Kukla's Korner

Jeff Blashill Must Get The Most Out Of His Players

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Coaches must do better at maximizing players' abilities by putting them in the best positions to succeed. Too many players regressed. Statistically, few were more productive than in 2014-15. Blashill took some responsibility for that.

"One thing that we want to do is help our guys get better," Blashill said. "That doesn't always mean production-wise. Sometimes it has to do with minutes; there's only so many to go around, and that can affect a lot of things including production. But part of what we want do is help our guys get better and making sure that we get better as a team through the course of the year."

Blashill might have relied too heavily on veterans Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Brad Richards. Zetterberg and Kronwall, in particular, need their ice time reduced.

Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar combined for 18 fewer goals. They also averaged 1:29 and 1:52 less ice time, respectively.

Andreas Athanasiou provided a spark with his speed and maximized his ice time when promoted permanently on Feb. 5 but averaged only 9:01 because Blashill felt he wasn't ready for more minutes.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Pittsburgh Penguins Are Outplaying The Washington Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog,

In Saturday night’s Game 2 loss to the Penguins, they were dominated for at least 40 minutes, appeared ill-equipped to handle Pittsburgh’s high-flying offense and couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. They went 14 minutes without taking a shot at one point, misfired on the few dangerous chances they did generate and coughed up the home-ice advantage they had worked months to secure. They gave up the winning goal to a popular former teammate, activated one of their ugliest bits of history and now have to hold their breath as the NHL scrutinizes a bad hit by one of their best defensemen.

The good news? The Caps will travel to Pittsburgh tied 1-1, rather than in the 2-0 hole they probably deserve.

But they’ll leave Washington knowing they’re on a path to trouble, that the showing they made in Saturday night’s 2-1 loss won’t be close to enough against the league’s hottest club. The Penguins hadn’t lost consecutive games since mid-January. To win a second straight at home, the Caps needed to start quickly and keep the Penguins from flying through the neutral zone. They needed to rely on their size advantage, make life difficult for rookie netminder Matt Murray and play crisply in their defensive zone.

They needed, in other words, to play better than they had in Thursday’s Game 1 win. Instead, they went backward, offering their worst performance of the postseason. Ignore the final score, because it should have been worse.

read on

Watch the game highlights below...

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

Videos- Both Coaches Talk About The Brooks Orpik Hit On Olli Maatta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,



Watch the hit below...

added 9:33am, another video added below, with multiple broadcasts...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brooks+orpik, olli+maatta

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eric Fehr – who spent nine seasons with the Capitals over two stints with the club before joining the Penguins in 2015-16 – scored the game-winning goal with 4:28 remaining in regulation to propel the Penguins to a Game 2 victory, evening their Second Round series 1-1.
* Fehr, who was drafted 18th overall by the Capitals in the 2003 NHL Draft, spent nine of his first 10 NHL seasons with the club recording 87-87—174 in 419 regular-season games and 5-1—6 in 37 postseason contests.
* Fehr – who scored his first goal against his former club (regular-season and playoffs) – registered his second career game-winning goal in the postseason, both of which have been scored in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also Game 4 of FR at NYR).
Matt Murray (23 SV) improved to 11-1 in his last 12 decisions dating to March 6 (regular-season and playoffs), including a 4-1 record in five starts during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.74 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO).
* Per Elias, Murray became the first rookie goaltender to win four of his first five career playoff starts since Michal Neuvirth (WSH) did so in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. NYR (4-1).
* Evgeni Malkin (0-1—1) provided the primary assist on Fehr’s winner and has collected at least one point in all six games since making his return to the Penguins lineup in Game 2 of the First Round vs. NYR (3-6—9).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Caples: Why the Red Wings won’t be playing in Marquette’s ‘Hockeyville’ exhibition game

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples answers a pretty significant question in the wake of Marquette's Lakeview Arena winning this year's Hockeyville, U.S.A. title--why aren't the Red Wings playing in the exhibition game awarded to the rink?

When the puck drops on Oct. 4, it will be the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres squaring off in front of what will surely be a crowded Lakeview Arena.

It was assumed that the hometown team would participate in the preseason game, after a rink in Pennsylvania had the opportunity to host the Pittsburgh Penguins for the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA in 2015.

According to the NHL, the Red Wings are unavailable for the game due to a scheduling conflict.

“The Red Wings have already scheduled the maximum number of preseason games permissible under our CBA,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement provided to MiHockey after we inquired about the matter. “The team had no ability to play an additional game.”

Caples continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Saturday Night Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- The easy part was firing Boudreau. The hard part for Anaheim will be finding a better coach. Boudreau’s regular-season winning percentage is .659 in the NHL, best in history. Behind him, a guy named Scotty Bowman at .657 ... Boudreau is 1-7 career in Game 7s, which got him the axe. The best Game 7 coach in hockey, Darryl Sutter of the Kings: His record is 7-2. For the record, Mike Babcock is 4-4 in Game 7s.

- I like the way Larry Brooks does his job. And for most of his career, I like the way Dan Boyle played in the NHL. But the blowup the other day between the two was understandable, but not excusable for a player in decline. I’ve watched other athletes unable to deal with their own career mortality. It isn’t comfortable. By nature, athletes tend to be dishonest about their own abilities. Boyle wore that in his season ending interview in New York.

- Just to settle my own curiosity, I did a 20-year look back at first picks in the draft and came up with this number: Only eight times in the past 20 years has the first pick definitively turned out to be the runaway best player selected: Those eight players — McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Joe Thornton.

more on the last note plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean talk about the hottest topics from around the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, ron+maclean

Videos- Brooks Orpik Interference Penalty On Olli Maatta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Maatta has not returned.



Below a fan video with Mike Milbury commentary.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brooks+orpik, olli+maatta

The Toronto Maple Leafs Will have The First Pick In The 2016 NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

 The Toronto Maple Leafs will pick first in the 2016 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.

The Winnipeg Jets were awarded the No. 2 pick, and the Columbus Blue Jackets won the No. 3 selection.

The Maple Leafs had a 20 percent chance, the best odds, to win the No. 1 pick in the draft, which will be held June 24-25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. They are the first Original Six franchise to have the No. 1 pick since 2007, when the Chicago Blackhawks selected right wing Patrick Kane.

The Maple Leafs are likely to use the pick to select center Auston Matthews of Zurich in the National League A, the top professional league in Switzerland. Matthews (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft. The 18-year-old won the league's Rising Star award and was second in voting for most valuable player in NLA after scoring 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games.

If chosen No. 1, Matthews would be the first American-born player since Kane to be selected first.


added 9:15pm, NHL release is below...

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

Time For The Islanders To Make Adjustments After 4-1 Loss To The Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Arthur Staple of Newsday,

“We’ve got to come up with some speed, some numbers, have guys going to the net,” Tavares said. “We’ve got to shoot some pucks and when there’s plays there we have to make them. It sounds simple but it’s a matter of executing.”

more on today's game

Watch the highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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