Kukla's Korner

Hockey Notes On A Saturday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- There are two basic problems with the construction of the Montreal Canadiens. 1) No natural centremen; 2) Not enough quickness for today’s NHL.

- How is it that nhl.com, the league’s website, can’t seem to get player positions right? This isn’t new. I’ve chided about this before. There are five mistakes on the Maple Leafs roster, which lists 10 centres for a team that only plays five. If there are that many errors on one roster, how many in total are there for the other 30 teams?

- The early bet here: the Arizona Coyotes will finish with the worst record in the NHL, behind the Vegas Golden Knights.

- Before the lockout of 2004, and before there was a salary cap, Peter Forsberg and Jaromir Jagr were the highest paid players in the NHL, both earning $11 million a season.

And the reported value of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the time was $280 million US.

Twelve years later, as NHL payrolls have risen by 91% - and the value of NHL franchises have risen by 200-300% - the salary of the superstar players has remained relatively flat by comparison and the Maple Leafs are apparently worth more than $1 billion.

The simple way of looking at this: Owners have won, superstars, who sell the game, have lost, and have been taken for granted....

more on the last topic above plus other hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Mind Of NHL Coaches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

Years of torturing had gotten to Vincent Lecavalier. During a team meeting in Carolina, Tampa Bay’s No. 1 center turned to his tormentor and blew out what been bubbling inside. It did not matter that Lecavalier was addressing his boss in front of every teammate.

He had to say it.

“[Expletive] you, Torts!”

John Tortorella, one of Concord’s most flammable products since the Revolutionary War, had been wondering when Lecavalier would fire back. Tortorella loved it.

“It was a three- or four-year process of battling with these guys,” said author Craig Custance. “There’d be times he’d create conflict when it wasn’t there. He thought it was good to have it out there. With Vinny, they’d have private meetings. It wasn’t until they started publicly battling in front of the team that they made progress.”

Tortorella’s button-pushing and Lecavalier’s boil-over moment is one of the anecdotes Custance chronicles in “Behind the Bench: Inside the Minds of Hockey’s Greatest Coaches.”

continued plus more hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Time To Stop Fighting In the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

There is not another team sport in the world in which the fistfight between John Hayden and Marcus Foligno in Chicago on Thursday would be tolerated as part of the game.

It is well past time that the NHL legislates it out of hockey, too.

Taking a haymaker to the jaw, as Foligno did in suffering a facial fracture on the punch from Hayden—a 22-year-old American who came through the U.S. National Development Program and played four years at Yale—should not be part of anyone’s job description.

Not with what we know about the danger of taking shots to the head. And perhaps more to the point, not with what the medical profession still does not know about it.

What once passed for entertainment is now merely disturbing.

It is impossible for the NHL to present itself as being serious about eliminating intentional blows to the head when fighting—in which landing blows to the head is pretty much the objective—is still countenanced.

more topics including the talk about the Islanders' possible new arena...

If you missed teh Foligno fight, watch it below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Wings After Their Win Against The Vegas Golden Knights

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Six and a half minutes to watch.



added 5:14pm, Highlights of the game below, Detroit TV call...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Matt Niskanen Placed On LTIR

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen has been placed on long-term injured reserve after he seemed to injure his left hand in Friday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. On long-term injured reserve, Niskanen will miss at least the next 10 games and 24 days, but Washington was able to clear enough salary cap space to recall right-shot defenseman Madison Bowey Saturday morning.

In the second period of Washington’s game on Friday night, Niskanen was slashed on the stick by Devils forward Jimmy Hayes. Niskanen returned to the bench in pain, taking the glove off his left hand to examine it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+niskanen

It’s Simple - No Hits To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,

Yes, concussions, life-transformng brain injuries, can happen anywhere, any time, to anyone. They will always occur. But they can be reduced immensely. That is the point. What we have today in hockey is not necessary. It doesn't have to be. There are steps we can take. This is what makes taking action on this, doing what needs to be done, exciting, and inaction inexcusable.

It begins with a simple ripple – no hits to the head. This ripple then runs backward, getting bigger, until it becomes a wave. In today's NHL, a stick to an opponent's face is a penalty – automatic – no excuses. A puck shot into the crowd in a team's defensive zone is the same, a penalty – automatic – no excuses. No big deal. Players adapt. The game goes on.

