Kukla's Korner

Sharks Target Modano

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CBC,

The Sharks simply have to play like the more desperate team than Dallas, which has prevailed in seven of its last eight visits to San Jose, including four times this season.

Another energetic performance from veteran forward Jeremy Roenick, who notched two goals and four points in Game 7 versus the Flames, would be welcomed. How about better defensive play from centre Patrick Marleau? Or Thornton outplaying his shadow, Modano?

“We’ve got to make Mike Modano’s life a little bit more miserable,” Wilson said. “He seems to love playing here, and we never got a hand on him [in Game 1].”

The coach noted the Sharks’ goals came when one of his players was standing in front of Stars goalie Marty Turco.

more

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

Note To Mr. I:  Set aside 100K.  No, Set aside 400K

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Little Gary Bettman has taken Octogate a step further.  As John Niyo points out, he’s now stationed an off-ice official at the Joe’s ice entrance to prevent Al Sobotka from even touching an Octopus, much less swing it.

Last game, as you’ll remember, Sobotka waited and waited for the linesmen to do his old job for him—there’s a skill to it, they discovered—then after they brought the octopus to him, he swung it in the tunnel, and the fans roared as the JLA jumbotron showed him twirling in exile.

Saturday, Van Massenhoven was there to make sure that didn’t happen, apparently. The first octopus was picked up by Avs rookie Cody McLeod, who taunted the Wings’ bench with his catch and then hurled it over the visitors’ bench and into the crowd. But the two splats that followed at the other end of the ice—a message to the NHL front office, I’d say—were scooped up by linesmen, who then passed them down the chain of command, bypassing Sobotka.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Decisions In Denver

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Anyone predict a sweep?  Anybody?  One guy did.

Ken Campbell, The Hockey News Senior writer

Detroit over Colorado 4-0 – Just a hunch, but it says here the Red Wings will prick the Jose Theodore bubble early and once that happens, the floodgates will open and pucks will come rushing through.

Am I ready to join that parade, even up 2-0?  No, not yet.  But I do have a couple other views your family may find interesting.

 

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Decision Time For Zubov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,

Even now, after all these years with the Stars, Zubov still isn’t completely at ease as the center of media attention. He prefers to do his thing quietly and efficiently, and then to slip away while others do the talking.

But now the Stars need him to break his code of silence. They need to hear four words from their best puck-handling defenseman, who hasn’t played since January:

“I’m ready to play.”

Sometime today, before the Stars and San Jose Sharks meet in Game 2 of their quarterfinals playoff series, would be just fine.

The puck, as they say, is on Zubie’s stick.

“It’s up to him now,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said for the second straight day Saturday. “Zubie is a special player. When he comes to me and tells me he’s ready to play, then he’s in the lineup.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+zubov

A Pair Of Aces

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Crosby, already a celebrity in his native Canada in his early teens, began to hear that there was another special player in Russia besides gregarious Alex Ovechkin.

Malkin heard about Crosby through an agent.

The two got their first real glimpse of each other when Crosby and Team Canada beat Malkin and the Russian squad, 6-1, in the World Junior Championships Jan. 4, 2005, in Grand Forks, N.D.

“I could tell,” Crosby said of Malkin’s talent.

Little did Crosby and Malkin know that a little more than three years later they would make up perhaps the top dynamic duo in the NHL this season with a chance to join the top handful of such pairs of teammates since the league’s major expansion 41 years ago.

read on

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

The Daily Routine

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post via Delaware Online,

Dowd’s routine does not end with his last forkful of rice.

When he gets to the arena—whether it’s the Bell Centre in Montreal or the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia—Dowd has to have his equipment positioned just right.

“I like my stall nice and neat,” Dowd said. “[Former Islanders great] Butch Goring once told me that if something works, don’t change it. Stick with it. Some guys say I’m a little bit of a neat freak. But I ain’t changing anything.”

According to Flyers equipment manager Derek Settlemyre, most players have some kind of pregame ritual that goes unchanged. Derian Hatcher gives fist punches to every player before he takes the ice. Jeff Carter always follows Mike Richards down the runway. Randy Jones always is the last player off the ice following warmups and before every intermission.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+dowd

Surprise Punch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

After Philly’s R.J. Umberger scored to make it 4-2 and clinch the win, Timonen turned back toward the Canadiens and raised his arms, a smirk on his face.

Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos delivered a roundhouse left to Timonen’s chops.

“I was just upset we were losing,” Kostopoulos said.


“I didn’t say anything. I raised my hands and I got punched,” Timonen said.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it ... I guess we’ll see what happens (tomorrow).”

more

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

The Foppa Saga

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

He entered the zone of diminished returns.

There is no turning back.

Forsberg has become more trouble than he is worth. His unreliability is demoralizing.

It raised eyebrows when he was in and out of the lineup down the stretch of the regular season after signing with Colorado on Feb. 25.

This raises doubts.

At this time of year, in the most relentlessly testing of professional sports’ postseasons, any skepticism — even subconscious — about a teammate’s resolve is a major problem.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg

Wings Ride Mule Train

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,

At what point does secondary scoring become primary?

That’s the question we asked ourselves as “second-liners” Johan Franzen (three goals) and Valtteri Filppula (one) helped propel the Detroit Red Wings to an easy 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon.

For Franzen, it was the second consecutive multi-goal contest, giving him the team and league lead with seven. And the talented Swede can score them in a variety of ways.

continued & some ref talk too…

added 8:22pm, from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs blog at CBC,

“He’s got a hot stick right now,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. “Everything he touches seems to be going in. I think we need to be a little tighter around the net and make it a little more challenging in that area.”

Yeah, just a little. The Avs were thoroughly embarrassed in this one, getting outshot 40-20. The team has lost six straight to Detroit this season, and four straight in the playoffs since 2002.

“We’ve got to regroup, and figure out how we’re going to get better,” said captain Joe Sakic, who has no points in the series.

more

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

Forget Bad Ice, How About A Better Puck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

He (Dan Craig) reads the reports afterwards that blame the ice for blown chances, but Craig would like hockey traditionalists to consider something else….the pucks.

The focal point of the sport.

How many times have you heard a coach or player follow a loss with, “we just didn’t get the bounces.”

Equipment in hockey has changed over the years, sticks have evolved from wood to composite, so the NHL’s ice guru wants a full investigation into how to make a better puck.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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