Kukla's Korner

Red Wings, kids from Jack Adams Arena hockey program give and receive holiday gifts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' players shopped with kids from Jack Adams Arena to provide gifts for the Wings' Children's Hospital visit...And the kids were also given the opportunity to pick out their own Christmas gifts, which included some donated hockey eqiupment from Warrior.

WXYZ's Brad Galli was there...

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Blue Jackets Improvement

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The most improved team in the NHL this is the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Last season they finished second last in the East Conference with 76 points.  So far this year they are one point out of first place in the Metropolitan Division with games in hand.  They have a 15-9 record with four regulation tie points.  This is good for 34 points.  How has this team improved so much?

The answer is largely due to goaltending and offence.  In goal, Sergei Bobrovsky has proven to be a top level goalie when he is healthy but doesn't always have successful healthy stretches.  Last season he put up a .908 saves percentage and a 2.75 goals against average.  Those numbers have improved tremendously this year.  He is posting a .930 saves percentage and a 2.03 GAA.  This is an improvement of over 26% percent in his goals against average.

Offensively there were no significant scorers on the Blue Jackets.  Brandon Saad and Cam Atkinson tied for the team lead in points with only 53 points.  This season there are six Blue Jackets on pace to better that mark.  They are Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno, Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Saad, Sam Gagner and Zach Werenski.  Gagner and Werenski are both newcomers to the team.  Werenski is a rookie and Gagner is a free agent signee from the Philadelphia Flyers.  Of the other players making significant offensive improvements, only Wennberg is young enough that he might be making a sustainable jump.  He is 22 years old.

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Governors Talk Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Josh Cooper of PuckDaddy,

Several governors noted that another shot at the Olympics may not be in the NHL’s best interest.

“I can only speak from myself and from the status of Arizona. First off, I understand the players’ desire to want to be a part of it but from running a business perspective it’s a difficult thing for us,” Arizona Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said. “Shutting down for two and a half weeks and for any franchise it’s difficult but it’s even more difficult for us because of the fact, it’s no secret that our prime time so to speak is January onward. Shutting down for close to three weeks and what is arguably our busiest month from a tourism perspective is very, very difficult for us.”

Said Los Angeles Kings president of business operations, Luc Robitaille, “Well, you know, it’s always great to promote the game to go outside, but at the end of the day it’s a lot of the same guys going over and over again and it’s taxing. Sidney Crosby has done a lot for the league and for his country and by the time the next Olympics come he’ll be 31 or 32 and you want to make sure we get the best out of these players for the fans that pay season seats and watch the games on TV in North America. I know it’s not there yet. I know there are going to be a lot of negotiations the next few months but we’ll see what happens.”

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Video- Carey Price Throwing Punches

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kyle Palmieri gets two for goaltender interference, Price four for roughing.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

After Day One Of The BOG Meetings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at Sportsnet,

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says owners aren’t keen on returning to a sixth consecutive Olympics.

Following the first day of the NHL’s board of governors meetings on Thursday afternoon, Bettman said there was “strong negative sentiment” among the league’s owners on NHL players attending the PyeongChang Games in 2018.

Bettman said the belief among some owners was that the Olympics had run their course for the league and hadn’t provided a big picture boost to the league in non-North American locales.

That, along with the brief season shutdown, injury risk and compressed schedule made it unappealing to the league, more so if the IOC refused to cover out-of-pocket expenses as had been suggested by president Thomas Bach.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Articles from practice II: on roster decisions and post-practice videos

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As noted in today's practice article post, the Red Wings expect to have Andreas Athanasiou and Jimmy Howard back in the lineup tomorrow against Columbus, and Alexey Marchenko may return to the lineup as soon as Sunday. Their returns will yield some difficult lineup deisions, as the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan noted:

“We’d like to have more hard decisions; the more hard decisions means you have more good players around,” Blashill said. “Now sometimes, you can go in reverse and you have easy decisions by people playing great, and that’s one way to ensure yourself a spot in the lineup, by playing great.

