Kukla's Korner

Wild Need Some Young Talent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Nobody tries to lose. Nobody wants to lose. Especially players.

But this potentially painful Wild season might not be the worst thing for the long-term future of the franchise.

The Wild is depleted of top-end, young talent like few other teams. Just turn on the “Center Ice” package or study other teams’ depth charts, and it’s plain as day.

The Wild has no game-breaking forwards coming up, and developing these players might be the Wild’s only option. The next five months living through all the losses would be excruciating, but a top-five pick in the 2010 draft would be a nice “reward” for such a lousy year.

Look at the Colorado Avalanche. One horrific season got the Avs potential superstar Matt Duchene with the third overall pick.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blackhawks Play Both Sides Of The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,

Chicago ran the streak to 6-1-3 with a 5-2 victory and left Alberta 2-0 for the trip. Again.

When a team can blow out the opposition like that, the temptation is to pigeonhole the Hawks as a squadron of gunners, what with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien and others able to light it up.

It gets worse for NHL opponents, presumably, considering the fact that free-agent sniper Marian Hossa is set to make his Blackhawks debut next week after recovering from off-season surgery.

But the young Hawks aren’t one-way offensive divas; far from it. They’re defensively responsible, ranked third in the NHL in goals against and second overall on the penalty kill.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Play Until You Hear The Whistle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Adrian Aucoin barely kept the puck in at the blue line - the Flyers protested that it had gone out of the zone - and fed Matthew Lombardi on the right side. Lombardi then found Yandle in the left circle, and he fired a shot past Ray Emery.

After the game, Stevens was baffled by the lack of a call.

“We thought it was offsides. One lineman had his arm starting up to call it offsides, and the other guy waved it off,” Stevens said. “It’s unfortunate. If they would have just waved it off right away . . . but you still have to kill the penalty. It looked like the guys on the ice maybe relaxed for a second.

“It’s unfortunate it ends up being the difference in the hockey game.”...

On the controversial goal that made it 2-1, Emery said “guys stopped,” when they thought it was offsides, “but it’s no excuse. . . . I know it didn’t look like he [Aucoin] thought he kept it in because he kind of stopped for a second.”

more on the Flyers loss to the Coyotes and watch the play below, although we really don’t get a great angle on the play at the blue line,  Also in the game, Blair Betts dislocated his shoulder.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“This Is A Bailout”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So says Mike Milbury speaking about Patrick O’Sullivan of the Edmonton Oilers.  Scroll to about the 2:20 mark on the video and David Staples of The Cult of Hockey chimes in…

I thought hockey fans could be tough and nasty in their player critiques on the Oilogosphere, but CBC announcers Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey just got as harsh as any anonymous Internet hater. The two CBC announcers thrashed and trashed Oilers forward Patrick O’Sullivan after the first period of the Oilers-Hawks game on Saturday night,  bashing him for not going hard after a puck along the boards, evidently so he could avoid body contact with Hawks defender Duncan Keith.

At least that’s how it looked to me, and that’s certainly how it looked to both Hrudey and Milbury. Hrudey started off the hammering, then tagged off and Milbury utterly put the boots to the young Oilers forward.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+o'sullivan

#14 Belongs In The JLA Rafters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Shanahan arrived early in 1996-97 and by late the following March the Red Wings were beating up the Avalanche in the regular season before beating them in the playoffs a couple of months later. Detroit had twisted history its way to become one of the great teams of the post-expansion era instead of its most underachieving one. No one benefited more from Shanahan than Scotty Bowman in their three-Cup partnership.

He was the NHL’s quintessential power winger, scoring 656 goals while making enemies along the way as does anyone unafraid to express an unpopular opinion and articulate enough to express it well. He is one of the last of the Old Lions of Winter, one of the last originals.

Shanahan will enter the Hall of Fame in three years and when he does so, he will go in because of what he did for the Red Wings and for Detroit, where he surely deserves to see his No. 14 raised to the top of Joe Louis.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan

Filatov Happy To Be In The KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

RussianHockeyFans translates an interview from AllHockey.ru with Nikata Filatov after his first game in the KHL…

Are you happy about your return and about today?

