Kukla's Korner

The Atmosphere In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Katie Baker of Grantland,

Joe Louis Arena has its long history, TD Garden has its swagger, and the Bell Centre has that certain je ne sais quoi. But if I were compiling a list of favorite places to go to watch a hockey game, the Shark Tank in San Jose would be very close to the top. (Notice I call it the Shark Tank, and not the “SAP Center” — I’m still bitter that the place is no longer named after a personal computer introduced in 1995, which was just so perfectly Silicon Valley.)

The sport of hockey has long embraced the absurd — from the gap-toothed smiles to the playoff beards to the logic around letting players punch each other in the face — and few arenas gather all that kooky energy together better than the one in San Jose. Before you even enter the Shark Tank, you can sense it; there are few things funnier than watching a group of middle-aged men clad fully in aggressive shades of teal — a Hertl, a Ricci, and an Ozolinsh! — hopping off the commuter train and striding purposefully toward the arena like they’re about to pitch a VC firm. Actually, I lied: What’s funnier is watching them, later in the game, do “the chomp” with their arms while ominous Jaws music plays and an opposing player gets sent to the penalty box. Also, I forgot to mention that the players skate out of a giant shark head, complete with lit-up red eyes, at the start of every game. What’s not to love?

Of course, it helps that the on-ice product has been one of the NHL’s best over the past decade. The Sharks haven’t missed the playoffs since 2003, which gives them the NHL’s second-longest active postseason streak, after Detroit. 


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

Red Wings-Bruins Monday practice post: both teams ‘take an optional’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 14x at 3:56 PM: The morning after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins via a succession of self-inflicted wounds, we received reminders of two unique parts of this series:

1. There is only so much you can work out via practicing in late April, when "exam season" is taking place both at the collegiate and NHL levels...

2. And this ain't a West Coast series, when off-days are completely spent in the air, traveling from city to city:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Game 3, Chicago/St. Louis Should Be Must Watch TV

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

After Brent Seabrook obliterated David Backes with an illegal hit Saturday – knocking him out cold – the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues scrummed in the corner. Backes regained consciousness, wobbled to his feet and tried to get involved, but he couldn’t keep his balance. A trainer had to hold him up against the wall.

And this is what one Blackhawk had to say to a fellow player who had suffered a brain injury:

“Wakey, wakey, Backes! Wakey, wakey!”

We can’t say for sure who it was, but Duncan Keith was the only Blackhawk in the vicinity facing Backes at that moment.

The CBC microphones didn’t pick up everything, either. Captain Jonathan Toews was right there, too, and had been jawing at Backes already. Standing with his injured teammate, Blues winger Alex Steen turned and yelled at someone: “Show some [bleeping] class!” A moment later, Steen added: “That’s [baloney], Johnny!”

read on

If you want to review the hit, watch below... the chatter starts around the :40 second mark...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Was Steven Stamkos Fine After Taking A Knee To His Head?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Fitz-Gerlad of the National Post,

It was not clear whether Stamkos went through a concussion protocol off the ice. It was not clear whether he met with a doctor. Lightning coach Jon Cooper suggested Stamkos received medical clearance before he returned for the third period, but he was vague.

“I can’t comment on the particulars,” Cooper said, in the Times. “For a coach, it’s ‘can the player go or can he not?’ We take every precaution on the side of the player not playing. But everyone said he’s good to go, Steven said he’s good to go, and he got stronger as the game went on, so he was fine.”



Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Avs Made The Right Choice With Nathan MacKinnon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

What sets MacKinnon apart from other teenagers trying to crack the NHL is that he has both the mind and the body to play the game at the highest level. So while the Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins can be a creative force, and made it right away too, he still hasn’t thickened beyond that rail-thin frame.

MacKinnon is a solid physical mass, which is complemented by a lightning quick first-step and the creativity to make a smart play, rather than force things.