“The question I get (from players) is, ‘What did I do to come out?’ My question back is, ‘What did you do to stay in?’

“You have to make sure, as a player, your job is to play as great as possible to make your case, and my job is to make those hard decisions. We’d like to make as many hard ones as possible by everyone ultimately playing great.”

The Red Wings posted Twitter videos of Howard, Athanasiou and Marchenko discussing their respective statuses...

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Prayers Go Out To The Ken Daniels Family On The Sudden Passing Of His Son Jamie

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via a release from the Detroit Red Wings,

The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamie Daniels, son of television play-by-play broadcaster Ken Daniels. Jamie passed away in his sleep on Wednesday morning at the age of 23. Both the Red Wings organization and FOX Sports Detroit would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the Daniels family during this most difficult time.

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Any Interest In Patrik Nemeth?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News answered questions from the fans...

Question: Play GM: Give us a trade scenario that would immediately make the Stars better.

Heika: Here's a weird one. Patrik Nemeth to Detroit for one of their prospects. The Wings needs some physicality on defense and Nemeth would be a perfect fit with the Swedish history of that team. I personally think a player like Joren Van Pottelberghe would be interesting for Dallas because he is a big project goalie who they could develop in Europe and then possibly move him over next season or the season after. But Jim Nill knows that system, so let him work his magic.

continued from the Dallas side and more Q & A...

NHL.com player page on Patrik Nemeth.

Hockey'sFuture page on Pottelberghe.

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Articles from practice: Athanasiou, Howard to return as Wings kick off 5-game home stand

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 5:10 PM: The Red Wings' practice on Thursday revealed good news regarding Andreas Athanasiou (knee), Alexey Marchenko (AC joint) and Jimmy Howard's (groin) respective injury situations. All three players expect to return sometime this weekend.

Howard will back up Petr Mrazek tomorrow evening, and MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James reporting that Athanasiou has been cleared to play tomorrow.

Khan penned an article regarding Athanasiou's imminent return:

Athanasiou has missed 12 games with a sprained left knee suffered on Nov. 10 on a hit from Vancouver's Nikita Tryamkin.

"I feel good today. It's feeling strong," Athanasiou said. "I think we did a real good job of rehabbing it and I feel back up to speed. Worked on some battle drills two days ago. It feels solid, so everything feels back to normal."

Athanasiou has four goals and an assist in 13 games.

"He certainly adds an element of speed that's obviously important in the league," coach Jeff Blashill said. "And he can self-create. It's hard to self-create in this league. So, he brings another guy in our lineup that can do a good job. That said, I think the guys that have been in the lineup have done a good job as well. When Andreas comes back he needs to make sure he's ready to be an impact player."

Khan continues, and he also posted videos of Howard and Athanasiou discussing their situations:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Looking At The Inner-Cities For Hockey Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Evan F. Moore of Rolling Stone,

You've probably noticed, but hockey also isn't the most diverse sport. It also isn't the most popular in North America. It has its huge following in Canada, but many believe the thing that is holding the sport back in the United States is its lack of inclusivity, and that a combination of economics and access to the sport are the main factors explaining why the sport continues to be overwhelmingly white. But community leaders and the NHL have a plan to try and reverse that.

"I think it's about kids here seeing that it's actually possible. They've never seen a hockey stick before," (Jamal) Mayers says. "It's the same principles as any of the 'ball' sports, like soccer and basketball. You're creating two on one's all over the place. It's important that we did this the right way. We can't just put kids on the ice and say 'Let's play hockey.' They have to get comfortable holding a stick."

Even though Mayers, now in his second year as the Blackhawks Community Liaison, grew up in a city with kids from diverse backgrounds, he recognizes how hard it can be for some of those kids to get to a rink. The NHL has footprints in many of America's major cities through their teams, and with new programs, they're trying to bring the game to a wider audience in hopes of growing new fans and also future prospects as well....

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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