Kukla's Korner

Coach Of The Year

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I have been supporting Jacques Lemaire as coach of the year for most of this season and while he has done an amazing job with a Minnesota Wild team I do not think he is the best candidate right now.  Andy Murray in St Louis has done an even better job this season.  He is my choice.

Murray has been a very good coach for years.  This year he had a St Louis team that looked like it was on its way to a lottery pick in the draft.  He made several key moves that changed their fortunes.  He sent early season number one goalie Manny Legace to the minors and made Chris Mason the number one goalie.  He gave young players including TJ Oshie and David Backes the lead role offensively.  He kept things positive despite a poor start and despite longterm injuries to Paul Kariya and Erik Johnson, who were considered key components of the team.  The Blues have now clinched a playoff berth and Murray deserves credit for transforming the team into a playoff team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Jordin Tootoo Hit On Dan Fritsche Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tootoo with a shoulder to the head of Fritsche, who did have his head down.  No penalty on the play.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+fritsche, jordin+tootoo

Blues In, Predators Out, Wild Wait

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

St,.Louis Blues are in the playoffs, the Nashville Predators are not.

If the Anaheim Ducks get at least one point tonight, then the Minnesota Wild will also be eliminated.

added 11:22pm, With the Calgary losing to Edmonton, the Blackawks are locked into the 4th seed in the Western Conference.

added 4/11/09 12:49AM, Ducks win in shootout.  Playoff teams in the West are set.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Did You Expect The Bruins To Be This Good?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

Few hockey savants picked the Boston Bruins to bestride the Eastern Conference and emerge as a Stanley Cup contender.

A playoff team, yes, but this?

The seeds, planted in an exhausting seven-game playoff defeat against the Montreal Canadiens, germinated over the summer and sprouted to mad-science proportions once the NHL season began.

“I think it all goes back to that series last year,” all-star Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. “We’d had an up-and-down year, but showed we could go up against a top team and not give an inch. That’s when we came together as a team.”

A healthy dollop of the Bruins success is owed to a breakout, Vezina-calibre year by Thomas, who leads the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average.

continued plus more NHL talk…

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

Don Waddell - Stay Or Go?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Coaches, players and even owners have come and gone, but one man has been there from the start. Is it time to replace Don Waddell, the only general manager in Thrashers history? Waddell says he will be back with the same responsibilities he has always had. “No doubt about it,” he said Thursday night.

Here are three arguments for and against retaining him.

Reasons to make a change

1. Accountability.

No other NHL general manager has kept his job as long as Waddell with so little success. The Thrashers have played 737 games; they have won 272. Only seven active GMs have been with their current team as long as Waddell has been with the Thrashers. Three have won Stanley Cups. Two have reached the cup finals.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Twitter Hockey Guy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

We stumbled across one league spy’s “notes” from the 2008-09 regular season. The spy went under the name “twitterHockeyMole,” but the spy’s “bio” wasn’t readily available. We still think it’s legit. You be the judge.

Made it in. Have infiltrated the NHL’s NY offices. Nobody knows; spying for Paul Kelly. Wonder if Ted Saskin can read my e-mail?
10:22 a.m., Sept. 15 Sent from twitterHockeyMole

RT @JohnDavidson: What did they teach Erik Johnson at the NDTP? You’d think getting out of a golf cart would be part of it.
4:56 p.m., Sept 15

Ran into Bettman. Told him it would be great to hold awards in Vegas. He accidentally spat coffee on my white shirt. Dumb idea, I guess.
2:15 p.m., Sept. 19 twitterHockeyMole

read on?

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

All About thePortal at NHL.com

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ira Podell of the AP writes about thePortal at NHL.com which will become available to fans on April 13th.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Sign Goaltender Jordan Pearce

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

DETROIT—Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced today that the club has signed goaltender Jordan Pearce to a two-year entry level deal beginning with the 2009-2010 season.

In keeping with team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pearce, 22, spent the past four seasons with Notre Dame of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In 2008-09, he was a finalist for the CCHA player of the year. He finished the season 30-6-3 with a 1.68 goals-against average, .931 save percentage and eight shutouts.

He led the nation in wins and shutouts, was second in goals-against average, and fifth in save percentage. He was selected as the CCHA scholar-athlete of the year. Pearce backstopped the Irish to both the CCHA regular-season and playoff titles this season. He was also named the CCHA’s best goaltender in 2007-08.

Pearce is currently with the Grand Rapids Griffins on an amateur tryout. He is scheduled to backup goalie Jimmy Howard tonight when the Griffins face-off against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Van Andel Arena.

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

Twittering Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

In my never-ending goal to make life easier on you, the reader, I’m compiling a list of useful Twitter accounts related to hockey. If you’re not on Twitter, I suggest you sign up to follow some of these people because it’s a really useful way to get news and information quickly. It’s my guess that we’ll see every journalist utilizing Twitter at some point, but here’s who I’ve found so far.

read on for the Hockey Journalists and the Hockey Bloggers…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: twitter

Versteeg & Sharp Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

Winger Kris Versteeg was injured during practice in Bensenville on Friday and is doubtful to play Saturday afternoon when the Blackhawks take on the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

The rookie was skating by himself when he tripped and fell along the boards. He got up slowly and skated to the bench area while holding his right arm. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said afterward Versteeg could play Sunday afternoon when the Hawks and Wings have a rematch at the United Center.

Winger Patrick Sharp, sidelined with a left leg injury, did not make the trip to Detroit and won’t play Sunday but the team is hoping for his return for Game One of the playoffs next week.

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

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