Kukla's Korner

Morning Line- Pierre LeBrun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

... Isn't it time, now that we have true parity with the talent base forcibly spread among 30 rosters, to allow at least some of the cream to rise to the top? It seems fair to me that teams that actually win games more handily, in 60 minutes, and don't rely as much on extra time to collect points, should be rewarded.

It would also allow some teams to rally late in the season. As it stands now, it's difficult to make a charge up the standings because teams in front of you are picking up points almost every night. But if a team were to get on a regulation-time victory surge, that would make a difference.

-Pierre LeBrun of TSN where you can read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wakiji, Kulfan: Ken Kal to return to the booth this evening

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Good news from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

Optional skate this morning....but Ken Kal back today to do the play-by-play

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

Welcome back, @KenKalDRW! Back on the mic tonight for #RedWings-#FlaPanthers.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A bit more about Mark Howe’s Lester Patrick Trophy-awarding ceremony

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Mark Howe was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for his contributions to hockey in the United States on Wednesday, and PhiladelphiaFlyers.com's Jay Greenberg wrote an article about Howe's honor:

"I was there in 1967, 12 years old, when my Dad was presented the award (as its second recipient) in New York," he said. "That makes it even that much more special; to have my name on an award that has his name, too.

"This was something I never thought about it until I got the call from Commissioner (Gary) Bettman," said Mark. "It was wonderful news; a tremendous honor.

He says he does not look at himself as a pioneer. Certainly the family was. Dad was an iconic figure that put the game on the American map. Mom, Colleen did more than just mother two NHL players, Mark and Marty; she birthed the idea that Americans could compete in the sport with Canadians.

Greenberg continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

NHL ‘counts down’ to the Centennial Classic

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the NHL:


Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs to Renew Their Rivalry Outdoors on New Year’s Day

Celebration Highlights Include ‘EPIX Presents Road To the NHL Outdoor Classics,’ the Rink Build, Alumni Game, The PreGame and More

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2016) – With just one month until the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™, the countdown to the much-anticipated Original Six™ rivalry game between the Detroit Red Wings® and Toronto Maple Leafs® on Sunday, Jan. 1 at Exhibition Stadium (170 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto) has begun. The outdoor game will be broadcast live nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada and on NBC in the U.S. at 3 p.m. ET.

The game will launch the NHL’s year-long Centennial celebrations that will feature a variety of ceremonies, recognitions, observances and special events highlighting 100 years of NHL® hockey and also will recognize a number of milestone anniversaries for member Clubs, including the Maple Leafs and Red Wings. As part of the outdoor game celebration, fans of all ages are invited to join the League and its partners at The PreGame, the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic’s™ free fan festival.

Events and activities leading up to the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic™ include:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The St. Louis Blues Still Believe In Nail Yakupov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

In October, the Blues acquired Yakupov for forward prospect Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick, hoping that a change of scenery would help the 23-year-old, who floundered during four seasons in Edmonton.

Yakupov had a decent start with the Blues, with four points in his first six games, but soon his ice time diminished and he was dropped to the fourth line before becoming a healthy scratch for the first time Nov. 5. He’s sat out seven of the Blues’ past 12 games and isn’t expected to be in the lineup when they host Tampa Bay on Thursday at Scottrade Center. But apparently that doesn’t have the club second-guessing the deal.

“We felt it was a worthwhile gamble,” Armstrong said. “We gave up a third-round draft pick and he’s come in, and quite honestly, someone like Dmitrij Jaskin is really playing great hockey right now and he’s taken away his ice time. That’s just the nature of competition. You’ve got to push and prod and find your way in, and other guys are trying to do it.

“I have a lot of confidence in Yak that he’s going to keep his nose to the grindstone and when he gets his opportunity, he’s just got to make the most of it. We look at it from how our team is doing, not how each individual player is doing, and our team is doing well. He’s part of our team.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nail+yakupov

The Core Players For The Colorado Avalanche Need To Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

As the Avalanche practiced Wednesday morning at Family Sports Center, only the New York Islanders, with 18, had fewer points than Colorado’s 19. And later, when the Isles knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 in Brooklyn, it left Colorado and the Arizona Coyotes tied for the lowest total in the NHL.

