Kukla's Korner

Fantastically: Jiri’s Time on Ice

Blog: KK Members Blog By ThinkinPink

Poor Jiri Hudler. Poor Kid. He has been patient for 3 seasons to get top 6 forward minutes, and just when it was about to happen, Marian Hossa decides to take a pay cut to join the Wings. Which forces Hudler from the 2nd line to the 3rd line. Despite lining up with Valterri Filppula and Kirk Maltby every night, Hudler has 18 points in 19 games! It doesn’t end there. Because of the Red Wings’ depth, Hudler is only getting an average of 12:31 of ice time.  Hudler notches a point every 13:22, which is second in the league for players who have played at least 15 games, behind Alex Semin (11:22).  Let us understand this: Hudler is a 3rd line winger, getting half the time of any top winger in the league, and is scoring at almost a point per game rate. Whoa. Take that Dan Carcillo (who scores a point every 194 minutes).

Fantastically, I don’t see why Hudler shouldn’t be owned in your league. He is one injury away from cracking that top-6. Tomas Holmstrom isn’t exactly made of steal, Johan Franzen has had his problems, so has Henrik Zetterberg. Injury is the last case scenerio we want to see Hudler getting more time, hopefully his play will eventually force Mike Babcock’s hand in sending Hudler out more often.

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: jiri+hudler

Kovalchuk Needs To Play Like A Super Star

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Falconer of Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons,

lya Kovalchuk has the talent to be a superstar. He has the speed, he still has that ungodly release. He will certainly expect to be paid like a superstar when he negotiates his next contract. But if he wants to be treated like a superstar, he should play like one.

It is time for him to show up. The season started 19 games ago. I don’t want to hear any baloney about Kovalchuk not having quality linemates. Last season, Kovalchuk was centered much of the year by Todd White (who has never even been considered All-Star Game material), and a 40-year-old right winger who was dropped to waivers by his previous club (Mark Recchi).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

As If They Needed This Reminder In Denver…

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Line of the day?  In my opinion, nothing you read today will compare to this from the Calgary Herald.  Scott Cruickshank led his game recap by mentioning the Flames faced a much different test last night then the one they’d passed earlier in the week against the Dive.

...even the Wings themselves know the edge they hold.

If they match the opposition’s energy, talent will carry the day - and, in that regard, the Wings are peerless. Losers only twice in regulation this season. Heck, the Wings have been outshot only twice.

The Avs they are not.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Scoring Up!  Why?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

• Yes, scoring is up, and it’s most likely the result of the pared-down goalie equipment - even if there is no way to prove it. Through games of early last week, clubs were combining for 5.9 goals per game, up from 5.6 over the same number of games in 2007-08. In 2003-04, the number stood at 5.1 over the same period. Me, I’m good with 5.1, as long as there is plenty of action and at least a little bit of hate.

• Brian Burke’s stepping down as general manager in Anaheim was abrupt but not unexpected. Look for the ex-Boston agent to get into serious talks in Toronto this week about taking over the Leafs. If there is a hiccup (read: money too light), watch for either the Blackhawks or Senators to get after him. Total dark horse: Habs.

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I would think another reason scoring is up is the face-off always taking place in the defensive zone when a penalty is issued and the no TV timeout when an icing takes place.  Your thoughts?

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

Goalies & Their Equipment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Goaltenders have an unusual relationship with their equipment. Some pieces—like Biron’s skates and pants—are preserved and protected like a favorite childhood blanket. Others are changed as often as a car’s oil.

In the case of Biron, he’ll typically go through three sets of leg pads, four catching gloves, four blockers, two chest pads and two sets of arm pads in a season.

Right now, Biron is breaking in a new catching glove in practice, while in games he still uses the one that worked so well for him in the playoffs last season.

“Probably in another week or so I’ll start using it in games,” Biron said.

“In practice I love it. In a game situation, you don’t have time to think.”

The same goes for Biron’s blocker.

“My new one feels really good in practice, but if you use it in a game and misplay the puck, it’s in the net,” he said. “You need to make sure you’re really into it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Have You Heard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• There’s a lot of action in the Sunshine State. Florida GM Jacques Martin is scouring the NHL, looking for a centre, but the asking price is usually D Jay Bouwmeester and the Panthers haven’t given up hope they can re-sign him.

• The talk is the Blackhawks will have a revolt in their room if they decide to move G Nikolai Khabibulin. But they’ve been discussing that possibility because the club wants to clear off his $6.75-million salary to bring in Capitals C Michael Nylander. There were whispers the ‘Hawks had a deal done to send Khabibulin to the Devils, but decided to hold off because G Cristobal Huet has been less than spectacular.

read on for more hockey trade and signing talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Notes From Larry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Take it for what it’s worth, but you might want to know that Len Barrie, pres ident of the Lightning, has been telling people in the industry that Mats Sundin will be playing for Tampa Bay when and if No. 13 resumes his career.

Yeah, right. As if.

• Wonder how the NHL’s general managers feel about Brian Burke announcing his candidacy for one of their jobs - and by Thanksgiving, no less! - after being granted accelerated free agency two weeks ago by Sixth Avenue?

If the Ducks’ ownership wished to release Burke from his contract that originally ran through the season, that was mighty magnanimous of them, but it doesn’t mean Gary Bettman or the NHL was obligated to allow Burke to seek employment at this time.

more hockey talk…

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

Total Cheap Shot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Total cheap shot by (John) Zeiler. (Adam) Foote is going to play a puck with Zeiler chasing, and Zeiler throws his right arm and shoves Foote’s head into the boards from behind.

Lappy just challenged Zeiler to drop them and fight, and Zeiler wants no part of it!

(After a few minutes)…They’ve tossed Zeiler from the game, giving him 5 for boarding and a game-misconduct. Probably a smart thing by the referees, although it’s not going to make Lappy happy wanting his pound of flesh in revenge.

Zeiler can definitely count on a suspension by the NHL for this - probably something very severe I bet. The NHL has been taking a lot of heat for the amount of head shots and hits from behind - and now Zeiler lays one of the dirtier hits of this or any other season on Foote.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+foote, john+zeiler

Don Cherry’s Fashion Secrets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Lucic Had Orders Not To Fight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Georges Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.

Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque.

“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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