Kukla's Korner

Reto Berra Not Living Up To Expectations In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

His often-shaky play has done little to quiet the fears that Colorado made mistakes both when it acquired him at the trading deadline on March 5 from Calgary, and — perhaps even more important — signed him to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension only nine days later....

Berra has had solid games this season, and at least didn't reprise his shaky showings in his cameo appearances down the stretch last season. But with Varlamov out, this is his latest chance to win over the skeptics, and so far, he's failing. After Roy pulled him when Carolina took a 3-1 lead late in the first period Saturday night, Pickard shut out the Hurricanes the rest of the way in a 4-3 Colorado victory.

Berra's save percentage is below the Astrom Line, at .895, his goals-against average is 3.16.

Also at stake here is Avalanche organizational goaltender evaluation credibility. And that's a very strange thing to have to say about a team that has Roy as its head coach and Francois Allaire, renowned if occasionally a bit controversial as a goaltending whisperer, as its goaltending coach.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: reto+berra

What Do You Think Of The Play Of Xavier Ouellet?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

It's a small sample, two games last week, on top of the five games Xavier Ouellet played in the NHL last season.

But Ouellet, in this brief appearance, sure looks as if he's ready for the NHL.

Ouellet, 21, was called up from Grand Rapids when Brendan Smith (infected hand) was placed on the seven-day injured reserve list.

In two games, Ouellet looked every bit the prized prospect the Red Wings thought he was.

"He's a good hockey player," coach Mike Babcock said. "He plays like a veteran."

continued with more Detroit topics...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- How Bad Is It In Edmonton?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

After losing 7-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks last night.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Please Define Top Line Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Edmonton Oilers are interested in dealing forward David Perron.

Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish is reportedly looking for a top line centre in return for the 26-year-old. 

Perron has two goals and eight assists in 21 games this season with Oilers, his second year with team.

The Sherbrooke, QC, native has two years left on his current contract.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Both the Flames and the Avalanche staged late rallies to record come-from-behind wins Saturday:
* Down 4-2 late in the third period, the Flames scored twice in the final three minutes of regulation – including Curtis Glencrosstying goal with five seconds left on the clock – en route to defeating the Devils 5-4 in a shootout. Via Elias, the Flames won when trailing by two goals in the final three minutes of regulation for the first time since March 13, 1999, when Valeri Bure (18:30) and Jeff Shantz (19:28) knotted the game before Bure scored the overtime winner in a 5-4 victory at WSH.
* Glencross (2-0—2) and Jiri Hudler (1-1—2) both recorded multi-point games. Hudler also posted the game-deciding goal in the shootout, while Sean Monahan scored in the tiebreaker to improve to 7-for-11, with five game-deciding goals, in his shootout career – his 63.6% efficiency leads all active skaters with a minimum of 10 attempts.
* The Flames recorded their fourth win in their past five outings. They also picked up their fourth consecutive victory over the Devils dating to Jan. 10, 2012. At 13-7-2 (28 points) this season, Calgary sits one point behind Anaheim (12-4-5, 29 points) for the top spot in the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Frozen Dome Classic In Syracuse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (theahl.com) ... The Syracuse Crunch established a new attendance record for an indoor professional hockey game in the United States as 30,715 fans filled the Carrier Dome on the campus of Syracuse University for a regular-season American Hockey League game against the Utica Comets on Saturday night.

The Crunch, top development team of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, defeated the Comets, top affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, in the Toyota Frozen Dome Classic.

The previous all-time record of 28,138 fans was set at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., for a 1996 National Hockey League playoff game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers. Tonight’s turnout also represented the second-largest crowd in the 79-year history of the AHL. 

You get a sense of the sight lines plus the crowd size from a YouTube user supplied video below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: syracuse+crunch

Calgary Flames Find A Way To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,

... if you were smart enough to stick around on Saturday night, smart enough to know what the Calgary Flames seem to be capable of this 2014-15 season, you would have been treated to quite the show.

After falling behind 4-2 halfway through the third period to the freak-of-nature Jaromir Jagr, old friend Michael Cammalleri, and the New Jersey Devils, the comeback kids managed to erase a two goal deficit, extend the game in overtime, and prevail 5-4 in a shootout.

Frankly, it was enough excitement to give a guy a few grey hairs.

“Nevermind the grey hair,” said the visibly rattled and relived head coach of the Flames. “I have to get my heart checked. Again, I don’t know how they do it but they found a way again.

