Kukla's Korner

Stars Looking More & More Like Last Year’s Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,

So, are the Stars out of the woods yet in this very strange season? Hardly. But if this team can play like this on a fairly regular basis, then they definitely can win a lot of games.

Dallas (24-18-7, 55 points) now touts the fifth best points percentage in the West. That’s what happens when you win five straight.

Of course, as Brad Richards reminded, this can also go the other way if they put together a bad week.

Buf you have to love the gumption this team is showing right now. Are they a playoff team? Probably. Should they just ride out the chemistry and not do a thing? Hmmm. Have they earned the right to add a key player at the trade deadline (or earlier)?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Tuesday Night Recap From Bed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice,

Not sick-in-the-head, though many would advance that theory.  Sick as in “Man, I can’t get outta bed, it hurts so bad” sick.  One wicked case of sinus infection, which seems to happen this time every year.

Stuck at home, feeling like I blocked an Al MacInnis slapshot with my forehead, until the drugs kicked in.  Dragged myself to the basement TV room couch.  Thankfully, there were a lot of NHL games on this particular Tuesday evening.

Started with Pittsburgh in Montreal.  Talk about a game both teams wanted to win.  The Penguins trying to claw their way back into an Eastern Conference playoff spot; the Habs trying to hang onto theirs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blue Jackets Need To Find Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

The Jackets are as healthy as they have been in weeks – Steve Mason’s bout with mono aside—but they can’t seem to get their game back.

Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock was steamed and with good reason.

“It’s gonna have to change,” he said. “It’s going to change, immediately. We’re going to go back and play the way we did before, which was very successful. We have to get back to that. It’s going to be a drag for us to get it back to that. It’s the only way we can have success. If the players don’t recognize it now, they’ll recognize it by the time we go to Pittsburgh.”

Forward R.J. Umberger, who scored a power-play goal, and was the Jackets most noticeable player, had a similar take.

“We definitely waited,” he said.” We’re just not playing the style we were – aggressive, getting the puck in deep, just using our size and our speed to outwork them. We’re trying to play a skill game. In the third period we did everything right; we got it in deep, we got pucks to the net, we played hard, but sometimes you come up short when you just play one good period.”


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

Hossa’s Open To An Extended Stay

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Actually, what Craig Custance said in this morning’s Sporting News Today is that Marian Hossa is “open to re-signing with the Wings.”

“To tell you the truth, my agent started talking to Kenny and they’ll slowly continue talking,” Hossa said after practice Tuesday.

Anyone but me feel like 81’s pulling away in the competition between he and Franzen, the “if you had to pick one” competition?

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Overuse Of A Theme Song

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends,

Is it just me or does the Hockey Night In Canada theme song lost it’s luster now that is on TSN?

They have completely over used the jingle, playing it at every opportunity. And they gave it a terrible accompanying video montage.

Meanwhile CBC has come up with a catchy tune which I think I might actually like better.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tsn

Flames Hear About Lack Of Road Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

After last night’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars, the Calgary Flames GM had the media shuffled out of the dressing room, closed the door and let his charges know losing—and how they were losing—wasn’t acceptable.

Especially away from the Saddledome.

“We’re pretty bad on the road,” said Flames centre Craig Conroy, after the doors were re-opened. “Who cares what we’re doing at home? We’ve got to do it on the road. Don’t kid yourself—we’re not where we want to be. We’ve got to be better, and to a man we believe that. Everything (Sutter) said was true.

“It’s one thing about Darryl, he tells it the way it is. We’ve won one game on the road in 31 days, and that’s not good enough.”


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

Devils Not Happy With Penalty Call & Their Own Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

That the Devils played poorly in the first two periods of tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals wasn’t really debtable.

They still had a chance to win the game, however, after Jamie Langenbrunner’s shorthanded goal 41 seconds into the third period cut what had been a 3-0 deficit to 3-2.

The Devils controlled play after that until Mike Rupp was called for goaltender interference at 9:09 of the third by referee Bill McCreary. It appeared that Washington’s Tom Poti reached in with his stick, tripping Rupp as he drove to the net and causing him to slide into goaltender Jose Theodore.

Devils coach Brent Sutter said it was clearly a trip.

“No question the video showed he was tripped on the play,” Sutter said. “He’s driving to the net and a guy trips him. How do you stop? Not every time a goalie gets touched does it mean there’s a penalty. Sometimes there are circumstances leading into it that make it happen. It clearly shows he was tripped on the play. He’s cutting to the net and gets tripped by the defenseman.,.That’s a penalty and we get it called against us when it should have been called the other way.”

read on

Also from Tom...

the Devils traded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No High Scoring Right Wingers This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Historically in the NHL, right wing is a higher scoring position than left wing.  The right winger is often seen as a sniper while the left winger is seen as a grinder.  I don’t think there is any meaningful reason for this.  There is no asymmetry built into the game of hockey that forces a strong difference between left and right.  European systems have not followed suit.  There have been a few top snipers who play left wing.  Currently, the NHL has Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Thomas Vanek and others who are top snipers who were produced in Europe.  Oddly, there is a lack of top scoring right wingers in the NHL this season.  I don’t know that it is a meaningful trend, but it is a clear one from the scoring race.

Here are the top ten right wingers in the scoring race:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Nolan Still Playing With That Chip On His Shoulder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,

Owen Nolan plays his best when he’s a little miserable.

That’s an old-school hockey term for someone who plays with an attitude. Someone who is a bit grouchy and mean on the ice. Nolan laughed when that was mentioned after practice on Tuesday.

“It’s just something where I had that chip on my shoulder when I came up,” he said. “I’m too far along to change it.”

Nolan has been a good acquisition for the Wild. After early-season injury problems, he has hit his stride, scoring 12 goals in 31 games


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: owen+nolan

Pahlsson Out With Viral Infection

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Anaheim Ducks,

Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson has been diagnosed with a minor viral infection and will be a out minimum of two weeks.

Pahlsson was scratched from Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over Buffalo at Honda Center on Monday night after complaining of an illness. It was the first game he had missed all season. He was examined Tuesday morning and did not accompany the team to Minnesota for the start of its three-game road trip.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sami+pahlsson

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