Kukla's Korner

Columbus Will Have To Work To Keep Playoff Position

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Six points separate sixth-place Columbus from 11th-place Minnesota with Nashville, St. Louis, Edmonton and Anaheim sandwiched in between. Five of those six clubs play Tuesday night as the dance continues.

Every game matters, every single point is crucial. We know we’ve been talking about parity for a few years, but seriously, have you ever seen anything like this?

“No, I have not,” Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock told ESPN.com. “And teams have been in this playoff mode for a long time. There’s about eight of us that have been in this mode for a long time. We’re just used to playing this way.

“We’ve been saying around here, ‘You play 82 playoff games just to get into the playoffs.’ And that’s exactly what it is.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Luongo A Vezina Candidate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Vezina voters (NHL general managers) are loath to support upstarts and tend to vote for established stars. None of the established powerhouses—including Miikka Kiprusoff, Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur—is having a powerhouse year (at least not statistically).

And that’s opened the Vezina door to Luongo, whose up and down season has been nothing but up for two months.

The remarkable 18-4-1 run he’s on leaves him with a 29-11-6 record. That’s just six fewer wins than he had all of last year when he played 26 more games.

“There are a lot of reasons, and many things have had to go well to go on a run like this,” Luongo said.

more

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

All Carrie Milbank

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave McBrayer of Barry Melrose Rocks,

BMR:  Pick one: Ed Olczyk or Barry Melrose?

Carrie: Eddie O with Barry’s mullet…yummy.

BMR:  You just gave us a very disturbing mental image with that last answer.  Clearly, you don’t mind blogs since you’re talking to us and have dabbled in some of your own. What are your thoughts on blogging and where sports media is headed?

Carrie: I loooooove bloggers, and it seems that the Internet is quickly becoming our main source for news and entertainment so get comfy boys…I don’t think you’ll be unemployed anytime soon.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+milbank

Oilers With A Must Win Game Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from JoAnne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal, “

We have to win tonight. That’s where we start,” said captain Ethan Moreau.

“The burden has to be shared by everybody,” coach Craig MacTavish said. “Everybody has to step up. A lot of times you go to great degrees trying to complicate it or explain it or rationalize it, but it’s very simple. We need everybody in here to play the game hard, play with intensity, and execute. Everybody has to add something.

“The canvas will be finished over these next six games. How is it going to frame us? We still have an opportunity to turn it around.”

more and watch the video as the Oilers ask for fan support…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fans Share Their Hopes, Pain & Questions Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I receive around 500 emails a week and most of them are from hockey fans who want to express their feelings on our great game.

Here is a sampling of those emails and I will be pointing to this blog post in my NHL.com article today, so feel free to add your comments & questions too.

Continue Reading »

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

Sharks Stay Loose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Starting as friendly banter between Joe Thornton and Brian Boucher, the joking morphed into a full-fledged competition.

“We were rating guys bodies. I think I gave him a six or something like that,” Boucher said after yesterday’s morning skate at the Saddledome.

“He was devastated.

“It turned into, ‘Let’s see who’s the better athlete.’ “

It’s Boucher who’s a little devastated right now, trailing the 10-event contest with a record of 0-2-1, losing in ping-pong, golf and settling for a controversial tie in timed push-ups.

“I’m in desperate need of a win,” Boucher said.

The team isn’t.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Selanne Unsure Of His Future

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

“I’m happy I’m still playing,” Selanne said after a recent shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. “Everything starts (with passion), if you don’t have it, you shouldn’t be playing.”

The former Winnipeg Jets sniper was happy to reflect on his early days in the NHL.

One of the obvious highlights came when Selanne smashed Mike Bossy’s rookie record for goals with 76 back in 1992-93.

“It took a long time to realize what I did in my first year because it was such a roller-coaster,” said Selanne, who had 132 points in 84 games during that memorable season. “Every day was a great day and I was so hungry to have success and score more and more. Everything was new and I was so excited. Right now, I think about 76 goals and it’s incredible. It was just very special.

“The whole game has changed. I miss the old times.”...

While he has another year remaining on the two-year deal he signed last summer, Selanne isn’t sure if he’ll be back for another season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

Price Getting His Game Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette,

“He’s beginning to look more like the player we’ve seen for the first 50 games and not the last 20,” general manager and head coach Bob Gainey said. “I see his body language in goal now and he doesn’t resemble someone who’s always guilty.

“Now he’s part of our team who must play well for us, but not more than the others. Everyone has the same responsibility as the goalie. He’s still 21 and is experiencing things he hasn’t experienced before.”

Price has worked hard with goaltending coach Roland Melanson over the last few weeks. They’ve worked on Price’s leg work and improving the way he tracks the puck, the mandate of playing the position.

“I was starting to lean and guess instead of reacting,” Price explained. “It’s a gift being able to pick up the puck and reading the angle off the stick.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“It must be something about the way Sean looks out there in his helmet, because people want to kill him but Sean was as disciplined and as focused as ever.

“I don’t want to sound corny about it, but I think we’re all proud of him.”

-Chris Drury on Sean Avery.  More on the Rangers win over the Devils from Larry Brooks of the NY Post.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Choking Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Sitting 13 points behind the Flames just two months ago, the Canucks enter tonight’s game in Minnesota just one point behind the NHL’s Northwest Division leaders with a game in hand.

More importantly, their schedule is far more favourable than a six-game Flames finish which includes four road tilts and three back-to-back affairs. The Flames have won just six of 22 back-to-back outings this year.

Last night, the Flames continued their freefall with a 2-1 loss to an injury-riddled San Sharks club which included more no-name products than Superstore.

And the noose tightens.

The undeniable truth is the Flames are gagging down the stretch—again.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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