock switched hats to coach the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, and he said he just wants one thing for his defending Western Conference champs: an opportunity.

“We’re in a battle for our life,” Babcock said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “We’re a big believer that if we get in, we’re going to get an opportunity.

“But our top guys have to elevate their game, and we have to be better and more consistent. We need to get on a good run here.”


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

Back To The Trenches

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

After a two week break in the schedule where most of the 19 turned against me and Canada, we are back to the battle at hand.  Making the playoffs.  With the break over, it seems both a little unusual and familiar to be reading your blogs with news of the Red Wings once again at the forefront.

As I don’t have to see his ugly mug again for a long time, there will be no more Rosby Rants.

And there is another ugly mug that we get to see for the first time in a long time, Andreas Lilja.  While he had his moments of confusion on the ice before his absence, his last season of play was his best.  Us Wings fans are left to wonder if he will be back in that fine form, or will his brain have turned into Swiss cheese and he completes the Trio of Turd:  Meech - Lebda - Lilja (?).

The coaches and players are saying the right things.  They are energized following the break.  Of course, Rafalski and Babcock will have to get back into the game quickly thanks to Li’l Gary’s scheduling clusterfuch.  Combine the scheduling turnaround with Team USA’s flight home scheduled for the morning of the Gold Medal game, and I seriously wonder if the NHL is being run by clowns huffing nitrous oxide balloons all day.  All signs point to yes.  Li’l Gary loves hippie crack.  And fuching the Red Wings any way he can.

In the absence of the braintrust, the Red Wings continued practicing.  Cleary taking a shot off the foot for good measure.  Reportedly he is fine, but he must feel like there is a target on him even in the absence of William Tell.  If Jobu rears his head again I don’t think I will be able to cope.  We finally have a healthy roster and the Wings need to build chemistry.  Don’t fuch with us, Jobu, we are not in the mood.

Jonny Ericsson spent time in the Bahamas over the break, hopefully that will get his head straight.  Keep an eye out for a spike in birthrate in Nassau.  Word has it he managed to impregnate most of the locals and two of the three cruise ships that dock there on a regular basis.  The third was a Disney cruise where he is rumoured to be responsible for the birth of most of the children on board already.  That crazy guy.  I hope he can score with as much proficiency on the ice, and not get confused with his stick in his hand like he has been prone to do this season.

Following the jump some very important H2H updates.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Two Devils Talk, One About Jagr

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk said he had not seen the comments from Kontinental Hockey League president Alexander Medvedev that SKA St. Petersburg will top any offer he will receive from an NHL team this summer.

“They’re just rumors,” Kovalchuk told me. “I’m trying to not think about it. This is my time in New Jersey and I have to focus on that because there’s it’s too much going on it my life in the last couple of weeks: the Olympics, the trade, my wife is pregnant. But now everything is settled down and I’m really focused on Jersey. We’ve got a great team and a great opportunity.”...

After playing with Jaromir Jagr on the Czech Republic’s Olympic team, Devils forward Patrik Elias believes Jagr wants to play in the NHL again.

“I think he’d love to,” Elias said. “He certainly showed and proved that he still has it and he can be an effective player, no question about it.”

Elias was understandably not happy with the Czech team losing, 2-0, to Finland in the quarterfinals.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk, jaromir+jagr, patrik+elias

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