Kukla's Korner

Blues Grasp The Underdog Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues coaches and players have had a tough time explaining how a team predicted to finish last in the NHL — even before all the injuries — can be within striking distance of a playoff spot.

But with nine games to play in the regular season, and their playoff status seemingly riding on every period, one Blue with a Stanley Cup in his past took aim at the question Wednesday.

“I think it’s because we’ve got a big group of guys who are underdogs,” said Dan Hinote, who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. “All of the sudden, there’s a bunch of injuries ... we’ve got call-ups, we’ve got guys that haven’t been in the NHL before ... we’ve got guys that were waived ... guys that were traded. It was kind of like a big group of guys that weren’t supposed to do well.

continued

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

12 Years Later

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

0321 on a school day and I’m seriously contemplating waking up my six-year old to show her what happened a dozen years ago tonite.

Oh, the Dive fan likes to point out that we’re “living in the past” when we continuously point to this game, that fight, that bit of redemption, that other fight and then that goal.  We like to reply that the impact of March 26th, 1997 is still very much being felt up and down the organ-I-zation.

In fact, we might even say that the momentum generated by that single regular season game still courses through the veins of the Wing franchise, that it is the lifeblood of a dynasty that is very much alive today.  Since the night Igor Larionov decided he’d go ahead and punch Peter Forsberg in the face, the Wings have made a habit of winning Stanley Cups.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Canes Players Hot In The Stretch

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

As the playoffs are approaching, we look for playoff bound teams that have been playing very well in their final games.  These teams will be in hot streaks when they get to the playoffs and might be very hard to defeat.  The playoff bound team that has been the hottest lately is probably the Carolina Hurricanes.  They have won their last five games in a row.  They have earned points in 12 of their last 13 games.  This has helped to propel the Hurricanes into fifth in the East Conference with 89 points.

As we came into last night’s games, the two highest scorers in the month of March so far are both Carolina players.  Ray Whitney has 18 points and Eric Staal 17 points so far this month.  Their offence has been a big part of Carolina’s recent successes.

The Carolina Hurricanes are generally not looked upon as one of the tougher playoff matchups in the East Conference, but if they continue to play this well they will be very tough.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Lecavalier Hopes To Find His Game In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times (Thursday edition),

Vinny Lecavalier needs a jolt, a kick in the pants, something to shake up his game.

It sure has gone stale for the Lightning captain, who leads the team with 29 goals but has just four in his past 18 games, in which he’s minus-9, and two in his past eight, in which he’s minus-8.

That is why Lecavalier agreed tonight’s game with the Canadiens at the Bell Centre couldn’t come at a better time.

“I love to play there,” the Montreal native said. “Sometimes you need one game to get you back. Maybe going into a building where I love to play will help.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Panthers Feel The Pain After Losing To The Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Not going to get into the whole thing about what happened tonight, anyone who watched or looked at the scoresheet can figure that out. This was a devastating loss for the Panthers, although the wings in the locker room smelled so good a few guys seemed to get over it real quick.

And I’ve never seen the scratched players escape a postgame locker room as fast as tonight’s trio of guys did. And I sure don’t blame them.

Speaking of blame, coach Pete DeBoer had plenty for goalie Tomas Vokoun, even though a couple of those goals were flukey. But the one that tied it sure wasn’t.

continued and watch the game highlights below…

added 3/26/09 at 8:21am, Watch the Horton hit on Afinogenov below too…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: maxim+afinogenov, nathan+horton

Goalies Go A Little Crazy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Top 10 “Goalies Gone Wild”.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Panthers Trying To Create Sponsorship Market

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Mullman of AdAge,

The National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers may be a sports franchise, but the team’s ownership is increasingly behaving like a media conglomerate in its efforts to woo and retain sponsors amid a tough sports-business environment.

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Panthers and their arena, has taken over the team’s radio and TV-broadcast sales, set up shop in social-media hubs such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and even upgraded digital signage around the Bank Atlantic Center in an attempt to create a one-stop shopping portal for sponsors.

The SSE Media Network, which formally launched this month, comes at a time when sports teams are struggling with cutbacks from major sponsors—such as automakers and financial institutions—creating intense competition for those that are still able to spend. In that climate, SSE is betting that the combination of increased impressions via the new platforms and one-stop shopping will give it an advantage over less-integrated competitors.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How Did Those Trades Work Out?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

It has been three weeks since the NHL trade deadline and so far, the winners look to be the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes.

Nothing is certain until the Stanley Cup is hoisted in June, but those are the clubs that look to have filled holes with just the right people ahead of the March 4 deadline.

“Calgary did a good job and the Rangers got (Nik) Antropov and (Derek) Morris and they’re playing really well, but we’ll see what they do in the playoffs,” Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk said this week. “It’s still the regular season, and the best team in the playoffs will win.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking At The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Baker of the Seagate Broadcasters Blog,

Below are my thoughts on the teams in the Western Conference as we prepare for the final 10 game stretch of the season.

Detroit
The machine keeps rolling along. They found a way to come back and win in Edmonton last night scoring 3 goals in the last 10 minutes. Babcock says he isn’t focused on what position the Wings are in come playoff time because you still have to win 4 games to win a series. Ya right! The Wings have 6 home games and 2 road games left. San Jose has 4 home games and 6 road games. The race for 1st in the West (and likely the NHL) will probably come down to the last weekend.

Calgary and Vancouver
This could be a race to the finish to see who wins the Northwest. Both teams have 4 home games and 6 road games left. Van is 3 points behind and needs to win the division outright because Calgary has the first tiebreaker….

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Debating Who Deserves the Hart

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy:

One point of contention during the debate, typically used when arguing who is more valuable to a team, is the “take the player off the team” angle, comparing how the Capitals and Penguins would be if Ovechkin and Malkin were not in the lineup. Obviously, both teams have decent talent around them that if they were not in the lineup one night, they wouldn’t suffer too poorly.

While Ovechkin and Malkin are pretty much certain to have their names included on the final list of MVP nominees, who deserves to fill the third slot?

In a more general sense, which one of the following players deserves the hardware?

Check out the list and cast your vote

Also at PD, check out Greg Wyshynski’s entertaining interview with Cam Ward, discussing everything from his current streak of starts, to his concerns about ending up with a “porno bobblehead.”

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hart+trophy

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