“We’re not making it easy but we’re making it interesting.”

read on

Below watch the game highlights plus the Traveling Jagr's were in Calgary too...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

San Jose Sharks Continue To Fade In The Standings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

Despite outshooting Arizona 43-25, including 91 shot attempts to 48, the Sharks lost 4-3 in a shootout to a rival that is now threatening to overtake them in the Pacific Division standings. The Coyotes (9-10-2, 20 points) have played two fewer games than San Jose (10-9-4, 23 points), which still sits in fifth place in the division but is fading fast.

A homestand that was supposed to get the Sharks going in the right direction after some miserable efforts on the road has yet to produce the desired results. San Jose has lost both games, including a shootout to Florida on Thursday, and is just 2-3-2 at SAP Center.

“To have the record at home that we have now is unacceptable,” Joe Pavelski said. “Can’t really make excuses. Come back from a long trip, you’ve got to find a way to win at home, especially if you’re not going to clean up on the road. You’ve got to clean up at home.”

Coach Todd McLellan pointed out that his team has won just six of its last 18 games (6-10-2).

“That’s not a record that puts you in the playoffs, and that’s not a record that allows you to challenge for anything,” he said. “We’re concerned. That’s pretty obvious.”

read on

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

Stephen Weiss Is Healthy And The Latest On Anthony Mantha

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Zach Kukkonen of Mlive,

"It's always nice to score, but it's just nice to play in the game and feel healthy," Weiss said. "Starting in training camp last year I was playing with one leg and pretty much no stomach, and it's a hard enough league to play at that level when you're healthy, let alone when struggling with injuries."

After scoring at least 49 points from 2008-12 -- and playing at least 76 games every season -Weiss only participated in 44 games the past three seasons due to a myriad of injuries. While his physical health appears to have returned to form, the mental half of his recovery was part of the process of his conditioning stint with the Griffins.

"Coming off a seven-hour travel day in Cleveland, it was a little worrisome, as I was worried that (the groin injury) would tense up," Weiss said. "I was a little tentative early tonight, but that stuff has got to get out of my mind. I just have to trust that everything's fine, and go play."

read on

Dana Wakiji of Fox Sports spent her Saturday night in Grand Rapids and filed a story on Anthony Mantha,

"He's obviously got really good size and he uses it well down low, protects the puck really well," Weiss said. "He's smart, he sees the ice well, he moves the puck well. He's a fun guy to play with. For a young guy, the sky's the limit for him. He's going to score a lot of goals in the NHL."

"Like anything for young players, it's the speed, adjusting to the speed of the game at both ends of the ice," Weiss said. "I think that'll be a big thing for him. Not saying he's not good defensively, but you can always get better defensively. That's so huge in the NHL is being able to play without the puck. He's got the offensive part down, there's no question about that.

"If he just continues to get better at the little things and defensively, he'll be a star."


added 4:38pm, Weiss recalled by the Wings.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

After The Edmonton Oilers 7-1 Loss To The Chicago Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The Oilers have had five coaches since they were last in the Stanley Cup in 2006 — current general manager Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and now Eakins — and Hall won’t abide with anybody saying this is Eakins’ fault.

“Absolutely not. I would be extremely disappointed if that (Eakins being fired for the Oilers’ woes) happened. It would be so unfair if that was the case. For Dallas to take the brunt of the blame is not true. It’s on us as players, what we do on the ice,” said Hall.

Eakins knows a coach is always in the crosshairs, and with a team that has had a four-, a five- and now a six-game losing streak after just 21 games, this a hellish start, for sure.

“I face this head-on. If I wasn’t up to the task, I’d go do something else. I’d have taken another line of work,” said Eakins, who signed a four-year contract in 2013. “For me, I’ll get out of the rink, probably won’t sleep much, spend a day with my family, then be back at work (Monday). This is the only way we can go about it. If we’re going to sit and cry over the losses, then we’ll never, ever get out of them. The whole feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t work. The pain I feel is for our organization and our city.”

Nevertheless, Eakins looked like he’d been through a washing machine spin cycle after the game. “Probably the longest night I’ve had as a player or a coach,” said Eakins. “To come out against the Chicago Blackhawks with our players and the fans energized, then the first shots go into our net, and that will suck the life out of a team that’s been struggling. We couldn’t recover.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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