Kukla's Korner

GDT - Game #81:  Red Wings host Blackhawks (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The 19 have only asked for two things as DET (46-24-10) come down the stretch;  (1) play consistent hockey, and (2) stay healthy.  The hockey gods have delivered neither.  The Wings are 4-4-2 (or 4-6) in their last ten games.  Osgood’s status is completely unknown.  Hank is hurt, how badly, no one is saying.  Kronwall is out.  Jeebuz how can it get any worse; we are at the threshold of playoff hell.

But at least the Wings are in, CHI (43-28-9) are in a dog fight to capture a playoff spot. No telling what will happen tonight (well, based on the CAR performance, we have a clue).  Game On, Bitches(!)

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Giguere Facing Sports Hernia Surgery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

“We always made the decision to keep going and try to keep pushing knowing that I would have to get it done by the end of the year,” Giguere told the station.

Giguere had a similar operation on the opposite side in 2007 with Anaheim.

“If I want to be attractive to anybody I’ve got to get myself fixed,” said Giguere, an impending unrestricted free agent, who hasn’t ruled out a return with the Leafs . That would depend on a 100% recovery and GM Brian Burke deciding he wants a veteran around for insurance purposes — at a bargain price.

more on the Leafs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean-sebastien+giguere

Red Wings-Blackhawks set-up: combat math

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Chicago/Versus/WXYT, and as the Tigers are playing at Comerica park today, expect parking to be expensive) hoping to extinguish the defending champs’ playoff hopes minus the services of Henrik Zetterberg, whose “lower-body injury” has taken on a life of its own, and Niklas Kronwall, whose “upper-body injury” is at least severe enough that the Wings are keeping him out of the mix for this weekend’s games.

At this time of year, it’s all about math, and as the Western Conference standings and the fact that the Hawks are coming off a controversial 4-3 OT win over St. Louis on Wednesday don’t add much context, I’ll let the Chicago Daily Herald’s Tim Sassone explain the Blackhawks’ situation:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Midnight Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg injury info run

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I tend to literally lose sleep around this time of night because I’m vacillating between, “I desperately need a break from hockey” and, “Dammit, I’m sitting on stories that should be out there, but if I post ‘em now they’ll get buried on the second or third page by the middle of the morning.” Between that and the fact that Detroit’s newspapers don’t update their websites until 2-4 AM, I’ve found an hour of restless sleep at least makes the five hours between finishing up a game preview and rousing myself from bed for the Wings’ morning skate a little more tolerable.

That being said, a few evening stories popped up regarding the status of Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, who’s out with a supposed “lower-body injury” (ankle? knee? Charley horse? All three?) for this weekend’s back-to-back games against Chicago, and these stories offer different perspectives on Zetterberg and Wings coach Mike Babcock’s exchanges with the press that are worth posting here and now—and MLive’s Ansar Khan kicks off the proceedings by noting that Zetterberg wasn’t quite sure whether he’d play when the playoffs begin:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

University of Michigan, University of Minnesota-Duluth to square off for NCAA title

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

On Saturday at 7 PM EDT, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota-Duluth will battle for the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship (and the game will air on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Michigan advanced via a 2-0 victory over the University of North Dakota. Shawn Hunwick stopped 40 shots for Michigan. North Dakota lost forward Brock Nelson, who was stretchered off the ice after losing his footing while being checked by Luke Glendening, who was not penalized on the play.

In the other semifinal, the University of Minnesota-Duluth rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to defeat the University of Notre Dame 4-3, scoring a remarkable three goals on the power play while killing all five of Notre Dame’s man advantages.

Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan did not fare in the scoring for Notre Dame, registering 3 shots but also taking an interference penalty which gave Minnesota-Duluth the opportunity to score it 4-2 goal.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Rangers Leave The Back Door Open

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,

No matter how the Rangers fared Thursday against the Atlanta Thrashers, they could not earn a little “x” next to their name in the N.H.L. standings for having clinched a playoff berth. But they did have the power to skim much of the suspense from what has become a punishing playoff push.

