Kukla's Korner

A Look At Burke & Gainey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

Two weeks into this fledgling NHL season and it’s like being told you’ve just won a month’s vacation in Tahiti - with Louise Harel.

You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

If you’re a partisan of Les Habitants, you want to weep.

But if you also happen to hate the Maple Leafs, you’re collapsing in hysterical giggles every time someone hits the punch line: “Brian Burke.”

As this tale of two cities unfolds (and it’s important to remember that the season is still so young it has to be burped after every game) the rapidly eroding fortunes of the Leafs and Habs are a big part of the early-season story line.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+gainey, brian+burke

Phoenix Market Destroyed

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

After a summer spent in bankruptcy and litigation, the Phoenix Coyotes have returned to Phoenix for the 2009/10 season.  They are back because courts found that nobody is suitable to buy the team, so they will continue to be propped up by the NHL until something changes.  In the summer a lot of damage was done to the fanbase.  It is clear that the Phoenix Coyotes will not remain in Phoenix in the long-term.  Season ticket holders were unwilling to renew their tickets over the summer because they didn’t know it there would be a team for this season, thus killing the season ticket base.  The Phoenix Coyotes are back, but their fans are not.

The official attendance for Thursday’s game against the St Louis Blues was 6899, with reports that only about 5000 people were present.  This makes the official attendance the NHL has seen in several years and makes it look quite probable that the average attendance in Phoenix this season will be the lowest number the league has seen for a team in decades.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Is Lidstrom One Of The Top 20 All-Time NHL Greats?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam McCaig of The Hockey News,

So, maybe it’s time to rewrite history a bit and find a spot for Lidstrom among the game’s all-time greats. At least, let’s see where the smooth Swedish blueliner fits among the best rearguards the NHL has ever seen….

Bobby Orr ranked No. 2 in The Top 100 behind Wayne Gretzky and Orr forerunner Doug Harvey was next (among D-men) at No. 6.

Orr (eight) and Harvey (seven) are the only two rearguards to win more Norris Trophies than Lidstrom. And while it’s nigh on impossible to truly compare players from such drastically different eras, it would be difficult to argue that Lidstrom has had a similar impact on the way the game is played as did those two revolutionary defensemen…

And, as the best blueliner the league has seen in the past 20 years, the Red Wings great deserves to be slotted somewhere in the No. 15-20 range, among the very best NHLers of all-time.

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom

Saturday Digging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Update at 1538 EST:  Holy. Hell.  Kyle Quincey is an even bigger biotch than we originally thought.  Wow.  Denver is the perfect place for him.

Snapshots

“His agent (Pat Morris) has brought it to my attention four or five times, so the fact that he’s disappointed is not a secret to me,” Holland said. “But we’ve won four Cups and a Black Ace has never received a ring. Our policy is you have to be with the club all year, or play a game in the finals. Jon Ericsson was a Black Ace in 2008, so was Jimmy Howard. They didn’t get rings either.

“At the end of the day, right or wrong, to get your name on the Cup and to get a ring is something incredibly special and in order to get it, you have to play as game in the finals, or be with the team all season. If we didn’t have some kind of cut off, we’d be giving out 1,000 rings.”

Four or five times?  Jesus dude.  Give it up.  And tonite? Take your frigging medicine.

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Brule Finding His Game In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,

There was a time when it was uncertain whether Gilbert Brule would be able to find a place on the Edmonton Oilers roster.

Now seven games into the regular season, there’s little doubt the local product is here to stay….

Now Brule is showing off the offensive ability that made him the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The two goals last night give him seven points on the season.

“I think each game I’m feeling more confident and comfortable out there, no matter who I’m playing with,” Brule said. “I think I just have to play my game and be more responsible in my own end of the ice.

“I think the coaches are putting a lot of trust in me and I’m playing a lot. That’s what I need, I thrive off that and I just want to get going, get in the game and that’s what helps me.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gilbert+brule

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Once again, we didn’t play close to 60 minutes tonight.  We haven’t played 40 minutes this season and we’re lucky to be 2-4. It’s inexcusable. We’ve got to start grinding it out and playing with a little edge.

“We have a good lineup and a skillful lineup and it’s like we played too defensive in the first 40 minutes. We almost played scared. We can’t be doing that. We have to press and go on the offence.”

-Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.  More on the Vancouver loss to Calgary last night from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.

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

Kovalev Returns To Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Alexei Kovalev hopes he’s welcomed back to his old haunt tonight with open arms.

The Senators winger will make his return to the Bell Centre for the first time since signing an off-season contract with one of the Canadiens’ archrivals and the 36-year-old Kovalev isn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect from the Habs faithful.

“I don’t know. I hope it will be a good one,” said Kovalev before the Senators bussed to Montreal yesterday. “There could be good moments. There could be bad moments. There could be boos. It could be happy. Like I said, I can’t expect anything. I just have to go play.

“I’m not playing for Montreal anymore. I’m playing for Ottawa. I’m just going to try to focus on the game. I know it will be hard, but I’m just going to go in there and try to get the win.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Paying Less To See The Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,

For the first time ticket sellers can remember, Leafs tickets with face values of $100 to $300 each are routinely selling for as little as half that amount.

“In the past, they always said it didn’t matter what the Leafs produced on the ice because people will still pay top dollar,” said Shawn Brookes, director of operations with FanXchange, a website that connects buyers with sellers. “This is the first time I’ve seen customers finally getting fed up with these astronomical prices.”

Most of the Leafs tickets sold on FanXchange this season were snapped up for below face value, says Brookes.

For a home game against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 13, “there were tickets – dead centre golds – selling for $90 or $100 instead of the $203 face price.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The Leafs Be Ovechkin-Like?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Like every coach in the NHL not named Bruce Boudreau, Ron Wilson can only dream of having an Alex Ovechkin in his lineup every night.

But failing that, the Maple Leafs coach feels he can use the NHL’s top sniper as a teaching tool for his struggling team.

As suspect as the defence and goaltending have been, Wilson knows that if the Leafs don’t start finding the back of the net soon, the six-game losing streak to start the season isn’t about to end.

So after watching the league’s deadliest sniper fire 12 shots at the San Jose Sharks and scoring twice on Thursday, Wilson hammered his message home yesterday.

“The best player in the league, he spends all night shooting,” Wilson said after practice at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence. “He shoots from everywhere and creates lots of opportunities.

“If we want to score more goals, we need more guys shooting and driving to the net.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Now That Could Be Called A Super League

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Risto Pakarinen at The Hockey News,

According to a report in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, KHL president and IIHF council member Alexander Medvedev has presented the IIHF council his new plan for a pan-European league, going under the working title “United Hockey Europe.”

The new league would have 16 teams from the Nordic countries, 16 from central Europe and 24 from the current KHL, split into four divisions in two conferences, with the conference winners playing in the UHE finals.

“It’s a little too early to start such an ambitious league in the current situation,” said Christer Englund, the chairman of the Swedish hockey federation. “Maybe we’ll get there in (a few) years.”

continued plus more European hockey news…

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

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