This is an oh-so-rare quality and it was probably most evident in the first game, a come-from-behind win over the Wild, when Roy had goalie Semyon Varlamov on the bench for a sixth attacker with about three minutes to go.

more plus other NHL topics...

added 11:27am, Below, from Coach's Corner last night, Don Cherry talked about MacKinnon too...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+mackinnon

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Seven different scorers found the back of the net for the Sharks as they stormed back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to defeat the Kings 7-2 in Game 2 of their First Round series, taking a 2-0 series lead.

* The Sharks set a franchise record for most consecutive goals in a game (7), scored the most goals in a home-ice postseason game and matched a franchise record for the highest offensive output in any playoff game (7-3 win at Colorado on Apr. 30, 1999). San Jose also tied their record for widest margin of victory in a home playoff game with five.

* After being outscored 14-10 in last year’s seven-game series versus Los Angeles, the Sharks have tallied 13 goals in the opening two games (6-3 victory in Game 1) this postseason.  According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Sharks have set a new franchise mark for the most goals in a two-game span in a single postseason, breaking the previous mark of 12 goals (6-5 and 6-3 victories over Los Angeles on Apr. 19 and 21, 2011).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Blowout Loss For The Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,

"It obviously stinks sitting here talking after another lopsided loss, but they did what they set out to do," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "Now it is response time. Now we’re coming back to our rink. We won the first two in our arena last year and they came back and won the next two in theirs. We’re looking to repeat that but we have to start with one.

"Every playoff series run through the playoffs is different and has a different feel. We need to get back. We have one day in between to get ourselves together, regroup, refresh and put this one behind us and take a step in the right direction and have some push back."

The Sharks set a playoff record for most goals at home, and another for consecutive goals in a playoff game.

Those are the dry facts, which can't quite capture how dramatically the game turned and how the Sharks got the Kings to unravel in such rapid fashion, starting with their gritty fourth line as Mike Brown and Raffi Torres scored their first two goals.


I don't know what is more surprising, the great play of the Sharks or the poor play of the Kings.

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The game was played on the eve of what promises to be one of the more emotional days in the history of Boston. The game was played on the one-year anniversary of David Ortiz declaring, “This is our [expletive] city.’’ It was on national television, and there was simply no way the Bruins were slinking out of town trailing two games to none to the eighth-seeded Red Wings. No team in the Hub does Boston Strong better than the local hockey team. On the Garden ice, all the words are fighting words.

-Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe on yesterday's Boston/Detroit Game.  Read more on the game...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Out Came The Belt

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yesterday was not the refs. It wasn't the Wings trying to play Boston's style. Brendan Smith's attempt to go with Chara was not anything more than a young, frustrated kid tired of getting run. And I mean he was run. All day.

It was an ass kicking. Simple as that. Or as Stu Nahan said, "Butchering. Plain old butchering." 

Boston had more energy and, obviously, much more desperation.

And the Wings couldn't match it.  Honestly, it would have been tough to expect them to.  Do you really think Danny DeKeyser knows what it's like to face a veteran team, a heavy Cup favorite backed into a corner?  Did Tomas Tatar go into yesterday fully prepared for that kind of intensity? Of course not. There is no way he could have seen that coming.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Penguins Need More From Their Best

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

• Neither Crosby nor Malkin has scored in the Penguins' past six playoff games. In that span, which is more like seven games when overtimes are weighed, they have combined for five assists.

• In playoff series in which the Penguins were eliminated since winning the Cup in 2009 — not including 2011, when Crosby and Malkin were hurt — Crosby had 13 points in 17 games, Malkin 11 points in 17 games.

• The most recent playoff game-winning goal for both came in 2010, Crosby against Ottawa and Malkin against Montreal.

• Crosby never has scored in a playoff OT and — get this — has one third-period goal in his past 30 playoff games!
Save any deeper analysis, please. The best players have to be the best players. Maybe not every game or even every series. But it's an absolute must for Cup contention.

Save the excuses, too. Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, the two greatest players in franchise history, rose up to the biggest games. Those guys were shadowed, too. They were beaten up, too. And yet, they never were passengers while a Brandon Sutter or Matt Niskanen carried the load. But for the rarest of exceptions, they were front and center, stood their tallest.


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

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