Kukla's Korner

Every Vote Is Earned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from BrandWeek,

The NHL plans to show it is not a one-hit wonder by parlaying the marketing and ratings boost it scored at its recent outdoor Winter Classic game into a similar success for its upcoming all-star game.

Marketing partners, including Bud Light, Reebok, Dodge and Verizon Wireless along with Versus and NHL Network, will spread the word about all-star weekend, Jan. 25-27 in Atlanta.  The game at Philips Arena is sold out, but whether or not fans will tune in to Versus is uncertain.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Tampa Trade Talk Yet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

“At some point, you have to be realistic,” he said. “If toward the end of February, if we haven’t made a dent in it and we’re still on the outside looking in and it’s an uphill climb, we have to make sure we don’t lose assets and get nothing in return.”

That was a reference to the team’s potential unrestricted free agents, the most high profile being left wing Vinny Prospal and defenseman Dan Boyle.

Feaster stressed, “That is not in the plans as we talk today.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Early Games Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Some folks may be home today while celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Here is your chance to enjoy some early NHL games and check out NHL.com for the TV broadcast schedule.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, nhl+schedule

Time For A Blues Turnaround

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

But for the Blues, it goes beyond a losing streak that has blossomed to four games. After a 16-9-1 start, they are 6-8-5 in their last 19 games before heading into today’s rematch against Nashville.

“This is not just one game,” Blues forward Keith Tkachuk said after Saturday’s loss to the Predators. “This has been happening.”

The Blues’ problem areas have been well-documented. The power play has been weak all season, and in a recent stretch, the team received little offense from its skilled forwards. The even-strength scoring has improved lately, but then at times, the defense fails to match its high level from earlier this season.


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

Lack Of Sleep Was The Final Straw

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

In the end, the veteran center said, the combination of pain, diminished productivity and inability to sleep told him it was time to undergo season-ending surgery this week.

“I was playing with one hand,” Nylander said, making his first public comments about the injury during Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. “I had to change my game. I was playing at 70 percent, 80 percent most nights and it just got worse and worse. It was 50 percent, maybe, sometimes.”

The 35-year-old Swede, the Capitals’ top free agent signing during the offseason, said he’ll miss five or six months while rehabilitating, but added that he expects to make a full recovery.

read on (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+nylander

Babcock A Target

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

John Osgood suspects only three Red Wings will have immunity today when players get to shoot at coach Mike Babcock.

The Wings, after hockey practice this morning, will head off to target practice with the Huntington Beach police in what Babcock called “a simulation,” of police training, or in other words, no live ammo involved. Players and their dads, like Chris and John Osgood, will be divided into groups, and set to track Babcock and video coach Jay Woodcroft.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Just Another Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

With Mikko Koivu and Mattias Ohlund about to meet on the same sheet of ice for the first time since the Vancouver Canucks defenceman broke the leg of the Minnesota Wild centre with a timber-felling whack two months ago, tonight’s tilt isn’t just any old game.

No, according to the Wild, it’s Game 48 on the schedule.

That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Two important points against a divisional opponent up for grabs. A road trip to get off on the right foot against three Northwest teams in cities in which the Wild have yet to win this season.

Mattias Ohlund? Who’s he?


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

Off The Ice In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

There is nothing carved in stone with that scenario – Fletcher, who was first approached by the Leafs early last week, vacationed in Mexico the past seven days. Some key figures on the board were also vacationing and when all parties are back in business mode, it’s expected a deal for Fletcher will be done.

It’s believed the board’s desire is to have Fletcher on board in time to establish a game plan for the trade deadline Feb.26.

He would then assess the current roster and prepare for the entry draft in June.

However, with the NHL all-star game and festivities slated this weekend, Ferguson should learn his fate within the next two days, if not sooner.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Diminishing Returns

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The marquee names up front were ineffective again. The defense gave away the puck under minimal pressure. The goaltender yielded yet another killer soft goal. The power play was miserable. What else is new?

Well how about this: Brendan Shanahan Brendan Shanahan was benched in the third period, with head coach Tom Renney saying he needed to protect the 20-year-veteran and his team in the final minutes of a dispiriting 3-1 loss at the Garden to the Bruins.

“This wasn’t so much a commentary on his play, but he’d played a lot, and there were diminishing returns,” said Renney, who gave Shanahan 1:43 of ice time in the third for a total of 11:46, and who seemed shaken by the defeat.


added 8:45am, from Stan Fischler at Game On,

If you’re not going to get your nose dirty,” says Renney, “and get chances from a second and third effort, then the shot total looks sexy, but it doesn’t mean a thing.”

For the second post-game chat in a row, there was talk about players “looking at themselves in the mirror.”

Sean Avery stressed it after the shootout loss in Boston.

On Sunday, Renney’s post mortem underlined the idea that all oars are failing to pull hard simultaneously and throughout the game.

“We’ve got different people working hard all of the time,” Tom concludes. “What we need is everybody working hard all of the time.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Scouts In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

Normally, I like to think I’m above stirring things up with the kind of baseless trade rumors that permeate the hockey world. So I’m not doing that. Really.

What I’m about to do is mention two things. The first is something you probably don’t know, the second is something you might know – especially if you’re a stats geek, peruse every comment here or read the early edition of the Merc.

Here’s the first: Scouts from Montreal, Florida, Boston and the New York Rangers have been on the press box list for the past two games at HP Pavilion. And anyone who does hang out at various trade rumor web sites knows that at least two of those teams – Montreal and Florida – have been linked to the Sharks over the past couple months.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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