Kukla's Korner

Quick note: Red Wings’ prospects advance to 3rd place game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings overcame the loss of Brandon Robinson (who's reportedly okay) and defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-1 (Tyler Bertuzzi had 2 goals, 1 into an empty net; Anthony Mantha had a goal and an assist, as did Andreas Athanasiou, and Jared Coreau stopped 27 of 28 shots) dvancing to tomorrow's 3rd place game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Wings will practice at 10 and the game is at 6 PM. 6:30, sorry...

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Red Wings try-out Brandon Robinson taken to hospital for evaluation

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings free agent try-out and Kitchener Rangers forward Brandon Robinson was hit into the boards and stretchered off the ice here at Centre Ice Arena during the Red Wings-Wild game. He's been taken to hospital for observation.

Update: Between the Wings and hearing Ken Holland speak with the Hockey News's Ken Cambpell and NHL.com's Mike Morreale, it sounds like Robinson was alert and had movement in all his extremities, and he even was able to speak with his parents before he went to the hospital. It sounds like he basically toe-picked while trying to hit an opponent and went in head-first, but all reports seem to indicate that he's going to be okay.

Update #2:

Update #3: Via Winging It in Motown's SlapShotgoal:

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No captain, my captain

Blog: The Upper Canadien By The Upper Canadien

As you have no doubt already heard, the Montreal Canadiens will have no captain for the 2014-15 season. Shades of fives years ago, and not an experiment I entirely agree with. Surely, if Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and PK Subban are good enough to wear the altenrate 'A,' then one of them is a strong enough leader to wear the 'C,' no? Please don't tell me the true captain is Carey Price. Many teams have great goalies. They don't pass on naming captains because of it. 

No, I was hoping the players would vote on it, as I still think that is the best way of selecting a captain. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd prefer a #5 defenceman who has the support of his teammates over the superstar being named captain by his coach any day of the week. My vote likely would have gone to Plekanec, a good soldier, all-around solid player, and a vocal presence on the ice. He would have been a solid choice, and I doubt many in the media or fanbase would have complained. 

Perhaps the issue is simply that the Habs dealt Josh Gorges - everyone's assumed next captain - and didn't feel comfortable with the replacement options. Or, perhaps, this is Michel Therrien's way of trying to build consensus in the dressing room. I don't know.

What I do know is I don't like it. Give me a 'C' over four 'A's' any day of the week. It may not work in school, but I sure as heck think it works better on the ice. 

Filed in: | The Upper Canadien | Permalink
 

Is A Captain Really Needed?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

The Canadiens’ decision Monday to bestow the A on four players, and no C, has ignited a wee tempest in our nation’s most excitable NHL market, as loyalists of one player or the other ask why their favourite wasn’t the obvious choice.

But what if it makes perfect sense?

What if it’s just the formal acknowledgment of an observation every NHL coach makes: that no good team can have just one leader — that if you aspire to be a contender for the Stanley Cup, you’d better have a half-dozen of them?

Anyway, the mystique of the C may not be entirely based on imagination, but its importance is grossly overestimated.

Case in point: Dustin Brown of the L.A. Kings. Brown is, without doubt, exactly the kind of pain in the ass to play against that coach Darryl Sutter loves, but he is also an accomplished diver and, logic tells us, the person no referee has any interest in hearing a protest from, when a call needs to be argued.

more

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Daniel Alfredsson’s agent speaks about his client’s situation

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

As noted earlier this afternoon, the Wings' beat writers all reported that Daniel Alfredsson hasn't skated with the Red Wings in some time now, and isn't expected to attend training camp. Ken Holland told the Free Press's Helene St. James that the team's willing to wait for Alfredsson to take the time he needs to figure out whether he's healthy enough to play, and this evening, Alfredsson's agent made a statement to TSN:

Alfredsson, who finished second on the team in scoring with 49 points last season, is an unrestricted free agent after leaving the Ottawa Senators to sign a one-year contract in Detroit.

''Daniel had a strong summer training and was feeling great while skating here but suffered a setback on his fifth day of high intensity on ice sessions," Alfredsson's agent J.P. Barry told TSN. "It's the same back issue he has been dealing with for a few years. He needs some time to let things settle and then determine whether his back is up to the rigors of another full season. He will be patient for now before making any decisions.''

"I think I owe him the class and dignity to allow him to get to a point where we sit down and make a decision about his future," Holland added. "Whether we sign him to a contract or not will be based on feedback from his body. Before we even get there, we have to see if Alfie's body is going to allow him to play.

Here's what Capgeek has to say about the deadlines for signing unrestricted free agents:

Continue Reading »

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Are You Concerned About The Russian Players In The NHL?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet,

The world has changed since Igor Larionov wore the uniform of the Central Red Army’s hockey team. The Cold War has been replaced by something much more nuanced; the questions and answers infinitely more complicated in a time of increased economic interdependency and borderless reality.

