Kukla's Korner

Justin Williams Out With Broken Hand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

It appears that Justin Williams’ recent bad luck with injuries has struck again.

The Hurricanes winger, who missed the team’s first 25 games with a ruptured Achilles tendon, is expected to miss at least a month after a slap shot broke a bone in his hand last night in Buffalo. A decision will be made on whether to perform surgery in the coming days.

“He walked on that bus last night and he looked about as low as a man can,” said Coach Paul Maurice of Williams. “The especially painful part is that over the last three or four games, his speed was coming back. He was skating last night and he was really moving, and I think he really felt that finally something positive [was happening]. To have that happen is going to be very difficult for him.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: justin+williams

How The Schneider Deal Was Made

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Don Waddell’s phone rang Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. It was Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, asking his Atlanta counterpart if he could meet with Habs executive Pierre Gauthier later that evening at the Thrashers-Ducks game.

The Canadiens were stepping up their efforts to acquire a defenseman and they wanted to further pursue Mathieu Schneider, a veteran slated for unrestricted free agency July 1.

Waddell didn’t waste his opportunity. For starters, there was always the chance the Canadiens, under tremendous pressure to act with the team in freefall, could opt for a different player if they couldn’t come to terms with Atlanta. The clock was ticking and Waddell feared the Canadiens had another deal in the works for another defenseman.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mathieu+schneider

Phoenix Activates Sauer

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA —- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have activated defenseman Kurt Sauer from Injured Reserve. 

Sauer, 28, has recorded four assists and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 43 games this season, his first as a Coyote.  Sauer, who ranks 5th on the Coyotes in average ice time per game (20:47), has missed the last 14 games since being placed on Injured Reserve.  Sauer signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on July 1, 2008.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Sather Silent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Price of the NY Daily News,

Tom Renney and Chris Drury said all the right things after the Rangers did all the wrong things in Sunday’s dismal loss to the Flyers at the Garden.

“I take full responsibility for where this team is right now,” said the coach.

“I’m not doing what I was brought here to do,” said the captain.

As for the man who put this team together . . . nothing.

In case you’ve forgotten, he’s Glen Sather, the president and GM of your New York Rangers. Honestly, I can’t blame you for forgetting, because he’s nowhere to be found.

He never speaks to the New York media and he’s rarely seen at games.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather

The Stock Awards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from P.J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

Well, if I’m a player or goalie or coach, I really don’t care about my first half as much as I do about my second half. You all want to know my first-half MVP and all that jazz? Well, instead, I’m going to go on a limb and give you who I think will be the eventual winners of these major awards.

You win nothing in the first half and all will be forgotten if your team doesn’t make the playoffs, just ask Jarome Iginla.

Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the year)
Winner: Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
Runner-up: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Who I’d like to see win it: Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins, or Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

Norris Trophy (best defenceman)
Winner: Nick Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
You have to knock out the champ and he’s still standing.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keeping Kaberle In Toronto May Be Best For The Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

Brian Burke has the list.

He knows the teams that Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle will waive his no-trade clause to go to.

Burke knows that Kaberle wants to stay in the Eastern Conference.

Burke also knows that Kaberle would prefer to stay in Toronto and failing an offer that stops Burke in his tracks, keeping Kaberle may make the most sense.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Sharp Out 2-3 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today Patrick Sharp will miss 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury and Nikolai Khabibulin will not travel with Chicago on their Florida road swing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin, patrick+sharp

Schneider A Canadien

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenceman Mathieu Schneider to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for second and third round picks.

Schneider previously played for the Canadiens from the 1989-90 season to the 1994-95 campaign.

added 3:15pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

For the Thrashers, the deal clears salary and helps the team stockpile draft picks. Considering that just a few months ago, Atlanta traded spare parts Ken Klee and Brad Larsen to Anaheim for Schneider, getting multiple draft picks is a good return. It’s GM Don Waddell’s belief that there will be teams looking to clear salary this summer and by getting additional draft picks now, he puts the Thrashers in position to acquire some of that talent. One of just a few sellers at this point in the season, the Thrashers could still be active after this deal. Waddell is getting calls about Niclas Havelid and there would be a strong market for Colby Armstrong if the Thrashers decide to move him…

more

added 3:30pm, via the Montreal Canadiens,

“We were looking for a defenseman who could contribute offensively. Mathieu, an experienced player with a lot of offensive upside, will bring depth to our core group of defensemen and will be an asset on our powerplay,” said Bob Gainey.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mathieu+schneider

Time to Fire Chris Osgood!!!!

Blog: KK Members Blog By Primis

OK, so that’s not an option like firing the head coach is.  I just wanted to feel like I belonged here, since the previous two blog posts were about firing someone.

However, there definitely is a problem in net for the Red Wings, as yesterday’s miserable performance showed once and for all.  And it’s not going away.  While the Red Wings have now finally stopped giving up quite so many shots a game, the Goal Against have stayed steady.  And that points the finger then squarely at the goalies.

So what is Osgood’s problem?  (I’m focusing on Osgood because Conklin, while not stellar, hasn’t been so terrible either).

#1, Osgood is not controlling rebounds.

We’ve seen some goals scored on him lately that involve crazy bounces, including a terrible one yesterday against Colorado.  Ozzy is not playing it as safe as he needs to and is still trying to force things, that’s clear.  He still needs to simplify his game some more and control those rebounds.  He not a Hasek-twitch-reflex goalie and never has been, and it almost looks like that’s what he’s playing like as of late.

#2, Osgood is not 100% square on shots.

I’m not sure why this hasn’t been mentioned more, but he’s not getting good positioning on some of the shots.  This is sometimes leading to the rebounds mentioned above, if not the puck just blowing by him outright.  Again, simplicity… just get square.  Going back to some fundamentals would help him immensely.

#3, Osgood, despite everything he says, is NOT relaxed out there.

Osgood’s best trait is his relaxed demeanor.  Last season during the Cup run he never panicked, never looked frantic in net.  This year, he looks both, and the rest of the team is feeding off it negatively.  If he can get back to basics, the calmness will likely follow.  But until then, he’s going to play and look like a wounded duck out there.

So what to do?

I’m not sure.  Conklin is not the answer, that much is still clear.  He’s a good backup… but not going to take the starting load and not consistent enough himself.  Howard and Larsson aren’t ready for Cup runs either.  With that in mind, as well as DET’s lack of cap space, I think at this point it’s safe to say that the Wings are going to ride Osgood, for better or worse, and hope that he can straighten himself out.

In the meantime, if you’re a Wings fan reach for the Pepto.  You’re going to need it for at least a while yet….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: goalie+drama, osgood, ty+conklin

Glen Wesley- HHOF Material?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

No matter what sport you pick, players with special defensive skills are often overlooked when it comes to Hall of Fame balloting. A defensive second baseman like Bill Mazeroski, regarded as the best glove man to play his position in baseball history, was overlooked for years by Hall voters for guys who couldn’t field at lick but belted homers or hit for average.

Same is true for NHL defensemen. Point men on the power play, who pile up gaudy offensive stats, often come away with the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.

So, where does a player like Glen Wesley fit into his generation of defensemen?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+wesley

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