Kukla's Korner

Their First Playoff

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Now, after an equally long and circuitous career as a minor-league coach, Boudreau is where he has dreamed of being all along, playing for a Stanley Cup.

Much like his coaching counterpart, John Stevens.

On Friday night in Washington, Boudreau and Stevens will coach their first Stanley Cup playoff games when the Flyers visit the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Boudreau led the Capitals to a miraculous turnaround, taking them from 15th in the conference three months ago to a playoff-clinching victory in the final game of the regular season.

more

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

Nolan Prepares To Take On Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

You can’t help but wonder if his old team as the opposition adds a new element.

“There really isn’t,” Nolan insisted. “I’m just really excited about being back in the playoffs. It’s been a while since I’ve been in it, and with the team, we have we think we can go far. We’re just excited and ready to play.”

But San Jose is the squad Nolan was front and centre with for nearly eight seasons. San Jose remains his off-season home, and he’s part-owner of a couple of establishments.

This series will be much about his old haunt and the old memories.

Or not.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: owen+nolan

Jagr Focusing On Playoff Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Daily News,

He has ratcheted up his off-ice workouts in recent weeks. But Jagr maintains that is standard operating procedure for him at this time of year, not an attempt to get one more dominant playoff run out of a body that is now 36.

And as for the prospect of winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP - the one remaining reachable threshold in his contract that would extend it through next season - Jagr refused to even entertain such a discussion on Monday.

At least for public consumption, that is.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Facial Hair Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Empty Netters,

One of the allures of watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs is watching clean-shaven men progress from baby-faced cherubs into Jeffrey Lebowski… uh… the other Jeffrey Lebowski. The Dude. His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

So with a day left before the growing can begin, let us take a team-by-team look at who will grow the best playoff beards:

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not A Good Feeling For The Hurricanes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP at The Charlotte Observer,

“I didn’t tell them anything,” coach Peter Laviolette said Monday. “I couldn’t. I didn’t know what to say. I’ll figure that out as we move along. I had a hard time moving forward myself.”

So the Hurricanes (43-33-6) become the first NHL team to miss the playoffs in each of the two seasons after winning the Stanley Cup.

“It’s like your legs were chopped out from under you, and you feel totally helpless,” said forward Justin Williams, whose empty-netter sealed the ‘06 title.

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

Simple Goal For The Habs- Win The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,

“We began in October with 15 Eastern Conference teams and our objective was to make the playoffs, in the best position possible,” Gainey said. “Now that we’re in the playoffs, our goal is to win the Stanley Cup.”

And just like that, the genius behind this remarkable Canadiens team turned playoff fever up another few degrees in a civic cauldron that’s been on a rolling boil for weeks.

read on

For more on the Canadiens, make sure to check out Habs Inside/Out.

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

Can The Senators Get Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

The very banging and battering the Penguins wanted to avoid from the Flyers can serve as an equalizer in this series for the undermanned Senators. They just need to bring it. Schubert, Chris Neil, Martin Lapointe, Cody Bass, Shean Donovan, Mike Commodore and Anton Volchenkov will be key players for Ottawa.

They have to frustrate the skilled Penguins. They have to throw them off their game. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Hossa, Petr Sykora and Sergei Gonchar have to be targeted. They cannot be allowed to free-wheel without concern or they will roll right over the Senators.

Crosby’s got a bad RIGHT ankle? How will it stand up to a two-hander? The Senators have to find out.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Little Wiggle Room For Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

So unless these Ducks are going to change drastically over the next 2 1/2 months, they’re going to have to repeat while scoring less often than last year’s squad and while having to kill off more penalties than the other team most nights.

That doesn’t leave much room for error.

Two major factors work in the Ducks’ favour, however. First, in Jean-Sebastien Giguere, they have a brilliant playoff netminder who owns a 31-13 record all-time in the Stanley Cup tournament, including 12-1 in overtime matches.

Second, they can buckle up the chinstraps and grit their teeth more than any other club. Consider the fact, for example, that in the 10 regular-season and playoff games for which defenceman Chris Pronger has been suspended since last May, the Ducks have won eight.

more

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

Just Having Some Fun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,

I’m officially picking the Wild in six games over our brave boys.
How could I pick the Wild after I dared to poke some fun at Marian Gaborik and rip the wondrous skills of Derek Boogaard? First of all, settle down all you Wild lovers. It’s a hockey blog for crying out loud. Let’s have a little fun now and then, sheesh.

But I’m picking the Wild because of three guys some of you may never have heard of ’til now: Stephane Veilleux, Branko Radivojevic and Mikko Koivu. Along with being one of the all-time hard-to-pronounce lines, they’re the Wild’s checking line, and I just think they are the major difference over the Avs.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Neighbors And Foes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

After all this, three Cups, seven Atlantic titles, and yet another finish above their unneighborly neighbors, the Devils New Jersey Devils enter the fifth Battle of the Hudson still Strangers in a Ranger land, even in their own home, by their own admission.

“It’s weird living here,” Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner Jamie Langenbrunner told The Post. “You have all these people in New Jersey that are Rangers New York Rangers fans. And you have the Devils fans.

“It’s like we’re the ugly stepchild team and they’re the glamour.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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