Kukla's Korner

The Unbalanced Early Season Schedule

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

We are over two months into the NHL season.  That should be long enough to get a pretty good gage on how well teams are doing so far this year.  There are many factors which may need to be put into context to properly make sense of the standings.  One of them is a huge home/away imbalance exists at this point.  On one extreme, the Edmonton Oilers have played 18 road games but only 8 home games so far.  On the other extreme, the Los Angeles Kings have only 9 road games to go with 17 home games.  It should be clear that teams that have spent most of the first two months of the season on the road are probably performing below their expectations and teams that have spent most of their first two months are home are probably performing above expectations. 

While I do not expect that every casual hockey fan has noticed this fact, I expect better from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News.  He writes the misleading sentence:

In Edmonton, it’s difficult to be cheery, what with the Oilers having won just three home games this season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Luongo Still Week-to-Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,

Roberto has been on his own schedule since the injury,” said Vigneault, not looking particularly upbeat. “He warms up, he practises, he takes what he can take and when he feels he’s had enough, he comes off. It was no different today.

“The timeline remains week-to-week. I can’t invent an answer for you. We originally said week-to-week. Some groins are quicker than others. That’s all I can say.”

Asked directly whether Luongo did tweak the muscle, Vigneault replied: “No, not to my knowledge. I mean, he’s been following a steady plan and the plan is for him to practise on Friday. Every day is steady improvement. Groins are tough areas for players, especially goaltenders so we’ll see how things progress.”

Based on Wednesday’s curious event, it now seems an almost certainty Luongo won’t be ready for this weekend’s back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.


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

Same Miller, But Now Making More Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,

When Ryan Miller signed a five-year, $31.25 million extension during the offseason, his bank account soared. So did expectations. Miller was being paid like an elite NHL goalie, and now it was time for him to perform like one.

He hasn’t. Miller has been good at times, spectacular at others. But it’s hard to dispute the numbers, which suggest that Miller has been essentially the same player he was in his first three full seasons in Buffalo.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller

Where Is The Line?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Now it’s one thing when a hit is dirty, but even when it’s clean, the result is often the same - a fight breaks out. And that could be a reason why fighting is up 25 percent over last season’s rate.

Sometimes it’s just plain obvious that a hit is dirty and sometimes it’s not. But if a hit in a game is within the rules and the referee doesn’t call a foul, why is it that players sometimes do?

“I think years ago the line was a lot clearer,” Predators head coach Barry Trotz told Vancouver’s Team 1040 on Wednesday. “You look at the old vintage games on the hockey channel and if you crossed the line, you knew you crossed the line. I think the line has moved more and more, there’s bigger hits, there’s guys wearing shields and helmets, and all that protective gear and people are coming at each other. I don’t think people in junior know where the line is, I don’t think people in the AHL know where the line is, and it’s starting to get gray in the NHL.”


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

No To Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,

Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality.

Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league.

This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either.

So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Sometimes A Player Only Meeting Works

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Left winger Simon Gagne yesterday pointed to a players-only meeting in October as a reason the Flyers turned around their season….

Gagne said that the meeting was “relaxed” and that players talked about taking responsibility for their specific positions.

“And from there, everybody has played better,” he said. “There was no panic. It might be better if [the losing streak] happened in the beginning of the season than the end of the season.”

Kimmo Timonen was extremely vocal at the meeting, and captain Mike Richards “kind of closed it,” Gagne said. “A couple of guys spoke up, and from there, things are going well. We didn’t have [another] meeting yet, so that’s a good sign.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

‘Risk’y Joe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NBCBayarea, Off the ice, Sharks forward Joe Thornton takes strategy to a whole new level with the computer version of the game Risk.

thanks to SanJoseSharks.com for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Puck Control Starts With The Faceoff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron J. Lopez of the Rocky Mountain News,

Two guys hunched at the ready, sweat dripping, sticks drawn, eyes focused.

The puck drops, the hands move, the feet slide and the battle is won or lost in a split second.

Welcome to the faceoff, often taken for granted, but a subtle part of hockey that can go a long way during the course of 60 minutes.

“When you don’t have to chase the puck all the time, it’s a big thing,” Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere said. “It’s something that people don’t notice, but as players, we know how important it is.”

With an emphasis on speed and skill in the post-lockout NHL, “puck possession” has become the buzz phrase around the league during the past three seasons.

continued with some faceoff stats

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of From the Rink,

Last night, I was poking through the archives and found a snapshot of what my site looked like in December of 2005, almost exactly three years ago.

I had just 18 blogs listed in the blogroll, about half of which aren’t even around anymore:

read on

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

Barely A Mention

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dashiell Bennett of Deadspin,

...That three-day break was their only chance to get home before the holiday, and the team had arranged for a commerical flight to take the players back to Chicago right after their game against the Leafs on Saturday night. General Manager Dale Tallon was staying behind, to attend his father’s funeral in rural Ontario. Take it away, crazy anonymous emailer.

This plane departs on schedule, but without a single member of the hockey team. Back in the locker room a vote is taken after the game was complete, and a unanimous decision is made by this young team to skip this flight and stay one more day. They make arrangements to check back in the hotel and on a frozen Sunday morning charter two buses that have no heat and begin a journey two hours straight north into a sparsely inhabited Canada , but where hockey is its passion. They arrive at their destination to the surprise of the teams general manager who is there attending his fathers wake.

read on

Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer and I did confirm with the Blackhawks the story is indeed true.

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

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