Kukla's Korner

Celebrate A Division Title?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Feinstein of the Washington Post,

It wasn’t giving up three late goals to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game that was over after 14 minutes. That’s something a good coach such as Bruce Boudreau can harp on in practice for a couple of days, but in the course of an 82-game season, letting up with a 6-1 lead in the third period isn’t something to really worry about.

The mistake actually came before the puck was dropped: Rather than slowly raising its 2009 Southeast Division championship banner to the rafters, the team decided to merely unfurl it. It was almost as if the Caps were saying, “This isn’t good enough, so we’ll just unfurl it fast and move on.”...

The Caps will win a lot of games this season, and they will have quite a few 6-1 leads. None of it will really matter though until April, May and perhaps June. Ted Leonsis, Boudreau, Ovechkin and company have good reason to believe the banner they raise next October will be the one they want to raise. In the meantime though, downplaying progress—as in back-to-back division titles—isn’t the way to go.

Most important, it could lead to bad karma.

more

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

Wayne Gretzky- 30 For 30 On ESPN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Peter Berg at ESPN,

My relationship with Wayne goes back to the 1990s when he invited me to play in his softball tournament in Brantford, Ontario. He wanted to get some actors in the game and I was a big hockey fan, having played it growing up in Chicago. I thought it would be a small game, but there were about 20,000 people there. First play of the game, I got a grounder at shortstop and threw out the runner and the crowd started booing me. Turns out it was Gordie Howe. I was humiliated. That began my personal relationship with Wayne.

continued and the video below is an expert of Kings Ransom which debuts on ESPN tonight at 8:00pm ET.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wayne+gretzky

Not The Way The Canucks Planned To Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

Do we have to take another dozen years of this? Does Roberto Luongo?

In the first home start since his 12-year contract extension, Roberto Luongo was beaten on four straight shots and hooked after 25 minutes and 51 seconds. His goals-against average this season is 4.55, his save percentage .820 and his record 0-3.

Other than that, nothing is fine.

The Canucks lost 5-3 Monday to the Columbus Blue Jackets and are getting worse defensively by the game. Makes you wonder how bad things might be after four or five games.

continued

added 10:05am, from Ray Ferraro of TSN,

My guess with the Canucks is that they expected a smooth start, and when they fell behind in all three games games, disbelief crippled their effort. A kick in the tail like this can quickly shock the system and help a slightly complacent group get back to work. The key is not to panic and try to do your own job and not everyone elses.

more plus other NHL topics as Ray begins blogging at TSN…

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

Talking Hockey In The War Room

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I will be on NHL Home Ice XM204 and in the War Room with Mick Kern at 11am ET today.

I always enjoy these segments and I am looking forward to the hockey talk.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: xm

Saku Koivu In A Different Place

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The he NHL’s schedule maker occasionally shows a keen sense of timing – and nowhere is that more evident than in the first full week of the 2009-10 regular season.

We get to see Koivu v. Koivu right off the top and the chance to revisit the decision made by the former Montreal Canadiens captain to seek his fortune in sunny California….

Even with a game against younger brother Mikko’s Minnesota Wild next up on the schedule, Koivu’s inquisitors amounted to exactly two reporters. It is just one of the many culture changes for the 34-year-old, who was told by the Canadiens last June that after nine years as team captain, they were going down a different path.

Koivu pondered the Wild as an option, but ultimately chose to join old friend and Finnish countryman Teemu Selanne with the Ducks – about as radical a move as possible within the geography and culture of the NHL. Even though they’ve played together on national teams in the past, it so far hasn’t exactly been a match made in hockey heaven.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

Khabibulin’s Game Can Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Nikolai Khabibulin has had a stellar NHL career, but the new Edmonton Oilers goaltender concedes his work through training camp and the first league game has been spotty.

After an 18-save, 4-0 shutout in his first pre-season game against the Florida Panthers, he’s allowed 12 goals in his last 72 shots. It’s obviously early, and the alarm bells shouldn’t be going off, but he has to be better than that, for sure, if the Oilers want a playoff spot.

“There’s been some positives and some negatives ... right now it’s a little uneven,” said Khabibulin, who is one win shy of 300 for his career, which would put him in an exclusive club of only 24 NHL goaltenders.

“I haven’t played my best yet.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Help Send a Minor League Team to the World Juniors 2010

Blog: KK Members Blog By timbrref

Hey there, hockey fans!

I’m writing to see if you’d be interested in helping a minor league hockey team make it to the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon. Through a recently launched website, http://timbrtube.ca you a,nd hockey enthusiasts across the country can make that dream a reality. We’re encouraging minor league hockey teams to shoot fun, whacky and outrageous hockey videos showing off their team spirit for the chance to score an all expenses paid trip for their entire team to the big event in December.

It’s easy! All the teams have to do is shoot a video, upload it to timbrtube.ca and rally their friends, families and communities to rock the vote. The top ranked video will win the big prize – a four-day pass for the entire team to check out watch the best of the best show down in Saskatoon!

Of course, the fun isn’t just for the minor league teams. For any hockey fanatic, the videos will be a blast to watch and ultimately it will be your votes that decide who gets to go. Tell your friends and keep checking back for the latest and greatest videos on timbrtube.

While you’re there, make sure you learn the ropes of hockey spectatorship from yours truly. I’d hate to have to call you for lipping, henhousing or hornblowing but that penalty box won’t fill itself!

Now hurry over to http://timbrtube.ca before I call you for slacking…

The Ref

Website: http://timbrtube.ca
Twitter: @timbrref
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/timbrtube

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: 2010, contest, saskatoon, world+juniors

Havlat Brings His Game To Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

Martin Havlat is no Marian Gaborik.

Many associated with the Wild believe that’s a good thing.

When Gaborik, the Wild’s all-time scoring leader and all-time leader in groin injuries, skated away to the New York Rangers through free agency last summer, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher moved quickly to obtain Havlat, another Eastern European scoring sensation whose statistics are similar to Gabby’s.

Said Fletcher: “They’re different hockey players. The intention wasn’t to replace Marian Gaborik, but (Havlat) was one of the top free agents available.”

At 28, Havlat is “entering the prime of his career,” Fletcher noted. “He’s a talented player, a player who was nearly a point-a-game player in Chicago last season, a dynamic offensive player. He can score goals, but he’s also a terrific playmaker.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat

I’m A Wing Fan.  I’ll Damn Well Panic When I Feel Like It.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Can someone remind me if I’ve ever told Mike Chen to STFU?  I seem to recall that I have.  If not?  It’s time.

Mike…don’t tell me when to stress about my Wings.  Don’t tell me when to panic and don’t tell me it’s not time to drink in the street.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The NHLPA Will Try To Negotiate A Settlement With Paul Kelly, After That, Who Knows

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,

The National Hockey League Players’ Association conducted its fair share of business Sunday night, including an executive board vote in favour of negotiating a contract settlement with former executive director Paul Kelly.

That much is clear.

What’s open to debate is how the 30-member executive board voted on tearing up the five-year contract of legal counsel Ian Penny and firing ombudsman Buzz Hargrove and advisory board chairman Ron Pink. Sources have said the executive did precisely that only to learn the vote didn’t count since several players had dropped off the call because of its six-hour length. Others have said it was more a straw poll than an official vote.

The NHLPA’s constitution calls for 25 players to form a quorum and 20 votes to pass a motion. Sources said there were votes on the future of Penny, Hargrove and Pink but that the 25 and 20 numbers were not reached thereby rendering the process meaningless.

continued

Filed in: NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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