Kukla's Korner

Morning Line- John Chayka

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We’re not striving for mediocrity here. We’re striving to be the best, so I want my guys to focus on the process of getting better every day. I know it’s a cliche but I really feel like if we take care of our own business here, we can improve and have a real strong season where we can kind of earn that right to be proud and confident in our group and our organization and believe that we can be the best.

“I want guys that dictate the outcome and feel like if we play our game, we can win every night.”

-John Chayka, GM of the Arizona Coyotes.  Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports has more on the Coyotes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+chayka

Gary Roberts On Training Phil Kessel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

“Honestly, Phil is a fun-loving guy. He likes to keep it loose. My job is to keep him on task,” Roberts said. “Is training a challenge for him? Yeah, it’s a challenge.”

To say it’s a challenge doesn’t mean Kessel isn’t absurdly good at it. When it comes to moving barbells and sleds and other heavy implements over short distances, Roberts said Kessel is a gifted marvel.

“Oh, buddy — his power and strength. I would put him up against my No. 1 guy, which is Stamkos,” Roberts said. “We did sled pulls one day. (Kessel) was in a group with McDavid and Stamkos. The first five sled pulls he beat everybody because he has so much power over 40 yards. But then the last five sled pulls, he was last.”

So, Kessel’s power is peerless. And his endurance?

“I say to him, ‘Phil, you’ve just got to put a little more time on the aerobic side,’ ” Roberts said. “That said, the fear is if you do too much of that, then you lose your power. It’s tough to be a really powerful guy and have a lot of endurance. It’s a tough balance. But my point is, if you want to play the rest of your contract (and Kessel has six seasons remaining on a deal that pays him about $8 million (U.S.) annually), then you’ve got to change some things in order to do that.”


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

Expectations Are Low For The Vancouver Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Much has changed since you last saw the Vancouver Canucks.

There’s hope Chris Tanev can be a key piece of the power play. The coach just may have flipped his view on Bo Horvat.

And the word “playoffs” is back in vogue at Rogers Arena. It’s nowhere else, by the way. Not when tied to the Canucks.

Mostly because five months ago, this was the third worst team in the NHL.

There’s just not a lot of confidence that additions like Erik Gudbranson and Loui Eriksson are enough to significantly move them up in the standings.

In fact, Team USA won more games at the World Cup of Hockey than there are analysts picking Vancouver to make it to the post-season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Alain Vigneault Believes His Team Is Very Strong

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

Despite an influx of youth, and despite a handful of underachieving veterans still on the roster, Vigneault is confident in his club. In his first meeting with the press Thursday, after the players came in for their physicals, Vigneault made it clear that he thinks highly of his team — even if he is not entirely sure of what he has yet.

“We still believe that we’re a very strong hockey team,” Vigneault said at the Westchester practice facility. “We’ve got some very good experience, some guys that have played big games, important games, big minutes. And we have some younger guys that are developing, improving. And now we’re adding some younger guys and a couple old players that can help us on the penalty kill.

“I see good speed, which is something that I like. As you guys know, I like to play a fast, high-tempo game, and we’d like to continue that. And that’s why we’ve got training camp here, to get everyone on the same page.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning news: On training camp, Nyquist’s production and Gordie Howe’s grandson

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji offers several "morning lines" from Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill:

In addition to preparing the players, training camp will give Blashill more time to get to know his new assistant coaches, Doug Houda and John Torchetti.

"We went up to Traverse and watched a couple of games in the prospects tournament," Blashill said. "We've really been here on a fairly regular basis since mid-August. We've been able to watch these World Cup games, which is great, too, because we can gather the next day - what did you see? What did you see? Go through some clips and any changes we might make systematically we might go through. But I think it takes time to develop that chemistry, so I think the more time we spend together the better. I've really liked our chemistry so far but I really look forward to training camp to build that."

Although the whole team won't be together in training camp and there will be a lot of players that will be playing in Grand Rapids this season, there are some important things Blashill wants to create.

"Two things, mentality of work ethic, competition, and detail and identity, how we're going to play," Blashill said. "So mentality and identity are the two biggest things we're trying to establish over the weekend."

2. MLive's Ansar Khan posted an 18-image slideshow summarizing the storylines heading into training camp;

3. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness wrote an article about Gustav Nyquist's desire to rebound from an up-and-down 2015-16 campaign...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Training Course For Hockey Parents

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Strashin ov CBC,

As thousands of children across Ontario prepare for another hockey season, their parents will be receiving some mandatory off-ice training. Before any player steps onto the ice this season, their parents are required to complete an online Respect in Sport course.

The program has already been rolled out in other provinces across Canada as organizations rally to combat bad parental behaviour. This is the first season for it in Ontario.

"Parents are a key component of the sports experience," said Wayne McNeil, co-founder of the Respect Group, the company providing the course. "They are the reason why referees and officials quit. In a lot of cases, they are the reason their own kid either quits or has a bad experience in sports." 

The course costs $12 and lasts about an hour. It covers topics such as using guilt on your child, making "the bigs," losing perspective, achieving balance and avoiding burnout. Each section is supplemented with vignettes illustrating bad behaviour. 


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Youth Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goodbye Team USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With all due respect to T.S. Eliot, when it was finally over, it ended not with a bang but a whimper, a long, mournful whimper.

Of course, Team USA had been emotionally, if not technically, gone long before the final whistle blew on a 4-3 loss to a Czech Republic team most had considered the weakest in the eight-team World Cup of Hockey.

Thursday's loss, naturally, put that debate to bed as the Americans finished a desultory 0-3, putting the final piece of punctuation on this most lamentable of international tournaments.

Three games, no wins, five goals scored, two by defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Zero goals for defending NHL scoring champ and MVP Patrick Kane.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

NHL Short Notes- World Cup Edition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
TEAM RUSSIA 3, Team Finland 0
slick give-and-go between Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Ovechkin was all the offense Team Russia needed in a 3-0 win over Team Finland, sending the Russians to a Semifinal showdown with Team Canada Saturday night. Tarasenko's goal 3:42 into the second period broke a scoreless tie and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 21 Finland shots as Team Russia, needing a win to avoid elimination, edged idle Team North America for second place in Group B.

 * Ovechkin led Team Russia in points during Round Robin play with 1-2---3 in three games, while Tarasenko topped the squad with two goals. The pair have scored a combined 90 goals in each of the past two NHL seasons (Ovechkin 50, Tarasenko 40 in 2015-16; Ovechkin 53, Tarasenko 37 in 2014-15).

 * Saturday will mark the 13th meeting between a Russian/Soviet team and Team Canada in Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey history, with Canada owning a 7-3-2 edge. Their last clash in a Canada Cup/World Cup of Hockey elimination game was the epic Game 3 of the 1987 Canada Cup, won by Canada 6-5 with a late goal by Mario Lemieux on a setup from Wayne Gretzky.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings at the World Cup: Abdelkader scores for U.S., Mrazek’s Czechs prevail

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In their final games of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Petr Mrazek and Justin Abdelkader had strong outings for their respective teams.

Justin Abdelkader scored the 2-2 goal for Team USA, one-timing a pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Mrazek...

Abdelkader finished with 3 shots, 2 hits and a +1 in 12:19 played

And Mrazek stopped 36 of 39 shots in the Czechs' 4-3 win over Team USA.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Open Post- World Cup Of Hockey, Team USA Against Team Czech Republic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Team USA takes on Team Czech Republic at 8:00pm on ESPN2, Sportsnet and TVAS.

This will be the last game for both teams and the only thing on the line is pride.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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