Three nights after losing their catalyst, Ryan Callahan, to a broken ankle, the Rangers floundered, falling meekly at Madison Square Garden, 3-0. They can still make the playoffs, but now they need some help from the opponents of their pursuers, the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rangers (43-33-5) remained 2 points ahead of the Hurricanes (39-30-11), the ninth-place team in the Eastern Conference, who did not play Thursday and have two games remaining. The Rangers’ regular-season finale is Saturday at home against the Devils.


added 11:29pm
, Watch Tortorella post-game conference below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

Custance: if the Red Wings reach the Cup finals, Mike Modano’s done

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings forward Mike Modano has sounded like a man who’s uncertain of his hockey-playing future, and he confirmed as much to the Sporting News’s Craig Custance, suggesting that a long playoff run will be good enough for him even if the Wings don’t win the Cup:

f the Red Wings advance to the Stanley Cup Final this spring, regardless of the outcome, Modano will retire this summer.

“If we got there and we won or lost, I’m done,” Modano told Sporting News. “That’s my feeling on the whole deal. Hopefully it ends that way one way or another.”

There’s a cloud hanging over the upcoming NHL playoffs: this may be the last chance the hockey world gets to witness some of the best players of their era, playing at the highest level. As a player, there isn’t a more ideal way to end a career. Lift the Stanley Cup, do a lap around the rink and skate into the arms of your family after your final game. It has to be a consideration for more than just Modano and [Boston Bruins defenseman Mark] Recchi. Future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has been quiet on plans beyond this season, and as a Norris Trophy candidate, continues to play at a high level. But if the Red Wings win the Cup, is there really another reason for him to return next season?

Modano agrees with Ken Holland’s theory that playoff experience is practically currency at this time of year…

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Have It Their Way - The Burger King Sweater

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Appeared in only 8 games in the 95-96 season.  The Kings alternate jersey.

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

Pronger May Be The Key To The Flyers’ Success

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stu Hackel of the Red Light at Sports Illustrated,

This being the Flyers, there are going to be questions about their goaltending going into the postseason. Coach Peter Laviolette chose rookie Sergei Bobrovsky as his playoff starter just as the team was recalling Michael Leighton from the AHL. Brian Boucher is slated to be the backup, but with three goalies, you have to think the Flyers are preparing for any eventuality.

It seems strange to consider this team in trouble with the postseason at hand. A look at the roster, so impressive up front, just makes one wonder how the Flyers could play so poorly for such an extended stretch. “We’ve been getting outhustled, outworked, outbattled, out-power-played, out-penalty-killed,” Hartnell said…

Things in the playoffs being what they are, Philly’s bad habits could all vanish once the second season puck drops next week. The playoffs create their own momentum and confidence can build from something as small as a big save, a powerful hit or a timely goal. But without Pronger, or even without him at 100 percent, finding that confidence could be more trouble than anyone anticipated.


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

Scheduling Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Elliotte Friedman of CBC answers some emails….

My question is this: has there been anything done in regards to scheduling to help western North American teams with travel?

When I did the Vancouver sleep piece on Inside Hockey, I learned a bit about how the NHL tries to help some of these teams. No system will ever be perfect, because you can’t move cities closer - at least, not by modern technology.

One of the ways the league tries to help is by offering the teams with the toughest travel to finish their schedules first. So, Vancouver gets the first invitation to meet with the league and set home dates. The Canucks help themselves by clearing their entire calendar. Nothing (concerts, etc.) is booked until their home games are set, which gives them a better chance of putting together an acceptable overall schedule. That’s critical, because chances are the teams with the worst schedules are the ones who share arenas and don’t have priority selection of dates.

After VAN, it’s the three California teams, Edmonton/Calgary and Phoenix/Dallas. The first Eastern teams to go are Tampa Bay/Florida….

more plus addtional q & a…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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