Kukla's Korner

Scott Walker Still In Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

More than two weeks after the Carolina Hurricanes forward tore cartilage in his chest, Walker is still in excruciating pain. He has no idea when he’ll be able to sleep comfortably, let alone ride an exercise bike, lift weights or get back on the ice.

“I wear a brace around my chest that holds it, and that feels the best,” Walker said Sunday. “Other than that, I’m just getting to the point where I can get in and out of bed without too much discomfort. It’s frustrating because every day you wake up and hope it’s going to be better. It’s just one of those things where they told me it’s going to take some time.”

continued... I saw the injury occur and thought to myself, this is not good.  Scott could barely move his upper body without being in pain.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+walker

Paul Kelly Would Like “Widespread” TV Coverage Of The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler at MSG Network, (Paul) Kelly wants to canvass his constituency to get an overall feel for the membership’s thinking. One thing he emphasized to us is his desire to see more widespread TV coverage in the U.S.

He didn’t mention ESPN by name, but rather by implication that a renewed marriage between the biggest sports network and Bettman, Inc. would be highly desirable. It’s tough to argue that point!

more from The Maven…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhlpa, paul+kelly

Leclaire Seeing Shots & Stopping Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the STATS Blog,

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the surprise team in the early going, and their goaltender, Pascal Leclaire, has been stellar, posting a league-high five shutouts in his nine starts. It shouldn’t come as a shock that Leclaire, who turns 25 on Wednesday, also ranks first among his peers with a 1.12 goals-against average and .957 save percentage.

In the last 10 days, Leclaire has secured wins despite facing his two highest shot totals of the season. On Oct. 25, he faced a season-high 36 and stopped all of them for a 3-0 win over St. Louis. In Los Angeles on Halloween, Leclaire was 33-for-34 in a 4-1 decision against the Kings. He hasn’t lost when facing 30 shots.

read on for some interesting stats when goalies face a high amount of shots…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: columbus+blue+jackets, goalies, pascal+leclaire

Gaborik & Demitra Out Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Pioneer Press,

The Minnesota Wild will throw another depleted lineup on the ice tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers. Marian Gaborik is out, Pavol Demitra is out and Wes Walz hasn’t come back.

Gaborik and Demitra have groin injuries; Walz hasn’t returned from an excused, and unexplained, absence and will miss his third game.

Gaborik played the past two games and played well, scoring five points, including a two-goal game in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Calgary. He sat out practice Sunday, but reporters were told he was simply given the day off.

Asked if something changed between Sunday and this morning, when Gaborik was pulled from practice, coach Jacques Lemaire said, “Something changed a bit.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: injuries, marian+gaborik, minnesota+wild, pavol+demitra

Report- Havlat Close To Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN Fantasy Talk,

A little birdie (aka a report in the vaunted Chicago Tribune) told me that Havlat may be back in the active lineup at some point during the current Chicago homestand this week. Say what you will of Havlat’s fragility—and much has been said, after all—but he’s shown he’s capable of point-per-game pace when in the lineup, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t achieve that upon his return.

read on for more fantasy talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chicago+blackhawks, injuries, martin+havlat

Blue Jackets Ranked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Brophy of the Hockey News ranked the NHL teams today…

1. Ottawa
Spezza signed, sealed and delivered

2. Detroit
Ozzie has been really good

3. Carolina
Look who’s bouncing back to life

4. Columbus
Leclaire unbelievable with five shutouts

read on and Columbus should be going hockey crazy…

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

Kovalchuk Breaks Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

Many people are going to jump to the conclusion that Ilya Kovalchuk’s amazing run of goal-scoring—nine in seven games—is a direct result of the Atlanta Thrashers removing head coach Bob Hartley after the team’s 0-6 start. Well, that assessment might be right for the wrong reasons.

You see, the coach and the prodigy co-existed for four-and-a-half seasons. Hartley brought needed structure and consistency to both a young franchise and a young player with star potential. But once it was clear that Kovalchuk had absorbed the lessons of accountability, his offensive verve wasn’t quite the same. His kinetic dashes down the left wing—once filled with the promise of brilliance—became tempered, or even worse, predictable.

continued

Update 3:41pm ET
Transcript of Kovalchuk’s NHL press conference call today:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, ilya+kovalchuk

Ankle Bothering Forsberg

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It looks as if the much-anticipated Peter Forsberg comeback has hit a bump in the road.

According to two independent Swedish ice hockey sources, Forsberg left the first day of practice for Sweden’s national team that will compete later this week in the Karjala Cup after about an hour, saying his problematic ankle wasn’t holding up.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

Tortorella Safe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

One day Feaster will have to fire Tortorella – eventually, every GM does it – but that day doesn’t look as though it will happen any time soon.

What’s more likely to happen is the Lightning looking for goaltending help. Johan Holmqvist’s play was problematic on Saturday night and the Lightning were out-goaled by Rick DiPietro on Long Island last week. Prior to that, in games against New Jersey and the New York Rangers, the Lightning looked lethargic and uninspired, which helped fuel some of that Tortorella talk.

read on

added 3:11pm, from Lightning Strikes on a trade for a goalie,

Never say never, but as it stands now, such a trade is very, very remote for several reasons. The Lightning already is about $2-million over its self-imposed $44-million salary cap, so any trade, unless ownership had a 180-degree change of heart regarding how much it is willing to pay, would have to include payroll going out. Who do you get rid of?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella, tampa+bay+lightning

Touring the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Vincent M. Mallozzi at the NY Times,

“Putting the whole thing together was kind of Rubik’s Cube-ish,” [Steve] Williamson, 49, said last Monday from his seat at Madison Square Garden, where he watched the Rangers defeat the Lightning in the fourth game of his whirlwind tour. “But this is one of those rare N.H.L. seasons where everything on the schedule lined up perfectly for me.”

Williamson, the promotions manager for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, spent 48 hours working on his itinerary, calling it “a travel agent’s worst nightmare.” He will enter and leave Canada three times before ending his monthlong vacation Nov. 24 in Tampa, Fla., where Tampa Bay is host to the Devils.

more…

*Paul Kukla also interviewed Steve Williamson last week, in case you didn’t get a chance to hear it.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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