Kukla's Korner

The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders set-up; talkin’ about the hard road and the Wings’ defense

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings hope to break a 4-game winless streak (0-1-and-3) as they kick off their 3-home-games-in-5-nights pre-Christmas break slate against the New York Islanders this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM);

While the Islanders' come into town on a 2-game winning streak--having last played on Monday, when they defeated New Jersey 2-1 in a shootout, and the Hawks 3-2 last weekend--overall, the Islanders' schedule since November 5th is scary.

10 regulation-OT wins, 5 shootout wins and 5 regulation losses have the Isles tied with the Wings' 42 points, but the Isles' 21 wins (15 ROW's) are FOUR MORE than the Wings' 17 (16 ROW's), and unlike the Wings, they have exactly 0 shootout losses to Detroit's 6.

The Islanders will receive a pair of reinforcements on the blueline tonight, as Newsday's Arthur Staple reported...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Janmark scores gamer at Channel One Cup; Bertuzi, Nastasiuk, Paterson thriving

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The first holiday tournament that plays games that count (not the case for the World Junior Championships until "Boxing Day") got underway on Thursday, and the only Red Wings prospect taking part had a good game in what was a predictably Swedish win.

The Swedes rarely (if ever) open tournaments well, and they opened the Channel One Cup by digging a 3-goal deficit against the Czechs, but Expressen's Petter Ostman reports that coach Par Marts took a timeout, yelled at the team, and the Swedes responded--scoring 3 goals in 1:16.

They surrendered a 4-3 goal four minutes later, but tied the game in the 3rd, and Mattias Janmark scored the game-winning goal with just over 5 minutes remaining in what was eventually a 6-4 triumph.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Intriguing observations from the ‘Hockey World’ and ‘Three Periods’

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:

- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.

...

- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?

- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.

This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:

-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.

Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko

Canadiens fete Koivu

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

As NHL.com's Sean Farrell notes, the Montreal Canadiens honored former captain Saku Koivu for his service to the team on Thursday night:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: montreal+canadiens, saku+koivu

Clayton Stoner hit sends Max Pacioretty to the hospital

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Clayton Stoner hit Max Pacioretty during the third period of the Montreal Canadiens' 2-1 loss to Stoner's Anaheim Ducks...

And this is not good, nor is...Well...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, clayton+stoner, max+pacioretty, max+pacioretty, montreal+canadiens

St. James: Gordie Howe’s ‘up and moving’ slowly

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I really am at the point where I'm hesitant to report every Gordie Howe health update, especially after yesterday's "friend of the family says this, distant relative says that" stuff, but the Free Press's Helene St. James has an impeccable source...

The benefit of being in a familiar environment again is helping Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe regain some quality of life.

Howe now has enough strength to be somewhat mobile, a stark - and much welcome - late-December development after the month began with what his children feared was another serious stroke.

Son Mark Howe told the Free Press on Thursday that his father isn't so much able to walk, rather that "it's more of a shuffle, but he is making his way around under his own power."

And she continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening Line- Ken Hitchcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Less Than 30 Hours Before The NHL Holiday Roster Freeze

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

Holiday roster freeze in effect:

For all players on an NHL active roster, injured reserve, or with non-roster and injured non-roster status as of midnight (local time) Dec. 19, a roster freeze shall apply through midnight (local time) Dec. 27, with respect to waivers, trades and loans, subject to the exceptions provided for in CBA Article 16.5.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Need To Start Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press,

It no longer matters that the Wild have played well in many games, including both losses Tuesday and Wednesday. The fact is, they are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference and not playing like a team positioning itself for the playoffs.

"We've got to stop losing," Parise said. "Stringing a couple wins together is the only way to get out of it."

It has put the coaching staff in a peculiar position, unsure whether to applaud the positive play -- the Wild outshot the Bruins 37-21 in regulation Wednesday -- or to become upset with the losing.

"Normally what you do is you say if we go out and play that way then we're going to get rewarded, and that's what you focus on," coach Mike Yeo said. "But obviously we know that we need wins, so it's a fine line between trying to find positives and trying to build our game and our confidence and to build that winning attitude feeling."

The Wild have struggled because of a multitude of issues: The goaltending hasn't been as good as last season, the top-4 defensemen rarely have been healthy, and the scoring only seems to come in bunches.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The First Place Team

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Anaheim Ducks are currently in first place in the NHL.  They have a 21-12 record with five regulation tie points.  That gives them 47 points on the season and a two point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.  Last year Anaheim was first place in the West Conference and finished one point out of first place in the NHL.  That makes them not a big surprise to be at or near the top in the NHL.

The biggest change between last year's Anaheim Ducks and this year's team is goaltending.  Last year Jonas Hiller was their number one goaltender.  He left as a free agent and now plays with the Calgary Flames.  Frederik Andersen has been their number one goalie so far this season.  He is an unproven goalie who started off well this season but has since slowed down a bit.  Ilya Bryzgalov has been signed to give them a veteran presence.  Goaltending is a weakness and it will likely knock this team out of first place.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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