Kukla's Korner

The Top 30 Prospects

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

While the most visible pick undoubtedly will be the top choice, there will be plenty of other talented prospects on the board when the 2010 Entry Draft is held June 25-26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

NHL Central Scouting’s top evaluators made that point rather clear at their offices in Toronto last month during the final meetings to determine North America’s top draft-eligible players.

Those results were made public Wednesday, when Central Scouting released its final ranking list of the continent’s best 210 skaters and top 30 goalies, as well as the best 150 international skaters and 10 best goaltenders.

The battle at the top of the North American list was as close as it’s ever been, with Tyler Seguin of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers earning the nod over Taylor Hall of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. Seguin, one of 19 players among the top 30 to improve on their midterm ranking, had been No. 2 on Central Scouting’s midterm list, which was released in January.


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

Crosby Has The Most Scoring Potential According To Shanahan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Provided Sidney Crosby continues to go to the net to score his goals, former NHL goal-scoring great Brendan Shanahan believes over time the Pittsburgh captain could eventually surpass Alex Ovechkin as this generation’s greatest goal scorer.

After Tuesday’s showdown at Pittsburgh, Ovechkin has scored 267 goals in 394 games, while Crosby has 180 in 368 games.

“To me, Sid shows the most potential to keep scoring like this throughout his career because he gets more of his around the net,” Shanahan told NHL.com. “Just like any coach will tell you, if you want to score goals (the area around the net) is the area to go to. It’s great to have the ability to score from the perimeter, but if you want to do it for 20 years you have to get down there. It’s like the little black dress; it never goes out of style.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Bettman Will Make All-Star Game Announcement In Raleigh Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Javier Serna of the News & Observer,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will host a press conference regarding future NHL All-Star Games in Raleigh on Thursday, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Rutherford would not confirm that the Hurricanes had actually been awarded the 2011 All-Star Game, and noted that the league had opened up the application process for the next three All-Star Games.

But the Hurricanes had bid for the 2011 All-Star Game in January

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

Takeaways As A Selke Stat

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I write about the Selke Trophy race this year, I get a few comments that suggest that Pavel Datsyuk should be considered the leading Selke contender due largely to his NHL lead in takeaways.  Datsyuk has a sizeable lead in takeaways.  He has 125 and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks is second with 81.  Datsyuk has 54% more takeaways than anyone else in the NHL.  Is that one number enough to win the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward?  I argue that it isn’t.

The main argument against Datsyuk winning the Selke Trophy is that he is not used in enough of Detroit’s prime defensive situations.  He has only played 59 minutes shorthanded, while other Selke candidate forwards have upwards of 200 minutes shorthanded.  If Datsyuk does not play in enough defensive situations, he isn’t as good a Selke candidate as one who does.  That is not to say that shorthanded time is the only defensive situation, but it is a symptom of how Detroit uses Datsyuk.  They roll out all four lines for as much of the game as possible and do not make much effort to play Pavel Datsyuk in defensive situations.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

No Time To Relax In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

...there also remains something disturbing about the play of the Canucks’ leaders as they prepare for the playoffs. Other teams — i.e. those who’ve won something — might be able to relax down the stretch without their fans going into a panic.

The Canucks, sadly, just haven’t earned that right.

Prior to Daniel’s goal, for example, the Sedins’ contributions had been uneven. Daniel got a gift when Salo’s shot from the point took a bizarre ricochet off the boards and right to the Canucks winger in the Avs’ crease. But, until the tying goal, they were largely ineffectual. Just prior to Daniel’s game-tying goal, the twins were booed off the ice after a series of turnovers during the man-advantage.

OK, they came back when it counted. But Henrik now has three assists in his last four games while he’s been battling Alex Ovechkin for the NHL scoring lead. The plain fact is Hank is now judged by a different standard — the standard which is applied to the game’s very best. And right now he isn’t measuring up.


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

Biron Would Be A Good Fit In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette at Faceoff.com,

If the Canadiens decide to shed one of their young goaltenders during the offseason, there’s a veteran goaltender who just might jump at the idea of serving as a backup/mentor to whichever goaltender remains with the team.

We’re talking about the Islanders’ Marty Biron, who is making the most of a discouraging season with a strong finish. He is 7-1-2 in his last nine starts after posting a 4-3 shootout win over the Canadiens last night.

There’s a certain amount of self-interest when media folks talk about having Biron in your home city. That’s because the 32-year-old native of Lac St. Charles is one of the best interviews in the league in either of Canada’s official languages.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

GDT - Game #80: Red Wings host Blue Jackets (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The W.C. playoff teams are set.  CGY’s home loss against SJS, and COL’s win at VAN, have the ‘Dique in and CGY out.  The team seedings are all that remains to be resolved in the W.C. The LAK have overtaken DET for the 6 spot.  DET could finish as high as fifth in the standings, or could fall to the eight spot.  Uncle Mike doesn’t seem to care any about who might be a good matchup for DET:  “They’re all real good teams. And what I always look forward, to tell you the truth, is travel. How do you have the least amount of travel? If you look at the west, from the top to the bottom, unless you play Chicago, you’re flat out traveling across the country.  So there’s no sense worrying about that. The other thing is, it’s mixed up at the top and it’s mixed up at the bottom. How do you know? And we got a game against Columbus tomorrow. We’re doing everything we can to prepare for that game and to take a step. We spent a lot of time today with video going over basically how we play in all situations. We’re basically having a systems review these last few games preparing for the playoffs like we normally would, and that’s what we’re trying to do so we can be successful.”

The BJ’s, well, they are playing for roster spots.  Jimmah’s in net tonight.  Everyone skated at practice yesterday.  The Winged Wheel, after two straight losses, need to learn to Rock Steady into the playoffs.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Penguins Still Looking For The ‘On’ Switch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

...the Capitals again twitch-slapped the Penguins, 6-3, this time, meaning Ovechkin’s team swept the four-game season series, a possibility-turned-reality the Penguins had agreed in advance and by consensus was not terribly important.

And they’ll stick to that story until it is terribly important.

“It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to look forward, look at our mistakes and learn from them,” said Penguins center Jordan Staal, a minus-2 in 211/2 frustrating minutes.

Staal was, for the record, one of the minority in the room who felt that going 0 for 10 against New Jersey and Washington this season could have lasting deleterious effects. The Penguins’ abstract ability to flip the switch, as it were, once the playoffs start, did not become any less of a topic as a result of this encounter.

“It’s not something that just happens,” Staal cautioned in a quiet dressing room. “We need to find a solid way to play hockey and we haven’t done that yet. A lot of the problems are in the defensive zone. There have been a lot of breakdowns there. That’s where we’ve got to start playing a more solid game.”


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

Dennis Seidenberg Out Up To 8 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a Kevin Allen tweet,

Boston D Dennis Seidenberg will be out 8 weeks after successful surgery to repair lacerated tendon in his left forearm.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dennis+seidenberg

Langenbrunner Still Silent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The captain clammed up. And after the Devils’ 3-0 victory over the Thrashers last night, he was nowhere to be found.

A mystery has developed around Jamie Langenbrunner, a week before the playoffs and in the wake of being “rested” by coach Jacques Lemaire on Saturday in Carolina….

Langenbrunner sat out for the first time this season in Saturday’s 4-0 victory in Raleigh for what Lemaire said was rest. Lemaire seemed stunned at the Langenbrunner mystery.

“I don’t know,” Lemaire said of what’s bothering Langenbrunner. “Maybe it’s personal. I don’t know. I don’t think he was in a bad mood.”

Of Saturday’s rest, Lemaire said, “I thought he needed rest.”



Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+langenbrunner

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