Kukla's Korner

Columbus Blue Jackets Aiming For Their Eight Straight Win Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

On Thursday, the Blue Jackets host Metropolitan Division rival Washington in Nationwide Arena, the start of a five-game homestand. Columbus doesn't hit the road until next year.

With a win, the Blue Jackets will have matched a franchise record with eight straight victories. They'd also match the Chicago Blackhawks (Nov. 26 to Dec. 11) for the longest winning streak in the NHL this season.

"I've liked our attention to detail, our play with the puck," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We can still get better. We have to get better. But you see that we're working hard and doing the right things, and there's a feeling now that we're expecting to have success."

Let's be honest here: Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been the driving force of this win streak. His 52-save performance on Dec. 4 was the second game of the streak, but he's been stellar throughout.

On Nov. 30, Bobrovsky was 5-8-1 with a .907 save percentage and 3.03 goals-against average. Since December started, he's 7-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.63 goals-against average.

more on the Blue Jackets...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Great But Unexpected News On Gordie Howe

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Scott Lewis of Sportsnet with the news,

NHL legend Gordie Howe is reportedly walking on his own and is scheduled to make his final public appearance on Feb. 6, 2015 in Saskatoon.

A representative of Sports for Saskatoon Media Croup, John Fraser, tweeted Wednesday that Howe’s son Marty confirms that his father is “walking under his own power” and is “expected” to make an appearance at a Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner on Feb. 6.

continued

added 5:52pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"He's back in the ballgame," son Mark told M-Live on Wednesday. "Where it will lead to we don't know, but he's miles ahead of where he was weeks ago.

"In the last week he's been getting stronger, better. We're pretty encouraged by it."

If the former Detroit Red Wings great continues to progress, there's a chance he might travel to his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Feb. 6 for the Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner in his honor. Wayne Gretzky is scheduled as the keynote speaker.

"A week ago I would have said there's no way in the world (Gordie could be there)," Mark Howe said. "If he continues to improve, we'll have to wait and see."

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Vinny Lecavalier May Play For The Philadelphia Flyers Thursday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Berube would not totally commit to the lineup change for Thursday night’s seemingly must-win game against Florida, but hinted at the possibility.

Lecavalier, 34, has not played since Nov. 29 against the Rangers....

“I like the lines as they are, I don’t know what I’ll do,” Berube said. “But I have to give him opportunities, whether it’s power play or whatever. If I bring him in, I’m going to bring him in the middle of the ice. I definitely want to get him more than (5 minutes) for sure. I’m going to try to get him, obviously, more ice time than that.”...

What changed between now and earlier in the week, when Berube didn’t seem open to using Lecavalier again?

“His work ethic was really noticeable,” Berube said. “I thought the beginning of the year, he was skating really well, too. I’m noticing that skating again. He does make plays. He can score. He looks hungry to me and he wants in there. That’s a good sign.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Is It Too Early To Worry About The Boston Bruins?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

The Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers all earned two points on Tuesday night to pass by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. The more sobering realization: Each of those teams also has games in hand on Boston. The B's 15-13-3 record after the first 31 games is their worst over that number of games in any of the eight seasons that Claude Julien has been coach. If the B's don't find another gear, and soon, this may be the first season a Julien-coached Bruins team doesn't made the playoffs. 

more on the Bruins after their 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville last night...

Also from Haggerty,

“You’ve got Zdeno [Chara] coming back as your top defenseman, and you’ve got David Krejci still out and injured,” said Julien to reporters following Tuesday night’s loss in Nashville. “We’ve had our best players out this season, so there’s no doubt that we’ve had to scramble. Now that we’ve got players coming back it’s going to make us better.

“I think we’re making a big deal out of a guy [in Chara] that’s missing two months. The first couple of games were a bit of a challenge, but he’s getting better and finding his game. I told him, and everybody, it’s like training camp for him after he’s been out for two months. It’s like just starting the season when everybody he’s playing with and against him has been going pretty good for the last few months.”

more

below, a look at the Eastern Conference race including wild card spots...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- George Johnson On The Calgary Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In startling the hockey world through the first 25 games, these Flames provided themselves enough cushion in the standings to at least partially withstand a tailspin of these dimensions and built up a tonne of good will.

But they need to end this swoon. Or else.

-George Johnson of the Calgary Herald on the Calgary Flames.  More from Johnson on the Flames and their six game losing streak.

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

Off-day post: Tweets of note; on the Red Wings’ shootout woes and the lefty-righty-on-d debate

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 3:37 PM: I'm going to start off this mid-day post with Tweets instead of articles:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Talking About The Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Fair or not, the perception around the hockey world is that there is a distinct lack of buzz surrounding the NHL's marquee regular-season game.

On social media, much of the early discussion surrounding the tilt between the host Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks has been around the seemingly slow build of enthusiasm for an event that has been a major draw for NHL sponsors, hundreds of thousands of fans at the event and a huge television audience.

Anecdotal? For sure.

Meaningful? Hard to tell, although, to be fair, the NHL is just now swinging into major event mode.

read on

What are your thoughts on the Winter Classic? Is it still considered must watch for the NHL fan?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goaltending Issues Continue In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

The goaltending question has reared its uneasy head once again. It also has the looks of one that will be revisited throughout the year, one the Ducks will need to get straightened out before the playoffs – assuming the current NHL points leader stays in its lofty position.

This is the team that used three netminders in their eventual seven-game loss to the Kings in the 2014 second round. Frederik Andersen’s wobbly effort against the Maple Leafs and the sheer presence of Ilya Bryzgalov doesn’t give the impression that everything is set in their net.

Did Andersen struggle because he’s simply need a rest? Maybe. He’s been in for 19 straight games and had just come off three starts of allowing just four goals total to Edmonton (twice) and Winnipeg.

read on

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

Pittsburgh Penguins Taking Precautions By Testing Three Players For Mumps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In case you missed my tweet on this earlier today...

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Sidney Crosby skated on his own before practice today at CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said.

Crosby has passed the infectious period for the mumps. Today was the start of his on- and off-ice preparations to return to the team.

Rutherford also announced that Marc-Andre Fleury, Robert Bortuzzo and Olli Maatta were not feeling well and were being tested for the mumps as a precaution.

All Penguins players were tested for the mumps in early December and all tested negative at that time.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

WINTER CLASSIC WEBCAM NOW ONLINE
A live webcam of the rink build for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park is now available via NHL.com.
 
ICYMI: Click here for a recap of the first episode of Road to the NHL Winter Classic, which premiered on Tuesday.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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