Kukla's Korner

Probably The Last Chance For Devin Setoguchi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Baxter of the LA Times,

... Four days later Setoguchi took one final drink, then walked through the doors of a rehab center in Malibu. That was 19 months ago and Setoguchi says he hasn’t had a drink since, allowing him to reclaim both his life and his health.

Now he wants his career back too. And he took what he hopes will be a big step on that road Friday afternoon when he skated with the Kings on the first day of training camp in El Segundo, less than an hour’s drive from the rehab center that may have saved his life.

“I’ve been out of the league for a year. It’s not like I can go two years out of the league and have a chance to make it next year,” he said. “So yeah, this is a chance.

“Is it my last chance? Probably.”

The odds against him succeeding are long ones. Setoguchi, a right wing who once made $3 million a year, is in camp on a tryout contract, which means the Kings can cut him at any time. The same is not true of many of the players Setoguchi is competing against for a spot on a team with little salary-cap space.

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  Tags: devin+setoguchi

The Anaheim Ducks Still Feel The Pain From Last Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,

“It’s hard to watch the playoffs,” the veteran defenseman said Friday. “You don’t want anybody to win. It feels like you get punched in the gut every time you watch a game.”

Punched in the gut … or some place even worse, the Ducks, for the fourth consecutive season, experiencing the stun-gun zap of being eliminated in Game 7 at Honda Center.

Such punches certainly can knock out your wind. But dropping the deciding, do-or-don’t game four straight times at home turns on its head the concept of breathtaking.

Being eliminated this way – and repeatedly so – can take away more than just your breath. Portions of your heart and soul can go, too.

“Without having much success last year in the playoffs, guys are a little bit snarlier,” Bieksa said. “Guys are little bit more (ticked) off, a little bit more focused, I think.”

That’s a good sign this early, on the opening day of training camp. It’s also a good sign that the Ducks have upped their level of snarly and Corey Perry isn’t even here yet.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

World Cup Of Hockey Round Robin

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The round robin portion of the World Cup of Hockey completed yesterday.  All of the games took place in Toronto's Air Canada Centre.  The teams are divided into two four team groups that each played a round robin.  Group A consists of Canada, the Czech Republic and USA as well as a Team Europe that consists of players from European countries that were otherwise not going to be repesented in the tournament.  Group B consists of Finland, Russia and Sweden as well as a Team North America that consists of North American players 23 years old and younger.  These players were not eligible to play on Team Canada or Team USA.

Here are the results:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Chelios: team defense sank the Americans at the World Cup

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs asked Chris Chelios what Team USA did wrong in the World Cup of Hockey, and, according to Chelios, it wasn't bad personnel decisions that scuttled the Americans' ship:

"From top to bottom, I was more surprised by the way defensively they were cheating and not playing basic 1-on-1 position, blowing the zone, lackadaisical in their own end," said Chelios, 54, who is serving as an ESPN analyst for the tournament alongside Brett Hull in Bristol. "That's where I think it all started, especially that first game against Team Europe, with the outnumbered situations and breakdowns. It's one thing not to score and everybody keeps talking about the guys that didn't score. But I thought their problems started in their own end."

Brandon Dubinsky and David Backes over Tyler Johnson? No Kyle Okposo? Granted, Kessel went ahead with offseason hand surgery, but he didn't get a sniff for this team? Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson over defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich and Justin Faulk or Cam Fowler? The American bosses surrendered goals up front and puck movement on the back. Is Chelios, who has served as an assistant to Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and as a Wings assistant coach, buying the roster bashing?

"Honestly? Not really," said Chelios, who served as a Team USA assistant coach at the world juniors. "They played so poorly in those two games. They might have been outmanned by Canada, but the mistakes they made. It wasn't more what Canada did. It was more what the USA team didn't do. I know everybody is going to second-guess Kessel and Shattenkirk and Johnson. But at the end of the day, their whole team was guilty of not playing the way they were capable.

"I don't think it was a lack of effort. I think it was thinking, playing smart hockey, basic plays, get pucks deep, supporting, communicating. I saw none of that. That's the hardest part to accept. I listened to Tortorella. He's still not mentioning their defensive play. He was speaking about guys that didn't score. The message wasn't clear from Tortorella on down. The players have got to accept the responsibility of being terrible in their own zone especially."

