Kukla's Korner

More Shots At Chicago Needed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,

Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has hardly been under siege in the Chicago Blackhawks NHL playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Four games into the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal, he’s faced only 83 shots. That’s good news for both him and the Blackhawks because his save percentage is a dismal .867. Imagine if the Canucks actually tested him 35 times in a game. Even 30….

They understand they’ll have to be vastly improved in the shot department if they intend to prevail in tonight’s pivotal Game 5. The series is tied 2-2.

“Chicago is a pretty good group and they play smart defensively,” Canucks winger Alex Burrows said yesterday. “They always have three guys in the neutral zone and they have good backside pressure. Once we get the puck deep, their defencemen are able to skate it and move it.

“I think we have to have that shooting mentality. That’s how you’re successful in playoffs.”

read on

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

Update From Ducks Practice Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Ducks participated in an upbeat practice today and James Wisniewski did participate.  Wisniewski has not been cleared to play yet but will be seeing a doctor before game time tomorrow.

Ryan Getzlaf did not skate but participated in off-ice workouts at the arena this morning.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+wisniewski, ryan+getzlaf

Back In A Couple Of Hours

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Running out to do some much needed errands and also stopping by the Ducks practice.

Anything on your mind regarding our game, feel free to leave a comment below.

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

Two Teams Will Face Elimination After Tonight’s Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Easy question tonight- Who wins?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I’m not a different player. I’m battling hard. I’m playing hard. I’m giving my 100 percent every game. Mistakes, sometimes they do happen. And obviously I believe I’m making more strong plays and good plays than bad plays. I really don’t know how to explain it.

“I realize the responsibility I have, I’m one of the leaders. I’m the captain. I do take it to heart. At the same time, today’s today and tomorrow’s a new day. We have to somehow regroup and find the energy to go into the next game and win it. It’s as simple as that.”

-Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins after losing to the Hurricanes last night.  More from Chara by Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Going Crazy In Russia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slava Malamud at NHL.com,

It’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ marquee series, and even those members of the Caps’ Russian contingent who are not capable of giving interviews in English are in high demand, forcing Russian hockey writers like myself into moonlighting as interpreters. But my real job this night will involve writing another 3,000-word article on the Capitals, the Penguins and their Russian stars, which will likely make front-page news at home. I can also be quite sure that the next day my editors will be on the phone screaming for more. This at the time the World Championships are being played in Europe – unthinkable!

Yes, Russia has gone certifiably crazy for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. The latter’s popularity in particular has eclipsed all conceivable limits and has reached the point where it is actually becoming fashionable to hate Alex, if for no other reason than bucking the national trend.

more

from Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal (written before last night’s game),

In Washington, where the Capitals have long been the poor stepchild to football’s Redskins, Mike Kardash, an attorney in Gainesville, Va., dumped his Redskins tickets two seasons ago and began attending more Capitals games. “It’s just more fun to watch,” he says, comparing Mr. Ovechkin to longtime Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, for his bruising hits and speed. Mr. Ovechkin, he says, “he’s why people go.”

more & thanks to a KK member for the WSJ pointer…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Make Sure To Bring The Siren

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Derek Jory of VancouverCanucks.com,

You know the guys I’m talking about. The ones so into the game they hoot and holler regardless of the score and have some kind of extreme noisemaker with them that keeps things interesting.

In this instance it was a Second World War Chema siren and its alarming sound jolted a whack of energy into the Pacific Coliseum and led the Canucks to a 6-3 win over the visiting Boston Bruins the first time Wideski and Grant tested it out.

The stirring siren, which a buddy of theirs had picked up at a swap meet, also caused a face-to-face meeting with then Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths.

“When we were cranking it at the game security showed up and we thought we were getting kicked out,” recalled Wideski. “Instead we met Arthur and he gave us tickets for that season and for the next couple years to keep coming to the games with the siren.”

more

image

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

Measuring The Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Greenberg of ZDNet,

I have to tell you, the Philadelphia Flyers‘ fan engagement program is by far the single most well thought out and successful CRM strategy and program I’ve seen to date in professional sports. Bar none - including my beloved New York teams. Shame on the Rangers.

What makes this program, which is called “How You Doin’?“  exceptional in any environment is that it begins where CRM strategies and programs should begin - with the culture….

All the staff at the Philadelphia HQ of the Flyers and at the Wachovia Center are trained to greet everyone as they come into the stadium,  trained to answer questions for anyone who has them,  and trained to go above and beyond for customers.  They take a high touch, get involved approach.

Their strategy is two pronged.  First, engage the fans generally. Second, know each fan and their individual lifestyle and customize programs according.  The third prong is measure, measure, measure; learn, learn, learn.

read on & thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…

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

How Will The Ducks React?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

It’s not that Carlyle is being outcoached. Not that it would be an embarrassment if he were. Babcock, after being on the wrong end of a first-round upset in 2006 and a loss to the Ducks in the 2007 West finals, found his footing and won the Stanley Cup last spring.

And with a few moves that were instrumental in Detroit’s 6-3 victory in Game 4, he put Carlyle in the position of reacting instead of initiating.

Given the Ducks’ lack of offensive depth compared to the roll-four-lines Red Wings, Babcock’s team appears to have gained the upper hand in what is now a best-of-three series with two games on its home ice.

Babcock’s decision to mix his top two lines Thursday might stand out as the turning point.

read on

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

Questions & Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, sources say, is telling owners they have to stand against Balsillie’s attempt to force his way into their club or he could try and invade their territory next.

One owner, who likes Balsillie, says he will side with Bettman because “I support the process. If you don’t,” he adds, “you have chaos and anarchy.”

Besides, the owner asks, if Balsillie wants a team in Southern Ontario so badly, why doesn’t he buy the Buffalo Sabres? “[Owner] Tom Golisano would sell in a heartbeat,” he says.

And if a team in Southern Ontario is worth $300-million, the owner wonders, why should the co-founder of Research In Motion get that market in a sweetheart deal by buying the league’s worst financial basket case? “Why shouldn’t the NHL sell Southern Ontario as an expansion market and cut every owner a big cheque?”

much more (Shoalts is in Arizona trying to get some answers)

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

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