Kukla's Korner

The Coaching Change In Pittsburgh Is Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Berkshire of Sportsnet,

The resurgence of Sidney Crosby has dominated the headlines surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. Croaby’s slow start – the slowest of his career – was undoubtedly a big factor in the firing of Mike Johnston as head coach on December 12.

Since the coaching change that brought in Mike Sullivan, Crosby has been on fire, and the team as a whole has risen from 20th in the NHL in score-adjusted Corsi at just 48.3 per cent, to second in the league since December 12 at 54.8 per cent, with only the powerhouse Los Angeles Kings ahead of them.

It took a while for the Penguins’ record to look as impressive as their domination on the shot clock, but even with Evgeni Malkin out with an injury, Pittsburgh has been impressive.

Part of the reason for this improvement is the upgrades they’ve made on defence. Specifically, swapping the shot-blocking Rob Scuderi out for mobile puck-mover Trevor Daley made a big difference, but surprisingly the bigger difference has been among the forwards.


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

Wakiji: Red Wings, alums gearing up for Stadium Series

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

With the Colorado Avalanche in town, it is getting people's appetites whetted for the Stadium Series outdoor game in Colorado in two weeks. Drawing perhaps even more attention than the Stadium Series game is the Alumni Game, which will be held the day before, on Friday, Feb. 26.

"It seems the closer it gets to the date, it's definitely exciting," said Kirk Maltby, a member of the Grind Line and a current pro scout for the Wings. "It's going to be fun to reminisce. I'm sure the pace of the game will be a little different and the physicality, but I expect it will get a little competitive as the game goes on, especially if it's close because at the end of the day, I don't think either team wants to lose."

The Wings' alumni have been practicing at Joe Louis Arena.

On Friday, with the Avalanche holding an optional skate because of their game Thursday night in Ottawa, current Avalanche coach and Patrick Roy and general manager Joe Sakic were on the ice in Detroit.

The Wings are scheduled to practice at Coors Field a few hours before the Alumni Game.

Some might stick around to watch.

"That will be a lot of fun," Danny DeKeyser said. "It’s good to see, you know, some of the names that are coming in to play in that game. I’m sure it will be a fun game to watch for anybody who is going to it."

Wakiji continues, speaking with Kris Draper, Jeff Blashill, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green and Alexey Marchenko...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Does The Color Of Goalie Pads Matter?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,

Ryan Miller is joining the dark side, but only for one game.

Miller has a stylish new set of pads, gloves and a mask ready to match the retro black skate jersey the Vancouver Canucks will wear Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations at Rogers Arena. But as good as the gear looks, with an orange and yellow "V" set against the black pads, Miller has no intention of switching from his usual, predominantly white equipment.

He's not alone. If it seems like a lot of NHL goaltenders are wearing mostly white these days, that's because many believe it looks bigger compared to darker options.

"This is a one-off, so I thought why not have fun with it?" Miller told NHL.com. "I thought it would look good with the jerseys. I wasn't thinking big or small. It's just one game."

Asked if the possibility of looking smaller was one reason he wouldn't consider darker equipment beyond that game, Miller, who added more blue to his pads this season, admitted the difference might matter more over time. 

continued with more goalies talking about the topic...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kulfan: Wings-Avs dislike lives on in players’ memories

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Danny DeKeyser, who grew up in Metro Detroit, was just like every other Red Wings fan around here during the 1980s and 1990s. DeKeyser did not like the Colorado Avalanche. Hated the Avs.

“I wasn’t a big fan of them,” DeKeyser said Friday, when asked about the legendary Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, ahead of Friday night’s Detroit-Colorado game at Joe Louis Arena. “Being a Red Wings fan, they had some good battles over the years, in the playoffs, and it was fun to watch. But being a Red Wings fan, I didn’t like (the Avalanche).”

It’s different now. The Red Wings and Avalanche are in different conferences, and they only meet twice in the regular season. But the videos are on YouTube, and most of the current Red Wings grew up following the rivalry.

It’s still special when the Red Wings and Avalanche play, even many years later after the bad blood was flowing.

“A lot of good battles,” DeKeyser said. “(Colorado goalie Patrick) Roy and (Mike) Vernon, some of those battles, and it was a lot of entertaining hockey, a lot of fun to watch.”

Kulfan continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video-Chris Stewart May Have Suffered A Broken Jaw Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul



Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+stewart

Custance weighs in on Howard trade scenarios

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I've been answering more than a few questions regarding Jimmy Howard's trade status, and I've been blunt in my responses: I don't believe that the Red Wings are going to trade Howard before the draft, and I don't believe that the Wings can afford to trade Howard without getting a back-up goaltender in return, at least during the regular season. I've also tried to remind fans that Howard's $5.29 million cap hit comes with a full no-trade clause, so Howard gets to say where he might go.

ESPN's Craig Custance fielded a question about Howard as part of his Friday mailbag:

@CraigCustance asked you about DET moving Howard earlier in the season. Still think it won't happen? If not, where? #CustanceCorrespondence

    — Joe Plaza (@jeplaza14) February 11, 2016

Here's Custance's answer:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Afternoon Line- Radko Gudas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Roman Jedlicka tweets,

#Flyers D Leo (Radko) Gudas about his hit for TV NOVA, Czech republic: "My hands were down. I tried my best not to give a reason to anyone for (1)

bringing me to Supplementaly Discipline. This is my style of hockey and as long as they want me to play like this, i will." (2)

If you missed his hit last night, watch below and the NHL has decided no further action needed...

added 12:41pm,



Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: radko+gudas

Red Wings-Avalanche game-day articles: Green, DeKeyser return; Mrazek starts; Roy, Sakic practice

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 4x at 3:14 PM: The Red Wings received good news from the morning skate ahead of tonight's game between the Wings and Colorado Avalanche: Detroit will welcome Mike Green back into the lineup, and Danny DeKeyser will play after suffering a bruised knee on Wednesday.

It's believed that Petr Mrazek will oppose Calvin Pickard in the nets this evening, but the Avalanche didn't hold a morning skate after defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Thursday night.

DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji Tweeted some comments from coach Jeff Blashill's morning skate remarks...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eleven players registered three or more points during Thursday’s games to set or equal a number of career highs:
Connor McDavid (EDM): 2-3—5*^
Jordan Eberle (EDM): 3-1—4*
Logan Couture (SJS): 1-3—4^
Benoit Pouliot (EDM): 0-4—4^
Patrick Eaves (DAL): 3-0—3*
Alex Ovechkin (WSH): 3-0—3
Jarome Iginla (COL): 2-1—3
Sam Bennett (CGY): 1-2—3^
Brad Marchand (BOS): 1-2—3
Nicklas Backstrom (WSH): 0-3—3
Brett Connolly (BOS): 0-3—3^
Career high for goals
Career high for assists
 Career high for points

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings-Avalanche morning skate Tweets: Green, DeKeyser skating with team

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated at 11:25 AM: Green and DeKeyser are in, Mrazek starts:

The Detroit Red Wings hope to extend their home-ice winning streak to four games when the Colorado Avalanche visit this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM).

The Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 10:30 AM for their morning skate, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose delivered good news on the injury front:

Niklas Kronwall (knee surgery) and Mike Green (groin) are on the ice for the #RedWings morning skate.


Danny DeKeyser, who left game in third Wednesday after taking shot to right leg from Phaneuf, appears fine this morning.

MLive's Ansar Khan checked in...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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