Kukla's Korner

The Situation In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

The sniper isn’t scoring, the all-world goalie can’t stop a puck, the defence is a mess.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Sergachev is heating up in Tampa Bay, Andrei Markov has four goals and 11 assists for Ak-Bars Kazan in the KHL and the one true bright spot in the Canadiens organization is undersized 19-year-old defenceman Victor Mete.

There comes a point when the tension around a team has reached critical mass — when the sheer weight of criticism aimed at a coach or a GM equals the square of the energy expended in hating the man times the speed of the team’s descent in the standings.

At that point, something has to give. But the individual making the decisions has to remain cool, calm and collected and avoid a Ron Corey disaster. The Canadiens have faced a brutal early schedule with a remade defence and a popgun offence. The worst thing the organization can do now is to panic and replace Bergevin with an inexperienced GM who is going to deal Price for prospects, plunging the team into another two decades in the wilderness.

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

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

A Very Bad Game From The Detroit Red Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

How does a team that believes it played well this week against three tough opponents (Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington) look so uninspired against a club many projected to be near the bottom of the NHL? Blashill had no explanation.

"We'll go to work tomorrow and make sure we work because we didn't work tonight," Blashill said. "I thought we played (well) overall, up until tonight, with the exception of maybe Arizona (4-2 victory Oct. 12). Maybe we were told how good we played this week and were right there and all that crap. I don't know."...

"We didn't have the puck early, so when you don't have the puck it's hard to attract penalties," Blashill said. "We were late on every forecheck, we turned pucks over, we didn't win any battles in our D-zone. Whenever we had the puck it seemed like we threw it away."

Asked what recourse he had during the game, Blashill said: "The No. 1 recourse you always have is playing time, but we didn't have anybody going hardly at all, with the exception of maybe (Luke Glendening's line, with Luke Witkowski and newcomer Scott Wilson), those guys were working. But other than that, we had nobody going. At that point I didn't know who to put out there."

Blashill didn't address the team after the game.

"I never talk to the team after losses," he said. "I actually got that when I worked for Mike (Babcock). I didn't talk today. I can yell and do all that stuff. We'll deal with it tomorrow."

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NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SUNDAY’S RESULT
Home Team in Caps
Vancouver 4, DETROIT 1

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The overnight report: Red Wings-Canucks wrap-up

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday was embarrassing, plain and simple, and the now 4-4-and-1 Red Wings' coach stated as much after the Wings' fourth straight defeat.

Blashill was blunt in making his post-game remarks:

In terms of the game as a whole, the Canucks lost defenseman Troy Stetcher to a "lower-body injury," but the Canucks didn't miss as much as a skate stride down to 5 defensemen, pile-driving the Wings' collective butts with a 3-goal second period.

Derek Dorsett of all people scored the game-winning goal, and the long-time tough guy's scoring exploits are surprising everyone, as NHL.com's Dave Hogg noted:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Jeff Blashill issues blunt remarks after Wings’ loss to Vancouver

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Canucks quick take: as bad as it gets, or the new normal?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to rebound from a 3-game losing streak (0-2-and-1) as they hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

Instead, the Red Wings were utterly embarrassed as the only game on the NHL schedule, losing 4-1 thanks to perhaps the worst second period of hockey I've seen from the Red Wings in two or three years--and that's taking the 2016-17 season's stumbles into account.

Detroit heads on the road for three games against Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Toronto on an 0-3-and-1 slide in which three of the last four games have looked just plain old bad, and the Wings were utterly wretched at times during an uninspired Sunday performance littered with passengers and leaving questions about how much blame to place at the feet of management, the coaching staff and the players and system being played.

In theory, at least among optimistis, losing Riley Sheahan's passivity might spread. After this game, in theory, among optimists, Andreas Athanasiou may be a difference-maker.

But what I don't want to hear is that the Red Wings have the excuse to simply "flush this one." The Red Wings were schooled by the Canucks--the same Red Wings team that made Vegas fold like a bad poker hand--and this team has to learn from its mistakes and at least try to get better, even if this is as "better" as it gets.

Now the Wings go on the road for seven of their next eight games facing "must-wins" all over the damn place if the team isn't to fall out of the playoff race by American Thanksgiving.

Hoo boy.

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Tick Tock Logic and The Canucks

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Apparently, the Wings forward corps is so damn loaded with talent that now-departed Riley Sheahan couldn't find a home amongst all the prolific scorers weaned and accrued by our general manager. This, my 19 friends, is classic Ken Holland.

“He wasn’t getting the opportunity,” Holland said.  “He’s going to get an opportunity in Pittsburgh.”

That, and you can tell by the blind, fawning acceptance of that ridiculous statement, is taken out of a little ditty from the chubby, chapped digits of one Ken Kulfan

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There’s a First Time for Everything

Blog: Above the Glass By Samantha

Some hockey games are bigger than the game (think Miracle on Ice) and sometimes, so is the player. Such was the case when Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL. It followed a string of firsts that also include being the first Australian to be drafted into the league, play in the AHL and play professionally in Europe. Walker's road to the NHL was long and it wasn't easy, but that's exactly why it's the stuff sports dreams are made of. How could you not be excited for him? Or for his whole country, for that matter. This past week should have given me even more reason to get excited, as Adin Hill made his NHL debut and the Winterhawks winning streak hit seven. But it was tempered by the awful news that Gord Downie had passed away. I remember the first time I heard a Tragically Hip song as clearly as I remember the first time I watched a hockey game. There is some comfort in knowing that even now, whether I'm listening to the Hip's music or watching a game, it's still just like the first time. 

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Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Matt Halman On Anton Khudobin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

After Khudobin started the season 2-0-0, some were coming out of the woodwork to compare him, in stature and style, to Tim Thomas. Yeah, maybe he’s Tim Thomas – on acid. Because the way he plays, and especially the way he played against Buffalo, one has to assume Khudobin is seeing three or four pucks out there. And maybe they’re even disguised as white rabbits.

The sprawling and battling, the snow angels, and the rolling and diving outside of the blue paint are all well and good … when they’re done as a reaction to the puck, not in anticipation of a shot that may not come. 

-Matt Kalman of CBS Boston on Boston goaltener Anton Khudobin.  More on the game and Khudobin at CBS Boston.

Below, watch the game highlights of Boston's 5-4 loss to Buffalo.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+khudobin

Riley Sheahan On The Trade To Pittsburgh

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Sheahan is no longer a Red Wing. He’s a Pittsburgh Penguin, the result of a Saturday swap that addresses general manager Jim Rutherford’s longtime quest to find a third-line center.

“It wasn’t a total surprise,” Sheahan said on a Sunday afternoon conference call. “It’s been a crazy last day, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity. Obviously leaving behind a great organization and great teammates. I’m definitely excited for the change of scenery and to get started with such an awesome organization.”...

“It was tough, just knowing that I’ve performed at this level and contributed the first few years of my career,” Sheahan said. “Not doing the same thing last year was sort of a struggle. I was trying to contribute in different ways. I was trying to play smart and play a sound defensive game, things like that. It was tough.

“I’ve kind of experienced the worst, so I just need to build from there.”

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