Jacobs continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Impressions from the first day of the Red Wings’ training camp ‘16

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings began training camp on Friday, and while the Red Wings are absent their World Cup-playing and World Cup-eliminated players (save Dylan Larkin), and Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are skating on their own, the balance of the Wings' roster is healthy and active, and Teams Lindsay, Howe and Yzerman got to work focusing on breakouts and special teams play.

Last year at this time, the Red Wings went through a good 10-15 minutes of video before practice began, but this year was quite different, despite the additions of Doug Houda and John Torchetti to the staff: the team went through a much more manageable 5-10 minutes of video before practice began, and another 5-minute session between practice and a very unique set of scrimmages (more on that in a little bit).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

MSM takes on the first day of Red Wings training camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 6:38 PM: The Red Wings media corps invaded Traverse City in earnest on Friday, and the topic of the day involved Daniel Cleary's decision to remain with the Grand Rapids Griffins as both player and player mentor. Cleary spoke of his role in discussions with MLive's Ansar Khan...

"It was a great experience to go down there, work with young players," Cleary said Friday, following the first day of Red Wings training camp at Centre I.C.E. "At 38 (on Dec. 18), I know it's the end of the line, but certainly I loved seeing the maturity and the growth of some young players. My goal is to be a good leader for these young guys, help them become great Red Wings.

"I love the Red and White and I've already seen huge strides in a lot of these young players that are going to come up here and be good Red Wings for a long time."

Cleary has had a tremendously positive impact on Tyler Bertuzzi, in particular.

"Me and Bert (Todd, Tyler's uncle) are great friends," Cleary said. "I just made sure I paid real special attention to him. He's a great young kid and I really just saw him come out of his shell. He's going to be a great player, he's exactly what the Wings need. He works hard, he's fit, he eats well, he sleeps well, he does everything that he needs to do as a young pro.

"I'm just encouraging him to keep going. I made sure he read a lot of books (on the mental toughness side of hockey), trying to get his knowledge up and his confidence. It is gratifying."

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

World Cup Of Hockey Semifinals Attracting Interest On Secondary Ticket Market

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

By Tim Dolan,

After a thrilling first week of action, the World Cup of Hockey is one step closer to crowning a tournament champion. To date, the tournament games have been intense, highly competitive, and emotional for both sides -- and the excitement should only increase from here on out.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

St. James: Larkin to join the Wings at training camp

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 5:11 PM: Good news from the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update: Here's more from St. James:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Mid-afternoon mishmash: On Cleary’s ‘veteran’ status in Grand Rapids, notes and a Blashill interview

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. As Paul reported, Steve Yzerman will be one of six NHL'ers honored in a series of stamps issued by Canada Post;

2. MLive's Peter J. Wallner noted the implications of Daniel Cleary's re-signing for the Grand Rapids Griffins:

Cleary joins a Griffins team that's deep with veterans. There is the potential to be eight on the roster when the season begins at home Friday, Oct. 14. There is also Louis-Marc Aubry, Mitch Callahan, Matt Ford, Brian Lashoff, Nathan Paetsch, Ben Street and Eric Tangradi.

AHL teams may dress no more than six veterans each game.

3. MLive's Brendan Savage took note of Bovada's over-under for the Red Wings' regular season points earned this upcoming season;

4. The Free Press posted a 12-image training camp gallery;

 

5. And CBS Detroit's Will Burtchfield noted that Jeff Blashill is challenging his younger players:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Coming Soon: Boring Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

As soon as this World Cup ends, we’ll go right back to the low-scoring, tight-checking style of competition that dominated play last season and made the playoffs and the Cup final between Pittsburgh and San Jose (27 goals, six games) anything but memorable.

But in this World Cup, through Team North America, the league has shown once again what it actually has in great supply back in the warehouse but chooses not to make available to the public except for special occasions.

Not that all 30 teams could muster the talent to consistently play to that same level of the Young Guns, but quite clearly an emphasis on scoring and offence would produce a fundamentally different league rather than one that has allowed the 50-goal scorer to become as rare as a Cleveland Browns victory parade.

Back in the 1992-93 season, the Detroit Red Wings scored 369 goals and 14 other clubs scored more than 300 goals. It was a wonderful season, and a wonderful time to enjoy the game.

Last season, by comparison, Dallas led the league with 267 goals scored. Incredibly, for an 82-game season, four teams couldn’t even score 200 goals.

That’s an extraordinary amount of offence lost over a quarter-century, hundreds of ‘he shoots, he scores, ‘how-did-he-do-that?’ moments that never happened.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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