It can be the same with head hits. The result: a game that is just as exciting and challenging and compelling to play and to watch, and a game that is safer. If you have any doubts about this, just turn on any NHL game on TV and watch.

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+dryden

The Dwindling Saturday Night Hockey Games In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

This year the Leafs don’t play a single Saturday home game in the month of December. They’ll play just 11 all season, tied for the lowest number in franchise history in a schedule made up of at least 60 games, according to an analysis of historical schedule data by the Star’s Andrew Bailey. This is the first campaign in the Hockey Night in Canada era — which stretches back to 1952-53 — in which the Maple Leafs will play more Saturday nights on the road (12) than at home (11). They’ll play nearly as many home games on Monday and Wednesday, 10 apiece....

An NHL spokesperson, citing information provided by league scheduling guru Steve Hatze Petros, said in an email that the scarcity is a product of a few factors, including fewer than normal available Saturday home dates at the busy Air Canada Centre; more Saturday requests from other clubs; and an instance or two in which the Maple Leafs decided a Saturday home game coming off a road trip wouldn’t be in the team’s best competitive interest.

Still, an NHL source said the Leafs requested a lot more Saturday home games than they were given. And this year’s allotment appears to be a new normal in the centre of the hockey universe. A year ago, when the Leafs also played 11 Saturday home games, some chalked it up to an NHL schedule compressed by the World Cup of Hockey and newly introduced bye weeks, and to the presence in Toronto of the world junior championship, which gobbled up arena availability for two-plus weeks.


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

Angry In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette,

It started with the trade of a flashy, puck-moving D-man whose name I am no longer allowed to say because the real haters will go into hating overdrive. But I think losing Alex Radulov also hit the fans hard.

He was an immediate fan favourite and was a spark plug each and every night, and he also happened to be one of the few guys who understood that you come to play in the playoffs (not stand around and mope). But the thing that might’ve hurt the hardcore fans the most was the cavalier way Habs management treated Andrei Markov.

Management let the longest serving Hab (Markov) of the modern era go without even bothering to take five minutes to talk to the media about his departure and to explain why they wouldn’t keep him once he’d agreed to lower his demands and take a one-year deal.

Many feel Bergevin and his colleagues simply don’t care what the fans think or how they feel. And that’s a dangerous path to go down.

When your fan base turns on you, watch out.


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

Morning Line- Patrick Reusse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Wild has the happiest fans among the four major teams in the Twin Cities. The NHL also has the most contented fans in the four major leagues. The key word there is “contented,” not “most,” since hockey numbers still suffer in TV audiences compared to the NFL (as do all leagues) and the NBA.

The people that are hooked, though, have no complaints. The arenas and the ice sparkle, the action is rapid, the games are close, the playoff results are totally unpredictable (see Blues 4, Wild 1) and the players will stand in a fairly straight line not only for one but two anthems when necessary.

-Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune.  Reusse looks at the other major sports...

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

Recap Of Detroit’s Win In Vegas

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Henrik Zetterberg made sure his first visit to Las Vegas was a memorable one.

The captain of the Detroit Red Wings had four points as the Wings became the first team to hand the expansion Vegas Golden Knights a loss.

Zetterberg set up Gustav Nyquist, Anthony Mantha and Frans Nielsen en route to an entertaining 6-3 victory at T-Mobile Arena. Nyquist and Mantha each had three points as the Wings improved to 4-1 on the season. Petr Mrazek made handful of excellent saves among 24 total.

The Wings opted to stay the night in Vegas, having planned a team dinner that tasted even better after winning in Vegas.

“We will remember these two points,” Zetterberg said. “It was a great atmosphere, from the warmup throughout the game it was loud. It is a nice arena to play in.”


from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

What made the Red Wings victory complete was a successful fight for Tomas Tatar, his first in the NHL.

Tatar earned the decision over Erik Haula in the third period, after Haula took exception to Tatar’s big hit near the blue line.

“I don’t mind standing up for myself,” said Tatar, who had seven fights in the minor leagues. “I did it in Grand Rapids but here there wasn’t much purpose. But once in a while, I don’t mind it."

Said Blashill: “I’ve seen that side before. I saw it a couple times in the American League. He has a real toughness to him and he got challenged and he answered the bell.”

more on the game...

Dana Wakiji of Detroit's website with some post-game quotes.

Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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