Kukla's Korner

Presenting The Bobby Orr Statue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The statue of Bobby Orr is outside the TD Garden.

Bobby says thanks and the 2nd video is a close-up of the statue.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+orr

A Few Detroit Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Was told that Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Ericsson are off to compete in the World Championships in Germany. Jimmy Howard said he spent a long time mulling an invitation to join Team USA but a groin injury ultimately prevented him from a trip to Germany. “My groin is not 100 percent. We thought it would be better than going over there and setting myself back for training this summer,” Howard said.

- Nicklas Lidstrom confirmed reports that he enrolled his son in a school in Sweden, but said not to look at that as any confirmation of any retirement plans. The enrollment was just to keep his options open.

more

added 3:12pm, via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is confident that captain Nicklas Lidstrom will return next season.

“I went to Nick, I said, ‘Nick, what do you want me to tell them (media)? He said, ‘Tell them my wife and I are going to hang out for a couple of weeks and talk about it,’ ‘’ Babcock said. “So, Nick will be back.’‘

Does Babcock truly believe that?

“Of course I believe it, or I wouldn’t have said it,’’ Babcock said.

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The game has changed, there’s no question about it.  We’re not a country like Canada or Russia — if the top 20 guys say no, they can still put together a great team. We just don’t have those kind of players. And the players should realize it — you never know, because the level of hockey is getting better.

“You can see Denmark beat Finland (on Saturday). If your top guys don’t go to world championship, it might happen that your team next year might play in B group.”

-Jaromir Jagr talking about the lack of elite players on the Czech World Championship team.  More from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Improving Joe Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Before we start to credit Joe Thornton’s playoff play and forget his past performances because of the six-game point’s streak he’s riding, his defensive play could use a little pick-me-up. When the Detroit Red Wings crushed San Jose 7-1 last Thursday, Thornton was minus-3 and he’s minus-4 overall in the post-season.

Still, you have to be impressed with the way he has taken charge on offense; no longer staying to the outside where he is less effective, but instead working the puck to the net. The results have been significant.

continue plus additional playoff topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Malkin Has Not Been A Difference Maker

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last season I criticized Evgeni Malkin’s Hart trophy nomination because he had a very offensive zone start record and still gave up a lot of scoring chances to opponents.  His zone and team adjusted Corsi Number was second worst in the NHL.  Now that does not mean he is the second worst player in the league - or anything ridiculous like that - but it means that given his strong offensive usage, the amount of time opponents controlled the puck in the Pittsburgh zone, shows defensive weaknesses in Malkin.  It certainly shows that his Hart Trophy nomination was a poor one driven only by his offensive numbers and not a look at his complete game.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Monday Morning Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• The number one way the Canadiens have made it hard for Crosby? They won’t let him charge out of his own end (“blow the zone”) with the puck. Crosby and Malkin carry it a lot, with their wingers told to get into position to score. Montreal wants to prevent either from getting it in the first place, which is why you saw so much of the two together in Game 5.

• Sounds like Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision will come down to three factors. First, does his family want to stay in Detroit or go back to Sweden? (His son has reportedly been accepted into a prestigious Swedish hockey school.) Second, what kind of salary are we talking about here? Third, does Lidstrom want to play through even the slightest decline in his incredible skill?

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stay Classy Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,

An open letter to male Montrealers, ages 15 to 25, whose idea of a good time involves wreaking havoc in the downtown core:

Dear Dimwits,

There will be a hockey game tonight at the Bell Centre. The Montreal Canadiens trail their Eastern Conference semi-final three games to two and face elimination at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In other words - and there’s a need to simplify when addressing this demographic - Game 6 could be the last of the long 2009-10 season.

There’s also a chance the Cinderella Kids could rally to set up Game 7 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Depending on its outcome, the conclusion of the game will send dejected or euphoric fans spilling out of the Bell Centre. Chants of “Go Habs go!” will echo for a while, then almost everyone will go home.

If you are thinking of lingering to mourn or celebrate by rocking a few cars and breaking many bottles, a word to the less-than-wise:

continued

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

Blackhawks Weren’t Ready To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

“We’ll get ticked off about it and get ready for the next one,’’ Jonathan Toews said.

Easy, captain. You could argue that getting too agitated too often during Game 5 made it necessary for the Hawks to play the next one. So Toews and Co. may want to find a more productive way to channel whatever anger they muster.A not-so-funny thing happened to the Hawks on their trip home from western Canada. They lost their focus and apparently their poise on a night defined by missed chances and needless penalties.

Byfuglien didn’t deserve to be put in the box on the play that left O’Brien with stitches, but Big Buff was a big disappointment later in the second period with two unnecessary penalties. A guy already cast as the series villain must avoid any temptation to mix it up enough to put his team a man down – especially after he wounded a Canuck, accident or no accident.

The Canucks’ third goal came on a power play when all Byfuglien could do was watch from the penalty box. It wasn’t just Byfuglien. Marian Hossa also committed two of the Hawks’ seven penalties.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Out To Prove A Point

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers have gained a very real sense that they can be a contending team next year. There is work to be done: a front-line goaltender would be a good place to start, and it wouldn’t hurt to add another, preferably younger defenseman with some presence. But there is enough intel now to believe that a full season under Laviolette would be a winning season.

The longer the Flyers can extend this postseason, the more reason they will give themselves and their fans to believe. A win in Game 5 just might lift them a win at home in Game 6. And then, well, who knows?

They could be halfway on a journey they very nearly missed altogether.

more

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

Expect Opposition To The Proposed Deal In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

If Glendale city council intends to bow to the NHL’s demand to guarantee upwards of $25-million (all currency U.S.) of its operating losses next season for the Phoenix Coyotes, there will be strenuous opposition from at least one council member.

“This is absolutely crazy,” council member Phil Lieberman said Sunday. “I will do everything I can to point that out on Tuesday.”

Lieberman also accused city staff of misleading the council members about the issues surrounding the Coyotes. He also wonders how a city of 250,000 people that is facing a $14.7-million deficit in its annual budget can afford to pay the cost of operating a professional sports team.

“We’re broke,” Lieberman said. “We’re $14.7-million in the hole, we’re laying people off, we had to up water bills by 12 bucks a month. How can we raise so much money for a bunch of athletes?”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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