Kukla's Korner

Underperforming Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Jamie Benn, a scoring champion in 2014-15 and 41-goal scorer last season, has 11 goals in 43 games this season. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, averaging 28 goals per season in his career, has seven this season.

Future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton has scored only three goals and each one has been an empty-netter.

“There are quirky things going on,”  Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill told USA TODAY Sports. “Why are some of the best players in the game struggling right now? It’s hard to believe.”

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar only has four goals in 39 games. Corey Perry, who netted 50 in 2010-11, only has eight goals, putting him on the lowest scoring pace of his career.

Is this is a coincidence, a World Cup hangover or just another natural changing of the guard? Young players such as Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers are all thriving this season.

Calgary Flames president Brian Burke doesn’t believe anyone should read too much into it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goaltending Is Not The Only Problem For The St. Louis Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Fixing the Blues’ goalie situation is priority No. 1, but here’s the thing — remember when the Blues were still considered good? They still had some major issues, which persist today.

And these issues are quandaries.

Consider that the Blues have been shaky on defense. Struggling to get the puck out of their zone, to get bodies on opponents, or even, as we saw with Carl Gunnarsson against Washington, to stay upright (to be fair, it is slippery out there). Coach Ken Hitchcock continually mixes up his pairings. St. Louis must improve at defense … yet a smart move is to, effectively, make the defense worse by trading Kevin Shattenkirk, a free-agent-to-be.

Also, the Blues could use a sturdy centerman. But to get one who could truly make a difference, such as the desirable Matt Duchene from Colorado, the Blues might have to trade one of their young pieces, a piece they hoped to build around (and part of the reason they didn’t feel the need to sign David Backes long term).

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Loss By The Boston Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks scored with 1:26 left in the 3rd period for a 1-0 win over the Bruins.

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

read on

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

Videos- 1000 Points For Henrik Sedin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

“It’s something I will remember forever,” Henrik said, two hours after he slid a goal through Luongo’s five hole, igniting a crowd that rose to the occasion, and appropriately shook the city with a chilling ovation that was 16 years in the making.

“When I saw my teammates come onto the ice, I lost it a little bit. It was very special.

“If I retired today, I think it was the most memorable moment for me as a player.”




Two more video below regarding Henrik Sedin...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+sedin

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
Chicago 1, BOSTON 0
BUFFALO 3, Detroit 2 (OT)
Pittsburgh 7, CAROLINA 1
Montreal 3, NEW JERSEY 1
Nashville 3, EDMONTON 2 (SO)
VANCOUVER 2, Florida 1
Canucks captain Henrik Sedin scored in the second period to become the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point milestone (233-767—1,000).

* Sedin also became the fourth Swedish-born player in NHL history to register 1,000 career points, joining Mats Sundin (564-785—1,349), Daniel Alfredsson (444-713—1,157) and Nicklas Lidstrom (264-878—1,142).
* MUST SEE: Panthers goaltender and former teammate Roberto Luongo skated over to congratulate Sedin shortly after the milestone goal.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up—hold ‘em up in Buffalo

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' 3-2 OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres was...let's say it was officiated according to "old time hockey" rules, and Danny DeKeyser was stripped of the puck by Ryan O'Reilly twice, once in overtime, a hand-on-body grab and then a stick-to-the-hands play. On some nights, those plays are called textbook obstruction-and-or-interference plays, and on some nights, they're kosher.

To the Sabres' credit, O'Reilly and his teammates played whistle to whistle, and as a result, plays helped the Sabres secure two points to Detroit's one (and Detroit got to stew in its juices a bit as the team was "fogged in" in Buffalo).

Buffalo was delighted by the development and damn proud of O'Reilly's grit, as they told Buffalo Hockey Beat's Bill Hoppe:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wings fogged in, this time literally

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

According to the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan, the Red Wings will spend the night in Buffalo due to weather-related reasons:

Here's more from St. James:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Sabres quick take: point gained, frustrating point lost

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings faced off against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night, with the Wings looking to extend their 3-game winning streak against a Sabres team whose goaltender, Anders Nilsson, has one of the best home-ice records in the league.

Nilsson out-dueled Petr Mrazek despite 70 Wings shot attempts and 34 shots on net as the Red Wings were undone by a struggling power play, lost puck battles and a terrible non-call in OT as Buffalo won 3-2 in overtime.

Danny DeKeyser, who got walked around by Ryan O'Reilly on the 2-2 goal, was hooked around the hands by the same player, and the puck made its way to Kyle Okposo, who slid the puck past Mrazek at 4:34 of OT...

But the Wings had an OT power play of their own that wasn't demonstrative, the Wings just played kind of sloppy hockey for many stretches on the night, and Darren Helm's return wasn't enough to give the Wings the grit and jam they needed to grind out a heavily-needed win over the Sabres.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

It’s An Inauguration Day Live Blog

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

And quite possibly an inauguration baby for The Grandpa Chief too.

That's why I am here.  So let's celebrate with a win tonight.

Make it four in a row, two points anyway the Wings can get it.

Bill will keep me updated with any news, in the meantime I say Stevie or Stevi, depending on the sex of the child.

Go Wings, comment away.

update 7:59pm, Healthy baby girl. Born at the horn ending the first.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Evening news: A Game-Day Preview video; Vanek on Vanek; Helm returns

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video...

2. And here's a video of the team applying stickers commemorating Joe Louis Arena memories to the West Entrance of the Joe:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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