Kukla's Korner

Will The Kings Ever Get ‘It’?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

What’s most grievously missing from the Kings’ makeup and lineup goes beyond the obvious.

It’s more telling than their lack of a true first-line center, more damaging than the wearing down of their defense.

The Kings don’t have a commanding presence, someone who should have reamed them out Saturday for letting a second-period lead at home slip through their collective five-hole.

Their previous coach, Marc Crawford, yelled too much. Their current coach, Terry Murray, could not have yelled enough after their 6-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in front of a disgruntled crowd at Staples Center that had seen this too often.

continue for more on the Kings loss to the Coyotes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sunday Is Hockey Notes Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The Montreal Canadiens’ new motto: 100 years, 100 controversies.

So who goes first, Randy Carlyle or Chris Pronger in Anaheim? Word is, the two can’t live together anymore.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sutter Not Happy With Play Of Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Less than a week after completing an impressive sweep of the NHL’s top two teams in points, the Devils were shut out by the league’s last-place team, the Islanders, 4-0, tonight at Nassau Coliseum.

Yann Danis made 40 saves to post the Islanders’ first shutout of the season. The Devils were also victims of the Atlanta Thrashers’ only shutout this season—a 4-0 loss on Jan. 8. Devils coach Brent Suttrer said the shutout losses to the leagues’ two worst teams in points were not a coincidence….

“This road trip should be a good wake-up call for these guys,” Sutter said. “I certainly hope it is because I haven’t been overly pleased all week on this trip. We got away with two points in Tampa Bay. We were very fortunate. But we didn’t get away with it in the other two games and we didn’t play well enough on this trip. To get two out of six points, you can’t be happy at this time of the year.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Night Sundin Will Not Forget

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Sundin was tapped on the shoulder to take the third and final shot of the shootout and didn’t disappoint his teammates. He lifted a backhand over the right shoulder of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala to ice a 3-2 victory for the Canucks, their eighth in their past nine games.

It was a nice ending for the former Leafs captain, who tussled with his emotions in his first game in Toronto since he decided to continue his NHL career with the Canucks two months ago.

A few hours before his game-winning heroics, Sundin was feted with video tribute on his days with the Leafs that was shown on the scoreboard during the first television timeout. As the capacity crowd of 19,504 rose to their feet to applaud Sundin for at least 90 seconds, it became evident his eyes were watering as his emotions rose to the surface.

read on and below is an interview Elliotte Friedman of HNIC did with Sundin after the game.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Ryan Miller Hurt, Ruff Not Happy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Miller is out of the lineup indefinitely after suffering a left ankle sprain during the Sabres’ 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

“It’s stiff and it’s tender,” Miller said after limping to his locker stall in HSBC Arena. “These are things you have to kind of feel out. There’s no timetable, really. It’s your comfort level….

The injury happened 1:54 into the third period. Miller went behind the net to retrieve a New York dump-in, and Scott Gomez chased the puck. As Miller played it around the boards, Gomez crashed into the netminder’s right leg, simultaneously twisting the opposite ankle….

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff didn’t hide his anger for Gomez.

“I don’t think there’s any secret it was deliberate,” Ruff said. “He knew what he was doing.”

more and watch the video of the play below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+miller, scott+gomez

Frei Is Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

Among the things I don’t like about covering the NHL are the minimal standards for vetting trade rumors before they’re tossed out into print, on the air or into cyberspace.

It has been like that since I can remember, and relatively speaking seems worse compared to other sports, even in reputable journalism circles.

For some reason, “sources” in hockey newspaper coverage range from agents, general managers and other team officials (even if they had axes to grind) to the assistant trainer, a player’s wife’s hairdresser, a Ouija board or a dartboard.

And in this age, thanks to the Internet and, in some cases, to reputable print and broadcast journalism’s unfortunate willingness to abdicate its position of higher-standard authority, the standards have gotten even lower.

Hey, toss anything out and see what sticks!


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

Everyone Is Talking

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

• League sources say a possible solution the Habs are studying is Avalanche winger Ryan Smyth, who has three years left on his contract at an average of $6.25 million (all terms US) per season and is being shopped by Colorado GM Francois Giguere.

• The Blues haven’t asked C Keith Tkachuk to waive his no-movement clause yet. But that day is coming. He would like to go to the Bruins, but the interest may not be mutual.

• Nice of Anaheim D Chris Pronger to tell everyone on his website he doesn’t want to leave the Ducks. Message to Pronger: He’s not the one making the decision. That’s GM Bob Murray’s job, and he’s been shopping the veteran blueliner. The Devils are looking, but they’d rather have Pronger’s teammate, Scott Niedermayer, as a rental.



Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tampa Keeps Sayng No

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Clubs calling the Lightning have been told that neither Vincent Lecavalier nor Marty St. Louis - two current players, by the way - is available for trade.

• You want to be a sucker? Then step right this way and give Toronto GM Brian Burke a No. 1 for Nik Antropov.

• Rangers, according to an NHL source, have $950,000 of cap space. That equates to the prorated portions approximately $4.53M in contracts at the March 4 deadline.

• Finally, news this week that a group of UCLA geologists believe they can use scientific measures to determine the location of Osama bin Laden.

Next up: finding Glen Sather.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Power Play Success

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I often look at the list of top power play teams and wonder what makes the leading team so great.  I think the problem is often low sample size.  The average team might get about 370 power play opportunities in a season.  That works out to a little over twelve games on the power play.  Twelve games are often not enough to prove anything.  It is relatively easy to find a twelve game patch of the season where almost any team plays very well and a twelve game patch where almost any team stumbles.  Most likely, the good teams will have good patches and the bad teams will have bad patches, but there should be a lot of volatility in team’s results due to small sample size alone.

Last year, the Montreal Canadiens were the best team on the power play.  They had a 24.8% success rate.  They had a history of success on the power play.  Their success with driven for a large part by Alexei Kovalev, who was the top scorer on the power play last season.  Kovalev had an unreal, unsustainable season on the power play.  At age 35, he was bound to drop and he did.  Montreal has fallen to a mid-range level on the power play (17th) and with that have dropped in the standings.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Baddest Cat Alive?  It Just Might Be Jimmy

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

If this works, a Van Halen lyric that leads to a Wing win?  Oh, it could become a staple.  You definitely won’t have to twist my arm to drop some Mean Street on you.

I might save that for the playoffs.  Tonite though? We’ll see if our boy Juke Joint Jimmy Howard is, in fact, the latest thing.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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