Kukla's Korner

Pressure On Boston

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cox at ESPN,

This time, the pressure is all on the Bruins, and if they don’t treat the Canadiens like so much snow to be brushed off their skates, well, it will be the 2009 Eastern Conference champions who will suddenly appear more vulnerable than imposing.

Even the Bruins seem to understand that anything short of an impressive performance against the Habs will make them seem weaker.

“They’re going to have absolutely nothing to lose,” said Boston coach Claude Julien, who once coached the Canadiens and understands the emotional underpinnings of this rivalry. “We’ve got a lot to gain. We’ve got to make sure we don’t disappoint.”

more

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

All About The Odds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The odds are out from the various legal sports books and online sites, and they generally quote the Red Wings and Sharks as co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup, at around 7-2.

Perhaps there are already yells from fans of other teams about the oddsmakers’ showing them “no respect.” But the oddsmakers don’t worry about “predicting” anything other than the wagering patterns of the public, and then adjusting their odds if it turns out their initial guesses were wrong.

Plus, any cursory crunching of the numbers will show that if the odds are converted to percentages, they’ll add up to considerably more than 100. Among other things, it usually means bettors aren’t getting long enough odds on the true long shots.

continued with Frei’s own spin…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Risebrough Out In Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russo’s Rants,

(Craig) Leipold was said to have agonized over the decision but decided, in the final analysis, that a change in direction was called for.

Here’s the memo from the team:

Minnesota Wild Owner, Craig Leipold, announced today that the organization will not renew the contract of President and General Manager, Doug Risebrough, beyond the 2008-2009 season….

read on

Update 2:48pm ET: From the Pioneer Press

I’ve got just three words for Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold:

Bring back Jacques.

Not as the coach. Jacques Lemaire, he’s been there. He’s done that.

Now that Leipold has fired Doug Risebrough, the Wild have an opening for a president and general manager.

That’s the job for Lemaire.

Update 3:36pm ET: From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press:

Asked if he’d be interested in the general manager job, Lemaire said, “No, no, no, no. I wouldn’t look at it. We had a good thing there, that’s it.”

Lemaire said he doesn’t question Leipold’s decision to fire Risebrough, but added he doesn’t see the reason for it.

“Not myself,” he said, “but I was involved in it. When you’re involved in it, you see what you’re trying to do. We were going through tough times, but everybody does, and you keep working.

Update 3:38pm ET: More thoughts on a replacement from Bob McKenzie at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+risebrough

Flyers Captain Frustrated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

And when it was over Mike Richards looked tired, damn tired, a look that has become unnervingly familiar over the last month of Flyers hockey. Throughout last night’s surprisingly one-sided 4-1, Game 1 loss to the Penguins, his usually stoic mug was a study in exhaustion, frustration, even - at this early stage of the postseason - desperation.

“It’s frustrating,” the Flyers’ captain said. “It’s frustrating when you have momentum or you’re starting to gain momentum and you’re thrown back on your heels again from a penalty you don’t need to take. Penalties where you’re playing physical in your own end or you’re trying to finish a guy or take away a scoring chance from them, OK. But it wasn’t like that tonight. We were taking penalties away from the puck, away from the scoring angles. And when you do that, it just tires you out. You’re blocking shots, pucks are hitting you, it tires you out.

“It’s a lot harder playing defense than it is playing offense.”

read on

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

Chances Are Slim For Habs To Move On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

You have to know that some people in this city have their priorities twisted out of shape when you see one of the city’s buses idling in Côte St. Luc with a sign flashing “Go! Canadiens! Go!”

Get real, folks: it’s only a number of hockey games involving the Canadiens and the Bruins. Seems to me there are a lot more important things to worry about, such as putting food on the table in homes where so many people have lost their jobs during an economic crisis that is likely to get worse before it gets better.

However, all I’m hearing and reading about these days is: “What’s better than a Canadiens-Bruins series?”

Sad to say: lots of things. Too many things. The earth won’t move if the Canadiens lose this series, which opens in Boston tonight. It won’t even if they move on to the second round.

All that’s certain is that you’re dreaming in Technicolor if you’re among those who think the Canadiens are likely winners simply because they’ve made a habit of doing it so often in the past against the Bruins.

continued

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

Updates Galore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com has writers covering each playoff series and is providing numerous updates in the Eastern Time Blog and Western Front Blog.

Good idea to bookmark them and check them out on a regular basis.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kiprusoff Is The Key

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Miikka Kiprusoff has to make a difference.

He needs to be the difference.

Incapable of shutting down the Chicago Blackhawks offence in the regular season, the Calgary Flames defence has an even bigger hole that could be exposed with Robyn Regehr out of the lineup a couple more weeks.

Even Regehr had trouble containing some of the speedy Hawks forwards as the Flames dropped all four games to the up-and-coming Original Six squad that has given new life to the Windy City this winter.

That means Kiprusoff can expect to be tested.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: miikka+kiprusoff

Carcillo Faces Hearing Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Daniel Carcillo has a hearing with the NHL scheduled for 3pm et/Noon pt this afternoon.

The incident under review took place during the Flyers playoff series opener with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. The Penguins won the contest 4-1.

While there is no penalty noted on the game sheet, it is believed the incident under review involved Penguins’ Maime Talbot.

update 6:42pm, Carcillo gets a one game suspension.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+carcillo

How Will The Blackhawks React?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,

How the precocious Hawks respond to the expected bullying will punctuate a season that has rekindled Chicago’s passion for its Original Six franchise.

‘‘We don’t know any different,’’ second-year winger Adam Burish said with a grin. ‘‘We don’t know what we’re supposed to do, how we are supposed to feel or how we’re supposed to act. We act like we think we should and have fun with it.’‘

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Vancouver Crowd

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Curiously, during a 2-1 win in Game 1 of their playoff series against St. Louis, the Canucks did not announce a sell out as per usual. The GM Place atmosphere Wednesday was excellent, but some sections of the lower bowl may not have been too flattering on television (when the white towels weren’t waving).

Generally, the Canucks make a big deal of their consecutive sell-out streak, 257 and counting.

A team spokesman said that the video scoreboard flashed 18,630. He said loud crowd noise pre-empted a formal announcement. Another source said the Canucks did not want to announce attendance because the empty seats were so obvious.

continued

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

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