Kukla's Korner

GDT - Game #80: Red Wings host Blue Jackets (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The W.C. playoff teams are set.  CGY’s home loss against SJS, and COL’s win at VAN, have the ‘Dique in and CGY out.  The team seedings are all that remains to be resolved in the W.C. The LAK have overtaken DET for the 6 spot.  DET could finish as high as fifth in the standings, or could fall to the eight spot.  Uncle Mike doesn’t seem to care any about who might be a good matchup for DET:  “They’re all real good teams. And what I always look forward, to tell you the truth, is travel. How do you have the least amount of travel? If you look at the west, from the top to the bottom, unless you play Chicago, you’re flat out traveling across the country.  So there’s no sense worrying about that. The other thing is, it’s mixed up at the top and it’s mixed up at the bottom. How do you know? And we got a game against Columbus tomorrow. We’re doing everything we can to prepare for that game and to take a step. We spent a lot of time today with video going over basically how we play in all situations. We’re basically having a systems review these last few games preparing for the playoffs like we normally would, and that’s what we’re trying to do so we can be successful.”

The BJ’s, well, they are playing for roster spots.  Jimmah’s in net tonight.  Everyone skated at practice yesterday.  The Winged Wheel, after two straight losses, need to learn to Rock Steady into the playoffs.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Penguins Still Looking For The ‘On’ Switch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

...the Capitals again twitch-slapped the Penguins, 6-3, this time, meaning Ovechkin’s team swept the four-game season series, a possibility-turned-reality the Penguins had agreed in advance and by consensus was not terribly important.

And they’ll stick to that story until it is terribly important.

“It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to look forward, look at our mistakes and learn from them,” said Penguins center Jordan Staal, a minus-2 in 211/2 frustrating minutes.

Staal was, for the record, one of the minority in the room who felt that going 0 for 10 against New Jersey and Washington this season could have lasting deleterious effects. The Penguins’ abstract ability to flip the switch, as it were, once the playoffs start, did not become any less of a topic as a result of this encounter.

“It’s not something that just happens,” Staal cautioned in a quiet dressing room. “We need to find a solid way to play hockey and we haven’t done that yet. A lot of the problems are in the defensive zone. There have been a lot of breakdowns there. That’s where we’ve got to start playing a more solid game.”

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

Dennis Seidenberg Out Up To 8 Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a Kevin Allen tweet,

Boston D Dennis Seidenberg will be out 8 weeks after successful surgery to repair lacerated tendon in his left forearm.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dennis+seidenberg

Langenbrunner Still Silent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The captain clammed up. And after the Devils’ 3-0 victory over the Thrashers last night, he was nowhere to be found.

A mystery has developed around Jamie Langenbrunner, a week before the playoffs and in the wake of being “rested” by coach Jacques Lemaire on Saturday in Carolina….

Langenbrunner sat out for the first time this season in Saturday’s 4-0 victory in Raleigh for what Lemaire said was rest. Lemaire seemed stunned at the Langenbrunner mystery.

“I don’t know,” Lemaire said of what’s bothering Langenbrunner. “Maybe it’s personal. I don’t know. I don’t think he was in a bad mood.”

Of Saturday’s rest, Lemaire said, “I thought he needed rest.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+langenbrunner

A Train Wreck In Philly?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The Chairman of the Great Indoors, Ed Snider, will avert his gaze from the wretched Sixers and focus on the equally unwatchable Flyers. And unlike the basketball team that absolutely had no chance to make the NBA playoffs, some deep thinkers actually picked the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup.

Until last night, they were in danger of sliding off the NHL playoff bubble, where any team that can skate and chew caribou jerky at the same time gets in. Maybe it’s time for Snider to stop handing out rewards for deeds accomplished more than a generation ago and start assigning some accountability to the perps responsible for the current uberunderachieving mess. Watching a Flyers game has become an evening-eating equivalent of a train wreck in super-slow-motion. If it wasn’t for hi-def, you would opt for the train wreck.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This is a mess in Calgary, and suddenly both teams in Alberta, the Oilers and Flames, have hit hard times. The Sutters might think they can patch things and get back into the playoffs next spring, but as currently constructed, this is a team without a present or a future.

The Oilers, likely with the top pick in the June draft, have a bushel of bad contracts. So their return to competitiveness won’t be easy, either.

-Damien Cox of The Spin, where you can read more on Calgary.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Avs Fans Can Thank Adrian

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

You’re welcome, Avs fans. You’re totally welcome for that marvelous reverse jinx I set for your team. You know, the one where the beat writer totally gives up on the team and says they’re toast and will choke out of the playoffs – thereby setting a good reverse-jinx scenario where he gets made to look like a total fool and ridiculed throughout the fandom, complete with a court-jester beenie on my head?

I did it for you, people. I am happy to play the clown’s role, in order to get the Avalanche into the PLAYOFFS – Playoffs? What – playoffs? PLAYOFFS!?”
Yes, I am happy to stand before you now, freshly tarred and feathered.

But enough about me and my sacrifice for the greater good.

The real attention should be to the local heroes, the boys in Burgundy and Blue who were given the bum’s rush chance of finishing anywhere but 15th this year in the West, by all the so-called “EXXXX-PEERRRTS!”

Seriously, hats off to a team that I can now proudly say was my privilege to cover this season, my 15th in the league

continued

Below you can watch Adam Foote as he talks about the Avalanche making the playoffs.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Chances For The Playoffs - Very Slim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Slim just rode out of town.

There are three games to go and beginning tonight at the Garden against Toronto, the Rangers will play them without a margin for error in their quest to make the playoffs after last night’s 5-2 debacle of a defeat to a Sabres team that was a step up in class.

These weren’t the deficient Islanders, the lousy Lightning or the inept Panthers, the victims in the three-game winning streak the Blueshirts carried into the match. These, rather, were the Northeast champions clinching their division, even without the injured Thomas Vanek, Tim Connolly, Patrick Kaleta and Craig Rivet.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s Over In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This is how playoff spots are finalized in the new NHL – with the Calgary Flames’ players, huddled around a television set, in the player lounge at the Pengrowth Saddledome, watching two teams playing miles away, the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, decide their fate.

The Flames had failed to do their part. Earlier Tuesday evening, they’d fallen 2-1 to the visiting San Jose Sharks in what everyone in the organization had described as a must-win situation. Mathematically, the only way that they could stay alive for another day was if Vancouver defeated Colorado, the team they were chasing down for a playoff spot.

Right around 10:38 MDT, the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene scored against Roberto Luongo – and at that precise moment, it was all over for Calgary. A season that began with much hope and promise unravelled during a 12-game stretch in January when they won just once.

continued

added 7:49am, from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

The GM should be squarely in the cross-hairs.

What had seemed so promising in the summer turned so sour. They snared their coach of choice, Brent Sutter, under controversial - some might imply underhanded - circumstances. Signed the plumb free-agent defenceman, Bouwmeester, on the market for major bucks. Promised an already doubting public that, after four consecutive first-round playoff pratfalls, this year would be different.

Instead, it wound up being worse.

In the end, the ills that have plagued them this entire season came back to roost. An appalling lack of touch around the net. A stagnant powerplay. Not enough from their top offensive players. Poor at home.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The West Is Set

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In case you went to be before Colorado beat Vancouver in a shootout, here is the top 8 teams in the Western Conference for this season.

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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