Kukla's Korner

The Duhatschek Awards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Here are my choices for this year’s awards: Hart (most valuable player) -Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals. Runners-up - Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. The wording of the Hart is what gives voters so much trouble over the years. The award goes to the players “adjudged to be most valuable to his team.”

In the past, that’s frequently disqualified players on deep, talented teams from competing for the award, such as Datsyuk, for example. In a normal year, it is difficult even to select Detroit’s MVP – is it Nicklas Lidstrom; is it Henrik Zetterberg? This year, however, Lidstrom and Zetterberg had good, but not great seasons. Datsyuk separated himself from the pack – he is 20 points ahead of his nearest scoring competitor, Marian Hossa.

Datsyuk should be a finalist, as will Malkin, who is closing in on his first-ever NHL scoring title. Over the past two years, Malkin has always raised the level of his game during Sidney Crosby’s injury absences, but the fact that he plays on the same team as Crosby will hamper both their candidacies, leaving the dynamic Ovechkin to win the MVP again.

read on for more awards and other NHL topics too…

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

The Fan’s Choice Awards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brad Holland of NHL.com,

T.J. Oshie, Joey MacDonald and Milan Lucic, step up to the podium.

These three players took home Fans’ Choice Awards for Goal, Save, and Hit of the Season, respectively, in NHL.com’s inaugural Fans’ Choice Awards.

While it may not be the biggest award these three have garnered in their careers, it is a fitting tribute for three NHLers who drastically overachieved this season.

continued with video…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Where The Lightning Failed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,

Under the guidance of new owners, new management and new coaches, the Lightning were supposed to be winners this season. At the start of the 2008-09 campaign, there was enthusiasm and optimism that a last-place team could turn into a contender….

Here are five events that impacted the Lightning’s losing season:

Hiring Barry Melrose
Koules takes full credit, or blame, for this one after he sought the opinions of those who played for Melrose and was impressed by what he heard. But without a plan for training camp, any kind of set system in place or a solid plan of action, Melrose was fired 16 games into the season…

Dismantling the defense
By the first week of October,Tampa Bay had moved almost its entire defensive core from last season, trading away Boyle, Brad Lukowich, Filip Kuba, Alex Picard and Shane O’Brien and receving only Lukas Krajicek, Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle in return….

more

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

Farewell To A Legend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Leggo at NHLOfficials.com,

How do you say farewell to a legend? How do you put into words a larger than life character that most hockey fans feel they already know? How do you reveal the private man behind the celebrated Officer Koharski in the movie Wayne’s World, the foil in the famous doughnut episode? That’s the conundrum, trying to describe our friend, Koho.

The hockey world knows about the well publicized larger than life Don Koharski - NHL referee – irrepressible, sometimes awash in hockey headlines, sometimes not, cheerful and always steady. Others know him as the friendly neighbor, the charity minded citizen, the golfer and pal. To us fortunate members of the NHL officiating fraternity he is all of that and more. Our Koho is a mentor, a guide, an example, a teammate, a competitor, an athlete, a father figure, a brother and a friend.

continued

image

picture via NHL.com

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+koharski

Teams Can Clinch Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

#4 Chicago Blackhawks (idle) can clinch the #4 seed in the Western Conference:
* If the Calgary Flames get one or no points against the Edmonton Oilers.

#6 Columbus Blue Jackets can clinch the #6 seed in the Western Conference:
* If they get at least one point against the St. Louis Blues.

#7 Anaheim Ducks can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Dallas Stars.
or
* If they get one point against Dallas and the Nashville Predators get one or no points against the Minnesota Wild.

#8 St. Louis Blues can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators get one or no points against the Minnesota Wild.

#9 Nashville Predators can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues lose in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

thanks to the NHL for the information

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Control Their Position

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Jarome Iginla is as nice a person you’ll meet.

But the Calgary Flames captain sure can be greedy at times.

Asked whether it was more important to go into the playoffs firing on all cylinders or having won the division title, Iginla’s choice was both.

“I don’t think it’s all just about the division, but playing our best would probably lead to winning our division,” he said. “I think our game’s improved as a team the last 10 days and going in the right direction, which I think is the most important thing.

“But (the division title) is in our hands. We don’t have to watch Vancouver. It’s two games and we can win the division.

“I think they go hand-in-hand and we want both.”

continued

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

In Honor Of Opening Day In Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

It is not often I go off topic, but today is a special day in Detroit.  The Detroit Tigers open another season in Detroit and although their pitching may be their downfall, hope does remain.

Frank Albin of the San Jose Sharks sent this my way.  You may remember the ‘Hockey in 2050’ video I posted a few weeks ago, well this is the ‘Future of Baseball’.

How about some classic audio regarding the Tigers?  A long time staple on WJR, the introduction of Detroit Tiger Baseball and the classic ‘Go Get ‘Em Tiger’.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: detroit+tigers

Two Playoff Spots Still Available In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Anaheim (88 points) last played Sunday and has spent four days watching other teams get points. The Ducks finally hit the ice again Friday night, when Dallas comes to the Honda Center, then finish Saturday at Phoenix. Anaheim is seventh, ahead of St. Louis and Nashville, because it has won two more games than the Blues and played fewer games than the Predators.

St. Louis (88 points) has been off since Tuesday’s 5-1 win at Phoenix, which put them into eighth place—they’ve played one fewer game than Nashville. The Blues host Columbus on Friday and finish the season Sunday at Colorado, the last-place team in the West.

Nashville (88 points after a 4-3 shootout win at Detroit) stayed alive with a gritty, come-from-behind win in one of the NHL’s toughest buildings. The Predators are the first team in the League to finish their season, and must win Friday at Minnesota—then hope St. Louis and/or Anaheim cooperate.

Minnesota (85 points) is alive—but barely. The Wild have to win both of their remaining games—at home Friday against Nashville and Saturday at Columbus—and hope for losses by the teams in front of them.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Two Divisions In Each Conference?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,

Perhaps I’m just being wistful, a selective recall kicking in, making a bygone era seem more romantic than it really was, but I’d love to see a return to the divisional playoff format.

Eric Duhatschek weighs in on this in the next issue of The Hockey News and it’s an opinion I’ve shared for a few years: the blood feuds of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were the products of repeated post-season meetings and geographical proximity and nearly always seemed epic. The Battles of Alberta and Quebec; Rangers-Islanders; St. Louis-Chicago; Boston-Montreal still resonate.

Granted, with more teams in the league, the frequency of re-matches would diminish, but they’d still occur more often than they do today under a revised system….

Western Conference
Howe Division
Chicago
Colorado
Columbus
Detroit
St. Louis
Minnesota
Nashville

read on

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

It Was A Great Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Bishop of BostonBruins.com,

Despite his CHC pedigree, there’s no doubt that most members of the Boston Bruins organization would agree that compliments from Bob Gainey go a long way.

After the B’s 5-4 overtime victory over his Montreal Canadiens, Gainey, Montreal’s general manager and head coach, dolled out several puck bags full of respect for the Black & Gold

“It was a great game,” said Gainey. “I think, you have to give the Bruins credit—they came to play.

“They wanted to play hard. They brought all their tools with them. They were emotional. They were desperate and they’re a good team. They are in first place for a reason,” he said.

However, he was right about another thing: his Habs are not going to quit.

And, clearly, now that le bleu, blanc et rouge are in the playoffs, the standings simply don’t matter.

continued and check out the highlights of the game below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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