Kukla's Korner

Video- Goals Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sportsnet style....

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Memorial Cup Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Memorial Cup completed yesterday in Red Deer, Alberta.  This is the championship of the Canadian Hockey League.  This is my summary of the Memorial Cup playoffs.  My summary of the round robin portion of the tournament is here.

The round robin completed with the Red Deer Rebels and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to meet in a semi-final with the winner to face the London Knights in the final.  The Brandon Wheat Kings had been eliminated.

SemiFinal Rouyn-Noranda 3 Red Deer 1.  Red Deer defeated Rouyn-Noranda 5-2 in the round robin.  This game was different from the round robin result.  Chase Marchand (undrafted) stopped 36 of 37 shots to get the win for Rouyn-Noranda.  Rylan Toth (undrafted) was the losing Red Deer goalie.  Rouyn-Noranda took a 3-0 lead with Francis Perron (Ottawa prospect) leading the way with a goal and an assist and Timo Meier (San Jose prospect) adding two assists.  Luke Philp (undrafted) then added the lone Red Deer goal.  This put Rouyn-Noranda into the final.

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Why They Play The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pascal Dupuis at the Players' Tribune,

One leg was twice the size of the other. It was a few hours before the game. We were in Edmonton last November. I was warming up in the hallway, doing some band work, some quick-feet stuff. At some point I looked down and saw that my right leg was really swollen.

When you are dealing with blood clots, this is the moment you always fear. Your body is betraying you. You can’t deny it. You can’t fight through it.

I took my equipment off and put on a tracksuit to go to the hospital to get checked out. As I was walking out of the locker room with the doctor, one of my teammates gave me a hug and just broke down in tears.

“Not again, Duper. Are you kidding me? Again?”

That’s the moment I realized that I needed to draw the line. People weren’t just worried about me playing hockey. They were worried about me playing with my life.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pascal+dupuis

‘Two Things’: Joe Thornton’s recollection of 97 and a quick interview with Sadowy

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. This story is not what you'd expect from Joe Thornton, but NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika relates a surprising tale about the one time Thornton's seen the Stanley Cup awarded on NHL ice...

It was 1997, and he was 17, a top NHL prospect. Agents Mike Barnett and Eddie Mio had an office in Detroit and season tickets in the lower bowl behind the net at Joe Louis Arena. Mio said he thought it would be a good experience for him to see the Red Wings face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Final.

He went to Game 4 with his brother John, a huge Steve Yzerman fan and the reason he started wearing No. 19. They witnessed the Red Wings end their 42-year championship drought, arena rocking, confetti falling. They saw Yzerman -- the guy critics had said couldn't win, the guy the team had almost traded -- lift the Cup for the first time at age 32.

John said they were "bawling" at the sight of it.

"I didn't know his struggles or anything like that at the time," Joe said. "I just thought, 'This guy's the man, and he won it.' That's all I thought, 'Wow, that's Stevie Yzerman, and he's hoisting the Cup. What a special moment.' "

Cotsonika continues...

2. And this comes to us via the Red Wings Redditors on Reddit: Dylan Sadowy gave a short interview to CTV Barrie, and both Sadowy (Sad-o-way) states that he went to the same high school with Andreas Athanasiou, he thanks the Barrie Colts for his time with them, and he looks forward to beginning his pro career.

 

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Seven Years Later The Pittsburgh Penguins Have Another Shot At The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

As the champagne sprayed and the Stanley Cup was passed around on that legendary June night at Joe Louis Arena in 2009, the Penguins knew they had just completed a spectacularly difficult task.

They survived an epic seven-game battle of superstars with the Washington Capitals. They dethroned a respected Detroit Red Wings team in seven more games in the final. They played through the potentially debilitating injuries and draining fatigue that all teams must overcome to win 16 games in a single postseason.

It was hard, they learned painfully that spring, to get to the top.

It was even harder, they learned even more painfully over the next six springs, to stay there.

Now, as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury — the five players from the 2009 title team that remain on the roster — prepare to lead the Penguins into the Stanley Cup Final again seven years later, they have a chance to show the hockey world exactly what they've learned.

“We did a great job of becoming a certain style of team,” Kunitz said. “We grew as a group. We had our struggles. When you go through struggles and can come out better on the back end, we've been playing some of our best hockey because of what we went through.”

continued

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Reasons To Watch The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,

There is a palpable letdown around here when the New York-area hockey teams are done for the summer. With no dog in the fight, it’s hard to garner interest in the national stage as the warmth of summer approaches.