That’s how damaging an 0-2-1 start to a five-game homestand that continues against Columbus on Thursday has been for the Avalanche. The latest stumble was a 5-3 loss to Nashville on Tuesday, and the struggles again raise the question of whether the Avalanche’s much-cited faith and commitment to its “core” — generally conceded to be six players — has been misguided, and whether that core should be broken up.

Defenseman Erik Johnson, one of the six, acknowledged the core group needs to kick its game up a notch.

“It doesn’t matter how many points you have or how much you’re playing, it’s the record that indicates how you’re playing,” Johnson said. “Clearly, the record is not good enough. … Nobody can look in the mirror and say we’re playing good enough because our record doesn’t indicate it. As a group of individuals who feels a lot of responsibility for the team, I think you go out and do your best every game and you realize there are consequences no matter what.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Falling Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The power play is pathetic, the Oilers are back to being a mess defensively and if you break their season into eight game segments, after their 7-1 start they’ve gone 2-5-1 and 3-4-1.

That’s five wins in their last 16 games

Is it time to panic? Or is it just some strange temporary malfunction at the junction happening here as a team with a 7-4-2 away record struggles with a 5-6 record while trying to get comfortable at home in their new digs?

Waking up and not seeing themselves in first place in the Pacific Division alone might have the desired effect with the individuals who have looked like passengers in losing twice to Arizona and then to the Maple Leafs in a stretch where they could have banked points in the standings.

“We kind of had a chance to extend our lead in first place,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, one of the Oilers who has been AWOL lately, although he created a whale of a chance early against Toronto only to ring it off a post.

“The good news is that we’re still there and still playing for that first-place spot. We’ve given ourselves a chance to be in this position so we can’t take our foot off the gas.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 5, Pittsburgh 3
CALGARY 3, Toronto 0
San Jose 4, LOS ANGELES 1
The Islanders, Flames and Sharks all used quick goals to earn wins on Wednesday.
* The Penguins erased a three-goal deficit in the third period, but Anders Lee scored with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation and Nikolay Kulemin added an insurance marker three seconds later to guide the Islanders to their second straight victory. New York tied the record for the fastest two goals by one team in NHL history (also by the St. Louis Eagles on March 12, 1935 vs. DET and the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 21, 2004 vs. CHI). The Islanders’ previous fastest two goals came on Dec. 27, 1979, when Clark Gillies and Mike Bossy scored six seconds apart vs. CHI.

Freddie Hamilton (0:19) and Kris Versteeg (0:49) each scored in the opening minute of regulation to lift the Flames to a 3-1-1 record in their past five outings. Via Elias, Calgary notched two goals in the first minute of a game for the third time in franchise history (also March 3, 1984 vs. NYI and March 11, 1987 vs. HFD). The last time any team accomplished that feat was on April 9, 2011, when the Flyers scored twice in the first 47 seconds vs. NYI.
* The Sharks scored three times in the first period – including a pair 30 seconds apart by Logan Couture (2-1—3) and Ryan Carpenter (1st NHL goal) – to pick up their fifth win in their last six outings. Couture, who registered his first multi-goal and three-point performances of the season, has 5-2—7 in his last six games.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Prospect news: Callahan scores 2 goals in Griffins shootout loss; Elfstrom bags an assist

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note: in the AHL, despite a pair of goals from Mitch Callahan, the Grand Rapids Griffins lost 3-2 to the Cleveland Monsters in a shootout. The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The overnight report: Red Wings-Panthers set-up

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings host the Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM) hoping to earn their first win in 3 meetings with the Panthers.

The Wings have lost and lost pretty badly to the Panthers two times already, dropping a 4-1 decision in Florida and 5-2 in Detroit, but things are different for the Panthers coming into tonight's game, so the Panthers' statuses as possessing an 11-10-and-2 record and having lost 3 of their past 4 games don't necessarily apply to tonight's affair.

Coach Gerard Gallant was fired on Sunday night, and a mandatory day off yielded coach Tom Rowe's first day as head coach cosisting of a "work day" that took the form of a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

As such, the Panthers engaged in their first practice under Rowe on Wednesday, as the Miami Herald's George Richards noted:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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