Kukla's Korner

Bet on Turco

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,

Anyway, Turco wins and he immediately becomes the answer to our next trivia question: Can he lead the Stars past the Wings? Given his play through two rounds, the answer is a resounding yes!  Until the games start, naturally.

Looking ahead, the Red Wings will be huge favorites in the Western Conference final. The Stars looked dead in the water through most of overtime Sunday, so how can anybody expect them to beat the best team in the league?

The answer is Turco. Muddle through poor play, long stretches of non-scoring chances and questionable defensive protection. Turco will save the day.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

2nd Round Playoff Heroes

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

TSN picks a hero of the second round, from each team that made it through to the Conference Finals:

[Philadelphia:]  R.J. Umberger, who was considered a third or fourth-line player at the start of the season, has become Philadelphia’s top gun in the playoffs. Case in point: He scored an eyebrow-raising eight goals and nine points in five games against the Habs, and scored the first goal for the Flyers in each victory. While many credit Martin Biron for stellar goaltending that held off the Montreal offence ( and deservedly so), Umberger, a former first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, broke down the Canadiens early and often.

more heroes from Detroit, Pittsburgh and Dallas

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Now What Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler at Game On,

The coach readily admits that changes must be made. “We need physical engagement,” he avers, perhaps realizing that the likes of Gary Roberts and the other Pitt toughies neutralized the Rangers less physical players.

When all is said and done, the Rangers were eliminated because they played like a fifth place team and Pittsburgh—which surely could win the Stanley Cup—performed like a club that finished on top.

Now that the off-season has hit New York hockey, Sather and his high command will be blueprinting how his Blueshirts can get to the peak in the Spring of 2009. THAT is where the Rangers go from here!

much more...

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

DeBoer May Be Next Thrashers Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Hicks at the Record,

Waddell has been skewered in the Atlanta media.

He needs a young disciplinarian coach to work with the Thrashers’ young prospects, including ex-Ranger Boris Valabik.

Waddell told The Record he has great respect for what (Peter) DeBoer has accomplished in junior and puts DeBoer on his must-call list.

Sources with strong NHL ties say DeBoer and right-hand man Steve Spott are already tagged to take over the Thrashers.

Other names are out there, including the Soo’s Craig Hartsburg and old-timer Pat Quinn, but with little smoke to follow.

more

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+deboer

Panthers Sign Three

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Florida Panthers,

Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with RW Wade Belak and C Kamil Kreps. In addition, the club has agreed to terms with D Luke Beaverson on an entry level contract.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kamil+kreps, luke+beaverson, wade+belak

The Internet Created a Hockey Legend

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From James Duthie via TSN:

The World Juniors make most top prospects household names years before they don an NHL sweater. So the potential of an instant, out-of-nowhere, American Idol-ish star, has fans in a frenzy.  Brunnstrom is the most Googled Swede since Tiger’s wife, and he’s inspired endless chatter on NHL thread-sites.

“OMG did you see that move on the video! Nucks plz sign him!”—naslundfan.
“I’m praying for the Leafs to sign him. Sundin-Steen-Brunnstrom would be sick!”—snipecheeseallday.
“Give him 10 mill now and the Cup is ours, baby!”—hockeytown4ever.

So their expectation level for the kid is somewhere between Zettterberg (sic) and Jesus. Yes folks, we have our first Internet created hockey legend.

More here. A fun thesis, but I’ll stick by my own previous assessment: the internet didn’t create Brunnstrom; more like some seriously-savvy marketing by player agent J.P. Barry.  This North American ‘tour’ of his during the Stanley Cup Playoffs has just been PR gold.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: agents, fabian+brunnstrom, j.p.+barry

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

“The playoffs are always intense but it throws a little spice into it when it’s Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,” said Crosby, who finished the afternoon with a pair of assists.

“If you want a rivalry, there’s one right there. I’m sure everyone’s well aware of it.”

more on the Eastern Conference Finals…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Keep Watching Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,

...Having spent parts of the opening two rounds with the Penguins, I would urge Canadian hockey fans not to turn off their TVs. They’re as fun to watch as any team in the NHL. But the fact is U.S.-only semi-finals just don’t appeal nearly as much to Canadians….

A Penguins-Wings final would also be the best-case scenario when it comes to convincing Canadian hockey fans to stay in front of their TV sets in early June when a late tee time or a drink on a nearby patio seems so much more appealing.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Lacked Heart

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Blue Seats at the NY Post,

Blame the refs. Blame the Penguins. Blame Tom Renney. Blame anyone. There’s plenty of it to go around. But, to be realistic, a team needs to get past bad officiating and the opposing team’s attempts to disrupt the game plan. The ability to persevere is what makes a champion and this year’s Rangers New York Rangers did not have it.

When I saw Jarkko Ruutu jawing at Jaromir Jagr Jaromir Jagr before the faceoff, in Jagr’s face, mouthing off, and then pushing the Ranger captain to the ice after Jagr blew him a kiss ... I knew no one would step up to hand the Penguin pest a dental bill.

continued

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

Penguins Know The Meaning Of Hard Work

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Hard work?

We’re talking off the charts.

“Guys are paying the price because they want to win so bad,” Dupuis said. “They’re blocking shots. They’re getting in the shooting lanes. And when the puck does get through to the net, we’ve got a wall in front of it. Marc-Andre is playing unbelievably right now.”

Penguins general manager Ray Shero’s deal for Hossa at the February trade deadline was celebrated long into the night all over the city, but how about picking up Dupuis in the package? And what about the trade for Gill? “His stick is everywhere,” Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney said of Gill. “He just breaks up play after play.”

more

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

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