But after all the Memorial Day barbecues and fireworks are done, Monday night brings with it Game 1 of what is an intriguing Stanley Cup final between the Penguins and the Sharks. There are stars and storylines that reach into the fandom of the Rangers, Islanders and Devils, and ones that should grab any sports fans attention.

Here are The Post’s top five reasons to watch:

1) Sidney Crosby

The Penguins captain has reasserted himself as the best player in the world — just in case he ever lost that title. In Game 6 of the East finals against the Lightning, facing elimination, Crosby scored arguably the best goal of the playoffs, just the kind of play that makes you love hockey. Weaving through traffic and finishing a swift snap shot, Crosby gave his team a 3-0 lead in a game they would win, 3-2, to force Game 7.

continued

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Questions For Ansar Khan

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Question time for Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Q: What's your take on the defense? I feel we could shed some significant salary if we brought up Sproul, Ouellet and (Nick) Jensen followed by dumping Big E (Jonathan Ericsson) and Smith. Why aren't these guys up yet?

A: They weren't up because the club didn't believe they were ready or were better options than what they had.

Despite Ericsson's struggles, they like having a big body on defense, even though he doesn't play physical. I think it would be difficult to move his contract (four years remaining at a $4.25 million cap hit and a modified no-trade clause).

They have a decision to make on Smith before next season's trading deadline. He's entering the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2017. They'll either lock him up to a long-term deal or move him. They've had other UFAs walk (Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula) because they kept them for the playoff push, but I don't think they'll risk losing Smith for nothing.

Q: We all know the Wings need help on defense but we also have to get tougher up front and put up more points. What do you think the chances are the Wings trade for a defenseman like Kevin Shattenkirk (of St. Louis) or pick up a tough, gritty goal-scorer at a reasonable cap hit in a guy like Jamie McGinn?

A: Shattenkirk, by many accounts, will be moved. The question is whether the Red Wings can acquire him without moving Larkin, who is untouchable.

If you're going to deal a valuable asset to get Shattenkirk you're going to want to make sure you have him locked up to a long-term deal. He'll be entering his final season at a $4.25 cap hit and eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017.

A highly skilled, right-shooting puck-mover, Shattenkirk is the type of player the Red Wings need.

McGinn is a free-agent forward option, maybe a Plan B or Plan C type. I think players like Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer are at the top of their wish list. If the Blues are unable to sign David Backes, he would certainly shoot to the top.

many more questions and answers...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Memorial Day 2016

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As you celebrate Memorial Day today, please salute those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

from the Washington Post,

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Why? According to the Department of Veterans Affairs:

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty.

continued

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‘Three Things’: On Coreau’s long-term outlook, Glendening’s ‘numbers’ and Svechnikov’s advice

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings goaltending coach Jeff Salajko regarding the progress made by Jared Coreau given the team's likelihood of trading Jimmy Howard.

While Salajko believes that Coreau needs a little more time in Grand Rapids, he also told St. James that Coreau is likely the team's long-term solution behind Petr Mrazek:

Coreau, 24, has been in the Wings’ system since 2013, when he was signed after his third season at Northern Michigan (he was an undrafted free agent). At a time when big goaltenders dominate story lines, Coreau appeals as he’s around 6-foot-6, 220 pounds. He’s coming off his best season since turning pro, going 29-15-2 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .922 save percentage that earned high marks from Jeff Salajko, who earlier this month was promoted from goaltending coach in Grand Rapids to Detroit.

“He had a really good year for us in Grand Rapids,” Salajko said. “He took the job there for a while, while Tom McColllum had a bad ankle, played something like 21 of 22 games, and he wasn’t used to playing a lot of games in college.”

Coreau has been called up to Detroit in a reserve capacity, but is yet to see action in an NHL game, so he isn’t ready to serve as Mrazek’s backup. Another good season in the minors (Coreau is a restricted free agent this summer, and the team plans to re-sign him) would serve as persuasion he’d be ready for a bigger role in the future.

“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”

Continued

2. DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji looks back at Luke Glendening's 2015-16 season campaign "By the Numbers":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PENGUINS, SHARKS FACE OFF IN GAME 1 OF STANLEY CUP FINAL
The Penguins and Sharks open the 2016 Stanley Cup Final when they face off in Game 1 at CONSOL Energy Center.
 
This marks the first all-time playoff meeting between these teams; they split their two contests during the regular season, with each club winning on the road. The Sharks, however, are 17-3-3 in their last 23 regular-season matchups dating to April 1, 1998 (PIT: 5-13-5).
 
The Penguins are making their fifth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and are vying for their fourth championship, following wins in 1991, 1992 and 2009. The Sharks, who joined the NHL in 1991-92, are playing in their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

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