Kukla's Korner

KK- Power Issue Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Power outage for me this morning and phone battery low. Be back as soon as I can. 

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Early overnight report: On Gordie Howe, Wings prospect news, shootouts, faceoffs and Howard

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated quite substantially at 2:57 AM on Thursday morning: Amongst this evening's Red Wings-related news stories:

I think it wasn't exactly hard to read the report that Gordie Howe would be well enough to make a public appearance in Saskatoon this February was...premature.

As Paul noted, MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Mark Howe about Gordie's condition, and Khan received a more accurate forecast...

"He's back in the ballgame," son Mark told M-Live on Wednesday. "Where it will lead to we don't know, but he's miles ahead of where he was weeks ago. In the last week he's been getting stronger, better. We're pretty encouraged by it."

If the former Detroit Red Wings great continues to progress, there's a chance he might travel to his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Feb. 6 for the Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner in his honor. Wayne Gretzky is scheduled as the keynote speaker.

"A week ago I would have said there's no way in the world (Gordie could be there)," Mark Howe said. "If he continues to improve, we'll have to wait and see."

And Mark continued while speaking with Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Get ready for the Mike Babcock to Edmonton theory, which is patently nuts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Now I get the Toronto rumors, but given that, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa suggested, a certain Mike Babcock very plainly "wants to win"--which is what everyone who's got a damn oar planted in the Mike Babcock To Where? Rumor Mill River has suggested--I'm going to be rude and simply suggest that the esteemed and estimable Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones is, for once in a blue moon, off his rocker:

[If] there’s a way for owner Daryl Katz and new Oilers organization umbrella boss Bob Nicholson to win some public confidence and ensure that the Oilers don’t face the prospect of not being sold out for their first season in their new downtown arena, hiring Mike Babcock would go a long way.

Think about it. There’s the belief that the Detroit Red Wings coach, who former Hockey Canada head Nicholson gave the opportunity to become two-time Olympic gold medal winner, is going to go right through the season without agreeing to a new contract.

There’s the further belief that Babcock not only wants to find out what his true value is as his current contract expires, but that he might also want to be the flag carrier to raise NHL coaching salaries, which don’t compare well to those of the NFL, NBA or major league baseball.

Also Babcock has been in Detroit for 10 seasons, reportedly making $2 million a season. There’s an expiry date on head coaches, even the great ones.

And with the embarrassment of having had the worst team in the NHL throughout his seven years as Oilers owner, and paying people like Ralph Krueger and Dallas Eakins a combined 4½ seasons not to coach, you have to believe Daryl Katz would consider telling Babcock to fill in his own amount and term into the blank spaces on an Oilers coaching contract.

Jones continues, discussing Nicholson's long association with Babcock, Babcock's Canadian collegiate ties to Alberta, the Oilers possibly landing Connor McDavid, etc. etc., but as much as I feel for both the long-suffering fans of the Edmonton Oilers and their long-suffering, passionte media...This is just dumb.

Quoting Krupa, quoting Babcock:

"Listen, besides my family, the thing maybe I like most is winning. So, that's the process, here. That's what we're trying to do, here. And if you think I'm working harder, here, because I'm in my last year of my contract, it makes no difference. I grind. That's what I do. I'm a professional grinder. I love winning. So, you know, we'll see what happens — we've got a game, tomorrow."

The one thing the Oilers don't have is a history of any sort of organizational competency in terms of the front office actually positioning the team in line to win pee-wee games. They make Toronto's corporate conglomerate look warm and fuzzy by comparison, and Ken Holland look like Stephen Hawking.

"Real talk." No *#$%@& way.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening Line- Gary Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"The fact of the matter is, over the last two decades, the league, the game, the presence and prominence from our clubs has grown on every measurable platform, whether or not it's TV viewing, attendance, social media or revenues. The game, our franchises have never been healthier, have never been stronger and have never been more widely followed." 

