Kukla's Korner

Lombardi’s Plan Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

We’re five games into the season, and you start to see what Dean Lombardi was thinking.

The Los Angeles Kings GM believed the window was opening for his up-and-coming club this past summer, so he sprinkled in a pair of veterans into the lineup in the hope they would help get the team over the hump. There’s lots of hockey to be played, but defenseman Rob Scuderi, second on the team with 10 blocked shots, and star winger Ryan Smyth have had an immediate impact.

Playing on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams, Smyth has eight points (4-4) in five games.

“Kopy, Justin and myself have been working well together,” Smyth told ESPN.com from the New York area, where his team beat the Islanders on Monday and face the Rangers on Wednesday.

continued

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

Ground To A Halt: Draper, Maltby Both Sitting

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Let’s assume for a second that Kirk Maltby could, if necessary, play tonite..even with the Charley Horse.  If that’s the case?  When’s the last time we saw both he and Kris Draper as healthy scratches? 

I could do the research on that, but my left temple hurts.  Me? I have no idea why Eaves (or May for that matter) is in there instead of Draper.  But I’m sure Uncle Mike has his reasons.  Meanwhile…we’re all looking forward to seeing Darren Helm’s season debut.

Khan(!)

“It’s been a long time,’’ Helm said. “I didn’t get expect to get hurt in camp, but it happens and you fight through it. It gave me an extra month to get even more excited to get to this point.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Another Look For The Standings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot,

The N.H.L.’s cockeyed system of awarding standings points has led to all sorts of problems: players not trying that hard at the end of regulation, confusion over what constitutes a “.500 record,” the theft of a playoff spot from deserving teams, and just generally wrecking things.

Most fans hate the 2-2-1-0 system — either they think teams that lose in overtime or shootouts shouldn’t get any points at all, or teams should get 3 points for a regulation win and just 2 for an OT/shootout win, or they think games should just be allowed to end in ties again — yet the league sees nothing wrong with it.

Well, if the N.H.L. is going to persist in stubbornly ignoring the complaints of fans, the least we can do is try to reform the misleading way league standings are listed.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Filatov = Zherdev?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock and his 19-year-old rookie Nikita Filatov met for more than 10 minutes at center ice this morning as the players swirled around them. It was a fascinating scene as Hitchcock, at times tapping his stick on the ice, conveyed what’s expected of the talented Filatov.

By all accounts, it was a healthy and constructive chat.

The coach let Filatov know he would be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game. He also emphasized that Filatov needs to be more competitive on the puck. A smiling Filatov said Hitchcock told him he’s been getting “worse,’’ over the course of the four games. Never mind his ice time has been decreasing each night. Hitchcock wants Filatov thinking “quality over quantity.”

But the most interesting element—and I don’t want to reveal too much because columnist Bob Hunter will be writing about the topic for Wednesday—is that both player and coach conceded that Nikolai Zherdev has been discussed in relation to Filatov’s development.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikita+filatov

DiPietro Faces Live Shooters Who Were Actually Trying To Score

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Strang of Isles Files,

There is no timetable for Rick DiPietro to come back for an NHL game, but he is watching the clock. And he was pleased that his workout with six skaters at Islanders practice today represented the longest he has been on the ice in a live workout during his rehab.
          He was encouraged, and demanding of himself. It was a step forward for him, seeing “live” shots from skaters who were really trying to score. At one point, they did breakaways. At another all six were on various spots on the ice, taking turns firing shots at him. He did quite well in turning them away.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+dipietro

What Do You Know, NY Does Smell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Here at practice, it’s quite cold but there’s a nice view of Chelsea Piers — I took some pictures to post later — and it smells better than when the players arrived. Seems as though there was a sewage issue in the locker-room area, and the whole area smelled like…well, sewage. Practice is ongoing now. Report to come a bit later…

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

Talking Ron Wilson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

Like the source of Taco Bell’s ground beef and the possibility of a “Lady In The Water” sequel, the potential for Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson losing his job at this point in the season is something I’ve refused to contemplate.

continued

added 12:27pm, from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Reeling from their worst start in almost 20 years, the 0-4-1 Leafs called up centre Tyler Bozak from the Marlies, apparently benching forwards Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman and sitting goalie Vesa Toskala out with a lower body injury.

”Why not?,” coach Ron Wilson said of the high-profile benchings. “We need more from everyone, we’re giving opportunities to younger guys.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

Can’t Miss Action

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from me at NHL.com,

This is why I stay up late almost every night during the hockey season. This is why I will never turn off a game that looks like a blowout. This is why I am a hockey fan.

continued

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

Wings Have To Player Tighter Defensively

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Osgood’s first game at “The Joe” since June 12 was a 32-save effort, holding off the potent Alex Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals in a 3-2 victory for Detroit.

“I said to Ozzie, ‘I don’t know if you played one game that well in the first half last year.’ So that’s a real good sign for us,” Wing coach Mike Babcock said.

“Everyone is determined to play tighter from the start this season, not just me,” Osgood said.

Babcock had reason to have his game face in midseason form after losing forwards Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson to free agency as well as two opening-season losses to rival St. Louis in Sweden.

Babcock is stressing a more aggressive penalty-killing unit—not only to be better at smoldering opponent’s power plays, but also improving on the paltry six shorthanded goals the multi-talented Red Wings had last season. The Red Wings were particularly embarrassed by ranking 25th on the penalty kill last season. That won’t happen again.

more plus Central Division notes…

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

Bruins Need Fixing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

All we know for sure right now about the Bruins is that something isn’t right. In fact, a lot is not right.

They’re engaged, but only sometimes. They hit, but not nearly enough. They think, but their thoughts wander to risky places even AIG workers wouldn’t dare go. There is nothing at all special about their special teams, which yesterday went a listless 0 for 5 on the power play and killed only one of three shorthanded situations.

continued

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

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