Kukla's Korner

Mark Giordano Continues To Improve

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,

When Scotty Bowman speaks, people tend to listen.

The gentleman is a legend — still relevant, still plugged into National Hockey League goings-on.

So when Bowman declares that Mark Giordano is the most improved defenceman — if not the most improved player — in the entire league, well, that must mean something. Peter Maher, play-by-play man for The FAN 960, passed on the tidbit to the Calgary Flames defenceman Monday afternoon.

“Wow, that’s pretty cool,” says Giordano, blushing through his beard after the team’s workout at Scotiabank Place. “He’s been around for a long time and he’s won a lot of Stanley Cups. Definitely a guy who’s one of the most respected in the league. So it’s pretty cool to hear compliments from him.

“But you know what? I just want to keep getting better.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mark+giordano

Slow Starts Hurting Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

Lies, damned lies and statistics: Mark Twain made the remark popular as a list of the three kinds of falsehoods there are.

The Vancouver Canucks are starting to think the same as Twain as the numbers pile up.

Outscored 10-1 in the first period so far after five games of an eight-game road trip. No lead to brag about except for the final 2:04 of the opening road game at Toronto 11 days ago. Seven straight games in which the other team scored first and 12 of the past 14.

“You can’t think in your mind what the stats are,” Roberto Luongo said after the Canucks fell 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. “Thursday’s game [against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.] has nothing to do with the last 12 of 14.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Habs Will Keep Their Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The potential for looking stupid in this business is huge.

And lately, it seems, I’ve been exercising my right to it in this world of limitless opportunity.

Anytime anyone asks me about the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens trading one of their goaltenders - Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price - before the March 3 deadline, I respond immediately and forcefully.

No chance.

Not going to happen.

Makes no sense.


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

Emery’s Injury Status Still Murky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Flyers goaltender Ray Emery deferred all questions about his ailing left hip Tuesday to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Holmgren then deferred all answers on his goaltender’s future until a later date.

In a brief statement forwarded from Holmgren’s cell phone to reporters Tuesday night, Holmgren said, “The MRI study and X-rays on Ray’s hip are still being looked at. We hope to have more information in a day or two.”

The Flyers appear to be indecisive over whether Emery should have surgery to repair what is believed to be a torn labrum in his left hip or to rest the injury through the NHL’s upcoming Olympic break and see how Emery responds when the club returns to action March 2.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ray+emery

Why Joe Sacco Has Been A Success

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

What has been the rookie coach’s secret of success? It takes a village to build a good team, of course, and others deserve credit for Colorado’s resurgence — starting with general manager Greg Sherman’s midnight phone call to Craig Anderson when the free-agent season began. Can you imagine what the state of things would be around here if Sherman had, say, instead signed aging goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to the same bloated contract Edmonton did?

But I think the biggest reason Sacco has succeeded has been his flushing of a pass-the-buck atmosphere in the locker room. It’s hard to assiduously label a pro team, with so many variables that can happen. Sometimes, no matter how good the coach is, it just doesn’t work.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sacco

Save Of the Night- Luongo Or Kiprusoff?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

First Luongo and the Kiprusoff save can be viewed below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikka+kiprusoff, roberto+luongo

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I talked to him and I told him that I believe it’s still his net right now.  We had four unrestricted free agent goalies heading into the summer, and we needed to get some kind of plan for our future, so this is just one part of the process.”

“Marty (Turco) has played very well these past four games, and I imagine he will continue to play.  He’s a professional, and I know that’s how he will respond.”

-Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk.  More from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+nieuwendyk

Babcock Going With The Goalie Who Gives The Wings The Best Chance To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Asked about needing to get Osgood, who was outstanding last year in the playoffs after a poor regular season, into some games to avoid rust, Babcock put the focus on the present.

“I want to go into the playoffs—how’s that?” he said. “I mean, that’s great to have this fantasy thing, if everything ... no. We’ve got to get in. So we’ve got to win today.

“It’s different than other years, in the fact that you could have a five-game rotation planned—that just hasn’t been the case. And we think Howie has played real well for us. The other thing is, this thing that he might be tired or something like that—he’s 25 years old. He’s not tired. Not mentally. He wants to play. ... We think he’s given us the best opportunity.”

Said Osgood: “I just focus on practicing and being ready when I’m called upon.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kovalchuk Looking For His First Goal As A Devil

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The Devils’ Big Shot doesn’t act like one. He just wishes he was scoring like one.

Ilya Kovalchuk has yet to score his first goal as a Devil, zipped on 18 official shots in his first three games with New Jersey. He fired nine in Monday’s 3-2 loss in Philadelphia, tying the team’s season-high shared by Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner.

The Devils have been dying from lack of goals as they play host—snow willing—to the Flyers in Newark tonight. The recent league-leaders have won only 4-of-14 (4-9-1), and scored more than two goals only four times in that stretch—twice on the Leafs’ league-worst defense, and once each on the Coyotes and Isles….

“We have to get better results, and I’ve taken all those shots and I haven’t got a goal yet,” the 26-year-old, two-time 52-goal scorer said. “It seems like I need a little break to put one in and get a better feeling. It’s very easy to play with such good players, but on the other side of that, sometimes you try to do too much. You try to make a play, make a pass, when you should shoot the puck.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It was [expletive] brutal. We have too many guys who don’t compete. You can’t win in this game unless you’re ready to show up and go to war every night. We don’t have enough of them. .-.-. This is not type of team we want. We’re going to keep making changes until we get that. It takes time.

“It’s like turning around the Titanic and not a rowboat.’’

-Florida Panthers GM Randy Sexton after losing to Carolina tonight.  More from George Richards of On Frozen Pond.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: randy+sexton

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