Kukla's Korner

Character In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Scalan of the Ottawa Citizen,

Forty-three years after hockey’s bold 1967 expansion, the Original Six teams still resonate with hockey fans.

The classic logos, the tradition, rivalries that go back 80 years and more, still matter in today’s NHL.

And so when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town tonight, sitting in first place overall with 72 points and 34 victories, the grand indian head logo on the distinct uniform has rarely looked as proud.

It’s still somewhat early when it comes to establishing 2010 Stanley Cup favourites. There is an Olympic tournament to play, with all its ramifications, and plenty of experts believe Chicago still has to firm up its goaltending if it plans to end a 49-year Cup drought.

continued

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

Moving Raffi Torres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Management will leave room for a miracle but look forward with sobriety, which is to say that general manager Scott Howson will be selling when the trade deadline arrives March 3. Torres is in the final year of his contract. So are Milan Jurcina and Fredrik Modin, although Modin has a no-trade clause. These veterans have value, and, absent playoff contention, they should be dealt.

What will the Jackets get in return for, say, Torres? They won’t get the elite center or puck-moving defenseman they have craved for the entirety of their existence. They will get prospects and draft picks. So it goes. The long-range good of the franchise demands that assets be salvaged when and where possible.

There is a chance the Jackets will work out a contract extension with Torres before the trade deadline. But such shotgun negotiations normally do not fare well.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: raffi+torres

No Energy In These Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

Being unable to sustain the energy is very close to quitting.

Nobody’s throwing the Q word around yet, but this looked dangerously close.

“I won’t be flashing my teeth because I think they just got kicked in,” said head coach Pat Quinn.

“That’s the way it feels, anyway. After a game like that you’re pretty discouraged. There were a lot of people who didn’t compete very well tonight.

“We had trouble finding four or five forwards (who competed). You have to have people who are willing to pay a price and work hard and be diligent ... and when things get tough, take the tempo up higher.

“The tempo went up today, and we didn’t go with it. We’ll lose every game like that. We are losing every game. It’s embarrassing.”

more

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

Mike Green’s Game Is Misunderstood

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

In some ways, it is about Boudreau searching for respect, and reading between the lines it seems as if Boudreau views Green’s status as being characteristic of that fact. He has taken note that Hockey Canada’s brain trust were Western Conference guys and that they leaned toward Western Conference defencemen. Just watch, he says. The Norris Trophy won’t likely go to Green, either.

Boudreau believes that Green’s game is misunderstood. Had anybody from Hockey Canada called Boudreau about Green - Boudreau says he doesn’t know if Capitals’ general manager George McPhee was ever called about Green and McPhee respectfully declined to comment - the coach would have told them Green takes risks because the team asks him to do so. The quickness he shows on offence lends itself to quick defensive recovery, too.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

Pull The Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What do Tim Thomas, Martin Brodeur, Ilya Bryzgalov, Pekka Rinne, Niklas Backstrom and Miikka Kiprusoff have in common?

They were all pulled from their game yesterday. A KK reader pointed this out to me this morning and wonders if this is some type of record, 6 goalies being pulled on the same day?

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Duchene Drawing A Comparison To Forsberg

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

The fact is, Duchene is already a very good player, and he’s only going to get better. He’s got those amazingly quick hands of a great offensive player, and you can’t get a good bead on him as a defensive player because he’s always shifting around, never staying in one place for more than a millisecond.

He’s a little bit Forsberg-esque (and I don’t make this comparison lightly) in the way he shields defenders while carrying the puck. He doesn’t have quite the brute strength of Foppa and he doesn’t hold on to the puck as long. But he is able to keep control of the puck on his stick in a way that compares favorably to Forsberg.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+duchene

Lawton Laughs At Lecavalier Rumor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The Ottawa Sun reported Sunday, citing an unnamed league source, that Rangers GM Glen Sather contacted Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton in an effort to spark trade talks for Lecavalier, the Lightning captain who has a no-trade clause. 

That report, according to Lawton, is “completely false.” Lawton laughed and said he hasn’t even spoken to Sather in weeks.

“He hasn’t contacted me to inquire about that,” Lawton said. “That absolutely did not happen.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Is Kane Looking For A Fight?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Patrick Kane had a ringside seat on the Blackhawks’ bench as teammate Kris Versteeg threw haymaker after haymaker during a fight against Patrick Eaves in Sunday’s game against the Red Wings.

Earlier this month, Kane was a spectator as Jonathan Toews exchanged punches with the Blues’ David Backes at center ice. For Versteeg and Toews — neither of whom are exactly heavyweights — they were each the second fights of their NHL careers.

So when does Kane, roughly in their same weight class, drop the gloves for the first time?

“I’m wondering that too,” said Kane, in his third season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Kings Start Wearing The Kevlar Sock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

...I also talked to Kings head equipment manager Darren Granger and Terry Murray about the new socks, which the Kings have been wearing for approximately 10 days.

Question: How many players are wearing the new socks? Is it an optional thing for them?

GRANGER: “Obviously, it’s their decision about what they want to do. I think we have five right now. We had one player that was pretty exposed, where he was vulnerable to be cut, so he was sort of the reason it got started. That and, obviously, the injuries around the league. It’s been something that we’ve been trying to find for a couple years now, and now we’ve finally got a couple companies making them.”

Question: What does the sock do for them? It prevents them from being cut, right?

GRANGER: “The yellow part that you see is Kevlar, which is cut-resistant. Obviously if it’s punctured, like a stabbing motion, it’s going to go right through it. But what we’re trying to do is reduce the slashing of the skate, or like Cam Ward’s injury, where somebody slides into you, that type of thing….

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Record The Refs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Best job in the country last week? Unquestionably, it had to be a Vancouver sports radio host.

Stephane Auger and Alain Vigneault (who was accused of putting Darcy Hordichuk and Alex Bolduc out to fight in a Jan. 13 game against Minnesota) were acquitted in separate incidents by the NHL, because there wasn’t enough evidence to convict.

There was no trouble filling airtime. For all the talk, however, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. For me, the biggest: How can the NHL make sure this doesn’t happen again?

The easy answer: Put microphones on the zebras and record all conversations.

This has been considered before.

continued plus Elliotte’s popular 30 Thoughts…

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

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