Kukla's Korner

Can Detroit’s 4th Line Be Fixed?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Options for struggling fourth line?

It has been a season-long struggle for the fourth line, which has accounted for only one goal -- by Luke Glendening, who has three points in 24 games and a team-worst minus-9 rating (tied with Niklas Kronwall). Drew Miller has just one assist and a minus-5 rating in 24 games.

Darren Helm, who's moved up and down the lineup but has played on the fourth line for the past several games, has no goals, three assists and a minus-6 rating in 20 games.

Beyond the lack of offense, they haven't as good defensively. At least one member of that line has been on the ice during the opposition's tying goal in the third period in each of the past three games.

This might prompt Jeff Blashill to make changes, but his options are limited. He can insert Joakim Andersson, but he has no points in 11 games. Teemu Pulkkinen, scratched on Sunday to make room for Tomas Jurco, isn't good enough defensively and can't kill penalties. Jurco also isn't a grinder.

more 'things'...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Talk After The Wings Went Down 2-1 To The Panthers In OT

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Oops, this should have been posted 12 hours ago but someone (me), did not open the post...

Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com spoke with a few players after the game...

Dylan Larkin

Have players talked about ways they can do a better job of preserving late-game leads?

“I don’t know if there’s much thought right now. I think everyone is frustrated with the loss. I think it seems like it’s happening more and more and I think we just have to bear down and close out the game.”

Has the coaching staff been able to point to one thing that has led to this problem lately?

“No, but I mean, it’s pretty obvious it momentum and they’re coming at us and were sitting back, and then they get the goal where it goes off a guy or they bang one in in front of the net. I think just structure and intensity when we have a one-goal lead with five minutes left.”

How difficult was it to get forwards in a rhythm with so much special teams play tonight?

“I don’t know. I think the penalty kill did a great job and the power play could have been a little better and capitalized a few times. It’s a big part of the game and I think with an early game like today you’ve got to find a way to keep the legs going and stay focused.”

continued plus more players

Below, watch Blashill, Zetterberg postgame and highlights...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

MVP So Far

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

At the beginning of November I picked Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers as the MVP to that point.  Lundqvist is having a good season and I would still pick him for the Vezina Trophy at this point but his numbers are dropping.  Lundqvist is still posting a .936 saves percentage and a 2.05 GAA.  I think he has been surpassed by a position player in Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Kane is the MVP so far this season.

Kane leads the NHL in scoring with 37 points and has a +12 +/- rating.  Those are MVP numbers.  This is a problem for the NHL.  Kane is not a player they wanted to highlight this year.  He was investigated for but not charged with a rape in the off season.  He has been in trouble in the past after an assault on a taxi cab driver in 2009, who was unable to provide him proper change.  This isn't NFL-level thuggery, but it is a black-eye for the NHL.  The NHL probably hoped that Kane would have a solid but unspectacular year so that he wouldn't be in the spotlight.  An MVP calibre year is the opposite of that.  The MVP should be the most marketed player in the NHL but Patrick Kane is hard to market given his legal issues.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Quick Recap- Wings/Panthers

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

The Detroit Red Wings suffered a 2-1 OT loss to the Florida Panthers in a game that really lacked any flow.  A lot of corner battles and not many grade A scoring chances, but when those did happen, both Petr Mrazek and Roberto Luongo were tough to beat.

And yes, I did look at the clock around the 14 minute mark in the 3rd and silently said, "hold the lead."

Guess my thoughts were not heard.

Your thoughts?

Early in the first period, the Florida Panthers thought they had a goal...


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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Getting Better

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

Some nights these Wings make any sane person want to pull their hair out. It's always with aboot four minutes left in the third. The mad scramble, the defensive lapses. That has to change, and, it will.
The Wings have been slowly getting better, which makes for high hopes every, single, game.

With Datsyuk back and Richards too, there is more focus. More leadership for our youngsters. Every game since their return the Wings are improving, gaining confidence. Now, if they could just go on a goal scoring binge...............

It's a Sunday afternoon Live Blog. Bitches!

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Two Lineup Changes

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

The MSM reports Kindl in for Smith and Jurco in for Pulkkinen.

Jurco will play with Datsyuk and Richards.



Also, join me in wishing George a happy birthday today. 

Also, George's mother was admitted to the hospital yesterday.  She has not been feeling well lately and hopefully some testing will diagnose what is ailing her.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Stars, Devils, Kings and Islanders all staged multi-goal comebacks to earn a victory on Saturday night.
* Trailing 3-0 to begin the third period, the Stars rallied for three goals in the final frame before Tyler Seguin (1-1—2) scored his first career regular-season overtime winner to complete the comeback. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time in franchise history that the Stars/North Stars won a game after trailing by at least three goals while being shut out entering the third period.
* Trailing 2-0 in the third period, the Devils rallied for two goals in the final frame, includingKyle Palmieri’s (1-0—1) tying goal with 21.8 seconds on the clock to set the stage forJohn Moore’s (1-1—2) first career overtime marker. Per Elias, it was only the third time in franchise history that the Devils won a road game in regulation or overtime (excluding shootouts) in which they trailed by two goals in the final ten minutes of the third period. It earned the Devils a split in the home-and-home series after the Canadiens also rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Devils in a shootout on Friday.
* Trailing 2-0 entering the third period, Jeff Carter (1-0—1) and Marian Gaborik (2-0—2) tallied third period goals to force overtime, where Gaborik potted the winning goal to complete the comeback. With the win, the Kings overcame a two-goal deficit to win a game for the first time since Mar. 25, 2014 (5-4 W at WSH).
* The Islanders overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second period and captain John Tavares(1-0—1) scored the go-ahead goal with 3:36 left in regulation to improve to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games vs. TBL dating to Jan. 21, 2013 (TBL: 3-6-1). Tavares leads the Islanders in goals and points this season with 11-10—21 (21 GP) and also paces the club with four game-winning goals.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Problems With The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Mueller at the TimesOnline,

The NHL’s product is a choked, stifled mess. A handful of teams play entertaining offense, and the idea of superstars being treated well is anathema. The blind provincialism of fans helps maintain the status quo. A quick exploration of social media reveals just as many fans celebrating Dubinsky’s play as there are Penguins fans venting about it.

What is crazy is that many of these fans aren’t even Columbus backers, but rather Rangers fans or my favorite subset, “people who hate Sidney Crosby and think he receives preferential treatment from the league.”

Try and imagine that. There are people that watch the NHL often, and really believe that Crosby is treated too well by officials. It boggles the mind. These are the same people, by the way, who wax poetic about how honorable hockey players are, and what great guys they are, after watching 60 minutes, sometimes more, of players pot-shotting each other and playing dangerously.

Talented players are sitting ducks because the one thing that could save them—consistent, stringent officiating—is utterly absent, seemingly by design.

Hockey’s other issue is that the old Canadian mentality, one which seems to prioritize toughness and grit over skill, grace and speed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- The Boston Bruins/San Jose Sharks Trade Involving Joe Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Morrison of Sportsnet with a feature on the Boston Bruins trading Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks.


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

Videos- Things You May Have Missed Yesterday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Colaiacovo was still in the hospital when the Sabres left Bridgestone Arena.

"Carlo's doing OK," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He got the cross-check to the throat. He did go to the hospital, is there now. I guess they're saying he's got a dented trachea right now but OK.

"I don't think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check, but they kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it's a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo's neck."



Two more videos below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carlo+colaiacovo, johnny+oduya, jonathan+bernier

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