Kukla's Korner

Fleury The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

This is a big-time goaltender, folks.

Like all of ‘em, Fleury gives up a bad goal here and there. It happened in the Washington series and the Philadelphia series before that.

But like only the truly great ones, Fleury makes the huge saves when they mean the most. That’s why you can’t just look at his statistics, which couldn’t match Ward’s coming into the series. Against Philadelphia, the big stop came in the third period of Game 2 when Fleury stopped center Jeff Carter with a fabulous skate save, giving the Penguins a chance to win in overtime. Against Washington, it was stealing the Capitals’ great Alexander Ovechkin blind early in Game 7 with a glove save that led directly to the Penguins’ 6-2 win.

Then, last night.

Fleury was a wall early in a 0-0 game, making great saves on Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal, Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen during a Carolina power play. He robbed center Chad LaRose in the second period, somehow stopping his backhander after a rebound. And he was big late, diving to make a save that prevented Staal from scoring the tying goal in the final 30 seconds.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Cooke Hit On Cole

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole midway through the third period after Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke caught him knee-on-knee in front of the Pittsburgh net. Cole played only one shift after that, and an angry Paul Maurice wasn’t happy about the hit afterward.

Asked if he thought it was a knee-on-knee hit, with the implication that it was an illegal one, a curt Maurice said, “Yes, I did. I felt that was, yeah.”

Cole officially has a “lower body” injury, but he clearly hurt his left knee in the collision. Cooke said the contact was accidental.

“He was cutting across the middle,” Cooke said. “I turned sideways to hit him, and he turned the other way. I almost fell over, too.”

continued and watch the hit (1:15 mark) within the video highlights below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: erik+cole, matt+cooke

Blackhawks Will Be Just Like The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Spent a lot of time Monday around the Red Wings and you come away so impressed with how these guys handle themselves. They are pros, through and through, and it starts with Nicklas Lidstrom, the best leader in the game.

Then you walk down the hall to the Hawks’ dressing room and you get the same feeling. These guys are mostly kids, but they handle themselves in the same professional manner as the Red Wings. That’s why this is a special team, folks. These kids get it and it starts with Jonathan Toews, who already had a Lidstrom-like presence in his room.

Toews is there every day, as captain and spokesman, answering wave after wave of questions from reporters like he’s been doing it 10 years.

In the end, the Hawks might get more out of this series, even if they lose, than they did from beating Calgary and Vancouver. The Hawks want to be the Wings, and they’re going to be someday with a few tweaks here and there. Mark my words.

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

If You’re An Ohio Cop…Don’t Mind Me, Just Keep Dozing

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Leaving in, wait one, about twenty minutes.  If I had more time, I’d address this.

TPSH

Chris Osgood is the weakest of the remaining goalies.  His best days are done.

Have at it.  Blast away if you want.  HockeyinHD consistently points out the flaws in practically every one of this guy’s arguments.  This one’s no exception. 

Me? I’ll be listening to 20,000 chant somebody’s name tonite.  “The Puck Stops Here” is too long of a name to yell, and we may not be smart or sober enough to get four syllables out consecutively like that.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

No Elite Goaltending Left In The 2009 Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of the more surprising things in the playoffs so far is that goaltending has not been able to carry any team deep into the playoffs.  The remaining teams do not have elite goaltending.  If you made a list of the five best goaltenders in the game today, it would not include any of the remaining goalies in the playoffs.  The remaining goalies are mid-level goalies at best.  That is an alarming realization.  How can these be the best teams in the league when none have elite goaltending?

Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes is probably the best goalie still in the playoffs.  He won the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy, but it was a case of when in doubt give it to the goalie and not a case of him being deserving.  Since then Ward has been a solid goalie but he has never wound up in any series Vezina races.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Lecavalier & Jack Johnson Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The conversations surrounding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier are likely to heat up as we get closer to July 1, when the no-trade clause on his contract kicks in.

The two teams mentioned most when Lecavalier’s name comes up seem to be the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings. With regards to the Kings, defenceman Jack Johnson is one of the players mentioned as possibly being involved in any deal with Tampa.

I had an interesting chat with Barry Smith, who is the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL - and he said Johnson’s father, Jack Johnson Sr., contacted St. Petersburg prior to the World Hockey Championship to see if the team would have interest in signing his son to a one-year contract.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+johnson, vinny+lecavalier

Penguins Take Game 1 Of ECF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pittsburgh wins 3-2 in a game filled with numerous scoring chances.

It looks like this series could go deep.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Buble Not Happy With Canucks Coaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Yvonne Zacharias of the Vancouver Sun,

Crooner Michael Buble is in Los Angeles these days recording a new album set to be released Oct. 15.

But don’t think he hasn’t made time for hockey. The Vancouver native, who is a part owner of the Vancouver Giants, is a huge hockey fan. He watched the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs, including their 7-5 loss to Chicago in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal, at his home in the City of Angels.

Q: What did you think?

A: I was disgusted. I have to take you back to Game 4 with a period left where [Alain] Vigneault stopped sending in two guys and started playing the trap. All year, when everyone kept saying, “Fire the coach!”, I kept saying No, he is a good coach. But every time the Canucks were up by one, he started to employ the trap. We should have won this series. I think the Canucks should have gone home up 3-1 and that would have been that. Instead, I think [Vigneault] tried to play a chess match. I don’t think we were beat by a better team ... I think we were out-coached.

continued

A few months ago I was introduced to Michael’s music and was very impressed, glad to know he is a hockey fan too.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+buble

Roy Claims No Offer Was Made

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Oh the intrigue.  Patrick Roy is now saying nobody’s contacted him. He’s not commenting. Don’t ask him anything. 

“I talked to him this morning and he said all those reports are speculation, he never received a formal offer,” said Nicole Bouchard, director of media relations for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Roy is also general manager of the Remparts.

Bouchard said Roy wasn’t available for interviews. Earlier, he told French-Language network Radio Canada: “I never received an offer ... but anyway, I’m not commenting.”

More from the Globe and Mail.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings As A Stress-Buster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Motown was a depressing place long before the auto industry began crumbling, and it’s only getting worse. Just the other day, General Motors announced it was chopping 1,100 dealerships across the United States. People who spent their lives making an honest, middle-class living are now struggling to put food on the table.

Virtually everyone in southeast Michigan has a neighbor, friend or relative who has lost their job or watched their homes sink into foreclosure. Steve Yzerman has a radio spot saying how proud he was to live here. It sounded as if the region needed a civic pep talk from one of its sports heroes just to make it through the day.

Fortunately, the hard-working people here can take comfort knowing Joe Louis Arena is just down the street from GM’s headquarters. The Red Wings provide an opportunity for people to escape from the stress that comes with the daily grind. Every few days, they can rally behind the best hockey team in the league.

read on

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

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