Kukla's Korner

Briere Leaves Practice With Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

Danny Briere left practice early Friday because of what Flyers coach John Stevens called “a lower-body injury.”

  Since Briere missed most of last season with groin and abdominal injuries, alarms are going off in Flyerdom right now.

  The Flyers recalled David Laliberte from the AHL Adirondack Phantoms.

  Simon Gagne is already sidelined with a double-hernia, and Briere is doubtful for for Saturday against Carolina.

  GM Paul Holmgren reported that two of Gagne’s doctors have given conflicting solutions to repairing his hernias. The Flyers, Gagne and the doctors are trying to resolve those issues.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

No Time To Relax While Holding A Lead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,

Boudreau went on to explain that while it’s a natural thing to ease up when a game seems to be in hand, that’s what the average player does; not a great one.

“I always look at Gretzky,” Boudeau said. “If they were winning 5-1 or 4-1, Edmonton, they end up winning 7-1 because Gretzky would end up getting three points in the last 10 minutes when the other team had given up. That’s what you want to do, you want to have that killer instinct to make [opponents] not want to play you anymore. We’ve let a lot of teams back in the game. Even though we’ve been successful and won most of them this year, it’s been too close.”

We’ll see tonight if the Capitals can maintain their intensity against the Islanders, who are scraping to make strides in close contests. Out of 11 games this season, New York has played in seven one-goal games, six of which went to overtime or a shootout.

more

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

NHLPA Stumbling Along As Usual

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHLPA is in bad shape.  Is that even news anymore?  Over the years I have written posts entitled NHLPA in bad shape, NHLPA problems, NHLPA in shambles, NHLPA shoots itself in the foot and others.  The continuing story is that the NHLPA is always in bad shape.  It is never strong.  It doesn’t seem that the players are capable of creating a strong NHLPA.

Just when it looked like things were on the upswing under Paul Kelly, the players inexplicably fired him.  No reasonable cause has been released for his firing.  It doesn’t seem that one exists. The players don’t even seem to know what happened.  This is shown by the four player committee set up to investigate what happened.

EDIT:  A couple hours after this post, Ian Penny resigned from his NHLPA post.  It is yet another case of somebody who did wrong being subtracted, but when there seems to be an unending group of such people, can it really be sited as yet another point where the NHLPA is trying to right itself?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

New Or Same Story For The Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle, .

..And finally, there is Todd McLellan as the monotoned narrator who has decided that sugar-coating the bad stuff is bad for their diets. He is less afraid to name names and point fingers, and is becoming less a player’s coach and more a coach of players. He lived last year’s book, a seemingly brilliant bit of work that ended in a shambolic mess, and he knows of the books published before him, so he’s more likely to be Doctor Buzzkill than Doctor Feelgood.

In all, it’s a different set of characters than all the other Sharks volumes because the characters after the top three or four are being written as younger, less distinct and open to interpretation. Some may end up being surprisingly important figures when the shooting starts, others may end up as corpses in the background.

And maybe the slow buildup leads to a better ending. Or not. The one thing we’ve always known about the Sharks is, they never know how to finish a good book.

more

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

Walking Around In A Fog After A Concussion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

Steve Staios felt like he was stuck in Groundhog Day, and every morning was a wicked New Year’s Day hangover that wouldn’t go away.

Knocked out of Edmonton’s lineup with a concussion two games into the season, he’s been trying to free himself from the cobwebs ever since.

“The first 10 days that I took off were not very good at all—I had some really rough days,” said the Oilers defenceman, who felt well enough, finally, to skate for the first time yesterday,

“I’m glad I’m past those because they were tough. Walking around in a fog, you don’t feel crisp. That hangover feeling all day.

“It was a little bit concerning at some points, but you try not to make too much of it and hope the next day was a good day.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+staios

Gaborik’s Gone And So Are The Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

There’s no hiding the first month of the Chuck Fletcher/Todd Richards regime was as successful as a grouse staring down the barrel of a shotgun, but, boy oh boy, the hockey gods sure had a good laugh at the Wild’s expense.

As the Wild keeps losing (it is 3-9), Gaborik keeps scoring (10 goals), although in a fitting twist of irony, Gaborik’s St. Paul homecoming is threatened tonight because of that oh-so familiar “lower body” injury. He hasn’t skated since Monday.

But let’s be honest: Gaborik’s fast start under the Broadway spotlight was as predictable as a rush-hour traffic jam through the Lincoln Tunnel.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Head Shots Need To Stop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

How many players must be taken off the ice via stretcher before the NHL changes its way?

Will it take a body bag before the league finally clamps down on head shots?

Sure looks that way.

After years of believing the biggest cure of the headshot problem was players not skating with their head up, I’ve converted.

The onus has to be put on the players making the hit.

continued

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

Crosby Gains Confidence With New Stick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

With nine goals in 12 games, Crosby is off to the best start of his five-year career. He has 24 goals in his past 36 games, including the playoffs. He is on pace to score 62 this season, though it’s a bit early for projections.

Some people want to attribute Crosby’s hot start solely to his new, one-piece stick. Crosby is not one of them, although he acknowledges that the stick, at the very least, is symbolic of his budding scorer’s mentality….

Crosby favored the wood, among other reaasons, because he could feel the puck better on his stick. He finally made the switch this past summer, partly because the wooden blades he favored went out of production two years ago (he kept a stash for last season and still has plenty left, just in case).

“If anything, I think (the new stick) has probably given me more confidence to use my shot a little more,” Crosby said Wednesday, after scoring a hat trick against Montreal. “I definitely feel like I’m more likely to shoot from a little farther out than normal. In my mind, I’m not afraid to take a shot in a one-on-one now. That’s important. I can’t be too predictable.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Bergeron Finding His Game Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald,

After watching Patrice Bergeron score a first-period goal in the Bruins 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils last night at the Garden, an NHL scout in attendance began taking down notes.

“He’s skating . . . he’s strong on the puck,” wrote Tom Fitzgerald, a former teammate of Bergeron’s and now an assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “He’s hunting down the puck . . . he gets physical . . . he scores goals.”

And then, sounding more like the former teammate and less like the scout, Fitzgerald smiled and said, “He’s the old Bergie.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrice+bergeron

Leafs Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,

Vesa Toskala: Don’t you get the feeling this guy would be really good at dodgeball?

Lee Stempniak: A capable point man on the power play ... who knew?

The Frat Pack: A sharp-looking line during pre-season, Viktor Stalberg, Tyler Bozak and Christian Hanson have been reunited ... with the Marlies. For now they’re the Drat Pack, but they’re in the right spot.

Tomas Kaberle: Say what you like about his teeter-totter play from one game to the next, but don’t you just want to pinch those rosy cheeks?

Mikhail Grabovski: Has the tremendous ability to go 100 m.p.h. without actually getting anywhere.

more

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

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