Kukla's Korner

Beware If These Teams Make The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Hughson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

Here are four teams you might not want to face in the first round – that is, if they get in.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Okay, so it’s no revelation that a Stanley Cup finalist with two of the top three scorers in the league would be a tough match up for any team, but consider how bad the Penguins looked before the coaching change.///

Florida Panthers
Tomas Vokoun has one of the best save percentages in the league and is capable of winning games single handed. In front of him, the Panther defence is as good as any and better than most….

Columbus Blue Jackets
Hitchcock has a playoff-ready style, which means the Jackets don’t give their opponents many chances to score….

more on each team plus the Stars are mentioned too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Revenue-Sharing May Be Headed To Colorado

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

There is a good chance that for the first time, the Avalanche will receive revenue-sharing money from the NHL after this season.

Despite a well-heeled owner in Stan Kroenke and a reputation for years as one of the NHL’s “rich teams,” the Avs could qualify to receive revenue in this, their worst season ever.

There are plenty of complications and caveats as part of the NHL’s revenue-sharing system, and it won’t be decided until this summer, but the basics are that the league’s 10 lowest revenue-producing teams qualify to receive subsidies from the league’s financially better-performing clubs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ovechkin Or Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

Question No. 3: Penguins fans are saying that Geno Malkin is the league MVP.  Good evidence in the last game - he got five points, he hit the 100-point mark, he leads it by 10.  Who’s your choice?  It’s basically coming down to Alex Ovechkin or Malkin.

Pierre McGuire: Ovechkin. The big thing on Ovechkin is that he’s probably scored the best goal of this NHL season against the Montreal Canadiens. He does this virtually every single night. If he’s not part of the Washington Capitals, they’re probably not leading the Southeast division, they’re not pushing for home ice in the playoffs. He’s the most valuable player.  Take him off the Capitals, they’re not anywhere near as good.

Keith Jones
: For me, it’s Malkin. You think of Mike Green with the Capitals, you think of Sergei Gonchar with the Penguins. Gonchar playing now just 15 games, Malkin over the 100-point mark again.  Without a great defenceman on the blueline for much of the season, Malkin has gotten the job done.

more and two other questions answered…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, evgeni+malkin

Red Wings: Hot In The Stretch

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I look at some of the Abel to Yzerman posts on this board sometimes we see some incredible worry and fear about the progress of the Red Wings.  What is interesting is the disconnect between those feelings and reality.

Since the beginning of February, the Detroit Red Wings have the most points in the league.  They have a 16-6 record (with two losses counted as regulation ties) to give them 34 points.  No other team has more than 31 points in that time frame.  I would use that as a strong argument that the Red Wings are in a very solid position for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Sharks ‘Talk’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from SanJoseSharks.com,

Instead of a full practice at HP Pavilion on Wednesday, the Sharks met for 90 minutes in the locker room. The extended session included the entire hockey department from Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson to the coaches, players and staff.

Following the meeting, a few players took to the ice for an optional skate. The Tuesday night 4-3 loss in Phoenix wasn’t the entire reason for the gathering, but it was likely the impetus for the session.


added 3/19/08 at 8:53am, More on the meeting from David Pollak of Working the Corners.

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

Panthers’ Gamble Not Paying Off

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Wes Goldstein at CBSSports:

Their gamble was keeping Jay Bouwmeester, their much-coveted young defenseman who could walk away for nothing this summer as a free agent and was arguably the most valuable potential asset at the deadline. Bouwmeester has rejected several contract extension offers from the Panthers over the last few years, leading to the widely held assumption around the league that he is just counting the days until he gets out of Florida.

He won’t deny that, but the Panthers still resisted the temptation to deal him because he is their best player in the midst of a strong season and they are real playoff contenders for the first time since the turn of the century. Getting there is critical to an organization struggling to attract fans, and keeping Bouwmeester, despite the risk of coming away empty-handed was supposed to send a vote of confidence to the players along with the message that the future is now.

But if the message was received, something apparently got lost in translation by a team that doesn’t seem to have any real leaders in the dressing room or even a captain.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Cujo Has No Retirement Plans

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Zeisberger in the Toronto Sun:

Curtis Joseph has put any potential retirement plans on hold.

Buoyed by his improved play of late, the veteran goaltender said he would like to continue strapping on the pads in the NHL next season.

“No question, I still want to play,” Joseph said after the Maple Leafs had completed their noontime practice at the BankAtlantic Center today.

“It’s easier to retire when you don’t feel good. That was the case earlier in the season. But I’m having fun now. I’m really enjoying the game.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: curtis+joseph

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“There isn’t a guy in there that should be proud of their effort in the first 20 minutes. It starts with leadership. The coaches are the leaders. We have captains in the locker room that have to make sure they’re prepared to play. And everybody individually has to take some responsibility and it’s not there right now. It’s disappointing.”

-Sharks coach Todd McLellan after last night’s loss to the Coyotes.  More from David Pollak of Working the Corners.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Impact of the Butterfly on Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Epstein at Sports Illustrated:

By the time [Patrick] Roy retired in 2003, having amassed a record 551 wins with the Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, 12 of the 30 starting goalies in the NHL were Quebecois, including Giguere, and nearly all 30 used the butterfly at least on occasion. What neither Allaire nor Giguere nor the throngs of youth imitating Saint Patrick could see, though, was that Roy’s style had been steadily ravaging his hips.

“All that going up and down at high speed,” says Pat Karns, a former Avalanche trainer. “We really had to work on Patrick daily [to keep his hips healthy].”

With each drop, the butterfly excavated the cartilage in Roy’s joints. It would be worse for his disciples, the goaltenders who started using his style as children and have dropped to the ice thousands of times. Those boys are all grown up now, and for many of the brightest among them—Giguere, Rick DiPietro of the Islanders, Antero Niittymaki of the Flyers and Vesa Toskala of the Maple Leafs among them—a scar on their surgically-repaired hips marks them as the butterfly generation. But from pee wee to the pros, butterfly is firmly entrenched.

much more

*thanks to KK reader Alan for the pointer!

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, injuries

Trouble With Cable Providers

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:

By moving the game to the NHL Network, in an attempt to give it more exposure, the league shut out a large number of Center Ice subscribers. Up until last week, I had DirecTV, which includes the NHL Network as part of its digital package. I learned, apparently along with a lot of fans, that Comcast doesn’t include the NHL Network in its basic digital package - even if you ponied up the bucks for Center Ice. Now, I need to get the NHL Network anyways, so I didn’t mind calling Comcast and bumping up a package for another $8 a month. But by the time we got it ironed out, it was 2-0 New Jersey.

Like a lot of hockey fans, I was part angry, part confused. So this morning, I called the league for an explanation.

It was explained to me that putting the game on NHL Network made the game like any other nationally televised hockey game, which means it wasn’t available on Center Ice. Usually that’s not an issue, because you can just turn on NBC or Versus and watch it. But for those of us who didn’t get NHL Network, it became an issue. But the league assured me that it wasn’t some underhanded tactic to get people to pay more money for extra cable coverage. In fact, it’s the opposite.

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Center Ice, NHL Network, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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