Kukla's Korner

A Fast Start To The Season Is Important

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Gretz of CBS Sports,

I went back over the last three full 82-game seasons (I excluded the 48-game lockout shortened season of 2012-13) and looked at how every team did in their first 10 games of the season and whether or not they ended up making the playoffs.

Surprisingly, the first 10 games is a pretty solid barometer as to whether or not a team is going to succeed or not in that season. Let's break it down.

Over the past three full seasons...

- Teams that posted a points percentage of at least .700 over the first 10 games of the season made the playoffs 73 percent of the time and won two of the three Stanley Cups (the 2010-11 Boston Bruins and 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings).

- Teams that were between .600 and .699 over their first 10 games made the playoffs 60 percent and won the other Stanley Cup (the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings).

more

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

COMEBACKS, GOAL STREAKS HIGHLIGHT TUESDAY’S GAMES
Of the 12 games contested Tuesday:
 
* Eight were tied or within one goal entering the third period (WPG-NYI, LAK-PHI, OTT-CBJ, BUF-TOR, ANA-CHI, STL-DAL, SJS-COL, MTL-CGY).
 
* Seven resulted in one-goal margins, including four that required extra time (LAK-PHI, STL-DAL, SJS-COL, MTL-CGY).
 
* Seven teams overcame deficits – at any point in the game – to pick up victories (MIN, WPG, PIT, OTT, DAL, SJS, MTL).
 
* Three teams rallied from multi-goal deficits to at least tie their games (MIN, NYI, PIT). Of those three, both the Wild and Penguins went on to win.
 
* Seven teams posted three or more consecutive goals at some stretch of their games (MIN, WPG, PIT, OTT, TOR, TBL, VAN). That includes seven unanswered goals by the Penguins, who trailed 3-1 prior to their run.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who Are the St. Louis Blues?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Head coach Ken Hitchcock is at a bit of a loss to figure out just what he's got with his bacterially challenged, banged-up squad as the Blues try to scramble their way through the opening stages of this still-young season.

In spite of a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday that saw the Blues battle back three times from one-goal deficits, Hitchcock wondered aloud if this was going to be a season of challenges after last season saw the Blues go most of the season with a consistent lineup.

"We have no idea what type of team we have," Hitchcock said after Tuesday's win.

"This might be one of those years where we're just going to have to scramble to stay afloat. You don't know. We didn't have any adversity last year until the last two weeks and then we just got bombed with it. But this one is different. We've had nothing but an unsettled roster both at practice and games since the second game of the season." 

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Nashville Predators Are Prepared For Six Game, Thirteen Day Road Trip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Strongren of The Tennessean,

Making road trips successful — beyond winning games — means a grinding schedule for Rogers and assistant equipment manager Jeff Camelio. Early mornings and late nights for the love of the game, often on consecutive days and in different cities hundreds of miles apart. And lots of gear — 1,800 pounds' worth.

Rogers and Camelio handle the Predators' equipment in a workshop-like setting at Centennial Sportsplex and Bridgestone Arena. There are tool chests, blow torches, a microwave oven used to mold thick plastic into skate guards and spare parts available for just about every possible hockey situation.

There are 25 bags containing protective equipment for each player. There are three bags with as many as 300 sticks. Each player also has backup equipment, skates and a pair of extra skate blades. There's also a sewing machine, skate sharpener, medical trunks, television broadcast equipment, two sets of jerseys and even a soccer ball.

"The biggest thing for us is all the extra stuff we have to pack," Rogers said.

On this road trip, the Predators will travel 5,500 miles and play games in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg before concluding against Dallas and St. Louis.

The logistics involved in moving the team through each city falls on Brandon Walker, the Predators' manager of hockey operations.

more

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Hit Of The Night, Mark Fistric On Michal Rozsival

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Ducks beat the Blackhawks 1-0.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+fistric

Wings/Capitals Preview And Notes

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Mike Babcock isn't certain what to expect from the Washington Capitals tonight.

Sure, the Capitals have many of the same players back from last season, when they split the season series against Detroit as each team got four points. And Babcock has watched a couple of Washington's games this season on tape.

But the Capitals also have a new look after adding defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik - who both came over from Pittsburgh - as well as rookies Andre Burakovsky and Liam O'Brien to their lineup.

All have played key roles in helping Washington start the season 4-2-2 as it prepares to host Detroit.

But two things Babcock and the Red Wings are plenty familiar with are the Caps' leaders - head coach Barry Trotz and longtime captain Alex Ovechkin.

continued

Preview of the Washington/Detroit game from Mike Vogel of Dump 'n Chase,

Two days after returning from a three-game journey through western Canada, the Capitals make a quick stop home to host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. The game against the Wings concludes the October portion of the Capitals’ 2014-15 campaign.

Washington and Detroit feature identical 4-2-2 records at this early juncture of the season. So far in the early going, the Caps have yet to lose consecutive contests. They’ll need a win over the Wings to keep it that way.

The Capitals spend Monday in the air, flying back from Vancouver where they suffered a 4-2 loss to the Canucks on Sunday night. The Caps come home from their first extended road trip of the season with a 1-2 mark on the three-game journey through western Canada.

continued

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Another Bad Loss For The Buffalo Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

There have been some horrible, downright despicable performances by the Sabres since they were founded in 1970. Pity anyone who watched one worse than Tuesday’s outing.

Buffalo’s 10th game of 2014-15 had folks looking to the calendar to see when this season will be over. Only 24 weeks and 72 games left!

Pity anyone who stays with this train wreck the whole way.

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was the only player to show up for the Sabres, who slept from the opening faceoff to the merciful horn in a 4-0 loss to Toronto. Buffalo had just 10 shots, the fewest in franchise history, and looked worse than the peewee team it was compared to earlier in the season.

“It’s embarrassing,” right wing Drew Stafford said. “There’s no other way to describe it. I don’t know how we expect to win games let alone be competitive with that going on. We need to just wake up.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

More Injuries For The Columbus Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will miss 1-2 weeks because of a broken finger suffered on Monday. Defenseman James Wisniewski will likely miss 1-2 weeks because of a broken finger suffered tonight. Center Artem Anisimov will miss an undetermined amount of time after he suffered a blow to the head and left the game for good in the second period. Add them to a list of injured Jackets that already includes Boone Jenner (broken hand), Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery), Matt Calvert (upper body), Nathan Horton (back) and Nick Foligno (neck). Ouch.

“Whether I’ve done something or somebody’s done something to the hockey gods…I’ve never seen anything like this. It seems like every time we play a game somebody is getting hurt.” – Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who said he has never before seen a rash of injuries at any point in his career.

more on the Columbus loss to the Senators last night...

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

Video- Highlights From The Twelve Games Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Five minutes of action...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Nikolai Kulemin Dangerous Hit On Mark Stuart

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nikolai Kulemin received five for boarding and a game misconduct.

Mark Stuart did return to the game.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+stuart, nikolai+kulemin

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