Russian hockey players? There’s not much mystery about them, beyond the usual stereotypes still given credibility in some of the darker corners of the game. There were 34 Russian-born NHLers in the league in 2013-2014, and in the June draft, 13 Russian-born players were selected, the most in eight years. They’ve been team captains, colossal over-achievers, spectacular under-achievers, coach-killers … pretty much the same as any other nationality.

Yet another ‘political statement’ made by a Russian-born player – in this case, Semyon Varlamov, who over the weekend posted an Instagram photograph of himself wearing a shirt with a photo of Russian president Vladimir Putin and ‘Crimea Is Ours’ written in Cyrillic before taking it down – reminds us that, for the first time in years, Russian players will be competing against a backdrop of Western animosity directed at their government, this time over the crisis in Ukraine.

Should the NHL be concerned? Should its Russian players? You’d have to look back to the political fallout from the invasion of Afghanistan to find political tension like this – to find a time when European powers and the U.S. were jockeying for strategic positioning with an aggressive then-Soviet Union. Russian teams had been playing exhibition series since the 1972 Summit Series, and after awhile the tenor of the games changed from one of mystery to on-ice bitterness. Through it all, however, nobody worried about Twitter or Instagram. The 140-character universe didn’t exist. Neither did the Kontinental Hockey League, for that matter.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Randy Carlyle Under The Microscope

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Breakaway Blog at the Toronto Star,

... But all of the storylines connect at Carlyle.

He wasn't fired at season's end when the team collapsed.

Some believe it was the way they played -- with fire most of the time -- that cost them a playoff spot. Continually outshot. Continually out-possessed, in the new parlance of analytics. Carlyle's teams -- even in Anaheim are horrible at possession games.

Some believe it was simply a matter of goaltending, that if Jonathan Bernier didn't get hurt against the Los Angeles Kings, the Leafs would have sailed into the playoffs, and nobody would have lost their jobs.

Now is Carlyle's chance to prove himself, and do so under less than ideal conditions.

For one thing, it seems evident there'll be more -- oh, what's the word? advice? instruction? meddling? -- from above.

The front office looks like it's going to active, with assistant GM Kyle Dubas communicating the ideas from the team's analytics department. That means Carlyle is going to hear from Dubas about line changes, line combinations and who'd play best with Phil Kessel.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings evening news: tonight’s lineup, Griffins jersey winners, Cleary, Alfie and one wise Blash

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If youwant to follow along with the Red Wings prospects' game against Minnesota this evening (7 PM start), Pointstreak will have the box score, the pre-game notes are already up, and myself, SlapShotgoal, the Wings and MLive's Brendan Savage have been attempting to live-Tweet it.

A very kind gent posted the lineup on Twitter, and it looks like I was right about Ty Stanton and Mitch Wheaton being "in" on defense and Marc McNulty sitting out:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings follow-on rink’s details to be shown to the public this Thursday

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

According to the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar, ahead of the unofficial groundbreaking for the Red Wings' follow-on rink on September 25th, Olympia Development's going to showcase some of the new rink's "specs" this Thursday:

Olympia Development of Michigan is going to show the public new details of its new $450 million venue that will be the home of the Detroit Red Wings and the expected catalyst for a 45-block entertainment district on the northern edge of downtown.

Olympia Development of Michigan will be presenting the plans at a public meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. to the Detroit City Planning Commission. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Committee of the Whole on the 13th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, located at 2 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226.

The plans to be unveiled will show many new details of the layout of the new arena. Next Thursday, is the expected target date for construction to begin for the long-awaited development that will create a new home area for the Detroit Red Wings. The arena would be among the five “new neighborhoods” with hundreds of new apartments, offices and other mixed-use retail that could open by summer 2017, according to the billionaire family that controls much of the land.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Who’s The #1 Goalie In Carolina?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Buried in the avalanche of information that came out of the Carolina Hurricanes’ media day a few weeks ago was one interesting little nugget from new coach Bill Peters.

Peters said he’d like one of his goalies to play 60 games, which is pretty standard stuff from coaches who generally prefer to have a No. 1 goalie and a backup. Except in these specific circumstances, it’s reasonably explosive proposition.

Not because the Hurricanes don’t have a goalie capable of playing 60 games. They do. They have two, if (and that’s a big if) Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin are each on their game. And that’s the issue. If one goalie is playing 60 games, that means the other is playing 22. There isn’t enough playing time to go around for two goalies who both consider themselves to be the starter.

Peters did qualify that statement, noting the usual hectic early season travel schedule that sees the Hurricanes play two of their first eight games on the road in an attempt to avoid the hassles of playing at home during the North Carolina State Fair will require extensive use of both goalies. But the desire to have a No. 1 guy seems to conflict directly with the players at his disposal.

Peters, who has been nothing less than impressive in his limited interactions so far with the media and public, clearly gets the benefit of the doubt here. Almost every coach would prefer to have a No. 1 goalie who claims the job and runs with it. Making that statement before training camp begins is practically a reflex.

continued

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

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