Paul Kukla

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Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

The Slumping Montreal Canadiens

10/20/2021

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette, The San Jose Sharks didn’t surprise the Canadiens with their fast start Tuesday night, but coach Dominique Ducharme said his team didn’t handle the situation well. “We knew they play fast and have lots of puck support and they throw everything at the net,” Ducharme said after the visitors crushed the Canadiens 5-0. “We needed to box out, we needed to be good coming back killing plays and we got beat on those plays. It’s a lack of execution, a lack of engagement on certain plays that cost us and that was the case in the first period.” The Sharks scored twice in the first 3:36 of the game and, given the lack of production from the Montreal offence, the game was effectively over. Brendan Gallagher hit the nail on the head when he said there wasn’t just one thing that needs to be corrected. The Canadiens are 0-4 to start the season, they have scored only three goals, are 0-for-13 on the power play and have given up seven power-play goals. “A lot of people are going to turn on us and it’s important in that locker room that we don’t,” Gallagher said. “We have to do the right things to find solutions. It’s never easy to get out of those things. It’s disappointing that it’s happening in the very beginning of the year, but this is when you’re challenged. You want to test yourself in tough situations and that’s where we are now.” There were signs that the fans were turning on the Canadiens before the loss. The announced attendance was 16,095, more than 5,000 short of capacity. continued Game highlights are below.

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

A Good Night For Lucas Raymond

10/20/2021

from Ansar Khan of Mlive, “I had some really nice looks today and especially this time of the game you want to score to help the team,” Raymond said. “Of course, you want to get that first goal. It’s something real special and it’s awesome, a special night.” Raymond opened the scoring at 6:17 of the third period, taking a pass from Dylan Larkin and wiring a wrist shot over goaltender Joonas Korpisalo’s glove on the short side. Shortly after that, Raymond side-stepped a check in the neutral zone and made a nice touch pass to Larkin, who set up Tyler Bertuzzi’s goal at 8:53, his fifth of the season, which proved to be the winner. “Those are a couple of dynamic offensive plays,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “The one thing (Raymond) does pretty consistently is play a complete game. That earns trust and you get minutes. Are there parts of his game that have to get better? A hundred percent. And he knows it, especially moving his feet. He’s a real cerebral player, sometimes he can get caught just thinking his way through the game instead of thinking and moving his feet. “Him and (fellow rookie Moritz) Seider both have a real good combination of confidence but yet real calm people and real respectful, real good inner drive. They’re not entitled people. I think (Raymond) has got a maturity beyond his years. That’s certainly going to help him as he goes through any upcoming trials and tribulations he’ll face.” more Below, watch the extended highlights.

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Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

32 Hockey Thoughts Today

10/19/2021

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, - Jack Eichel’s agents aren’t commenting on this one, but I think I see their strategy if this continues without medical resolution or trade: Eichel’s been seeing doctor after doctor in search of support for the artificial disc replacement. The more support they get, the more they will argue it is an acceptable practice and that the new CBA agreement is not meant to prevent what could be seen as a reasonable medical choice. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t predict if that will work, but it’s definitely the basis for some kind of legal challenge/grievance should we get to that point. - Nikita Kucherov is going to see a specialist to determine the extent of his injury. So we may not get clarity on his situation for a few days. But head coach Jon Cooper said it isn’t as long-term as last year, while Mikhail Sergachev told The Athletic’s Joe Smith Kucherov is “going to get some rest, get ready for the Olympics.” - According to a couple of sources, Rangers’ coach Gerard Gallant personally called Vitali Kravtsov to ask the forward to consider returning. Kravtsov is in Russia, but several teams say they’ve been told he wants to play in the NHL, not stay overseas. He went home to find a comfortable spot to skate and be ready. Getting him to come back to New York will take some serious convincing, as it’s not his preference. He’d like a fresh start. New York is asking a high price for the 2018 first-rounder, but there’s legitimate interest. It’s a poker game. - Edmonton is 2-0. GM Ken Holland told Oilers Now propagandist Bob Stauffer “my history in Detroit was when the team was good and we have a chance, I’ll spend.” (Stauffer did specify not a rental, but someone with term or team control.) Probably not smart to make any judgments after two games, though. “If you’re in the top eight and you think you’ve a real chance,” Holland added, “the time is now, we’re trying to take another step.” - For a second time, Mark Howe is retired. The Hall-of-Famer ended his playing career in 1995 and, after last season, retired as a scout. “I remember asking dad when I was still playing, ‘How do you know when it’s time?’” Howe said Monday. “He answered, ‘You’ll know.’ He was right. It hit me then and it hit me again.” Howe said he wants to spend more time with his partner, Sharon, recognizing that is more important to him now than work. “I’ve been compensated very fairly. I strongly believe in Steve Yzerman and his plan. Steve is the hardest-working guy I’ve seen. He demands the same of others and he should. But I wasn’t just tired, I was burned out. It is time.” Howe went out of his way to praise the Red Wings and the Ilitch family. “They were great to me, and us. To share my father with the rest of the world when he passed made a difficult time very nice.”... more on Mark Howe plus other Thoughts...

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