Kukla's Korner

Wings “Turn It Around”...12’s In The Bag, Eh?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Man.  Uncle Mike said they would and they did.  Right out of the chute, just blistering pucks by Backstrom. One after the other the goals piled up.  Well, not really. But they looked good.  Yes, they did.  I’m not even too upset with the first goal Osgood let in.  More fluke than soft.

The effort was there.  The hustle and a little bit of grit.  A one-goal win against a desperate team.  Now, of course, we’ll see what tonite brings us.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

All John Davidson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Will the Blues make the playoffs?

“We’ll make it. We’ll play well (in Phoenix), then have Columbus at home and then we go into Colorado. Obviously now we need help. But we’ll get there. Our guys actually play better from behind.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+davidson

The Future Of The Flames Coaching Position

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Even though it’s Darryl Sutter who will ultimately decide if Iron Mike gets to start the final season of his three-year deal, Brent’s future could very well play a large part in the equation.

Despite being in the second year of a long-term deal with the New Jersey Devils, Brent has hinted all year long his days with the Eastern Conference club may be numbered….

All that can be remedied if the following were to unfold:

Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named head coach of Canada’s Olympic team at the conclusion of the NHL playoffs. After all, the second-year Devils coach has a perfect record with Canada at the World Juniors and he’s already one of the premier coaches in today’s game.

Sutter could then resign and move back to Alberta, where he could work closely with Hockey Canada officials while living at home and scouting players coming through Western Canada.

Once the Olympics are complete, the door would be open for him to replace Keenan as the Flames next coach, bringing the number of Sutter brothers employed by the club to four. Darryl’s son is a club farmhand.

With knowledge of Brent’s imminent return to Alberta and desire to coach close to home, Darryl would be hesitant to fire Keenan prematurely and hire another coach to bridge the short gap until Brent is available.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter, mike+keenan

Race To The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

With seven days remaining in the regular season, nearly half of this year’s 16 playoff berths have yet to be determined.

Nine teams—San Jose, Detroit, Calgary, Vancouver and now Chicago in the West; Boston, Washington, New Jersey and Carolina in the East—are assured that they’ll still be playing when the Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way. Only Boston knows exactly where it will finish within the conference standings.

Here’s a look at how the races in each conference shape up:...

The New York Rangers (89 points) got some company in the standings on Sunday thanks to Florida’s win against Pittsburgh. While the Blueshirts have more wins, one has to think the Panthers have the edge in scheduling.

New York, which was idle on Sunday, hosts Montreal on Tuesday and Philadelphia on Thursday before visiting the Flyers on Sunday.

Florida (89 points), which is desperately trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000, took a huge step with its win against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Tomas Vokoun earned his first win since March 19 with a 41-save effort, helping the Panthers bounce back after losing against Atlanta on Friday night.

The Panthers play at Philadelphia on Tuesday and Atlanta on Thursday before finishing at home against Washington on Saturday.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Fisher On Underwood’s Mind

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Don Brennan of Off The Posts,

So much for any question as to the seriousness of the relationship.

Less than two months after Carrie Underwood dove to the floor so as not to be caught by TSN cameras at a Senators game in Nashville, the country singing superstar let the world know of her feelings for Mike Fisher.

In her speech moments after being named the Entertainer Of The Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, Underwood thanked her family, thanked God and acknowledged the Senators’ centre.

“Mike baby, I wish you were here!” she blurted.

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+underwood, mike+fisher

The Race For Last Place

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NYI Point Blank,

With four games remaining for both, the Islanders have 61 points, Colorado now has 66. Tampa Bay also has 66 points and three games left. If the Islanders lose in regulation on Tuesday in Carolina and on Thursday in Pittsburgh - a big if - they “clinch” a top 2 pick and the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How Far Can Avery Go?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Excuse me, but Milan Lucic sticks out his leg and injures a defenseless Nik Antropov by going knee-on-knee midway through the second period on Saturday, and it’s Sean Avery who should be suspended for kind of stupidly using his stick to tap Tim Thomas on the back of his helmet during a TV timeout?

The absence of context is the crux of the issue here, just as always. Headhunters such as Chris Pronger and Gary Roberts, who historically injure opponents, are routinely deified, notably by the sanctimonious brigade north of the border, but Avery, who has never hurt anyone but himself, must be banned for the good of the sport?

Avery has been a better pure player this time around than he was in his first Broadway run, but he hasn’t had quite the same impact. That’s because he’s trying to figure out how far he can go without being hauled in for a strip-search.

more on the Rangers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

GDT - Game #79: Red Wings at Sabres (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

DET played inspired hockey yesterday against MIN, a team that had to garner at least one point to keep their playoff hopes alive.  Marian Hossa potted the game winner at 19:05 of the 3rd.  With the win, DET became only the third franchise in history to have 50 wins in four consecutive seasons (BOS 1971-74, and MTL 1976-79).  Perhaps more importantly for Wings fan, DET started the game with intensity, and played solidly for an entire 60 mins.  Babcock:  “We knew how we had to play, and I thought we were good.”  “I thought Ozzie made a few key saves at the end.”  “I thought Ozzie played good, and he’s got to feel good about that.”  DET can expect the BUF tilt tonight to have the same playoff intensity.

BUF (38-31-9) are 10th in the East - four points behind the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers with one game in hand on both teams. If the Sabres win all four remaining games, they would need the Rangers and Panthers to each lose one game to secure a playoff spot.  BUF are coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss to the NJD on Saturday night.  BUF came out flat against NJD, allowing the Devils to score twice in the first 5:38. Trailing 3-0 entering the final 20 minutes, BUF launched a furious 23-shot rally but produced only two goals in the 3-2 defeat.  Miller is 3-1-1 since returning from a sprained ankle, and has a 3.30 ga/a, having given up 16 goals.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Ducks Frustrated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,

Among the NHL’s many mysteries is how the Ducks can be playing by far their best hockey of the season and yet, over the past three games, have drawn only four power-play opportunities.

The club’s frustration reached a breaking point at the conclusion of Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to the league-leading San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.

After a debatable holding penalty on Ducks left wing Drew Miller led to a power-play conversion by Sharks winger Jonathan Cheechoo that snapped a 2-2 tie at 13:19 of the third period, the Ducks spent the game’s final 80 seconds controlling the puck in the offensive zone, pressing for an equalizer that never came.

It might have been different had veteran San Jose winger Jeremy Roenick not mugged Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf in the slot during the waning seconds. There was no penalty call.

“I don’t think Ryan Getzlaf is going to miss a wide-open one-timer,” Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney said. “He’s going to at least get his stick on the puck unless he’s hooked. He’s not just going to whiff.”

Referees Dan O’Rourke and Chris Lee handed out a combined 64 penalty minutes, including four misconducts, to four players from each side following a ruckus after time expired.

continued and watch video below of the end of the game fracas…

Continue Reading »

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

MVP Race Again

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

When I last talked about the MVP race I supported Evgeni Malkin over Alexander Ovechkin.  I did this in part because Malkin has a significant lead in the points race.  He doesn’t anymore.  Malkin’s lead has shrunk to two points.  Ovechkin has a huge lead in goals and it would take a minor miracle for him to not win the Rocket Richard Trophy.  Since goals are a more significant measure of offensive status of a player than assists, I support Alexander Ovechkin as the current Hart Trophy leader.

There are a few other fringe candidates that might obtain support in some circles including Zach Parise, Pavel Datsyuk, Steve Mason, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas but none are likely to seriously impact the Hart Trophy race.  It is between Ovechkin and Malkin and Ovechkin has recently pulled into the lead.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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