Kukla's Korner

An Off-Ice Looks At Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cheryl Cornacchia of the Montreal Gazette,

“At the end of the day when I retire I don’t want to be remembered by how many people I’ve beaten up,” said Laraque, who was born in Montreal in 1976, the eldest of three children of Haitian parents who arrived here in 1975. “I want to be remembered for the impact I have had in the community.”

After seeing Earthlings, a powerful documentary on the exploitation of animals for the pet, food, clothing and entertainment industries, and for which he is now doing narration for a French-language version, he said he decided to do something to help animals.

Quebec is known as the puppy mill capital of Canada, he notes. Unlike the guys he roughs it up with on the ice, “willing combatants,” he said, they have no choice.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Flyers On A Bonding Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

After a hard conditioning practice punctuated by wind sprints, the Flyers boarded a flight for Fort Lauderdale on Monday, where they will spend the next three days participating in team bonding exercises designed to get them to know each other in a more meaningful way….

Today, players and coaches will negotiate strong winds and rough waves in a five-team sailboat regatta featuring six people to a boat.

“The coaches are the early odds-on favorites,” said Flyers coach John Stevens, who grew up boating off the coast of New Brunswick.

Wednesday, the players and coaches will again venture into the Atlantic for a fishing tournament. All players will be provided with life preservers, Stevens said.

“That’s good,” Laperriere said, “because I swim like a rock.”

read on

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

Martin St. Louis Still Productive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times,

His story will always be told the same way. It has to be. You just don’t rise up from out of nowhere to become a Hart Trophy winner on a Stanley Cup champion team. And so, yes, the legend of Marty St. Louis was settled long ago.

But do you know what’s crazy? In some ways, the later years are just as remarkable as the early days. All this time later, St. Louis is back to defying the odds just as he did as an undrafted free agent more than a decade ago.

Look at the NHL’s top 20 or so scoring leaders this morning. You will see Alex Ovechkin, aged 24. And Dany Heatley, aged 28. You will see 23-year-old Evgeni Malkin and 21-year-old Nicklas Backstrom. And in the middle of the bunch is St. Louis, in all of his 34-year-old glory.

It is not a fluke, and it is not likely to change anytime soon. A year ago, he was the oldest player among the NHL’s top 20 scorers, and it’s a pretty good bet he will not budge in 2009-10.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+st.+louis

After Surgery, Demitra’s Shoulder Is Still Full Of Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

“Obviously, it’s not getting better,” said Demitra.

“They’re going to decide what’s next for me and I’ll see the doctor on Tuesday. There’s a lot of pain in the shoulder.”

Canucks general manger Mike Gillis said the next step in rehab will be to see how the shoulder reacts “when it settles down.”

When that will be, nobody really seems to know.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavol+demitra

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Even though we have a fairly veteran team, it’s learning how to win again.  When you’ve got it, instead of thinking, ‘Uh-oh, what’s going to happen, what’s going to go wrong? You’re thinking, ‘No problem, we’re going to win it.’ That’s the mindset a little bit right now. So it would be good to eventually win a game again.”

-Washington Coach Bruce Boudreau after losing to New Jersey last night.  More from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Now What Toronto?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Is it a case of the players tuning out Wilson’s message?

Perhaps.

Should Toskala and a handful of other underachieving veterans be Marlie-bound?

Perhaps.

Whatever the Leafs do, the product thus far has been unacceptable.

“A lot of people are upset at our start,” general manager Brian Burke said during a second-intermission interview with New York television. “They are worried about what we are going to do.”

And how.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bag Skates Don’t Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ferarro of TSN,

Bag skates are useless. Every player hates them of course, coaches think they send a message to an underachieving team, and I’m sure that nothing is accomplished during these practices except the odd pulled groin….

I understand the punishment component here, but how about actually working on something that might help your team win?  Hey Toronto, try killing a penalty. How about the Habs not allowing the front of their net be a free pass area? These practices have been around forever, and have been ineffective at least as long.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Big Comeback For Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I normally do not do game recaps, but sometimes…

from NHL.com,

A comeback of historic proportions took place at the United Center on Monday night.

After allowing five goals in a span of 5:29 during the first period, the Chicago Blackhawks roared back with six unanswered tallies—capped by Brent Seabrook’s winner 26 seconds into overtime—for a wild 6-5 victory against the Calgary Flames.

It was the biggest comeback in the history of the “Original Six” franchise and came against the team the Blackhawks eliminated in the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. And, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it tied the NHL record for the biggest deficit overcome.

continued and watch video highlights below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

After Two Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

Only two weeks? The NHL season is only two weeks old?

So much, it seems, has happened already. And the next round of NHL Players’ Association bloodletting is just around the corner.

So, after two weeks, here’s some of what we know:

• It’s too early to count the Red Wings out, even after two losses in Europe to start the season and the loss of super-scorer Johan Franzen. As long as they have the combination of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg up front, and a fellow named Lidstrom on the blue line, they’re not going to turn into an also-ran any time soon.

• Funny how the Boston Bruins are a little slow out of the gate, huh? Losing Phil Kessel from their attack doesn’t seem to have helped the B’s.

• Somebody named Davis Drewiske is yet another promising blue-line face on a Kings defence that already boasts Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Ted Leonsis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum at the LA Times,

Here’s the rest of my chat with Leonsis before the Capitals 3-2 shootout loss to New Jersey on Monday.

Q: You’re so willing to interact with fans. Is that something you did to build a fan base or something that’s just part of your nature?
A: I grew up on the Internet and I don’t think you can use the medium at your convenience. And so what I decided to do from day one is I published my e-mail address. And I do owners’ corners, and then I started my blog and I’m walking around with the fans at games.

Then I turned my blog into Facebook. I’m already at 5,000 fans on Facebook. And I send all my blog posts out automatically as tweets on Twitter, so I try to pride myself on being transparent and honest, both good and bad. And so at least you’ll know that what you’re hearing and seeing from me you can believe. And sometimes people don’t like what I say.

A couple weeks ago I had this big press event at the Washington Times. There was, like, 20 editors and reporters and I showed up and this one managing editor said, ‘Are we waiting for somebody else?’ I said no. He said, ‘It’s just you?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’

They said, ‘No PR people, no entourage?’ I said no. Why do I need those?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ted+leonsis

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