Kukla's Korner

Stars Game Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

“The bottom line is, we need to skate and handle the puck more. Our best defence against them is when we have the puck. Last game, we didn’t do enough of that.”

Stars’ coach Dave Tippett hinted there could be line-up changes. Stu Barnes, out since the middle of the last round with concussion-like symptoms, could be closer to playing. Also, the Stars could make a switch on the blue line, and replace Fistric with fellow rookie Matt Niskanen.

Of greater concern to Tippett was the Stars’ work in the face-off circle, where the Red Wings dominated the opener. All teams want to start with the puck, but it’s even more critical against a puck-possession team such as Detroit. Once they have, they rarely give it back.

more…

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

Lemaire Returning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kent Youngblood at Russo’s Rants,

When contacted Friday afternoon, Jacques Lemaire sounded like a happy man. Now we know why: After three days of meetings in Florida between Minnesota Wild coaches and front-office staff, Lemaire decided that he would return for an eighth season, remaining the only coach in franchise history. The decision was announced this morning.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Wings Shoot For Eight In A Row

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

Is there any stopping the Detroit Red Wings?...

After dropping a pair of games to the Nashville Predators in their opening round series, the Wings have reeled off seven consecutive victories in the post-season (outscoring the opposition 32-11 in that span), including a 4-1 domination of the Stars in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series on Thursday.

The Red Wings skated hard, controlled the pace of the game, took advantage when they were on the power play and received solid goaltending from Chris Osgood.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Were A Tired Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Let’s cut the Stars some slack here. We’re talking about a team that defeated the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and beat San Jose, a team favoured by many to win it all this season, in the conference semifinals.

The Stars were a tired team in their opener against the Red Wings. Fewer than five minutes into the game, they were short two skaters when Brian Rafalski opened the scoring. Johan Franzen’s 12th goal of the playoffs also was on the power play. So was Tomas Holmstrom’s goal early in the second, a goal that should not have been allowed because he clearly interfered with Turco after establishing squatter’s rights in the crease.

There was nothing complicated or mysterious about the Red Wings taking a 3-0 lead before this game was 27 minutes old: tired teams take penalties.

More importantly, it’s not as if anyone expected a Red Wings team with the NHL’s best regular-season record to roll over for the visiting Stars.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Biron Must Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs,

Maybe this is unfair to Biron, the man most responsible for the Flyers reaching this point. There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL who would be expected to stop Malkin on a 3-on-2, or on a shorthanded breakaway. Malkin’s winning and insurance goals fall on Biron’s teammates more than they fall on him. Nevertheless, it’s still the truth: Biron has to be sensational for the Flyers to beat a team with as much talent as the Penguins. He has to make the same saves that he made against the Capitals and the Canadiens. Then he has to make some more.

At a minimum, he can’t do what he did with just less than six minutes left in the first period. He can’t transform an innocent Pittsburgh dump-in into an easy goal for Crosby, can’t afford to be so cavalier at such a crucial moment

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Beating Bubba Sr.: The Keys To Game 2

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I was a nervous kid going into Game 2 against the Dive.  I was all jittery because sometimes I feel like I jinx us all when I go on and on about the Wings’ brilliance, setting us up for an emotional crash, a self-flagellating in the Philippines like line of idiots shuffling their feet, waiting in line to get into the Hasek Club Car.

I feel the same way today.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Flyers Must Play Near-Perfect Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

They have now lost Game 1 of each of their three playoff series. In the first two rounds, they came back and won Game 2, then went on to take the series.

This Game 1 was different, though. The Penguins are simply better than the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Evgeni Malkin is the best player the Flyers have faced, delivering where Alex Ovechkin and Alex Kovalev simply did not. Marc-Andre Fleury is the best goaltender the Flyers have faced. For the first time in these playoffs, Biron was not the better netminder.

That doesn’t mean the Flyers can’t compete with the Penguins. They can. It just means they have to play near-perfect hockey to have a chance, and that is not something they’ve shown an aptitude for doing. They were able to blow two-goal leads against the Caps and the Habs and still win. Those days are gone.

more

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

Hey Mitch.  Read Your Paper Today?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Yesterday, we took a kindly glance at Mitch Albom’s most recent bit of garbage…his manifesto on the attendance problems at the Joe.  I’ll avoid blasting that little girl any more than we already have, because it’s an A2Y business rule to avoid redundancy again and again.  If you’d like more of that, I’d suggest going to my displaced twin brother, Big Al at the Wayne Fontes Experience.  Al and I agree on pretty much everything, which makes him a frigging genius.

His current rant regarding the Delicate Genius is absolute brilliance.

My point today though is that there’s an article in this morning’s Detroit Free Press—allegedly, the company that employs Mitch to write about sports—that he may find interesting.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Amazing Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Every night Gary Roberts watches, and every night he finds something else to be amazed by.

It isn’t just that Evgeni Malkin scores goals. It’s how he scores. And when he scores. And just about everything else in between.

“He is taking it to a whole new level,” the veteran Roberts said. “Both goals tonight came late in shifts. By then, most of us are dead tired. He’s on the ice a minute, a minute and a half into his shift and he finds the strength. I don’t think he’s human like the rest of us.

“And then he makes these plays ... I’ve never seen anything like him before.”

continued

You have to love the ‘shorty’ by Malkin last night= Watch below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Pens Beat Flyers At Their Own Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

When the NHL playoffs started, the Pittsburgh Penguins liked to tell people they could play any way their opponents wanted.

Then they proceeded to back it up. The first round didn’t count, since the Ottawa Senators lay down and died for them, but the New York Rangers found out the Penguins could win in a shootout or a checking game.

But coming into the Eastern Conference final, there was one game the Penguins had not played: a physical, hard-hitting battle along the boards and in front of the net. The Philadelphia Flyers, even if missing top defenceman Kimmo Timonen, brought one of those games last night.

Guess what? The Penguins beat them at that, too.

continued

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

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