Yes, of course I am happy. The first thing I am happy for is my team’s victory.

And three points on your first match…

Yeah, I picked up three. But I never get to a match planning how many points collect, if score or not…The first thing is that my team wins. Especially now that CSKA had a long losing streak it’s a good thing that we interrupted it. We played an excellent game and I think that we deserved to win.

Any regrets for your play in Columbus?

I didn’t even think about it. I will follow the guys and their matches. There is a good team there too. I had no such intentions as to prove something to them. Not now and never before…

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, nikita+filatov

Leafs Can Improve During Free Agency Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

On July 1st, the Toronto Maple Leafs may have as many as 17 free agents to contend with, and 11 of those players will be unrestricted.

For many teams this would be considered a horrendous challenge.

The Leafs look at it as a great opportunity.

The corps of the 11 unrestricted free agents includes Alexei Ponikarovsky, Lee Stempniak, Matt Stajan, Vesa Toskala, Garnet Exelby, Wayne Primeau and Mike Van Ryn.

Matt Stajan is believed to be a prime trade target and isn’t likely to be back.

Ponikarovsky is valued and will likely be offered an extension, however after that the interest in those remaining is quickly fading.

continued

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

Early Options For NHL Teams Traveling To Europe Next season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

If anyone thought the NHL’s regular-season games in Europe were a short-term experiment, guess again.

The league wants to expand to six teams next fall, up from four, and have approached the following clubs to gauge their interest: Minnesota, Carolina, Boston, Columbus, Phoenix and San Jose. Sources from all six teams confirmed as much but also stressed that it doesn’t mean for sure they are going over. It remains early in the planning stages.

continued with more topics- basically a recap of the Hot Stove on HNIC tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Niklas Kronwall Out After Knee On Knee Hit By Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings announced Kronwall will not return to the game after taking a knee on knee hit from Laraque.  Earlier on the same play, Laraque high-sticked Darren Helm so Laraque received 4 for high sticking and 2 for tripping.

added 8:15pm, video of the hit…

added 10:10pm, Mike Babcock on the Wings post-game show said Kronwall injury is not pretty and will wait until Detroit doctors look at him.  Babcock said the hit by Laraque is unacceptable in the game of hockey.

added 10:53pm, Scott Morrison on the iDesk (HNIC) said the Wings fear Kronwall has MCL damage.  Will know more tomorrow.

added 10:59pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings anticipate being without top-four defenseman Niklas Kronwall for a minimum of two weeks after he was injured Saturday in what general manager Ken Holland flat-out called a dirty hit.

Kronwall, 29, suffered what Holland said early examination revealed to be a second-degree, possibly third-degree MCL sprain to his left knee. In 2005, he needed that knee operated on after tearing his ACL, and ended up missing 52 games.

The Wings are hoping it won’t be nearly as long this time, but won’t know for sure until Kronwall undergoes further testing today (Sunday).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque, niklas+kronwall

Brian Mullen’s Heart Still With The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matt Caputo of the NY Daily News,

Sixteen years after his NHL career was cut short by a stroke, Brian Mullen is still on the ice.

Much of his life has revolved around Madison Square Garden, but on this day, the former Ranger and Islander is standing on the practice rink at the Prudential Center in Newark, coaching the New Jersey Rockets junior hockey team.

“Coaching these guys is a lot of fun. They soak everything up,” says Mullen, pointing out his 19-year-old son, Chris, warming up before a game. “I loved broadcasting and working for the NHL, and it’s good to be around the game again. If something like an NHL coaching job happened, I’d jump at it.”

Since his playing days came to an end in 1993, when he was 31, Mullen has worked for the Islanders, the Rangers and the NHL.

These days his office is about a mile north of the Garden at the CBS’ “The Early Show” where he is a stagehand for the popular morning program.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+mullen

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