Kukla's Korner

Flames Out of Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated:

The end is plainly in sight even if, with just days remaining, we don’t yet know all of the teams that will join the second leg of the biathlon. But before we say goodbye to a marathon regular season that needed nearly all of its 1,230 games to eliminate slightly less than half the teams that thought they had a shot at the playoffs, a few items deserve your upright attention:

Let’s start with the Calgary Flames, the franchise that most American hockey fans know only as the first family of hockey failure in Atlanta.

The Flames have been playing shorthanded for several games, including a crucial loss earlier this week to the surging Canucks that may have decided first place in the Northwest Division. Now, there are a number of reasons why that can happen. Penalties incurred during a contest is the one that comes most readily to mind, but there can be injuries or a called-up player not getting to the arena on time.

The Flames are shorthanded simply because they are out of money.

continued… with thoughts on several teams

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

The Future of Hockey Media

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy interviews Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings and David Pollak at Working the Corners:

In a general sense, where do you think print media hockey coverage is headed in the U.S. in the next few years? Can or will blogs fill in the holes in coverage for some fan bases?

HAMMOND: As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I don’t see how there’s going to be an increase of print coverage for hockey. Newspapers staffs are only going to continue to shrink, and as we’ve already seen, hockey coverage is one of the first things to go. Unless newspapers enjoy a huge resurgence, I don’t know what will turn that around.

Blogs most certainly have an opportunity to fill in the holes, even blogs that aren’t affiliated with newspapers or major media outlets. Bloggers who can develop credibility with their audiences have a wonderful opportunity to provide coverage to hockey fans who are hungry for it.

much more

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Says Fenway An Option For Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com,

The National Hockey League’s now famous “Winter Classic” could be staged at Fenway Park this coming New Year’s Day, although a decision hasn’t been made by the league to play the annual outdoor game there yet, an NHL spokesman said on Thursday.

“We’re looking at Fenway,” Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president of public relations, said in a telephone conversation about the 97-year-old home of the Red Sox. “But we’re looking at a variety of options.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Manny Legace Ready For Another Chance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The guy never has had the red carpet of life rolled out for him. For virtually his entire hockey career, he’s been dissed, dismissed, doubted and degraded. Even the person who engraved his name on the Stanley Cup engraved his surname as ‘Lagace’.

But like the famous movie producer Robert Evans, the kid has found a way to stay in the picture.

“You get used to it,” Legace told THN.com. “It’s been that way my whole life. ‘He’s too fat, he’s too small, he’s too this or that.’ So you get used to having to prove yourself every day. And that’s fine with me; that’s made me a better person and a better goalie.”

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manny+legace

Sharks True Test Coming Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lindsay Berra of ESPN The Magazine,

Q: What do the San Jose Sharks and the Titanic have in common?

A: They both look good until they hit the ice. [Harsh? Try this one.]

Q: What do you call 30 millionaires watching the Stanley Cup Finals on TV?

A: The Sharks!

Hold the applause—these comedic gems aren’t ours. They are but a sampling of the wit posted on message boards by Sharks fans who are tired of San Jose’s beast-in-the-regular-season, belly-up-in-the-postseason play.

Too harsh again? Hardly. In November 2005, GM Doug Wilson traded for Bruins center Joe Thornton, who notched 125 points and won the Hart. In the playoffs? The Sharks lost in the second round to the eighth-seeded Oilers. In 2006-07, they posted a franchise-best 51– 26– 5 record … and lost again (to Detroit) in the second round. Last season, they picked up coveted blueliner Brian Campbell in late February, won the Pacific—then lost to the Stars in you-know-what round.

continued

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

Blues Have Made The Right Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Collectively, the hockey staff decided to exile veteran goaltender Manny Legace to Peoria. That was a difficult decision. Legace is a pretty good guy. But Manny wasn’t happy and he wasn’t playing well.

Since his exit, the Blues have seldom lost.

Collectively, the hockey staff elected to keep Tkachuk at the trading deadline and not collect some additional future assets.

Since then, the Blues have seldom lost.

This run from 15th to eighth place in the Western Conference has taken on a life of its own. The Blues transformed into an entirely different team.

Sometimes it seemed supernatural forces were at play -– like when the team rallied improbably at Boston for one of the most freakish victories in franchise history.

And here is the best news: The fun has just begun.

more

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

From Out For The Season To Could Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

But with puck-moving defencemen Mathieu Schneider and Andrei Markov on the shelf, the Habs have scored just three goals in their last two contests. Also, Montreal has been held to two or fewer goals in each of their last four games against the Bruins.

Some good news, however could be on the horizon. RDS reports that Schneider, who suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, practiced with the club this morning and could be back in the lineup.

more on the Canadiens…

added 12:35pm, from Pat Hickey at Habs Inside/Out,

Coach Bob Gainey says there is a “good possibility” that defenceman Mathieu Schneider will be in the lineup tonight when the Canadiens face the Bruins in a “must-tie” game.

continued

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

Expect An Early Playoff Exit For The Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,

From a strictly analytical outlook, however, the Flyers’ chances of getting out of the first round are slim to none.

Philadelphia is very likely subject to a Round 1 matchup against the Hurricanes, winners of nine in a row and the league’s hottest team since the all-star break; or the Penguins, who are firing on all cylinders (16-3-4) since hiring Dan Bylsma as coach.

Despite a 3-1-0 record against the Canes this season, all four of those contests came before Christmas when Carolina was struggling to find their footing. The Flyers split the season series with their cross-state rivals at 2-2-2, but there’s no doubt about who the best team in the Atlantic has been since mid-February.

Lining up against either club, both of which will be brimming with confidence entering the tournament, is not what a team that’s developed a penchant for slow starts in games wants to face.

more

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

The Race To The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN discuss the playoff race…

Burnside: You have to figure Nashville has to come up with at least a point in Detroit. They’re two back of St. Louis with two to go. The Blues are at home and will play Columbus on Friday night, so the Preds will have to once again come up big against their division rivals. In the East, Florida has to win tonight in Atlanta, where the Thrashers have turned in solid performances down the stretch, so this isn’t a gimmie. Meanwhile, the most interesting game of the night, Philadelphia in New York to take on the Rangers. The Rangers can grab a playoff spot with a win, but the Flyers are (or should be) desperate to hold down fourth place in the conference and force either Carolina or Pittsburgh to visit Wachovia Center to start the playoffs next week.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who Can Clinch What Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#2 Washington Capitals can clinch the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference:
* If they get at least one point against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
or
* If the New Jersey Devils get one or no points against the Ottawa Senators.

#3 New Jersey Devils can clinch the Atlantic Division title:
* If they get at least one point against the Ottawa Senators.
or
* If the Philadelphia Flyers get one or no points against the New York Rangers.

#7 Montreal Canadiens can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth:
* If they get at least one point against the Boston Bruins.
or
* If the Florida Panthers get one or no points against the Atlanta Thrashers.

#8 New York Rangers can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Philadelphia Flyers.
or
* If they get one point against Philadelphia and the Florida Panthers get one point against the Atlanta Thrashers.
or
* If the Florida Panthers get no points against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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