Kukla's Korner

Devils Not Happy With Penalty Call & Their Own Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

That the Devils played poorly in the first two periods of tonight’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals wasn’t really debtable.

They still had a chance to win the game, however, after Jamie Langenbrunner’s shorthanded goal 41 seconds into the third period cut what had been a 3-0 deficit to 3-2.

The Devils controlled play after that until Mike Rupp was called for goaltender interference at 9:09 of the third by referee Bill McCreary. It appeared that Washington’s Tom Poti reached in with his stick, tripping Rupp as he drove to the net and causing him to slide into goaltender Jose Theodore.

Devils coach Brent Sutter said it was clearly a trip.

“No question the video showed he was tripped on the play,” Sutter said. “He’s driving to the net and a guy trips him. How do you stop? Not every time a goalie gets touched does it mean there’s a penalty. Sometimes there are circumstances leading into it that make it happen. It clearly shows he was tripped on the play. He’s cutting to the net and gets tripped by the defenseman.,.That’s a penalty and we get it called against us when it should have been called the other way.”

read on

Also from Tom...

the Devils traded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to the Anaheim Ducks for the rights to center David McIntyre.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No High Scoring Right Wingers This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Historically in the NHL, right wing is a higher scoring position than left wing.  The right winger is often seen as a sniper while the left winger is seen as a grinder.  I don’t think there is any meaningful reason for this.  There is no asymmetry built into the game of hockey that forces a strong difference between left and right.  European systems have not followed suit.  There have been a few top snipers who play left wing.  Currently, the NHL has Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Thomas Vanek and others who are top snipers who were produced in Europe.  Oddly, there is a lack of top scoring right wingers in the NHL this season.  I don’t know that it is a meaningful trend, but it is a clear one from the scoring race.

Here are the top ten right wingers in the scoring race:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Nolan Still Playing With That Chip On His Shoulder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,

Owen Nolan plays his best when he’s a little miserable.

That’s an old-school hockey term for someone who plays with an attitude. Someone who is a bit grouchy and mean on the ice. Nolan laughed when that was mentioned after practice on Tuesday.

“It’s just something where I had that chip on my shoulder when I came up,” he said. “I’m too far along to change it.”

Nolan has been a good acquisition for the Wild. After early-season injury problems, he has hit his stride, scoring 12 goals in 31 games


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: owen+nolan

Pahlsson Out With Viral Infection

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Anaheim Ducks,

Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson has been diagnosed with a minor viral infection and will be a out minimum of two weeks.

Pahlsson was scratched from Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over Buffalo at Honda Center on Monday night after complaining of an illness. It was the first game he had missed all season. He was examined Tuesday morning and did not accompany the team to Minnesota for the start of its three-game road trip.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sami+pahlsson

Bettman Tells Top Canadian Businessmen All Is Well

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com, NHL

Commissioner Gary Bettman met some of the top leaders in the Canadian business community at The Business Lecture Series presented by the Speakers Forum at The National Club in Toronto, a downtown institution founded in 1874. Bettman met the hockey issues of the day head-on in a 20-minute speech that was followed by 20 minutes of interaction with the audience.

In each forum, he said the NHL is a vibrant business, projected to experience real economic growth somewhere in the five percent range this season. Bettman also acknowledged the NHL is not immune to the challenges affecting the global economic climate.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dealing With The Vancouver Losing Streak

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Halford at Orland Kurtenblog,

After a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Vancouver Canucks have lost eight in a row and are falling further and further down the standings. As you’ve no doubt read in this very publication, the Canucks’ struggles have left many passionate supporters in a state of crisis.

We went to our preferred mode of communication—internet messenger—to discuss the fallout….

Mike says: look at the red wings last year…they lost 10 of 11 in february and went on to win the stanley cup

Jason says
: ya, we’re just like the red wings!

Mike says: no, we’re even better, because we have mats sundin!

Jason says: wow, denial is easy


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

Kovalev Plans To Play Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Alex Kovalev admits he has to start playing better hockey, especially with injuries mounting on the Montreal Canadiens.

The big winger, who led the team with 84 points last season, was benched for most of the third period of a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday for his listless play.

He then met with coach Guy Carbonneau to clear the air.

“He’s the coach, I’m a player, he does his job, I do mine,” Kovalev said Tuesday. “He’s not going to come on the ice and do my job, and when I do it better, everybody’s happy. So the important thing for me is to play better.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Uncle Mike’s Sensitivity Class

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So you’ve had a hernia.  You’ve taken the needle.  You’ve played through pain and you know the symptoms, the signs that more is on the way.  You express some concern, only to have it laughed off by your coach.  I’m not trying to stir anything up here, because that’s certainly not how I roll.  But, if I was Tomas Holmstrom, and if I could actually read english, this might piss me off.

Holmstrom played through pain in last spring’s playoffs but said, “I don’t want to do that again. That was no fun. I took injections, and you can’t start taking injections now—it’s February. You can’t take injections the rest of the season.”

I asked coach Mike Babcock for his thoughts, and he sounded far more optimistic about Holmstrom.

“Tommy sat down in my office at the start of the year and thought he wasn’t going to be able to play this year because his knee was so bad, and then he played in Game 1,” Babcock said. “So he’ll be back, and he’ll be playing.”

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Massaging The Groin Without Shame…Again

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Feeling better?  Looking back on last night’s game and re-considering your gut reaction that it may have been the worst display of Red Wing hockey in, I don’t know, a decade?

Me either.  But, hey. This should perk you up, eh?


Holmstrom tried to skate a little on Monday before practice but said he was in too much pain.

“I’m really concerned,’’ Holmstrom said. “It’s getting closer and closer and I don’t know what to do and the playoffs aren’t that far away either. So we better figure something out.’‘

Man, now that’s just a bowl full of fun right there kids.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Future Of The Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

Watched some of the Detroit-St.Louis game on Versus last night. The panel was gushing over the Blues’ kid line of Patrik Berglund between T.J. Oshie and David Backes. Can’t say I blame them….

Most telling, the young trio is a combined plus-11 (with Berglund leading the Blues at plus-13 and Oshie second at plus-6), while Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk – the team’s veterans up front – have combined for a miserable minus-38 rating (Boyes’ minus-25 puts him at No. 814 in the NHL, third-last overall, despite a team-leading 41 points).

With Tkachuk likely on his way out – possibly for good this time – around the March 4 trade deadline, Andy McDonald an unrestricted free agent come July 1 and Paul Kariya heading into the final season of his contract in 2009-10, the Blues will be handed over to the kids soon enough.

read on

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

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