Kukla's Korner

Stars Have That Stanley Cup Feel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

I didn’t pick the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup.  Heck, I didn’t pick them to get out of the first round.  Not many did.  After three straight first round exits, I’m guessing Modano’s Nana had the Ducks in five.

But with each passing game, with each convincing victory, I’m starting to get this funny feeling it is their year.

It’s the way they are winning, and the character traits they are showing that make you believe something special is going on here.  Here’s your Stars’ Playoff Personality Profile:

...WILL

This is the biggie.  Remember how it seemed Anaheim won every little battle last year?  How they got to the puck a fraction of a second faster, fought a little harder in every corner, played every second like overtime in game seven?  That’s what these Stars are doing.  The poster boy for this is captain Brendan Morrow, who would be my round-and-a-half Conn Smyth pick.

more

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

Osgood Rebuilds His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star via the National Post,

Windsor native Stan Matwijiw operates the Bandits Goalie School in Novi, Mich., and back in 2004, was charged with the task of deconstructing Osgood.

It proved to be a reclamation project of Humpty Dumpty-like proportions.

“I got a call from Chris the second week of August the summer before the (2004-05) lockout,” Matwijiw recalled. “When he first came to me, I was a little unsure about what he was looking for.

“This was an NHL goalie with 11 years of experience. I didn’t know whether he was just looking to fine-tune some things, so we talked about it. To my surprise, he said, ‘I want you to completely tear my game apart and rebuild it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

Spector: No Emotion In Dive/Wing Series

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Courtesy of Lyle Richardson at Fox Sports,

But in the six-year interim since these two teams last met in the postseason, the emotions have largely evaporated. Many of the rivalry’s previous participants are either playing elsewhere or retired. A player like Lemieux, whose ramming of Wings forward Kris Draper head-first into the boards during the 1996 playoffs was the rivalry’s true flash-point, is nowhere to be found.

Unless the Avalanche can battle back and establish some sort of emotional edge, this current series will go down as perhaps the least memorable of this year’s playoffs and in the once-heated history between these two teams.

“Least memorable” of this year’s playoffs?  Five goals in two games for Johan Franzen is forgettable.  Chris Osgood’s exceptional play and Three/Four’s disaster of a beginning to this series is forgettable?  Because it’s been clean, it’s not memorable?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Playing Field Is Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

The West is so diluted Dallas might reach the finals. I was watching a game from the Colorado-Detroit series recently and, uh, oh wait that was a rerun from ESPN Classic. These are your father’s Red Wings and Avs.

Anyway, the best young talent in the West is on developing teams: Chicago, Phoenix, even Los Angeles. Will the big money clubs such as Detroit retool? No doubt. But in the salary cap era they can only do so much.

Translation: The Jackets have never been on a more level playing field. Let’s see if they can take advantage.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shanahan’s Avery Impersonation

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail blog,

Don’t look now, but a New York Ranger was spotted in the opposition’s goal crease, holding up his arms and waving like a marooned sailor on a desert island.

No, it wasn’t the attention-starved Sean Avery this time but the allegedly classy veteran Brendan Shanahan. His technique was different than Avery’s but the intent seemed to be the same, to block Pittsburgh Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s view of the puck. [...]

Avery’s tactics drew a vow from the NHL that any further antics would result in an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty but Shanahan did not get whistled down. However, the Penguins professed no alarm about this because, they said, the referees told them if the Rangers scored a goal it would have been disallowed.

more…

Update 4:31pm ET: Some words from Stan Fischler on what it will take for the NYR to get back into the series with the Pens

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

Note To Nik Jr.: Pete’s Gonna Play

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

In the midst of the love fest going on below, I thought it might be important to inject this little tidbit.

Peter Forsberg’s probably going to play tomorrow night.  I have something to say about that development.  First, here’s the facts as reported by our erstwhile Diggers.

St. James

Update from Centennial, Colorado, where the Avalanche just finished up practice: Peter Forsberg is a definite maybe for Game 3.
Forsberg, sidelined by a groin injury, skated on a line with Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette.

Asked Monday if he was ready to go, Forsberg said “we’ll see tomorrow,” but added that he “felt great.”

Joel Quenneville said Forsberg “looked good,” in practice.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Brush Up on Your Stanley Cup History

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Joe Pelletier at Greatest Hockey Legends is looking back at every Stanley Cup champion since 1930, offering capsule looks at the playoffs and teams, and of course highlighting all the heroes.

This past weekend he has posted Stanley Cup capsules dating from 1930-1944. He’s added 30 new biographies as well.  A lot of great hockey reading.

[Greatest Hockey Legends.com]

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs, stanley+cup

Biron Embraces the Moment

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

Watching Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Martin Biron embrace the moment is one of the best stories of these NHL playoffs. He embodies the axiom about the value of the journey over the destination. And while the Stanley Cup dream is the ultimate, Biron’s career-long anticipation of his first postseason action in the NHL makes him a prime example of the wait giving weight—as in richness—to the moment.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+biron

Enough Whining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stop the whining…

more at my blog at Hockey.com…

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

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Noted by Rick Sadowski in the Rocky Mountain News:

Red Wings forward Darren McCarty is convinced Forsberg will play.

“I’m pretty sure, unless Forsberg’s leg’s going to fall off, he’ll probably be in there for Game 3,” McCarty said. “They’re a veteran team. They’re well-coached and they’ve got guys that have been in different situations like this before. It’s not like they’re a young team.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darren+mccarty, peter+forsberg

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