-Gary Bettman.  The commissioner joined Chicago radio today and Nina Falcone of CSNChicago has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Video- Giveaways As Gifts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportnet YouTube channel,

The holidays bring out cheer, generosity and giving in people. The players in this video are a prime example, watch them give away pucks to bring cheer to an opposing team with an absolute gift of a goal.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Holland On Anthony Mantha And The Shootout Problems

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

"Because of some of the numbers he put up in junior hockey (81 goals in 81 games last season), there were some unrealistic expectations," general manager Ken Holland said. "Then he got hurt and when he returned, guys were two months into the season. He's getting better all the time. You see flashes of all the things he can do.

"But it's a hard league. It's professional hockey. He's learning what it takes to be successful."...

Holland said the Red Wings' woes in the shootout this season could just be a normal cycle of things.

The Red Wings are 1-6 in shootouts and have lost three of them in the last week, the latest Tuesday's 1-0 setback to Columbus.

"Several years ago we were winning them more often than losing," Holland said. "It's about getting on a roll. You get on a roll, you don't think about it.

"You lose some of them, like we have, and suddenly people are talking about it, asking questions. We just have to work our way out of it, win some of them and get on a roll."

more

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James Neal Fined For Diving/Embellishment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

added 5:34pm, video of the Neal dive is below...

NEW YORK (Dec. 17, 2014) – Nashville Predators forward James Neal has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.

Revised for the 2014-15 season following offseason approval by the League's Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association, NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+neal

Bob Hartley Gets A Contract Extension In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed head coach Bob Hartley to a multi-year contract extension.

Hartley was originally named head coach of the Flames on May 31, 2012. He has guided the Flames to a 71-79-13 record during the past three seasons and earned his 400th career win on December 4th, 2014 over Colorado. The Flames currently hold a 17-14-2 record for 36 points and are 5th place in the Pacific Division, 9th in the Western Conference and 15th overall in League standings.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+hartley

Rick Nash Dominating Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Silverman of CBSNewYork,

Whether it was a summer-time message from head coach Alain Vigneault or a good, long look in the mirror, Nash is not the player he was in his previous two seasons with the Rangers.

Instead, he is much better. There’s a legitimate aggression to his game and he is dominating the box score on a near-nightly basis. He has scored 20 goals already and leads the Rangers with 33 points. He has a plus-13 that leads the team, and he is playing with a drive and an aggression that Rangers fans had heard about when the team first acquired him, but one that had not been seen before this season.

Teammate Derek Stepan said that Nash played just this way last year, but he was victimized by bad luck and that’s why he didn’t put the puck in the net.

Vigneault wasn’t having any of it. After Nash scored two goals last night against the Flames to pave the way for the Blueshirts in a 5-2 victory, he put it succinctly.

“We need him to play the way he is,” Vigneault said. “We’re no different than any other team in the league. You need your top players to be your top performers, and that’s what Rick is doing for us right now.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+nash

Columbus Blue Jackets Aiming For Their Eight Straight Win Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

On Thursday, the Blue Jackets host Metropolitan Division rival Washington in Nationwide Arena, the start of a five-game homestand. Columbus doesn't hit the road until next year.

With a win, the Blue Jackets will have matched a franchise record with eight straight victories. They'd also match the Chicago Blackhawks (Nov. 26 to Dec. 11) for the longest winning streak in the NHL this season.

"I've liked our attention to detail, our play with the puck," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We can still get better. We have to get better. But you see that we're working hard and doing the right things, and there's a feeling now that we're expecting to have success."

Let's be honest here: Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been the driving force of this win streak. His 52-save performance on Dec. 4 was the second game of the streak, but he's been stellar throughout.

On Nov. 30, Bobrovsky was 5-8-1 with a .907 save percentage and 3.03 goals-against average. Since December started, he's 7-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.63 goals-against average.

more on the Blue Jackets...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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